Christmas in Minnesota

This year we braved the bitter cold and headed east to spend Christmas with my family in Minnesota.

Hearth decorated for Christmas

Hearth at the cabin decorated for Christmas

Our trip began on Monday morning with a journey up to my family’s cabin on Lake Shamineau for a quick 24-hour stint. It was very, very cold for our first couple of days, but that didn’t stop us from shoveling off the skating rink that my dad had flooded the weekend prior and taking our new ice skates for a quick spin.

Ice skating with my dad

Ice skating with my dad

We warmed up in front of the fire that evening and made a traditional Swiss cheese fondue for dinner. I found out that my dad’s retro fondue pots were actually given to him by my grandparents – I had no idea how old they were.

Fondue night

Fondue night

The next morning we woke up and took one last toot around the ice rink before having breakfast and getting ready to head back to town. Our quick cabin trip had come to an end.

The lake looks a little different covered in snow!

The lake looks a little different covered in snow!

Christmas Eve was spent at Kincaids restaurant in downtown St. Paul with my mom. Alex and I joined my mother for a steak dinner while looking out on a beautiful snowy evening. We made it back to Mahtomedi just in time to attend St. Andrew’s Christmas Eve music service, which my dad enjoys.

Skating time

Skating time

On Christmas morning we had a little time with my dad before we set off for my mom’s house, 3 blocks up the road. Alex and I opened our stockings and had gooey cinnamon rolls with my mom, then helped her prepare lunch. My aunt Sarah came over for lunch and to exchange gifts. We had some nice conversations and a terrific lunch of prime rib, mashed potatoes, popovers, brussels sprouts and fruit salad. It was a very different Christmas because my grandmother was not present this year, and my brother was absent, as well, so it was a bit unique for our small family.

Sun set over Lake Shamineau

Sun set over Lake Shamineau

Later that evening we headed back to my dad’s house and enjoyed a sampling of Chateauneuf du pop and the steak fondue that we never got to up at the cabin. We sure got our fill of red meat in this week!

Christmas day dinner

Christmas day dinner

After several days spent with my family we had some outings planned with some of my friends from high school on Thursday. We met Kelsey at Cafe Latte in St. Paul for lunch and coffee and then drove out to Cottage Grove to Kailey and Eric’s newish house to see a few more friends.

Bentley, my brother's cat, curled up on the sofa at the cabin. It was nice to have a furry friend!

Bentley, my brother’s cat, curled up on the sofa at the cabin. It was nice to have a furry friend!

I had originally planned on leaving to head back to Seattle on Thursday night with Alex but extended my trip to attend my grandmother’s funeral service on Monday. We left the Rices on Thursday and headed straight to the airport to drop Alex off for his flight.

Brrrr!! Almost - 20 degrees outside.

Brrrr!! Almost – 20 degrees outside.

Since Alex left I have spent my time dealing with tasks to prepare for my grandma’s funeral, shopping and just enjoying the extra time with my parents. I’m looking forward to a few extra days to catch up with friends and family before heading back to Seattle on Tuesday.