Friday, January 11, 2013

Christmas in Connecticut

Have you ever seen that movie? It's great, you should.

We left sunny Florida to fly up to Connecticut and stay with my dad over the holiday. Yes, my parents are still married. We moved up there in 2006 when my dad got a job in NYC, and though there was a lot to love and some wonderful friends and memories, my mom and I moved back to the sunny south in 2010. My dad still works out of the city, so he has a place in Connecticut. It's unusual and unconventional, but it works for our family. Plus, we kind of have the best of both worlds. He comes down here to golf in the winter, and we go up there to get our New England/city fix.

Pillow: Francesca's 

Our second night there, I went to a little get-together at this lovely lady's house. Ms. "Warwa" and I taught together, and I miss her sunny disposition and camaraderie in the classroom. Co-teaching was sa-weet! And her beautiful baby girl is just the bee's knees- so wanted, so loved, and so very cute. It was great to get together with friends and catch up. 

It snowed on Christmas Eve- just a light dusting. Most of it was melted by Christmas morning, but it was lovely to watch it come down. My mom and I even got out and wrote some snow messages.

My dad has a cute little studio apartment in New Canaan, just a short walk from town where there's excellent shopping, good restaurants and a train station. Here's the kitchen I cooked in for a week. Just like living in a college dorm... hot plates! I managed to whip up a few things in there, including this recipe. (By the way, that's Rowayton Market's potato leek soup warming in the pot. Man, do I miss that stuff.)

Because of the small space, we kept it pretty simple with our Christmas set-up. Here's our little Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

I love my old stocking- I've used it for as long as I can remember. And look what's peeking out!! Astronaut strawberries! Trader Joe's makes killer freeze-dried strawberries (which is basically what astronaut food is), but these are whole strawberries, and are one of my favorite things. Random? Yes.

And our fireplace. It's the famed WPIX Yule Log. A New York City Christmas tradition.

We ate Christmas dinner at the Roger Sherman Inn, which dates back to the 1700's. That's one thing I adore about New England- all the history everywhere around you.

The day after Christmas, my mom and I drove into our old hometown of Rowayton. I really miss a few good eats from up there, including the spectacular lobster rolls at Brendan's 101. No mayo or celery pieces in this bad boy- just succulent, big pieces of lobster meat nestled inside a toasted, buttery roll with a squeeze of lemon on top. Tastes like the sea; tastes like New England.

We drove out to Bayley Beach. It was a blustery, COLD day. Sorry for the finger smudge in this pic, but it really captures the grey coldness- the bare trees, icy water, and Long Island in the distance.

Mom all bundled up on the beach. Sure looks different than our Florida beaches, huh?

Bikini and flip flops? More like leather jacket, long underwear and Uggs.

We drove out to a part of South Norwalk that suffered quite a bit of damage from Hurricane Sandy, and started to head home right as it began to sprinkle. This picture looks like what the next 3 months will be like up there. Brrr, I'm getting chilled just looking at it (either that or my ceiling fan is turned up too high.) But man, the Spring sure is pretty. That's one thing we don't get here in Florida, the changing of the seasons. I really miss Autumn, and Spring is so beautiful when it begins to emerge, with the bulbs pushing up out of the ground, the trees coming into bloom, and the robins everywhere. I think I played Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles on repeat around February of each year when I lived up north.

Little darlin'
It's been a long, cold, lonely winter.
Little darlin'
It seems like years since it's been here.

If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen this picture. It's 5:00. In the evening. And it's dark.  Ouch. 

Coming up next, Phil arrives (the boyfriend, for those who don't know) and we begin our New York City adventures. Stay tuned!

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