Merry Christmas!

To all of our friends & family – Merry Christmas!

May you have the gift of faith, hope, and love this Christmas season and always.

With Love,
Nikki, Maurice, & Hazel Belleville

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Happy Hanukkah!

Or as my dad might say, מזל כאַנעקע!

One thing I have always loved about my family is its diversity. We have people from a smorgasbord of culture, colors, & backgrounds. “Tradition” means “variety” in our family. We do Italian, we do German, we do Native American, we do Mexican, we do Ukrainian… there is a little bit of everything mixed in and I love it because I grew up learning about so many different cultures from the various characters in my own family! Maybe that helps to explain, in part, my love for travel? Hmm…

Anyway, it’s no secret that this is my favorite time of year. It’s a season of celebration, togetherness, dreams of snow, and drinking hot chocolate in my warm jammies. I look forward to it every year, and doubt I will ever grow too old to enjoy the simple joys of the season.

My dad used to teach us about his Jewish roots at this time of year, too. What is more fun for a kid than celebrating Christmas AND Hanukkah?! (Um, not much!!) Mom & Dad always made it fun for us; they’d hide a small gift for us on each of the 8 nights of Hanukkah and Dustin and I would dig through the house until we each found our gift. Then we’d light all get together at the fireplace and light a candle on the menorah. Afterwards Mom would make us a treat – hot chocolate, cider, a snack, something delicious! – and we’d all lounge around in our pajamas enjoying the glow of the Christmas tree (ne, Hanukkah bush!) and the menorah.

Today is the first day of Hanukkah for 2011. To my dad, who shared his traditions and opened our eyes to so many ways of life, to my Grandma B. who embodies the idea of “Jewish grandmother”, to my Uncles Greg & Guy, and of course my Jewish bestie – Shalom!

December

It’s now December – my favorite month of the year. The Christmas tree is going up this weekend, the heavy blankets will come out, hot wine will be served, and our little haus full of 3 tiny maus will be snug at home, enjoying the beginnings of winter.

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.” —Dr. Seuss

Wurstfest 2011

We met up with Kaylee, Steve, and my folks at New Braunfels’ Wurstfest this year… Some were more festive than others:

wurstfest 2011

…but we all had a great time! Mom and Dad went on the ferris wheel, then Mom and I did a few rides and won a stuffed toy for the dogs. We all had some schnitzel and wurst and beer, a funnel cake or two, then went home for the night. This year there were too many drunk people – drunk beer-spilling people!! – and so it was either an off year, or we’re becoming old people.

Prost!

Happy Halloween

Look what I found in the apartment yesterday:

pepe le pew

A SKUNK! This little bugger just wandered in off the streets and made itself at home.

wandering around

checking everything out

I was just so happy that it didn’t spray any of us that I decided to offer it a treat. What do you know, that skunk knows the “shake” command!

must've gone to skunk skool

Little Skunk gave me mean-face at one point, to let us know that despite all the cuteness, there was a rabid, killer skunk on the inside.

rar!

Beware, OOOOooOOooOoooOoooooo!

 

Breckenridge 2009

Let me just start by saying, I had an AWESOME time in Breckenridge with my BFF Kaylee, Amy and Boo, and Maurice.

We got into Denver around 10pm and met up with Kaylee at baggage claim. Then we went to the car rental place…oh my gosh what a fiasco. We started off in a Camry with a broken ski rack, and after a lot of finagleing (sp?) ended up in a Prius with a ski rack that didn’t lock. We chucked our things in the Prius and set off for Georgetown. We got to the Georgetown Mountain Inn (which I no longer recommend) around 12:40am and went to sleep. I woke up the next morning to some new jewels!!! Yes, Maurice surprised me with beautiful citrine earrings 🙂 Thank you honey.

Checking out of the GMI…oh my gosh. Drama. “You pay for two night, not one”. Yeah whatever lady we’re out!!! We were soon on our way to Breckenridge for 1/2 day skiing. After that we went to our awesome condo that our awesome friends were waiting in and found Amy & Boo and their delicious roast!!!! Heavenly dinner that evening, lots of wine, lots of laughs.

The next day we went back to Breckenridge and skied.our.asses.off. It was great 🙂 Later that evening went back to the condo and watched fireworks from our front porch!!

Fireworks from our condo porch

I don’t think any of us actually made it to midnight that evening but we all woke up bright and early to a fresh 2010!!! We skied at Copper Mountain on Saturday and I have to say, I don’t understand the hype. Short lift lines, cool. But the skiing itself? Not so great. Lots of rocks and peeking through. Poorly groomed. And there isn’t shit to do in the base village.

Anyway, overall was a great time!!! Sorry for the short post. To make up for it, here are some of my faves from the trip:

besties on the slopes of Breck

don't feed the animals!

on the gondola

Time to get our ski on!

My BFF and I do our best to perpetuate the annual ski trip tradition, and thankfully, this year is no different! I’ll take a full order of Breckenridge with a side order of Copper Mountain, please!

It all began in 2004…

Besties at the IHOP in Silverthorne, CO

Phillip before the fit

to Phillip in bed, after the fit…

After the fit

to Kaylee’s triumph on Dercum Mountain…

and her early-morning “let’s catch the first lift” motivation

The first lift of the day is at.... 11AM?

Our ski trips have led us down beautiful snowy paths…

a wee stroll

and who can forget the impromptu sexy photo sessions…

...ahem, Phillip...

 and snow-bound dance parties!

Shake it girl!

Sadly, no ski trips 2005-2006, but 2007 came with a big ‘ol heap of snow in Crested Butte and 2008 was a mellower time in Santa Fe. I am so excited to see what this year brings!!! Breckenridge, here we come!!!