We're back in Minnesota already, but I still want to recap our holidays briefly. We had a great 9 days in the greater Portland area. The time flew by super fast. We spent most of our time at home with the family: playing games, cooking, watching football, or making music.
The main game we played was Ticket to Ride, a route-making, spatial, map-based game. In this game, your goal is to reach destinations, based on "destination cards" you received, by building routes. Some routes can get quite circuitous, but all you have to do is connect your given cities.
We also played a lot of Blokus (a family favorite), Qwirkle, and ping pong.
I brought along my ukulele. To my great relief, I had no issues carrying it on to any plane. I did make it one of my two carry-ons each time, but I was still concerned because it is longer than a standard suitcase. My brothers and I all played some, and we even started teaching Matt how to play.
We also visited the coast with our beagle. Can you believe this dog is 15? I can't. She is still spry like a puppy and loves her walks. She is going deaf and a little bit blind, but she manages okay. Also, somehow, she sometimes manages to hear anyway. We went to Seaside for the superior beach walking and a specific restaurant my parents like.
This is my younger brother walking the dog:
Matt and I played with her too:
Finally, all of our stockings hung up. Matt's and mine, my parents, my older brother, my younger brother, and his girlfriend. We do stockings Dec 6th for St. Nicholas Day, and we all know we must bring our stockings back home for Christmas in order to receive another one next year.
All in all, a delightful trip. Living so far from my family is hard, and I really cherish our time together when we can get some.