A Very Virginia Christmas

My parents and I spent two and a half weeks in Virginia, celebrating the holidays with my sisters and their in-laws. We did a lot in our time there, so I’ll just hit the highlights!

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The Yoga Barn

After driving for 18 hours, I felt extremely stiff. My oldest sister and I started a few mornings with 30-60 minutes of yoga in what we call “the yoga barn”. My stability was surprisingly good, except on half moon pose. I always struggle with that one! It was a nice sister bonding activity, and made my body feel much happier.

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Learning to make cinnamon rolls

Mom decided it was time to teach us how to make cinnamon rolls from scratch. My sisters and I had fun learning how to make the bread base. I’ve only baked with yeast once before, so it was exciting to knead the batter and see how much it rose. While the bread was rising, we whipped us some Christmas cookies and brownies. It was nice to have us all together in the kitchen again!

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Lots of gifts to share!

Christmas morning we had a party of 9—me, my parents, both sisters, their husbands, and one set of in-laws. We were a generous bunch, so everyone had a large stack of gifts to open. I got some nice new jewelry, a few sweaters, and new workout clothes. After opening gifts, we had a delicious brunch with mimosas, sausage from a local butcher, vegetable strata, and our homemade cinnamon rolls!

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Festive dinner table

Christmas dinner was a delicious roast beef from the local butcher, Stock, sautéed greens, roasted asparagus, and beet and potato gratin. My aunt sent a beautiful flower arrangement that was the perfect centerpiece!

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Beer tasting

The day after Christmas, the other set of in-laws joined us. After catching up with them at the house, we went to Three Notch’d Brewery for afternoon beer tasting! I did a flight of 4 beers. I think the English brown ale, No Veto, was my favorite, with the oatmeal stout, Oats McGoats, a close second. While sipping, I had a nice conversation with my sister’s mother in law. I also had the opportunity to talk more with both brothers in law. It’s a good thing I like my sisters’ husbands and their families so much!

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Wine tasting

The weather was beautiful the next day, so we all went wine tasting! It was also my oldest sister’s father in law’s birthday, so we had reason to celebrate. The first vineyard we tried to go to was closed, but we were able to have nice tastings at Stinson Vineyards and Grace Winery. Even Bella was able to come and enjoy the day!

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Great views at Grace

Later in the week, five of us went to the Boar’s Head Inn for cocktails. My sister had told us that it was beautifully decorated, and it exceeded my expectations! There were garlands and poinsettias everywhere you looked! I enjoyed a nice Manhattan, unique because it had chocolate bitters, and a few handfuls of nut mix. A friend of my sister was working at the bar, and she brought us a lovely plate of desserts to take home.

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The Boars Head all lit up

A friend hooked me up with a gig for New Years Eve at a casino outside Chicago. I was hired to meet and greet and take photos with guests while wearing a showgirl costume. The production company that hired me is based in Las Vegas, and most of the other girls work or worked in “Jubilee”. It’s not often that I feel short, but in their company, I did! It was nice to do something different, and I was able to catch up with my friend when we weren’t working. Despite my flights there and back being delayed, it was a good experience.

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Gorgeous view at King Family

The day after I returned to Virginia, my parents and I went to King Family Vineyards as a reward for taking down our Christmas decorations. Mom and I did a tasting, and then the three of us shared a bottle of chardonnay while we ate our picnic lunch. Bella was with us, so we had to sit outside, even though it was uncomfortably chilly. The beautiful views made up for the cold!

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Lovely morning at Farmington

Our last day before heading home, we went to brunch at Farmington. The buffet was very tasty, and the setting stunning, and the company fantastic. That night, my sister and I watched the season premiere of “Downton Abbey” and were able to have a good, teary on my part, conversation before saying goodbye.

It was a great holiday vacation, full of love and laughs!

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