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Home for the Holidays

January 6, 2013

This year I was even more excited than usual to head home to Williamsburg, Virginia for Christmas.  I’m not sure if it was the fact that the boyfriend was accompanying me home for the holidays for the first time, the fact that I missed my family after having so much quality time with them during our trip to Greece in October, or just the prospect of lounging around my parents’ beautifully decorated home and being taken care of by mom and dad for a few days.  Regardless of the reason, I was psyched.

I was home for 5 days and it flew by way too quickly, but I still managed to squeeze a lot of my favorite Williamsburg activities into a brief visit while reserving a lot of time for hanging around the house with my family.

Christmas Fire

Side note: Within the last couple of years, I have started referring to both Williamsburg and Edwards as “home.”  I’m pretty sure I used to call Williamsburg “home” and referred to wherever I was living at the time differently.  Now they both truly feel like home to me, but I feel confused inside because you only have one home – right?  Any other 20 or 30-somethings feel me on this?

I was a slacker when it came to taking photos at home, so quite a few of these are stolen from my sister (thanks Jamie!) or around the web.

Miscellaneous highlights from my time in Williamsburg include…

Meeting my best friend and her hubby for lunch at Williamsburg institution The Cheese Shop and coffee at Aromas.  The Cheese Shop and Aromas are both located in Colonial Williamsburg and are two of my very favorite spots in my hometown.

The Cheese Shop is a local obsession for their ability to make what I consider the perfect simple sandwich.  Nothing fancy going on here, but the ingredients are all fresh and high-quality, and their house sauce is so delicious that they also sell it with bags of French bread ends to dip in vats of the sauce.

Cheese Shop

Aromas is, in my opinion, the perfect independent coffee shop.  They serve excellent coffee and have branched out to a full breakfast and lunch menu in the last few years.  I have many memories of hanging out there on the evenings when I was in high school downing Dog Street Chills, their delicious concoction of espresso, ice cream, and pure goodness.  Spending a few hours at our old high school haunts with my friend and our men was a delicious trip down memory lane.


But the culinary adventures didn’t end there.  My mom prepared turducken for the family dinner one night.  It was my first time eating this new/trendy/totally outlandish dish of a duck breast stuffed inside a chicken breast stuffed inside a turkey breast.  It was delicious, but didn’t taste quite as exotic as I expected.  It was hard to tell which bird you were eating in any given bite, but they all tasted great!

On Christmas Eve, the girls indulged in one of our mother-daughter traditions – mani/pedis at Atir Natural Nail Care Clinic.  Atir is the best place I’ve found to get a manicure. Everything is natural, so there aren’t any of those stinky fumes you find a lot of places, the staff is friendly, they spend time pampering your hands and feet, and they give a darn good manicure.  My sister and I both went in for a festive combo of sparkly gold polish with chunky silver glitter over top.  Excessively sparkly? Yes. Perfect for the holidays? Also yes.

Mother Daughter Manicure

After our nail appointment, the boyfriend and I made time for a reunion lunch with some of my best friends from high school.  The Mexican food was mediocre, but the Coronas were cheap and the conversation was fabulous.  I miss these guys so much!

Fiesta Lunch

Fiesta Lunch

Other highlights of my time in Williamsburg included meeting up with an old friend who I hadn’t seen in forever at the bars, playing hours of Phase 10 with the family, and celebrating Christmas Eve with good family friends.  Perhaps the most exciting activity of our week was visiting Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, but that deserves its own post.  A sneak peek of what’s to come…

Christmas Town

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