Flip Flops in the Windy City: Winter Break

Sage brush Christmas Tree

Happy 2012 everybody!  With the spring semester just beginning, it is time to look back and reflect on the last winter break I will ever have…


I grew up in Portland, OR.  My parents still live there, so I went home for the holidays.  I got to Portland December 15, the earliest I’ve been there for the holidays since my senior year of high school!  In an attempt to help out more around the house, my cousin and I made dinner.  This included making mashed potatoes.  This also included making Potatohenge…


While I keep telling myself not to do a blog post dedicated exclusively to hamburgers, I find it difficult not to include photos of them in other posts.  So please enjoy the double bacon cheeseburger at the Fat City Cafe.  And for anyone wondering, yes, those are two (2) 1/2 pound patties…

Fat City 1 pound burger

We go caroling in my neighborhood every winter solstice, this year being no exception.  It seems to get shorter every year, but hey, it might just be the shortest day :)

Christmas caroling

In awesome news, I got a new baby cousin in September!  Her name is Leda Rose, and everybody in my family got to meet her when she was brand new over Thanksgiving.  EXCEPT FOR ME!  I didn’t go home for Thanksgiving, so this holiday was my first time meeting her!  Try not to be jealous…

New cousin Leda Rose

By next Christmas I will be married (if everything goes according to plan), and decorating a tree of my own.  Much to mother’s dismay, my father decided this was the year we separate the ornaments.  It was quite a production, and we had to enlist our grandmother to help figure things out, as many of the ornaments are from her.

My mother dying a little inside


I went up to Seattle for a night to visit friends, as well as my favorite restaurant of all time, Gordon Biersch.  For my money, there isn’t a better bacon cheese burger, garlic fries, or Hefeweizen than at Gordon Biersch.

Pictured: deliciousness. And friends

New York City

I flew to NYC to help my fiance move out of New York, specifically Greenwich Village.  I didn’t like New York City until I got to know that part of town. Now I like the whole thing.

Christmas-time in NYC

The decisions/events that lead to us taking Julianna’s folding Ikea mattress with us were many and complicated.  But in an effort to be manly, I went ahead and tied it onto the roof of the car (we ran out of room inside the car).  It almost fell off when we got on the Manhattan Bridge and hit 35 MPH.  So we retied it.  But as several truckers on I-95 LOUDLY pointed out to us through honking and pointing, it was not our best work.  So with 10 minutes until closing-time, we stopped at the Target in Stamford, CT to buy bungee cords.  Believe me, we could’ve driven 700 MPH, that thing wasn’t going anywhere:

Pictured: taking care of business


We spent a week in Sherborn, MA.  I got to meet some new friends:

Pictured: taking care of business

We did a fair amount of wedding planning, since we were around where the wedding will be.  We also made the wedding favors for the guests: black berry jam.  200+ little cans worth.  It took all day, but by the end, Julianna and I were an assembly line.  A stick assembly line.

8 more boxes

All the wedding planning makes me even more excited for the day itself.  Hopefully the weather will be nice.  Because if it is, it will look like this:


The projected sunset for June 23 on the Massachusetts cape is around 7:30p.  Keep your fingers crossed for clear skies.