Saturday, December 26, 2009


Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the whole year. It holds all the magic and mystery of Christmas for me. A big part of my love for Christmas Eve is that almost all of our traditions happen that night:

If you've never been to NORAD's site on Christmas Eve, I highly recommend it. The latest scientific equipment is used to track Santa's whereabouts as he circles the globe. The boys follow his progress all day.

In the late afternoon we head to Nanna and Grandpa's for our annual Christmas Eve dinner: ham, potatoes, homemade rolls, olives, salad, etc.

After dinner is the Christmas pageant. This year the Caboose and his cousin 'Boo' were Mary and Joseph.

The whole gang:

This year we added in the story of Christ's birth in the Americas. We had our very own Samuel the Laminite, complete with angry crowds throwing balls of tin foil at him - who missed most of the time!

At the end of the Christmas pageant, the wise men bring in one gift for everyone. (There is a whole process by which that one gift is selected. It usually takes a good chunk of the morning to decide which gift will be opened.)

Another Green family tradition is our Christmas Eve birthday cake for Jesus. As a kid I never struggled with the commercialism of Christmas, it was just a really great birthday party - complete with birthday cake! (Diamond thinks this tradition is a bit odd, but he's always a good sport!)

After cake is the annual the Pajama Hunt. The kids have to solve riddles, complete obstacles, or like this year, follow a treasure map, to find their new Christmas jammies. (Thanks to Ginger who always organizes this part.)

With new jammies on, the boys are ready for their picture in front of Nanna and Grandpa's tree.

Then it's time to head home. Driving home from Nanna's is one of my favorite parts of Christmas Eve. We always take a long drive, admiring all the lights and trying to spot Rudolph in the sky. This year BB#2 swears he saw Rudolph's body. "Now I KNOW Santa's real!"

At home the boys set out cookies and milk for Santa. But they also leave out water and carrots for the reindeer. (They usually put out some Ranch dressing too!)

Then it's off to bed.

Christmas morning the boys are instructed to not wake us up until at least 7:30. We usually make it to about 7:00. Then we head down to see what Santa left for us.

Favorite presents this year include: BB #1: binoculars, Swiss Army knife, popcorn machine, Nuggets shorts. BB#2: Spy Gear, Nuggets shorts, popcorn machine, Bronco's pendant. Caboose: Spiderman car, Spiderman airplane, Batman Castle

Nanna & Grandpa stop by in the late morning so the kids can show off their new wares. Then it's back to Nanna's for more presents and leftover ham sandwiches.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, indeed!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cable Cars

Our first night in San Fransisco I slept a solid TWELVE hours! (Things have been beyond hectic lately, and I was clearly in need of some catch up!) After taking my time to get ready and then doing some shopping in Chinatown I took a trolley down to Ghiradelli Square.

The views were absolutely breathtaking.
I wandered through a few art galleries, then spent some serious quality time sitting on a bench watching the ships come and go. (It seems I do something like this every time I go along with Diamond on a business trip. There is something so filling about sitting silently and just soaking things in.)

THAT was a GOOD day!
The next day I made Diamond go with me and do it again.

I know it's very touristy, but it was just so incredibly BEAUTIFUL!

I do believe that the trolleys were one of my favorite things. I got the feeling that Diamond liked them too.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chinatown and Fishman's Wharf

You can't go to San Francisco without spending time at Fisherman's Wharf. We somehow ended up there every single day. 'Course with lots of shopping, restaurants and and the Bay, who could stay away?

Being the bread addict that I am, I was totally looking forward to some San Fran sour dough bread, and this bakery did not disappoint. Maybe the real reason I kept going back to Fisherman's Wharf was for the yummy bread. Mmmmm. (Dave is holding up some sour dough bread creations.)

We stumbled upon this old fashioned arcade - with games back from the days of nickelodeons.

There was also an old WWII submarine that we got to walk around inside of.

Inside the submarine - man those things are crammed! I can't imagine living inside that for months on end!


Our hotel was literally next door to Chinatown. We could see the main gate from the window!

It was so fun to wonder around looking at all the souvenirs for sale, seeing barrels full of exotic spices and taking in the beautiful architecture.

Diamond at the gate into Chinatown:

There's No Escaping!


"Break the rules and you go to prison. Break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz." - Inmate

Rule #5: You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Anything else you get is a privilege." (Not a bay way of running things, huh? Maybe I should post this in my house.)

This is the main galley in the prison. Can't you just imagine it full of men yelling and jeering?

As creepy as the whole prison was, the views from Alcatraz where absolutely breathtaking.