Christmas Vacation

And just like that the ornaments are being taken off the tree, the wreaths are being taken down and Christmas has come to an end.

Big Guy and I have a few days off together over the next week and I’m excited to get the house cleaned up, all our presents put in their new places and cooking some dinner at home for the two of us.  Big Guy’s birthday is on Thursday so I’m sure we’ll be cooking up something amazing and popping open a bottle of bubbles.

Here’s a recap of our wonderful, joyful, delicious Christmas in Charlotte:

On Tuesday we made a quick pit-stop in Raleigh on our way to Charlotte to pick up a couple of last minute Christmas gifts as well as to kick off our Christmas vacation with sushi at Mura.

We arrived in Charlotte after driving through lots of rain (rain seems to be the theme of the past 5 days) and it was so good to see my parents and brother.  We ran a few errands and grabbed an easy dinner before calling it a night.

Wednesday started off with an early workout (actually late since it wasn’t at 5am) and then I baked my little heart out most of the day.  Sausage balls and banana bread galore!  That evening we had Christmas dinner at my Mimi’s house.  It was a smaller-than-usual celebration but it was wonderful despite one of my brothers and sister-in-law not being able to make it.

Christmas Eve morning started like any other day with a workout and then I baked my Dad’s birthday cake (he shares a birthday with Jesus and we celebrate this birthday on Christmas night).

Before we went to church we grabbed a late lunch at Paco’s Tacos and we all deemed that it is going to be our new Christmas Eve tradition.

The margaritas were fantastic and the food was awesome.  I started with a Cucumber and Jalapeño Margarita and since we were all starving, we shared some guacamole and queso.  For lunch, I ordered the Fiesta Bowl with Grilled Shrimp.  Can’t wait to continue this Mexican Christmas Eve tradition.

Christmas Eve night we have the tradition of cooking soup.  Despite the warm weather, both my Mom and I prepared a big pot of soup and we enjoyed the soup with ultimate grilled cheese sandwiches.  My mom made a roasted red pepper and gouda soup and I made a Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

Post-soup we spent the evening tidying up the house and getting ready for 20 plus folks the next morning for our Christmas Brunch.  Christmas Brunch has been a tradition that has taken place since I can remember.  The menu is always the same:  Monkey Bread, Sausage Balls, Grits Casserole, Sausage and Cheese Casserole, French Toast Bake and fruit.  Oh – don’t forget about mimosas.

Christmas morning came and I was so excited to see all my siblings and my niece and nephew.  The whole day was wonderful and it flew by way too fast.  As I mentioned before, we celebrated my Dad’s birthday with an Italian feast of lasagna, salad and red wine.

We had planned to come home on Saturday but we ended up deciding to stay the day and spend a little more time with my parents and my youngest brother.

We went to Rooster’s for lunch which was awesome (minus a little slower than desired service) and then we had a pizza and game night.  Big Guy is a party pooper and didn’t play dominoes with us – he missed out!

The perfect end to a wonderful few days.

I hope you all had a magical Christmas – treasure the time between now and next Christmas though – 2016 will fly by.

Enjoy your Monday!

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