Do you like our Advent wreath? I do. I think it looks very pretty. But for the first time in… as long as I can remember, I have not created it myself. I supported the local economy instead and bought it in our village flower shop. Which is fine, but shows that life has been just so busy that it would have been stressful, not pleasurable, to make it. Apart from Advent calendars, there are no Christmas decorations in the house either, another unheard of fact mid-December!
The only “feeling festive” times so far have been when lighting the first candle on the wreath, listening to Wham‘s Last Christmas, or when enjoying the lovely Christmas markets nearby. First Daughter is visiting us this weekend and the plan is to buy and decorate the Christmas tree. And the house while we are at it. We will also bake Christmas cookies. All this with Glühwein for us adults and Kinderpunsch for the girls.
I reckon this should definitely bring on the spirit of Christmas.
We are lucky enough to have family and friends living in wonderful spots in the US, so five years ago the girls and I spent three weeks visiting them all. Let’s start with L.A. and the city gorgeous beaches.
We arrived late afternoon and were determined not to sleep in order to get used to the time change as quickly as possible. In the evening, our fabulous host, a dear friend of mine, took us to Malibu Beach for dinner. The girls were struggling a bit by then but in high spirits. We ordered calamari to share as a starter. When the food arrived, I realised that it would have been enough without ordering anything else… Our main courses were quite large too and as everything was very tasty, we left with enough to feed the four of us for a second night. Second Daughter had by then fallen asleep on her sister’s shoulder, but on waking up was as impressed as her sister with the way the leftovers were wrapped in the shapes of swans and crabs!
During the week, while our friend was working, we did a bit of sightseeing, some shopping and enjoyed Santa Monica Beach. The ocean was quite spectacular, but given the size of the waves we did not go swimming. Mitch, CJ and all were probably not far away but still, I was not prepared to take that risk… We also had fun at the Santa Monica Pier in the evenings, eating there, listening to some open-air live music and going on the various rides. I remember that a nice guy gave Second Daughter a basketball he had won and she was so adamant that she wanted to take it back to Switzerland that I ended up buying an extra suitcase… which came in handy for our purchases too!
At the weekend, we had brunch with our friend, his lovely sister and her family in a restaurant and then headed off to Venice Beach for a bike ride along the ocean. I loved Venice Beach: Quirky shops, fun people, laid back atmosphere, I even got myself a henna tattoo. We rented some bikes and cycled all the way to Malibu Beach and back. We enjoyed every minute, a fantastic experience!