Thursday, December 24, 2015

A little pre-Christmas, white Christmas snow trip {Lake Tahoe}

We had grand plans to go spend a few days at the snow between Christmas and New Years this year, but leaving booking accommodation to the last minute (whoops) meant our choices were severely limited. So - a couple of weekends ago, we took a little pre-Christmas, white Christmas snow trip to our favourite Californian destination, Lake Tahoe.

With the drought and all, you never quite know if you're going to get decent snow here but boy did we strike it lucky! There was a big snowstorm the night before we arrived (and another the day we left, bringing our plans to leave forward by half a day so we could get out before the pass was closed) and it left the lake looking like a winter wonderland.

This year we stayed at Incline Village in the north part of the lake - we've never actually stayed on the Nevada side before but the beachfront resort was gorgeous and I'm keen to check it out in the summertime.

Although Austin wasn't such a fan of the snow, we still had a fun weekend... But I have to say, I've had my snow fix for another year now!

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas favourites

Christmas in California is a funny thing for me. It's this weird in between season that's nothing like the Christmas I grew up with (stinking hot in the middle of a humid summer) but it's not freezing and snowy - in the bay area at least - like in all of the stereotypical Christmas movies that I grew up on. It's a strange in between kind of cold and I'm not sure that I really like it.

It doesn't feel like Christmas and it certainly doesn't feel like home, and the older that I get, the more I just want my Christmas. Not to mention the boys - being third culture kids, I often wonder just what things exactly will invoke those warm fuzzy feelings of Christmas for them when they are grown. They don't share the same experience as Mitch and I with an Aussie Christmas, and the older I (and they) get, the more sad that makes me feel. I'm so thankful - I really am - for being able to travel and live internationally, but this mama is ready to take her family down under for good.

I've been reminiscing over past favourites, and for a girl that hails from a small country town in Queensland, Australia I know I've been pretty lucky with some of our Christmas experiences. Although nothing says the silly season to me quite like hot weather, beach days and cold prawns, some of my most memorable holidays have been the years we were living in Europe. Those Europeans really do know how to celebrate with classic decor, cultural traditions, picture perfect markets, snow for days and well - the scenery!

This year is going to be a little more low key with Christmas Day at home and Mitch's time off just spent doing things locally, but we did get in some snow time last weekend at Lake Tahoe (more to come on that!).

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

O (2015) Christmas tree

Although there is something special about an Aussie 'Christmas tree', I really do love being able to go out and cut down a true fir tree each year here in the USA. That fresh pine smell, the full branches and the novelty of going to a farm and hunting down the perfect tree is a tradition that I am really loving.

This year we went back to Summit Christmas Tree farm in Los Gatos, the same place we went last year. It didn't take too long to drive around and find the perfect tree, load it up and get it home for some decorating...

The boys were both really into the decorating this year - all our decorations have been collected over the years from various places and have their own special meaning, but thankfully we have a lot of wooden & soft toy type decorations that were perfect for the boys to hang on the bottom half of the tree.

And, voila! We didn't get a cute photo of them under the tree (no-one was cooperating that day, trying to take family photos at the tree farm earlier was a DISASTER - thankfully we quickly came up with a plan B for our Christmas card photo!), but there's still Christmas morning for that one :-)

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