Christmas away from home and all you know will always be a strange affair. Last year we were skiing in Colorado when a baby was but a hope and so was our big relocation; we had Christmas dinner in a Swiss restaurant and hit the slopes to celebrate the festive season.
This year we were invited to spend the day with a colleague of Ben’s and her friends, family and neighbours. Her boyfriend is British so they baked Mince Pies to start the day washed down by Mimosas (Bucks Fizz); then cooked a beautiful joint of beef accompanied by sprouts, mash and gravy. One neighbour brought over a smoked turkey; another brought crab; yet others made poached pears in Port, Black Forest Gateau and a Yule Log. And finally an American/British Christmas wouldn’t have been complete without a Pumpkin Pie of course.
We were stuffed full of good food and glowing from the fun of spending the day with new friends by the time we made our way home. Yes, home at last, no more hotel-living.
Just days before Christmas we moved into our new house. We’re in the city of Saratoga, near parks and mountains and copious shops.
We haven’t explored the neighbourhood beyond the shops yet – essential for new home purchases – but be sure I’ll be taking lots of photos when we do. We’ve spent most of our time in Ikea, Best Buy, Kohls, Bed Bath & Beyond and Fry’s investing American Dollars in the biggest bed I’ve ever seen, essential kitchen appliances, crockery, cutlery, towels and all the other things you need when you start from scratch. I think Ben has secretly been enjoying it all – he’s been able to indulge his love of all things gadgetry and choose a new TV, surround sound and the other essential trimmings.
Meanwhile I’ve been getting to grips with the driving: I’ve gone solo to the grocery store (Trader Joe’s) and took Ben to work last week. Next step is a car of my own. And sitting the test to get a Californian driver’s license.
Another ex-pat asked us on Christmas Day if we were missing anything yet. Aside from the obvious – our families, friends and Toby – we couldn’t name anything yet. But I’m sure there will be things before long so, those of you back home, expect requests for care packages soon.
Photos, and maybe even a video, of our house coming soon.
Love me x