Mon 21 Dec: Drive to Huntsville, Alabama. See Jason and Sarah, meet their wiener dog Wolfgang. Eat pizza, visit. Take a walk with Wolfi and look at Christmas lights.
22 Dec: Shop a little at a mall. Santa Claus was due to be there at 11:30am. Parents & kids began lining up at 9:30am. Ugh. Sarah took the afternoon off and we drove around Huntsville some. Visit more. Receive new Dave-Barry-A-Day calendar. Lisa got a calendar with impressionist stuff and a little tomato-timer (that is, a timer that looks like a tomato, not a timer for timing tomatoes).
23 Dec: Drive to Newnan, Georgia. Begin week-long visit with Dad and stepmom. Eat junk food -- candy, cake, cookies, etc. Play some Pictionary. See sister and adorable nieces Amanda (3 1/2) and Amber (18 mos).
24 Dec: Open Christmas presents. Some jeans, gloves, a hat, some magic stuff, another joke-a-day calendar (Lewis Grizzard, this one), a warmup suit, a new game (Wordsters), subscription to GAMES magazine, Taboo refill cards, and probably some other stuff that I'm forgetting. Lisa got White Shoulders perfume, a sweater, a sweatshirt, a brand newly framed MS diploma, two CD's (Home Alone 2 soundtrack and Peanuts Christmas soundtrack), table linens, brass candlesticks, a candle snuffer, and some candles, a tie, and probably some more other forgotten stuff (isn't that terrible?). Midnight service at Dad and JoAnne's church. More junk food.
25-27 Dec: General hanging out. More junk food. Fix car headlight. Build 3 footstools (very nice, if I may say so). Clean car -- wash, wax, vacuum, dust, clean windows, clean engine, the works. Etch some glass -- a jayhawk in the corner of an 8x10 piece for putting in a picture frame. Lisa and my dad finished up a big window for putting in their (my dad's) house beside the door. Play some games -- Commotion, Pictionary, Wordsters.
28 Dec: Go to Underground Atlanta -- new downtown Atlanta was more or less built up over the old stuff (dating back to the burning by General Sherman), which has been preserved and made into shopping mall. Kinda neat on the one hand, but on the other hand still just a shopping mall. Buy "Curious George" book. Go back to Newnan, more hanging out, more junk food.
29 Dec: Go out to eat lunch at sister's restaurant (where she's a waitress). Yummy Italian food. Good waitress, too. Go to sister's in evening, visit with nieces, play some Trivial Pursuit (TV edition). Collect 6 pie pieces before anybody else had more than one -- lucky questions -- but win not until about 1.5 hours later.
30 Dec: Drive to Crossville, Tennessee to see Grandma. Visit, meet new cat (kitten) Thomas. Go out for Chinese food.
31 Dec: Do things in Crossville. Art gallery, winery, Cumberland County Playhouse (theater). Meet some of Grandma's friends. At the winery we found a carafe -- exactly the carafe I had searched for in EIGHT stores in Champaign-Urbana (no exaggeration) -- and it only cost $5. Needless to say, we now own it. Spend the evening finding out all Grandma knows in the way of family tree. Learn that I am a descendant of Lord Kelvin, of temperature fame (surname Thomson). Lisa was not feeling well, so she went to bed early. :-( As for me, I tried to make it till midnight, but fell asleep on my book sometime after 11:30.
1 Dec: Drive back to Champaign-Urbana. Good weather for the trip -- not much sun, but no precipitation and dry roads.