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Christmas Caravan 2009

by Meghann on December 5, 2009

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am so lucky to have such a large close knit family within driving distance and one that is so very rich in tradition.

Today was my family’s Annual Christmas Caravan. Each year we create a caravan and travel to each family member’s house where we eat their food and “ewww & awww” at their Christmas decorations.

Usually this festive activity occurs the weekend before Christmas, but due to conflicting schedules it just happened this weekend worked out best for everyone. Keep in mind we didn’t visit every house in the area, but we did get a good amount in and I feel I have officially reached my sweets limit for the month. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lots of good food and lots of good photos to share!

This year’s caravan began at my cousin Mindy, her husband Woody and their son Travis’ house.

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I had been up since 6:30 for god knows what reason, but was planning on waiting until the caravan started to eat. Needless to say when I walked into my cousin’s house at 9:30 my stomach was growling pretty loudly.

Luckily Mindy had put out a lovely display of great eats.

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I made a small plate with a little bit of everything: fresh berries, a sausage ball, a sliver of Spinach quiche, and blueberry cake.

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Mindy and Woody have a pool table in their back room that all my baby cousin’s found fascinating.

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No need to waste gas – the next stop is only a hay ride away. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Can you seriously get any cuter than this?

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And around and around they go!

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My Aunt Carol and Uncle Bob were next!

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Their kitchen was FULL of traditional goodies.

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Wheat Thins with Salsa/ Cream Cheese Dip

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Pepperoni Bread (I had 1/2 a slice)

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Split Pea Soup

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It was a little thin for my taste (I like split pea soup extra thick) so I only had 1/2 of my 1/2 filled mug.

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And OF COURSE there were Congo Bars! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I had one.

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It was beginning to rain as we walked to the cars and I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of my two baby cousins sharing an umbrella.

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Riley and Genieve are about the same distance in age as my sister and I. Having spent the majority of the day with them I can already see the same relationship I have with my sister blossoming between the two of them. I hope they realize how lucky they are to have each other. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Yes, they are biting their toe nails. Apparently its a hidden talent? ๐Ÿ˜‰

After a 45 minute drive we arrived at the next stop: My cousin Bobby, his wife Candice and their daughter Abbygail’s house.

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I grabbed a cup of fruit filled punch

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And filled my napkin was a samosa, pig in a blanket, and a cream puff.

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I could have spent all day taking pictures of these girls.

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Abbygail

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Riley

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Don’t worry – we’re halfway through!

Riley and Genieve’s House was up next!

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They had plenty of Chili to share with everyone.

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My cousin’s husband fries up his own tortilla strips to crumble on top.

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My bowl

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I’m not going to lie, I was getting pretty full by this point.

Luckily my cousin Jay and his wife Katrine’s house was short and sweet. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I was happy to see fruit on the table. I had a big help with 1/2 a cookie and a mini ice cream bar.

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My Uncle Bill’s house rounded out the caravan.

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(somehow I missed a shot of him in front of the tree ๐Ÿ™ )

Per tradition the final stop is where we celebrate December birthdays.

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I had one of the mini cupcakes up front. My Uncle made all the cupcakes and icing from scratch, but I was just too full of sweets at this point to enjoy anything else.

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Happy Birthday Abbygail, Bobby, Angel, and Riley!

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Nom Nom Nom

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Present time!!!

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Sorry Maddie, but I think I may have found my new favorite photo subjects. My cousin’s little girls rock. Angel – I am willing to baby sit anytime! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Can you believe I took over 400 photos today?!?! I didn’t even post all of the ones I really liked, that post would have been far too long. Thanks for hanging with me on this one.

We wrapped up the caravan around 4:00 and around 7:00 I put together a fairly light dinner of Roasted Veggies and Marinara Sauce topped with Raisins and Almonds.

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I wasn’t terribly hungry, but knew I had to eat something if I was planning on running 18 miles tomorrow morning!

Check out my morning schedule:

  • 5:00 am – Wake Up
  • 5:50 am – Meet Orlando Running Group and run 18 miles
  • 9:45 am (ish) – Come home, eat, shower and load car
  • 10:30 am – head to Caitlin’s
  • 11:00 am – head to airport
  • 12:50 pm – Flight takes off for St. Louis

Can I do it?!?!?! We shall see!!!!

Good Night!!!

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brie (The Fit Bride) December 5, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Aww, that looks like fun! I love holiday traditions.

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2 legalstyle December 5, 2009 at 8:34 pm

christmas caravan looks like a fun, family event. seems a bit overwhelming, though! i would never have hung in there as well as you did…!

good luck on your 18 miles tomorrow!

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3 Ashley December 5, 2009 at 8:35 pm

What are congo bars? And those cupcakes look delicious, I’d have snatched one for later!

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4 Evan Thomas December 5, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Your family has the best traditions hands done.
I’d love to here more on this congo bar
And major props to your uncle on those cupcakes!

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5 Molly @vegandorm December 5, 2009 at 8:47 pm

have fun in STL! Let me know if you need directions ๐Ÿ˜‰

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6 Tay December 5, 2009 at 8:56 pm

That is such an awesome idea!! I hope if my family lives close in the future, we can do something like that. Although we’re not super close with my cousins or aunts, maybe we can do it between me and my siblings ๐Ÿ™‚

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7 greensandjeans December 5, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Your family is too cute for words!

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8 katey December 5, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Aww those girls are tooo cute! I love kids ๐Ÿ™‚

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9 blueberrymuffins December 5, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Wow! What a beautiful family you have! It looks like everyone outdid them selves!

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10 Erin December 5, 2009 at 9:00 pm

What a great tradition! And your cousins are adorable.

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11 Angel December 5, 2009 at 9:04 pm

I have 3 comments on the recap: the girls learned their “talent” from their Daddy (haha), I have witnesses that you said you would babysit, and your cookies were sooo yummy! Love you!

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12 Karla December 5, 2009 at 9:09 pm

I love your tight knit family! I wish my family lived nearby each other (sadly most of them live in a whole other country!)

Those congo bars look SOO delicous! I just googled a recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

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13 Erin December 5, 2009 at 9:13 pm

That looks like such a fun day and a fabulous family tradition. What a great Saturday! ๐Ÿ˜€

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14 Kara December 5, 2009 at 9:17 pm

You are seriously so lucky! What a beautiful tradition! Not to mention beautiful eats!

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15 Jenna December 5, 2009 at 9:18 pm

i have never heard of a christmas caravan before until now! it sounds like tons of fun ๐Ÿ™‚ there was sooo much great food!
jenna

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16 caitsplate December 5, 2009 at 9:19 pm

good luck with the run!! i think you can definitely do it ๐Ÿ™‚

funny that both years you only had half of your split pea soup!

also – can you BEG your aunt for her congo bars recipe?! they look SO delicious every year!!

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17 Marlow December 5, 2009 at 10:19 pm

What a FUN family tradition! I love it!!

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18 chrysta December 5, 2009 at 10:20 pm

That looks like such an amazing and fun tradition! How fun! Im curious about the congo bars. Ive never heard of them but they look delicious! What kind are they? Good luck on your run tommorrow! It sounds great. Have a wonderful night!

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19 Matt December 5, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Good luck with that schedule tomorrow. After 18 miles, I usually pass out on the couch!

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20 Dani December 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm

That looks like so much fun! What a great tradition! That is so nice that you are close by to so much family ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck with the 18… you got it!!

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21 inmytummy December 5, 2009 at 11:00 pm

I’m jealous of your close-knit family. Mine is all scattered around the country.

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22 Sarah (from See Sarah Eat) December 5, 2009 at 11:07 pm

What an awesome time! You are lucky to have such a big family ๐Ÿ™‚ I prefer my split pea soup thick as possible too.

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23 Erica December 5, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Good luck with the long day tomorrow chicky!

What a fun day with your family. Everything looks so good! I want some pea soup, Salsa/ Cream Cheese Dip, and some of that blueberry cake. Your family seems like SO much fun

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24 Courtney December 5, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Gosh, love your closeness with your family! IT REALLY IS SUCH A BLESSING! ๐Ÿ˜€ And youll kick it outta the park tomorrow!

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25 Erica December 5, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Can i be an honorary family member next year??? It looks like such a great tradition not to mention so great looking eats.

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26 TorontoGirloutWest December 6, 2009 at 12:38 am

What an awesome family tradition!!!!

I live a 5.5 hour plane ride away from my parents. My sister is further still. And my fiance’s family is about a 12 hour drive away. Good news is I’m flying to see my parents in Toronto for Christmas and I can’t wait!!!! ???

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27 suzanne December 6, 2009 at 12:56 am

What a wonderful way to celebrate with family!!

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28 kbwood December 6, 2009 at 1:21 am

WOW most adorable family ever!

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29 Ashley C December 6, 2009 at 1:50 am

such a cool tradition- I remember it from last year. So cool that you guys all live close enough to do this.
Those little girls are adorable- I loved the one of them biting my toenails cuz I used to do that when I was a kid– kinda embarrassing but super cute & good to know I wasn’t the only one ๐Ÿ˜‰

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30 Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama December 6, 2009 at 2:03 am

What a fun day!!! LOVE all of the pictures!

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31 Marina December 6, 2009 at 4:56 am

You have a wonderful family, and wonderful family traditions! I really envy you ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lucky girl

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32 Anna December 6, 2009 at 8:33 am

What a fun day!! I’m far away from my family right now, and I miss them so much. It makes me happy to see someone having such a great time with their family ๐Ÿ™‚

I just bought the sweater you’re wearing! Cute! ๐Ÿ™‚

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33 tangerinesandmarmalade December 6, 2009 at 9:06 am

Wow that looks like so much fun – love that pink cupcake display! Tight schedule tomorrow, but you can do it girl ; )

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34 rungirlrunn December 6, 2009 at 9:15 am

What beautiful pictures!! I love your family tradition!

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35 Krista December 6, 2009 at 9:48 am

i remember reading about your caravan last year and it seems like so much fun! i love hearing about other people’s holiday traditions! ๐Ÿ™‚

and i just ran my 2nd marathon yesterday and cut my time by about 40 minutes..and i have to give you some of the credit! ๐Ÿ˜› i ran my 1st in marathon in march and told myself i was done with marathons (at 19 years old), but then when you decided to do your 2nd, i was like “if she can, i can!” so i was smarter about how i trained and was so inspired by you, Caitlin, and Meghann to make smarter food choices! So thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck with the rest of your training, you’re going to rock that marathon out of the park!

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36 Darci December 6, 2009 at 9:51 am

What a fun thing to do with your family!!!

And i love the picture of your cousin’s girls…they are too cute!!!

Good luck with your 18 miler this morning

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37 Brittany December 6, 2009 at 10:45 am

I’ve never heard of a Christmas Caravan, but I love the idea. Especially with all the great food involved. ๐Ÿ™‚

Good luck with the 18 miler and be sure to let me know how your first work trip/conference goes.

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38 biz319 December 6, 2009 at 11:25 am

Yippee – what a great family day! Good luck on that schedule! Pretty sure I just woke up by the time you finished 18 miles!

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39 Andrea December 6, 2009 at 11:26 am

What a cute family tradition. I wish all of our family lived close enough to do this!

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40 Duchess of Fork December 6, 2009 at 11:39 am

What a fun idea! We’ve got a lot of family locally, so we may make this a tradition, too!

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41 Allison December 6, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I’d say your tradition is more “om nom nom and awwww” ๐Ÿ™‚

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42 goodtastehealthyme December 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm

This is too sweet! I’m so glad you had a great time!

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43 Gina December 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm

What an awesome tradition! I love it! And I love your pictures! Happy Holidays!

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44 Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm

What a wonderful post – thankyou for sharing! It looks like you all had such a great time – and I love the idea of that tradition…

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45 busygradgirl December 6, 2009 at 9:03 pm

That is a really neat holiday tradition! Hope the 18 miler went well today. If you are near Forest Park in St. Louis it is a great running spot (chilly this week though!) I can give other running suggestions for St. Louis if that’s helpful. Have a great trip!

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46 RunToTheFinish December 7, 2009 at 10:57 am

wow that is one of the neatest things I have heard! I love this idea

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47 Anne Marie@ New Weigh of Life December 7, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Looks like so much fun! What a sweet holiday tradition!

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48 Katie December 7, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Oh my goodness, what a super fun family tradition! I love it! And all of that fun looks so so yummy too! Glad you had a good time!

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49 Erin @ Big Girl Eats December 7, 2009 at 9:37 pm

I looveeee big families and family traditions. Your family does it up right! Looks like so much fun ๐Ÿ™‚

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