Tag Archives: coon rapids

Holiday Recap

Here’s a quick summary (with some pics below) of our Holiday Vacation to Minnesota/Wisconsin. Needless to say, not an hour was wasted! It was nice to see everyone, but it is good to be ‘home’ and back into a routine. It was a crazy 10 days!

December 22nd, 2009
Drove to Bradley International (Hartford, CT) and flew to Minneapoils – St. Paul
Christmas Shopping
Pre-Christmas Party with St. Olaf friends
Johnston side extended family Christmas Eve
Mathison/Berg side extended family Christmas Day
Day with my Parents in Eau Claire
3rd Christmas/gift exchange in Eau Claire with Mom/Dad and Brent/Kristen
4th Christmas evening get together with Higgins side
Meet coworkers at EcoLab/Patterson for lunch
Swap Cars
Game night with Maggie’s High School Teacher & Friends
Dentist Appointment (no cavities!)
Darts/Cards with my friends and dart teammates and significant others
Lunch with Maggie’s aunt/uncle
Ice Skating with my parents
Dinner/Games with my parents and Maggie’s Mom
Wedding Dress shopping (the girls)
Lunch with dress shopping party
Visit Maggie’s Dad and step Mom on New Years Eve
New Year’s Eve @ Bryan’s
Catch ride to airport from Bryan and fly from MSP to BDL, drive back to New Haven.
Jan 1, 2010

Four Christmases

If you’re expecting a review of the movie Four Christmases you’ll have to click on the link.  Instead, this is a re-cap my 3 day Christmas adventure with Maggie and our families.  Tuesday night Maggie and I kicked off the gift-giving a little early by exchanging gifts for each other.  Maggie gave me a backgammon set which we subsequently learned how to play.  It turns out is a really fun 2 player dice game; I’m surprised I’ve never played it before now!

On Christmas Eve Maggie and I trekked up to Coon Rapids, MN to celebrate with the Johnstons.  We went to church with Maggie’s dad and step-mom, grandparents and cousin and then headed back to her dad’s house for the Johnston family Christmas which they were hosting.  We enjoyed LOTS of great food (it just kept coming!), a gift exchange and a competitive game of Scrabble.  I’m proud to report that team MAARON (Maggie + Aaron) won decidedly.  It was a nice afternoon/evening and a good time was had by all.

On Christmas Day Maggie and I again made the trip to Coon Rapids, this time to have a Christmas brunch with Maggie’s Mom, brother Jake and uncle Marty.  We enjoyed some delicious quiche and spending some time with Maggie’s mother and brother.  After a short stay we hit the road for Eau Claire in order to make it to Christmas at the Bergs (my aunt and uncle on my mom’s side).

We arrived at the Berg’s just in time for some more food and another gift exchange.  The last few years we have drawn names and everyone bought a gift for the person whose name you drew.  This year we decided to do the gift exchange differently and have everyone bring a generic gift for the same gender as you are, and then play a game with it.  Each person drew a card to see what order to take a turn in.  Each person could either open a gift from their gender’s pile of gifts that had been brought or steal a previously open gift .  It added a fun spin to the gift opening, and I think everyone enjoyed it.  Only a few people “stole” gifts, one of which was me.  When my turn came up I grabbed a gift basket of beer/cheese/crackers/sausage that my cousin Cody had opened.  I only held on to it for a short while though as my uncle Dave stole it from me when his turn was up.  I ended up with a camouflage folding chair and a gun case that my brother Brent had brought for the exchange.

The night ended by playing some games back at my parent’s home where Brent, Kristen, Maggie and I all were staying for the weekend.  Maggie and I taught everyone how to play Last Word and then we ended with an epic game of dirty clubs.

Friday morning we all piled in the mini-van for a trip to Beaver Creek Reserve for some cross-country skiing.  The weather Friday was not very cooperative though, and we were greeted with a high of 38 with fog and drizzle.  This made the snow extremely wet and sticky, making it nearly impossible to ski in (at least with the skis we rented from the reserve).  To add to the agony, while following the trail we made a wrong turn and were pretty far from the lodge when we decided that our skis weren’t going to work and that we were ready to head back.  Oops!  We eventually found the right trail, and everyone took their skis off for the final hike down into the valley and back up the other side through knee-deep snow in order to make it back to the lodge.  The ski trip turned into quite an adventure!  Somewhere along the way, probably as a result of one of my falls down a hill, my camera appears to have broken, causing my subsequent pictures to be completely black and no image to show on the LCD screen.  The last picture I was able to take before it broke is of everyone preparing to descend a somewhat large (by x-country skiing standards) hill:

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing

The day concluded with an “appetizer” style dinner, a traditional gift exchange, and another round of games.  This time we played a few tense games of Sequence and concluded with another round of dirty clubs.  Both games were perfect for a group of 6 to be able to play and enjoy the competition.  Finally, we had to get a family picture in front of the tree.

Family Christmas photo

Family Christmas photo

It was a fun day with family and a great way to wrap up 3 days worth of Christmasses!

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Happy Holidays

I’d just like to take a moment before the Christmas/New Years festivities ramp up to wish everyone a safe and happy holidays.  Maggie and I will be traveling between Coon Rapids and Eau Claire for Christmas celebrations over the 24-26th.  It’s going to be a busy latter part of the week, but it’ll be worth it to spend the holiday with family.

After that is the New Year’s parties, of which we’ve been invited to a few.  We’ve yet to decide which ones to try to attend, but I’m sure we’ll have a good time regardless.

Stay tuned for photos and updates from our Christmas and New Year’s festivities.

Merry Christmas!