We are in the middle of a two week vacation to Taos. We left Friday afternoon and drove late through dark, rainy, icy north Texas arriving in Lubbock at the Homewood Suites very late. We liked the hotel as it was quiet, not too expensive and included a hearty breakfast buffet. We left the next morning and drove on. The drive went quickly as we listened to "A Wrinkle In Time", interspersed with lots of kindle time and Clone Wars for the boys. We stopped for lunch on the old Route 66 and arrived in Taos around 3:30pm. We unpacked and made supper and waited for Katie, but Soren was in lots of pain from an ear infection and after an urgent care visit in Santa Fe, they arrived after midnight.
Sunday we had so much fun. We lunched at Gutiz and then Katie and I did the Grocery store run. We sat around making wedding plans and catching up. I never run out of things to say to Katie and I love her so much. Soren and the boys played happily and Michael enjoyed us all. We drove up that evening to the ski valley to get the kids fitted for their snowboarding lesson. They promised popcorn and face painting, but we were late and it was busy, so we missed all the fun. The kids did get fitted though and pre-registered and we headed back down the mountain for dinner at KTAOS. It was splendid as always.
Monday morning, Michael took the kids up to the ski valley for their snowboarding lesson and camped out on the lobby of the St Bernard for the day while Katie and I made home made shrimp empanadas and homemade pizzas for dinner. Martha and Clark arrived in time for lunch and we all chatted and cooked till the early evening when Michael brought the boys home. We had homemade pizza and then threw ourselves on the rug in front of the fire to watch "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". Davis wouldn't touch his pizza and when I checked his temp, he was running a slight fever. We put him right to bed and prayed to the health gods that he wouldn't be sick for Christmas.
Christmas Eve, we got up early and checked on Davis. He was snarfally, but fever free. We each opened a "Christmas Eve gift" and mine was a homemade gift from Samuel. It was a manger scene that you can hang on the wall and he told me he had made it "with his whole heart". I was so touched. Then we put on our snow clothes and drove up to our favorite sledding spot. There is very little snow in Taos this year, but there was enough snow at the sledding spot to make it fun, though we did miss the huge soft piles of snow from last year. Everybody sledded and Katie and I sat at the top of the hill sipping out of a thermos and talking. Martha and Clark left early to go have lunch with a cousin, but we stayed until lunchtime. We drove back into town and went to the plaza where we had a cozy lunch at Bent Street Cafe. Then we shopped a bit, took a picture in front of the giant Christmas tree in the center of the plaza and let the kids spend an hour in Twirl. Then we came home and I made posole for three pumpkin pie for Christmas lunch as well as chili for the evening. Martha and Samuel made little pie crust cookies with brown sugar for Santa.
That evening we had the chili and tamales and then we all stuffed each other's stockings till they bulged. The kids put on their pajamas and we watched "White Christmas" by the fire. Then they each wrote a letter to Santa and put out the cookies Samuel made on the table with the stockings. The kids went to bed and we grow ups stayed busy by the fire until bedtime.
Christmas morning we all gathered by the tree to see what Santa had brought. The kids each got a bike, but as usual, those were the last things they saw. Davis was most enamored by a little red lego figure. After the grownups had time to make a cup of coffee, we all sat down and opened our stocking which had been topped off by Santa in the night. We took turns and ahhhed and oooohhed over everyone's stocking contents. I got up and made eggnog cranberry steel cut oats for breakfast and Michael mixed up a batch of bloody marys and poured mimosas. We had breakfast and then gathered back in the living room to our piles of presents. We opened one at a time youngest to oldest and this took quite a while and lots of fun was had by all. I got a new soda stream and a signed copy of a new George RR Martin/Diana Gabaldon book and lipstick and shoes and an electric tea pot and an amazon gift card. I gifted Michael with lots of hipster clothes and the kids got legos, star wars, puzzles and games. Martha and Clark also gave the boys a new air hockey table that the kids were over the moon for.
I pulled out the posole and heated up on the stove and heated up the shrimp empanadas and threw together an orange avocado spinach salad and we all sat down for a traditional New Mexican Christmas dinner.
I took a Christmas nap and Michael watched star wars with the boys and then we all bundled up and drove out to the pueblo. We walked in and showed everyone the pueblo and soon the Christmas Deer Dance began. The indigenous people of the pueblo came out in amazing costumes with lots of bright colors. The men wore suits and each had a head dress with fringe covering their faces and long silk streamers coming down. They wore brightly colored shawls and lace and jewelry. One man was dressed with a plaster mask, one with a buffalo fur and horns and another as a woman with large fake breasts and a scary mask and money safety pinned to his/her coat. They danced in the courtyard of the church with an elaborate footpattern. There was a sweet young girl dressed in white with a veil and maypole that they braided with bright colored streamers. Katie and Soren and Davis and I were all entranced and stood there watching for at least an hour. Samuel wandered off to play with the many dogs in the pueblo. As the sun set, it grew very cold and Michael and his parents took Samuel home. Katie and Soren and Davis and I stayed and watched more of the dances and then went to visit the pueblo graveyard. It was such an amazing, wonderful, once in a lifetime thing to do on Christmas.
We stayed up late talking that evening. It really was such a special Christmas. I missed my family, but I loved having a laid back, easy, wintry Christmas. It was fun to make some new traditions and have a white Christmas. I really enjoyed being here in Taos for the holiday. (for real, Cheris. ;))
This morning we got up and had breakfast and said goodbye to Katie and Soren and Martha and Clark. We cleaned the house and did a ton of laundry and took down the Christmas tree. The kids have played with their toys all day. We have another day of "just us" tomorrow and then Mom and Dad and Tiffany and Keith and Kade will all arrive for the new year. The kids will do two more days of snowboarding lessons and we hope to go watch the fireworks on the mountain on New Years Eve.
Pictures will go up later, as I can't get them up on my ipad. I am putting them up on my facebook page for now.