So here in the Rob-and-Lorena Candrian home, we don't have many Christmas Traditions established yet. Back in my formative years, my family would always write letters to Santa, which we would then burn in the fireplace out of spite for the commercializtion of Christmas. Take that Santa! Just kidding - it was supposed to be an old German tradition, and the ashes would travel to Santa at the North Pole where he would get your letter without any socialistic government-run postal service interference (although this website claims that it is a British tradition. Who are you going to believe, my mom or the internet? We all know the internet cannot lie). Lately (I think ever since I was about sixteen), a Candrian tradition has been to sleep in (awesome), eat breakfast (with special "braided bread") and then open presents. That way, Christmas doesn't end until noon or so. Amy didn't like this one when it first started, since I think she was nine, but we are all fans now. I like this tradition a lot, but we will see how well it works once kids start showing up at our Christmas festivities. Another Candrian tradition is/was to play the "left and right" game, which we would always do Christmas night at my Grandma's house. We have kept this one alive, in memory of my awesome Gram.
So far Lorena and I only seem to have one Christmas tradition of our own, but I am trying to get a second started (more about that in a minute). Our tradition is that we always go and see the Nutcracker. This gives us an excuse to get dressed up and go out on a fancy date. I imagine it is good practice for when I will get to go to all the fancy diplomatic parties I am sure to attend once we get overseas! Lorena likes to pretend that she is a ballerina (She claims that this was supposed to be her calling in life, but she missed it; so now she performs her ballet on tarmac, aka bike racing!). We have gone to the nutcracker together every year that we have known each other, so this year was trip #7 (The first nutcracker was our third or fourth date together)! Besdies getting dressed up all sanzy, and Lorena looking extra hot, we also went to a fancy dinner at Tosca, an Italian restaurant in D.C that thankfully has a "pre-theater" menu. It was super good, but a bit pricey, but with the theater menu you get two courses and dessert for a lower fixed price, so whatever - it was a good splurge. For my first course I had some pasta with rabbit. Take that Peter Cottontail. It was really good. Second course was a risoto, which was also good, but I liked the rabbit dish better. The best part of the meal was the dessert where I had some tiramisu, and Lorena had some Italian-style doughnuts. Both were delish. We also drove downtown in our new car, and used the valet, so we were definitely ballin' big-time - 'cause thats how we roll.
The Nutcracker, as usual, was cool. I'll be honest, I actually like the music, its pretty relaxing. The dancing - eh. But this one in D.C. (at the Warner Theater) is kinda cool because they throw in little bits of Americana into the story, i.e. the Nutcracker is George Washington, the rats are the British, they sail down the Potomac, etc. So that is our fist set tradition.
I am also trying to start a new tradition this year. It is called the Christmas Beard. Basically it involves me not shaving between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hence the name "Christmas Beard." I kinda tried last year, but gave up after three weeks because I looked too stupid. After my initial failure, my Dad told me that you have to wait at least four weeks (and he is a former beard expert) so I didn't shave at all the week before Thanksgiving and this is what you get on December 22nd:
Not perfect, but I'm not totally embarrassed to go out in public either. It doesn't quite show up as well in this picture, but it is super red, so I would have made an awesome pirate. Anyway, I think this is a new tradition that is here to stay, much to Lorena's dismay/bemusment. Not to disappoint anyone out there in blogdom who is looking forward to seeing this sexy beard in person, but per the new tradition, it comes off on Christmas. If any of you guys want to join me next year (ladies, you are not invited) feel free.
Finally, because I ate there with my buddy Nick tonight (Lorena flew back to Utah today. I have to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas, so I will join her for a little vacation in Utah and California on Friday) I have to post about what is probably the best pizza in D.C., if not all of America. It is called Two Amy's and it is excellent. When Lorena and I ate there a few weeks ago she described her food as "beautiful." So there you go...
Costa Rica it is...
The people have spoken. So I guess I better start planning...
Anybody who is interested in coming with us, shoot me an email!
I will soon be old...
To celebrate my impending oldness, we have decided to go on a trip in March, when Lorena has Spring Break. But I am having a hard time deciding where we should go. We now have friends spread out around the world, so I am asking for your input on what a nice, get out of cold D.C. trip would be. Requirements include the ability to go to the beach, surf, and bike. If you don't like the choices in the poll, put something in the comments. And if you have been to any of the listed places, and have recommendations, feel free.
Candrian Thanksgiving Fun
Rob and I were lucky enough to have the whole Candrian family together in DC this Thanksgiving. We didn't even have to step out of our apartment this year to enjoy the family get together and engorge ourselves on turkey.
pic #1: Just a little explanation to my inlaws as to why the guest bath was so difficult to get sparkly clean. (Rob decided our bathtub was a creative way around the fact that we don't have a hose to clean off our bikes....As the person who cleans the bathroom, I already knew the reason why people don't use their tubs to clean their bikes. :))
pic #2: Our Thanksgiving Day hike to Great Falls.
pic #3: Entertainment. I couldn't believe it when I first saw someone kayaking down this waterfall. Now I have another goal to aspire to in my future.
pic #4: Our black Friday excursion to Annapolis.