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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009 Part III

Hey there! We’re back from the Washington Parent Pilgrimage that was Christmas, and whooo boy was it fun! 1,775 miles of driving over the course of 10 days, what’s not to love!!!

Ok, perhaps my enthusiasm is unfounded. For the driving part at least. Our last stretch from Clarkston, a stop in Colton, and onto Bozeman included my sister Gretchen, who is spending the next 10 days with us in Bozeman. And while DJ’s ’02 Tundra is totally sufficient for the two of us, it’s totally cramped for three people over an eight hour drive. The kicker is that the roads were fine the whole way and we could have taken my more comfortable Nissan Altima. Oh well.

Because 1,775 miles doesn't seem like a ridiculous amount to drive in 10 days.

It’s tough wanting to split time between three families (mine, DJ’s mom’s, DJ’s dad’s), especially at the holidays. Since both sets live in Washington State, well, it feels like we might as well do both. If DJ’s family lived in Minnesota, we’d go to one or the other, not schlep our stuff around to see everyone. But once you’re to my parents, you’re “only” six hours to DJ’s parents. You might as well go the whole way, right?

The downside is that I don’t feel like we really got to spend enough time with everyone. I could have used two more days around my mom and dad, and I know DJ feels the same way. I’m not sure what we’ll do next year. We’ve kind of agreed to not make any decisions until after El Weddingo.

It’s especially hard for me to consider missing Christmas with my family when my grandparents are still alive and my extended family gets together. And if we hadn’t done the big roadtrip, we wouldn’t have gotten to stay in Harrison, and check out the restaurant that is the location for our wedding reception

The Landing Restaurant, Harrison, Idaho.

And peer through the windows to see that the bathrooms are ripped out and remodeling is, indeed, taking place.

It'll get done, right? RIGHT???

We couldn’t have gotten the last two cinnamon rolls from Harrison Traders, on Main Street in Harrison (YUM!).

Seriously, you WANT a cinnamon roll from HTC.

Or checked out the park in the middle of Harrison that overlooks the marina (somewhere in the fog) and the campground. We’ll host a Welcome BBQ here on the Friday before our wedding.


Or peeked into the One Shots building and giggled at how fun the after-party at One Shots will be.

Grandpa Bob and Grandma Joyce have been coming to One Shots since the mid 1940's.

And had we not gone to Castle Rock, we wouldn’t have gotten to see DJ’s brother get his year-long hair be cut, and donated to Locks of Love.

Locks of Love.
And had a fabulous dinner.

 Paul, Brian, Michelle and Christmas Dinner!
Or tried to take a nice family photo.

Look, a bird!
And had we not gone to Clarkston, we wouldn’t have gotten to open presents with my parents.

Opening gifts.
 Or tried to take another nice family photo.

Sandi, Mike, Gretchen, Courtney, Dusty.
Or sat through Christmas Mass in St. Boniface Church in Uniontown, Washington. Where although I wouldn’t say I’m a practicing Catholic, I do feel part of the community.

St. Boniface in Uniontown.
Especially when I walk out of church and grab my sister, grandmother and girl cousins for a quick Kramer Girl photo.

Hannah, Grandma Jan, Jessica, Whitney, Gretchen, me, Mollie
And then go out to my aunt and uncle’s, and watch my 76 year old grandmother talk to my cousin over Skype.

Joyce, Skypeing with my cousin Taylor.
And spend Christmas Day out at my Grandma Jan’s, with my extended, extensive family.

Kramer family on the farm.
Where I have a ton of girl cousins, who are all growing to be beautiful, accomplished young women.

Gretchen, Jessica, Mollie.
Whom DJ gets to meet.

Christmas Dinner: round FIVE.
And after dinner we all end up playing trivia games.

Who DID win the NCAA national title in 1987?
That sometimes get very heated.

Sports trivia questions. DJ only stayed around through the baseball round.
Because if we didn’t spend nearly 24 hours driving, when else would we get a chance to gather with family and celebrate just being together?

Kramer Cousins: Kyle, Zach, me, Tyler, Ryan, Whitney, Gretchen, Mollie, Jessica, Hannah

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