Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Choo! Choo!

by Meghann on December 21, 2011

Choo! Choo!

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When i was growing up my uncle had this beautiful train set and snow village that he brought out every Christmas. It took him weeks to set up and probably just as long to tear down. Every year my siblings and I would spend hours being mesmerized as the train went around and around the elaborate village. We took our turns finding the post office, skating rink, train station, and various other snow village landmarks.

After my aunt passed in the mid-90s the train set slowly stopped making its annual appearance every Christmas. I can’t even remember the last time it was brought out or if my uncle even still collects the tiny snow village pieces, but the memories are still there and every time I stumble upon another family’s train set or village, I always think of him and the living room filled of fake snow and glittery pieces.

Derek has similar memories from his childhood. His parents purchased a beautiful train set when Derek was three and every Christmas the boys would bring it out and set it up around the Christmas tree.

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Their’s too had been in storage one Christmas too long, but this year they thought it was time to break it out and continue the tradition they started 24 years ago.

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I’m not sure Maggie (the dog) was a fan, but it was a nice trip down memory lane for everyone else. I loved hearing the stories behind each of the train components and all the memories that went with them. :)

Did you have a train set? Did you know someone that went all out?

This afternoon I had a mini bowl of mixed-nuts for a little snack.

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Before I met Derek at his parents’ place, I was in St. Petersburg to visit one of my favorite babies.

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Oh, and I was there to see his mom too. ;)

Callie and her family are heading out of town for the holidays this weekend and I needed to drop off a few things before they got the hell out of dodge.

Dinner out was in order.

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I swear, Tampa and St. Pete are blending into the same town. If it’s a popular restaurant in Tampa, they’ll build one in St. Pete (and vice versa).

Ciccio’s is a popular restaurant in South Tampa that I’ve ate at once or twice in the past. They recently opened a St. Pete location and Callie had been dying to give it a try.

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I ordered the thai chicken bowl, but wasn’t too impressed.

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I had asked for the sauce on the side and brown rice, but when it arrived it was covered in sauce and had yellow rice. Not that big of a deal – and I ate it anyways without sending it back – but that did leave a sour note about the plate. However, the flavor was good and thanks to extra large portions I have enough leftovers to make another meal out it.

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The real treat came after dinner when Callie offered me a piece of her father’s homemade apple pie.

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Wow! I was sold on the homemade buttery rich crust that practically melted in my mouth. Too bad we finished off the pie pan, otherwise I would have gone back for seconds. So. Good.

I’m following Callie’s lead and heading home tomorrow as well. As soon as I finish up all that laundry waiting for me in the closet. Yikes!

Can you believe Christmas is just a couple of days away?! Get excited!

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