Sunday, January 16, 2011

Christmas Cheer & A Happy New Year

Although my plan to have my essays completed by the 23rd of December did not happen, I was still able to enjoy an incredible Christmas holiday.  It started on December 21st when Phil flew into Manchester from Uganda.  It was so good to see him after more than 3 months apart.  We had a roast dinner with the entire Gill crew, and Phil was able to meet his new nephew, baby Adam.  

We were picked up in Tulsa by my parents and Miss Danci Lee aka Dance Dance Revolution.  Arriving in Bartlesville was quite a treat because my parents had the house fully clad in Christmas decor and all the renovations and decoration of the house were complete.  It was really beautiful and comfy.  Later that night the Vogts arrived and the next 3 days were spent playing games, eating, catching up and opening presents.

We spent several days in Stillwater catching up with old friends and staying at Chez Nordquist - the best accommodation in town.  I had to introduce Phil to El Tapatio and Shortcakes and, unfortunately, also to the Stillwater Public Library where I worked on my essays.

We spent one day in the bustling metropolis of Enid celebrating Christmas with the Inglish clan.  Phil and I played catch with Emma and Ed and then threw around the football.  The weather was so warm.  But the following day it got quite chilly again for our Oklahoma road trip, coordinated by Latasha.  The day started with breakfast at Latasha's and stops included Garth & Sandy Brooks' house, the house of Pistol Pete (Frank Eaton) in Perkins, the Round Barn in Acacia and Pop's on historic Route 66.  We had lunch at Big Truck Taco's and then went to the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial and the American Banjo Museum.

New Year's was celebrated with many dear friends - dinner at Cafe de Brasil and The Flaming Lips New Year's Freakout in Oklahoma City.  Tom Bear and Jean graciously hosted us and even provided some taxi services.  

Next we flew on to Jackson Hole where we spent a week in the coziest condo, thanks to the Breedloves.  It was such a nice place I almost didn't mind having to stay in the first two days to complete my stinkin' essays.  The rest of the week I was on the slopes with master skier, Felix.  Boley and Connie were also on the slopes, and Mom spent one day cross-country skiing.  The weather was very cooperative - sunny days and some snowy nights. 

Our last day in town we went snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park where we saw Old Faithful, thermal pools and bison.  It was a very special experience.

Phil's flight out was delayed so we spent an evening with Leah in Tulsa, enjoying the gourmet cuisine of Wolfgang Puck.  I was sad to see the Chill leave the next day, but the plan is to see each other more in semester two than one.  

I spent a few days in Bartlesville, hanging out with the parents and relaxing.  I finally recouped those picture of Mom's visit to Manchester (perhaps you will see them here soon).  We went to Tulsa one evening to meet Latasha and Donna for some fabulous sushi and to hear the author of The New York Times Cookbook, Amanda Hesser.

I'm currently visiting a dear friend I met in Uganda who now lives in Atlanta.  It's great to catch up.  Tonight I fly back to Manchester, just in time to celebrate with my school friends who are turning in their final essay Tuesday.

I'm so grateful to everyone who made plans and traveled and spent time with me this Christmas.  It was a very memorable holiday.  To see more pictures of my time in the US, go to my facebook where there are nearly a million.

I hope you're Christmas season was equally merry and bright and may your 2011 be healthy and happy.



  1. Welcome back! And happy 2011. x

  2. It was SUCH a special holiday! So glad I could spend some of it with you, and that Phil made it over too. Good luck with all this semester-- you're so close. Love! P.S. The Round Barn is in Arcadia.