Christopher and I are nearing the end of our two-week vacation. It has been very, very nice and relaxing. Last Tuesday we went up to my parents' place for Christmas. It was wonderful to see them, and to finally introduce Mac to them. Of course, Ayla is their princess and gets spoiled whenever we visit as well.
Over the summer Mom and Dad found a cat and her six kittens in their backyard. They took them all in, got the kittens and mama-cat all fixed and vetted, and tried to get in touch with a local cat rescue organization. With the pet overpopulation problem as it is, the cat rescue was unable to help out and Mom and Dad ended up keeping them... all of them. Now they have the six kittens, mama-cat (who lives with my dad in Vegas while he's working there), and the two old lady cats Precious and Jo (I got Jo in high school and she grew attached to my Dad when I left for college). In addition to the nine cats they have a bearded dragon named Puff, a turtle, and a fish tank with four gouramis and a couple algae eaters. Its always been a zoo in the Larson home!
Here's a slide show that starts with the kitties, then goes into some holiday photos:
We came home on the day after Christmas (to a loudly protesting Gretel kitty). On Sunday we decided to replace the carpet in our bedroom. We ended up going with the Pavilion Berber in Desert Stone at The Home Depot since it fit our room (12' wide rolls) and wouldn't require seaming, it was in stock, its about a third the price of putting in laminate (what we put in the living area), and it would be good for the pets. We aren't expecting this to last forever, or be what we sell the condo with if we ever sell the place. We just wanted something nicer than and different from the standard apartment carpeting that was already present.
We brought home the 12' x 16' roll in the good old Jetta - gotta love the fold-down back seats, that car has been nearly as good as a truck for us. That afternoon we moved everything but the bed and the Bowflex out of the room, ripped up the old stuff, laid down the new (the original carpet pad was still in fine condition and didn't need replacing), and maneuvered it into place under the remaining furniture. It was quite the task, but didn't take long at all. It certainly isn't a professional job, but its more than good enough for what we want right now. And for less than $150, its definitely made the room feel a lot nicer. I don't have a good picture (its not an easy room to take a photo in due to lighting issues), but click on the linked product name to see it.
Yesterday we headed into San Francisco for an early New Year's Eve dinner at Daily Grill. This is the restaurant we went to last year around the holidays, and where my great-aunt and -uncle took the family to for my college graduation six(!) years ago. We shared the spinach-artichoke dip with crostini, Chris had an aged rib eye with creamed spinach and mashed potatoes, and I had the pesto penne. The service wasn't as good as last year which was a disappointment. The food was quite good, though not warranting a trip into the city alone. After dinner we headed to Nordstrom's to have dessert and coffee at their cafe like we did last year, but they had closed early for New Year's Eve. I love sitting at the top of Nordstrom's and watching the city below, so I was quite disappointed that we couldn't do that this time. Instead we caught BART back home - we didn't want to be in SF when it got really crazy for New Year's Eve, it was crowded enough while we there. We stopped off for ice cream at the market and watched the ball drop in New York on TV, with my ark snuggled happily in my lap:
It was a nice evening overall. Next year we'll try someplace local for our little tradition of a fancy holiday dinner out, though I told Chris I want to go to a very nice vegetarian place in the city for my birthday in April that I've been wanting to try.
For the next few days before work starts again we'll be relaxing and enjoying ourselves, and conditioning our bodies to wake up before 10 am again (ouch!). I hope you had a happy holiday and here's to a wonderful new year!