Once again, we celebrated Christmas away from our families. It's been 4 years for me and 3 for Laura, since we have been with our families for Christmas. We have made it a tradition to listen to the Christmas song "I'll Be Home For Christmas, If Only in My Dreams" while sobbing uncontrollably and feeling sorry for ourselves....Not really but we do miss our families alot this time of year. This year, for the first time, we were able to see them on skype. So, that made it much better. On Christmas Eve, we got together with the other North American couples and we ate a big spread of appetizers, drank beer and wine, and played Farkel (aka 10,000) for hours. Laura made a great shrimp and cream cheese croissant roll appetizer. I think I had 10 of them and had to loosen the belt buckle by the end of the night. It was great to be able to spend it with our adopted family.
You read all about our trip to Paris which was amazing. It is so great to see how much people in every city really get into the Christmas Spirit. Every city has their own Christmas market filled with lots of food and shops. I was talking to Laura about how excited the children must get in Europe for Christmas. It's basically like having a carnival for a month leading up to Christmas.
In Norway, a lot of different foods/beverages have special holiday editions. The word for Christmas in Norway is Jul. It is pronounced YOOL. So, for instance there is a holiday brew of coffee called the Julekaffe.
On the hockey front, things have been going very well for our team. We won yesterday against our biggest rival, Hamar, in overtime. We had a packed arena with almost 3000 fans. Every time we play Hamar, its crazy. The two cities are very competitive with one another in all sports. Hamar is a little larger than Lillehammer and about a 45 minute drive away. Lillehammer translated into English means "Little Hammer." The team from is Hamar, but instead of being called Hamar they call themselves StorHamar, which translates to "Large Hammer." So, you can get an idea of how the rivalry goes. Also, the management and guys who have been playing in Lillehammer awhile seem to have a lot of added intensity and focus. But, before that game we had 15 days between games, which was a great mental and physical break for me. Our team was on quite the roll before the break winning 8 of 9 games. Hopefully, we will continue that way after our Christmas break.
Tonight we are going to celebrate New Years with our same crew from Christmas Eve. The ladies are going to be making us sushi, while we drink our Juleol and try to find a bowl game to watch on the slingbox. That will probably be followed by playing farkel, as everyone is now addicted to it after playing on Christmas Eve. We have practice at 10am in the morning, so we won't be partying into the night. Probably be up till 12:15....Wow I am starting to sound old.
Once again I hope everyone had a great Christmas and someday we will once again be part of a Minnesota Christmas. But, for now we are having the experience of a lifetime. 2010 was a very exciting year for us and we are can't wait to see what 2011 and beyond will bring us. I am sure many good times and laughs with all of you.
Happy New Year