December 31, 2014

Closing Out 2014

In keeping with this year's (obvious in hind-sight) "work first" theme, we waited until a bunch of work stuff had been finalized before getting on the plane to visit E's family for the holidays.  After boarding, we worked in the air,  and then E's folks picked us up and drove us through a crazy thunderstorm to their house, where, per Southern hospitality, they fed us very (too?) well.

One of the best views of Tahoe I've ever seen.  It was CLEAR!

Christmas Eve started with more work, and then we had the traditional lunch at the Varsity with E's father's cousins.  From there it was dinner at E's sister's house where our brother-in-law made an *amazing* paella.  Lobster, shrimp, chorizo, chicken thighs, and white fish all combined with spices to make the most rich and delicious broth.

In case this wasn't enough, he also made pumpkin tiramisu to die for.
That night, we skipped out of church with E's parents in favor of C's Christmas Eve party and then headed home.

Christmas day was the classic wake and presents and heavy delicious breakfast followed by meal/table/hosting prep.  E's mom runs a solid kitchen (and is a hostess as only a woman who has sat on multiple non-profit boards and hosted countless church, non-profit, and professional parties in the South can be), so I've learned how to make myself useful to her.  This year, I split the sous-chef duties with my brother-in-law (fastest Xmas prep on record in E's childhood household since I've joined the fun!) and I was thrilled to be able to slip out for a quick 2.6 mile loop in the hills before returning for round 2 of the holiday meal festivities for the day.

E's parents always host a formal sit-down Christmas dinner for their entire extended family and at least 2 other couples (sometimes up to 3 other extended families), and this year was no different.  The full spread was no less than 8 delicious dishes, but the most impressive was the beef wellington.