Ho-ho-home

It’s amazing how quickly Christmas comes and goes as the years go on. Maybe it feels even faster since our holiday centers on a speedy-yet-satisfying trip back home – the norm for my last seven Christmases (and more for Jeff). Whatever the case, I’m always super giddy to board the late-December flight east to Detroit to celebrate with the families and friends we’ve known and loved our whole lives.

Disclaimer: My camera didn’t make as many appearances as it should have. I missed some really wonderful times, such as a trip to East Lansing to visit the Bellolis, meet their adorable little 11-month-old Nina, and visit with Tillman (who was the first visitor to our Portland apartment), Joey (who conquered the Cartathlon with us in May) and Folino. I also forgot to capture the one big night out with my friends – Ashley, Ashley, Jenny, Vanessa, Rachel, Lesley, Sharpie and Mike – at Village Inn in my hometown Linwood. Stupid me. In both instances, all the lively reminiscing and catching up must have distracted me! At least I got quite a few family photos throughout the week…

But first – before we packed our bags for our trip to the Midwest, we toasted the season with an ugly holiday sweater dive bar crawl in our Northwest Portland neighborhood. Jumping from Joe’s Cellar to Quimby’s at 19th to 21st Avenue Bar & Grill, the crew drank plenty of dive bar-appropriate PBR and enjoyed the semi-mild weather that let us walk around town without winter jackets covering our sweater awesomeness.

The bar crawl crew: Travis, Ryan, Bryan, Jeff, Shawn, Lindsay, Daniel, Becky, me and Jessica

The bar crawl crew: Travis, Ryan, Bryan, Jeff, Shawn, Lindsay, Daniel, Becky, me and Jessica

Back to our week-long trip to the Mitten State: Jeff and I spent the first half with his family in Brighton, and the second half with my family in Linwood. The traditions remained the same, from the early-morning trip to Detroit’s Eastern Market with the Krasses, to waking up with the entire Redick clan early Christmas morning to open presents. Throw in a trip to Coney Joe’s for our coney dog fix, a couple unsuccessful trips to Mid-Michigan casinos, an award-winning pizza dinner at Linwood Hotel, and plenty of bonding time with our little nieces, and it was a wonderful trip that left our souls brimming with love and happiness.

…and, of course, we picked up colds along the way to bring back to Portland. 🙂

As for ringing in the new year tonight, we’re still nailing down a plan with the neighbors – something along the lines of a dinner, movie, and back patio viewing of the ball drop. Goodbye 2012, hello new year!

Mama bear getting her paws on Jeff

Mama bear getting her paws on Jeff

Festive atmosphere at Vivio's in Eastern Market, 8 a.m. the Saturday before Christmas

Festive atmosphere at Vivio’s in Eastern Market, 8 a.m. the Saturday before Christmas

Vivio's crowd: Uncle Ric, Bob, Aunt Sue and Aunt Ginny

Vivio’s crowd: Uncle Ric, Bob, Aunt Sue and Aunt Ginny

Vivio's crowd: Chris and Mrs. and Mr. Mooradian

Vivio’s crowd: Chris and Mrs. and Mr. Mooradian

Vivio's crowd: Eric, Charlie, Terri and Uncle Chuck

Vivio’s crowd: Eric, Charlie, Terri and Uncle Chuck

Touching base in one of the sheds at Eastern Market

Touching base in one of the sheds at Eastern Market

Ah, the eclectic musicians...a reminder of our new home Portland...

Ah, the eclectic musicians…a reminder of our new home Portland…

Posing with Mr. Detroit himself (and he has the papers to prove it!)

Posing with Mr. Detroit himself (and he has the papers to prove it!)

Mr. Detroit sharing stories with our crew at Bert's in Detroit

Mr. Detroit sharing stories with our crew at Bert’s in Detroit

Aunt Elaine showing off her new sunglasses

Aunt Elaine showing off her new sunglasses (Rob is obviously awestruck)

Jeff and Uncle Ron at the Krass family Christmas

Jeff and Uncle Ron at the Krass family Christmas

The Krass men: Uncle Paul, Uncle Roger, Uncle Ron, Bob, Rob and Jeff

The Krass men: Uncle Paul, Uncle Roger, Uncle Ron, Bob, Rob and Jeff

Hey ladies! Aunt Roxanne, Amy, Aunt Elaine and Mrs. Rzepka (Amy's mom)

Hey ladies! Aunt Roxanne, Amy, Aunt Elaine and Mrs. Rzepka (Amy’s mom)

Two bros and their pop: Rob, Bob and Jeff

Two bros and their pop: Rob, Bob and Jeff

Welcome to Christmas Eve at Grandma's house!

Welcome to Christmas Eve at Grandma’s house!

Jeff testing Uncle Ron's latest home brew

Jeff testing Uncle Ron’s latest home brew

The present-opening begins at Grandma's house!

The present-opening begins at Grandma’s house!

The fam at Grandma's

The fam at Grandma’s

The annual Redick kids photo

The annual Redick kids photo

A late birthday cake for Jeff (with Ava giggling madly about surprising him with trick candles)

A late birthday cake for Jeff (with Ava giggling madly about surprising him with trick candles)

Uncle Jeff doing double-duty with Macy and Ava

Uncle Jeff doing double-duty with Macy and Ava

Must-needed cup of coffee early Christmas morning

Must-needed cup of coffee early Christmas morning

Same scene, same room for more than 30 years running

Same scene, same room for more than 30 years running

Lori and Ava kicking things off with stockings

Lori and Ava kicking things off with stockings

Troy joining in the early-morning fun with Shelly and the fam

Troy joining in the early-morning fun with Shelly and the fam

Dad and Mom

Dad and Mom

Jeff and our goddaughter Macy

Jeff and our goddaughter Macy

Kids night out at The Cabin in Linwood

Kids night out at The Cabin in Linwood

Lovebirds Troy and Shelly

Lovebirds Troy and Shelly

...and the old married couples, Cory and Lori, Jeff and me

…and the old married couples, Cory and Lori, Jeff and me

Modeling sequined New Year's Eve dresses with Aunt Shelly

Modeling sequined New Year’s Eve dresses with Aunt Shelly

Last night in town: Village Inn

Last night in town: Village Inn

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Miss You, Mich. | Our Oregon Trail

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