Monday, December 31, 2012

Away in a Manger

Of all the new things that came to the Burdett household this Christmas, I think my favorite is the Fischer Price Little People Nativity set, complete with stable, the Angel of the Lord, Joseph and Mary and the donkey that brought them to Bethlehem, the Baby Jesus in the manger, the Three Kings of Orient and their camel, and the cow and sheep whose food trough was used as a makeshift crib:




This little Nativity set is adorable, and gives me much-needed moments of peace and hope. Whenever I (ill-advisedly) hear some news on the radio or go to CNN.com and am blasted with

GUN CONTROL     FISCAL CLIFF     CLIMATE CHANGE     VIOLENCE ERUPTED

I go rearrange the Kings a little, or I have the cow and donkey switch places, and I look at the smiling face of the little Child in the manger, and for a few minutes at least I feel better.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pensacola Beach 2012, Day Three

We got home last night (Saturday night, that is) around 8:30; we had intended to do the drive in two days, leaving Pensacola sometime in the afternoon and staying somewhere along the way--Opelika, AL, perhaps--and finishing the drive this morning. However, Elyse decided she was really ready to be home: Friday night she was crying and saying, "I want to go home." She told us several times, "We don't live in Pensacola."

So we decided to leave early, around 10:00, and do the whole drive in one day.

I didn't take any pictures, and we didn't have any real adventures, but here's a run-down of what we did Saturday:
  • Checked out of the Hampton Inn around 9:45, and went down to the beach to feed the remaining cat food to the seagulls, who were sorry to hear we were leaving.
  • Stopped in Fort Deposit, AL, at the Priester's Pecans store (a tradition that goes back nearly a decade for us). We decided not to have lunch there, but looked around for a while, bought some divinity, rum pecans, and assorted candy for the kids.
  • Ate lunch at a Cracker Barrel east of Montgomery.
  • Tried to find the Books-A-Million in Lagrange, GA, but couldn't. (I now know it's actually a Bookland, but since that's not what we were looking for, we didn't find it.)
  • Had coffee and a cinnamon roll at the Starbucks in Lagrange.
It's nice to be home, but also kind of sad that the vacation is over. Still, I'm glad we went, and look forward to our next vacation.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pensacola Beach 2012, Day Two

The weather today was pretty good; it's been windy, but warmer than yesterday, and sunny enough to be comfortable. So this morning we went down to the pier and the beach for a nice long walk. Here are some pictures from our morning's adventures:

Posing with the Scottish pelican in front of our hotel:

The view down the beach from the pier:

A view of the beach, looking straight down from the pier:

Elyse looks down into the ocean from the pier:

Our hotel (the four-story Hampton Inn, with the green roof) seen from the pier. The big wheel on the left of the frame is the 360 Pensacola Beach observation wheel (http://360pensacolabeach.com), which we haven't (and probably won't) ride:

Elyse and Mommy feeding the seagulls (Anna's favorite part of coming to the beach):

Elyse, Jessica, and Mommy, each doing their own thing on the beach:

Pier and clouds, seen from the beach:
(The weather wasn't really as ominous as this picture makes it look.)

 A seagull, calming down after the feeding frenzy:

Wind, sand, and (no) stars:

Elyse collecting shells:

Elyse and Mommy walking up the beach:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pensacola Beach 2012, Day One

We're on our traditional post-Christmas vacation, this year in Pensacola Beach, Florida. (This is a long-standing tradition: Anna and I started coming here after Christmas about twelve years ago, and this is, we believe, our eighth or ninth trip to just about the same spot.) We drove down Wednesday, taking most of the day to do it, so today, Thursday, is our first full day here. We're staying at the Hampton Inn right on the beach. It's a little cold--the high today was only about 50 degrees--but it's still nice to be on a vacation to the beach. Last year after Christmas we went to Helen, GA, which was good but just not the same. (Though, of course, last year before Christmas we went to Orlando, FL, with Granny and Pa for an epic visit to Disney World, so we weren't really up for another long drive to Florida just a few days later.)

We spent a lot of today doing various shopping errands in Pensacola: we went to Dollar Tree, Barnes & Noble, and Kohls. We did go for a little walk on the beach this morning after breakfast, and Anna and Jessica went out to feed the seagulls and walk along the beach this afternoon. (I stayed here with Elyse, who was napping...in fact, she's still asleep, having resisted every attempt to rouse her. We hope she's out for the night, because if she isn't, she'll be up until midnight.) I went for a walk tonight to take some sunset pictures, which, since I forgot my tripod, didn't come out as well as I'd hoped.

In any case, here's one picture from this morning and another from tonight:



Tomorrow's weather forecast calls for rain and wind, though a little more warmth--a high of 64--so there might not be a "Day Two" blog entry. We'll be leaving Saturday, doing the drive in two days probably, and getting home Sunday afternoon.