Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What I Did Over My Christmas Vacation

Still trying to get into the blogging vibe again after a bit of a break. So I thought I'd recall what I did with my time instead of blogging. Here goes:
1. Probably don't need to say this but I did eat and drink A LOT. I visited our favorite wine store the week before Christmas to stock up. It's a wine store called Moore Brothers located in New Jersey (where they don't have such inane liquor laws). They specialize in Artisan Wine - every bottle in the store is from a winery that produces less than 6,000 bottles a year. Each bottle is treated as an agricultural product which means it is shipped from the vineyard at 56 degrees and the store is kept at 56 degrees which makes for very fresh wine. They work with vineyards all over the world and have bottles ranging from $12 on up. The sales clerk tried to interest me in a $50 Chianti, to which I said, "If I buy the $50 Chianti and like it, then I'll go broke. Let's stick to cheaper bottles." Surprisingly, we haven't gone through our stash yet.

2. Although I had all that food and wine, I did not run. We got over a foot of snow the Saturday before Christmas and then it turned cold and windy. I can't stand running in the wind. None of the snow is left however because on the day after Christmas, the temperature rose into the 40s and it rained all day, melting the snow and leading me to...

3. Discovering a new use for baking soda! The rain overwhelmed our sump pump and we had water seeping into the basement all day on the Sunday after Christmas. We wet-vacced and put fans on but by Monday night a certain odor had crept in. This was worrisome as we were having our annual New Year's Eve party in a few days. Found out that if you sprinkle baking soda on the wet rug and let it dry, it won't smell! It actually helps it dry faster as well. Luckily, I use baking soda for drains and to clean with because I got a lot of it left. For more baking soda uses (I'm a big fan) check out this page.

4. So, we were able to host our New Year's Eve party and a good time was had by all. Mostly, it was neighbors with a few out-of-town guests and some kids' sleeping over; cozy quarters with 12 in the house that night but we managed.

5. On New Year's Day, we went to lunch with our out-of-town guests before they took off. We went to a German beer pub in Philly, where I found a new beer to enjoy! Usually, I'm an IPA gal (that's India Pale Ale, and I could write an entire blog post on that beer, in fact maybe I will), but German Pilsner and Kolsch is quite tasty. Brian is all excited because he loves beer, all sorts, just check out our beer fridge! Yes, it's stocked with homemade beer.

6. Played Darts! Check out the new dart board.

7. Sprinkled throughout the holidays, I watched quite a few movies; some I enjoyed, some not so much:

Public Enemies: The Johnny Depp as Dillinger movie. I so wanted this to be good but I went to bed half-way through, on cocktail night no less; that'll tell you how boring it was.
Up In The Air: I don't get the hype over this movie (George Clooney, mid-life crisis, airplanes). It was fine but a bit boring for me and slightly formulaic. I found myself checking my watch and predicting what was going to happen based on how much time was left. And, I was right. If anyone has seen this and disagrees, I'd love to hear your comments.
District 9: This was also supposed to be really good--another one with a lot of hype--but I fell asleep during it. It started well and looked interesting but then I got bored, I guess. This is the movie about aliens who land near Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Fantastic Mr. Fox: Wes Anderson's take on Roald Dahl's book. It's ain't no Pixar! The kids and I really enjoyed it. Highly recommend it.

Coraline: This animated film can be a bit scary for kids but it's really well done. Jeffscape said he thought it might be better if it wasn't animated but I loved the animation. I think we both agree that it's a good film (and the character of the cat is fabulous). I highly recommend it but know your kids before letting them see it.

Sherlock Holmes: I really liked this film. Saw it in the theaters on an impromptu date night (both kids were invited for a sleepover). I knew going in that Holmes would be very physical so I was prepared for that. Jude Law didn't even bother me (and I'm not a fan) but I'm a big Robert Downey Jr. fan and I thought he did a great job.

Star Wars: Brian and I introduced the kids to the 1st one, meaning the 4th one; really don't need to say anymore do I?


  1. hey kate, sounds like the perfect holiday time to me ... friends, family, food, drink, and movies!!! :) happy (belated) christmas and new years! -suzie

  2. Sounds like a very fine appropos (SP) holiday: lots of liquor, food, little exercise, lots of friends, a party...what's not to like?

    Now, GET TO WORK!

  3. nice. so what did the kids think of Star Wars...just watched it with my boys this morning!

    district 9...actually i liked it. it was different than i thought, but ht eunderlying message for me carried the weight.

    german beer...my fav.

  4. Suzie - Happy new Year, we'll miss you in Chicago. Cali Girl - I know, I know back to work. Brian: My son loved it, my daughter not so much. Not sure what it was about District 9, it might have been that I expected too much because of all the positive reviews.

  5. You have a...gasp!...homemade beer fridge? Will you adopt me?

    Loved Holmes. We want to see it again.

  6. I am presently looking out the window to see if the wind will die down enough for me to run today - first of the new year.

    Thanks for all the great movie reviews!

  7. And now the hols are( finally )over! German Pilsner a favourite( when I was imbibing ). Never really did care much for American beer and I can attest to lots o' plonk wines but some can surprise...and you've got money left over, wot? Thanks for stopping by :)

  8. It appears Brian has outstripped Matt Fatt with the homemade beer fridge. Will I be staying with you for the long weekend when we celebrate Mo's b-day? I want to try the beer and make a dent in your wine! Sorry you didn't like District 9. When I saw it, no one knew anything about it, including my friend and me when we went to see it. I think low expectations are always better. I actually think it is a better movie than Avatar as far as plot, writing etc. Avatar just has truly amazing special effects. Have you seen Hurt Locker? This I highly recommend you see- but I won't give you an opinion. I think this movie is one that becomes personal to each person who sees it. Getting a lot of buzz as well.

  9. You should have started them off with the 1st star wars episode, it helps you understand everything a little better.