So......our first Christmas with our first grandson........one word for it......absolutely amazing!!!!! well ok two words....
Some of you who've read my previous blogs will know that our Grandson Harry was born last January to our younger son Carl and Heather and they live in Wisconsin.....about 30 mins north east of Madison across the pond. I really wanted to spend part of the winter with them and the idea of spending Christmas there was of course high up on the list.
On the other hand, my husband Geoff wasn't really keen on spending the month of December in sub zero temperatures!!! "what will we do if we get snowed in for days on end" he kept asking........to which my reply was "play with Harry"!!! As it happened, that couldn't have been further from the truth......a mild December was had on both sides of the pond.......thank goodness!!!
We arrived in Fall River on Wednesday 2nd December to bright sunshine. It was actually snowing in Chicago when we landed with several inches of snow on the ground......gulp......... but I think we all know how well organised they are at these airports.......all on time.....no delays.....the snowploughs had obviously done what they were supposed to do.
Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
First on the agenda on Friday night was to see the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train which was scheduled to stop in the next town, round about 10 pm........only a 5 min drive away. The train reminded us of the Coca Cola advert.....the lorry with all those fabulous lights.
Carriages lit up
There were too many carriages to count, all beautifully adorned with coloured lights depicting Christmas trees, snowmen, angels, stars, reindeer......... well......I think you get the picture.
A rock group singing Christmas carols!
The train stopped and the doors on both sides of one of the carriages opened to the sound of a rock group, who started singing carols and getting everyone in the mood for Christmas .....of course the big man himself made an appearance and sang alongside the group.........wonderful!! Only in America???
Christmas tree farm
The next day found us at a Christmas tree farm where we were able to visit Santa in his magical barn/grotto......there must have been a few thousand sparkly fairy lights.......so pretty......even Harry was enchanted......his huge,wide eyes taking it all in.
Geoff and Carl carrying the Christmas tree!
Next was to take a ride on a cart pulled by three magnificent horses and on to search for the perfect Christmas tree.......which we then cut down and hauled back to the car......another first for us!!! Oops, forgot to mention the gorgeous pine smell of the trees.....quite intoxicating.......oh and when we got home, the tree was decorated by Carl and Heather whilst Geoff and I amused Harry.....not as easy as it sounds!?!?!?!
Christmas Mountain in Wisconsin Dells
Enjoying the pool!
The following week saw the five of us in a log cabin in Wisconsin Dells. Usually at this time of year there's about a foot or more of snow but not this time.......thank goodness........although it would have been very pretty and Carl could've gone ski-ing.........next time maybe??
It was perfect for Harry to gain more confidence in the inside heated pool and perfect for us to relax in the sauna and outside jacuzzi......absolutely wonderful.
Visiting the Capitol Building in Wisconsin
Smile for the camera everyone!
A visit to The Capitol Building in Madison with the beautiful 40ft Christmas tree was also a must. Harry was very amused by the train running round the base of the tree.......even got one of the friendly Sheriffs to take our picture!!!!
Huge Christmas tree
After a filling lunch at a diner closeby, Carl then took us for a drive round Madison by Lake Monona to see the Christmas light display.......magical for the four of us but by this time the exhausting day had taken its toll on Harry who was in the land of nod safely fastened in his car seat......hey ho......I guess he needs his beauty sleep!!!.........I know I do!?!?!?!
Harry about to demolish a mini Cottage pie that I made for him!!!
We're now more than half way thro' December.......having the most fascinating time with our family in America. Loving spending time with this grandson of ours who is now walking, well he's actually trying to run everywhere.......trying so hard to talk...... and eating all the food that is put in front of him with the 7 teeth that he now has!!!
There's nothing quite like hearing him wake up in the morning.........his Mum or Dad getting him up........... and then the sound of him clomping along the landing towards our bedroom and seeing his gorgeous smile as he peers round our door for a cwtch [cuddle].........fantabydoozy!!!
Quite a few of our days were taken up visiting the numerous Thrift shops........always looking for a bargain or two.......never knowing what you're going to find, but always a bargain!!! Of course, I had to be reminded of our baggage limit once or twice!?!?!
Christmas Eve socialising with Heather's family
Christmas Eve was spent at Heathers parents house about an hour away where we chatted, laughed, exchanged Christmas traditions with all the family (quite a few of us in the end) and of course ate and drank far too much, but in such good company.
Heather's family lounge beautifully decorated
Christmas Day at last!!
Christmas tree and presents waiting to be opened
So.....the big day itself. What a perfect day. A good part of the morning spent opening pressies.......then a break while Harry took a nap [phew]........then the turkey and all the trimmings (yummy!).........followed by yet another look at the film The Snowman which mesmerised Harry and us.......one of my favourites :)
Snow arrives in Fall River!
I mentioned before that we were lucky with the weather......the warmest December for quite a while.......but literally 2 days before we were due to leave, we had a snowfall which lasted the whole day and ended up dumping about 6 inches of snow. Out came the snow blower to shift the snow from their drive and the sidewalk.
Apparently each house owner is liable for clearing the sidewalk in front of their house.......thank goodness all the neighbours help each other out as they will be getting a whole lot more snow in the weeks to come!!
We're now looking forward to Easter this year when Carl, Heather and Harry will be staying with us for a couple of weeks......hope the sun shines for us all.......and hope we don't have snow as in previous Easters!!!