Our Wonderful Christmastime has continued to be wonderful. On Monday, mom, Amy, and I went to AAA to talk with a travel agent about going on a tour of Britain. We met for an hour and a half and left with some homework to do. And we spent much of Monday afternoon researching and reading up and trying to decide which of the various package tours we wanted to do. We scheduled a second meeting for Wednesday whereupon we'd have our decision.
On Tuesday, Amy had an appointment with a couple of folks in Columbus to film for the BMC Oral History Project she's been working on for a few years now. Dad had volunteered to be her gaffer (and to provide the lighting equipment so she didn't have to bring her set up with her on the plane). Since it was going to take a couple of hours, I suggested that mom and I head off to Polaris Fashion Place to go shopping. So once we had Amy and Dad ensconced in the Columbus Mennonite Church, we headed north to the mall.
Mom and I have been fans of Chico's for a couple of years now. She had a pair of jeans which were a little baggy on her that she wanted to return, and when we got there, they were having a sale. I found a pair of jeans and a long jacket (think Bea Arthur long) on sale and she found two pairs of jeans. We then stopped into a shoe store where I found a VERY cute pair of shoes in my size. Decided they'd be my birthday present to me. Mom then found a jacket for herself at Christopher & Banks that she wound up getting for $15. We topped the successful excursion off with Auntie Anne's pretzels.
As we were leaving the mall, Amy texted to say they were done at the church. So we returned and Amy toured around Columbus reminiscing about her days of living in the "big city." (Columbus is huge for me, but small for someone who lives in Minneapolis. Heh.)
That night, we finally decided on which of the package tours to go on (it was basically a competition between the Scottish highlands and Ireland, Loch Ness vs Guinness brewery tour, Liverpool vs Waterford Crystal. Scotland et al won in the end). Wednesday's meeting then was getting the tour booked and then the flights figured out. We opted for trip insurance - not something we usually do, but with the total cost of the trip and the fact that we're not as young as we once were, it seemed like a good idea this time around.
For New Year's Eve, we met up with Deb & Ben, friends of my folks, for dinner at Trojan Horse. Then we adjourned to mom & dad's home for an evening of games and snacks and booze. We played Ticket to Ride where Ben managed to win instead of Amy (who's won every other time we've played). Then Amy and I took on mom and Deb with a game of pinochle. We won and then the ball dropped and 2015 arrived!
This morning I made us some baked French Toast (which I'd made shortly after midnight and let sit in the fridge overnight) and bacon. And lunch was our New Year's staple: pork, kraut, and mashed potatoes. We'd invited my cousin Patty around and the five of us had a wonderful lunch and spent most of the afternoon chatting and laughing. Then mom, Amy, and I returned to Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and House of Cards (we managed to watch 16 episodes this week). In between episodes, we had a light supper and then I opened presents and we had cake & gelato/ice cream. Judi had gotten me a World of Warcraft game time card (surprise!) and Elsa a nifty sweatshirt with "All of the good chemistry jokes Argon" on it. :-) Mom & dad got me moolah to do a subscription to Big Finish. And Amy got me a 7th Doctor brolly! Whee!
So this has been a wonderful time with my sister and folks and other loved ones. Tomorrow we take Amy to the airport so she can be reunited with Curtis (her cat) and Charlotte (her godcat whose currently staying with her). Thanks all for a lovely birthday and Christmas and all that jazz. :-)