Monday, December 30, 2013

A Clovis Christmas

This year Robyn and I spent Christmas week with her parents in Clovis, California.  It was a great week.  We had loads of fun.  We went on a few adventures, had lots of relaxation, and lots of family time.

I'm just going to warn you now, I started writing this and it got really long.  I won't be offended if you don't read all the way to the end.  Just know it was a fabulous week.  Here are a few highlights.

The Nativity
Robyn's family has a tradition of acting out the Christmas story on Christmas Eve.  Her Dad reads it from the Bible and we all get to play various characters.  We're a dramatic bunch, and I feel this picture captures some of the drama that goes into this family room production.

Teanca was an excellent angel that made everyone sore afraid.
I don't know how to describe what stollen is.  It's German.  It's delicious.  That's all I know.  Here's a Wiki if you need to know more. Robyn took lessons from her Oma and she made us some stollen.  I told her she needs to make it every month so she doesn't forget how.

She's the cutest little stollen maker.

And look at that deliciousness.
The Interpretive Dance
Out of the entire week, there were 3 1/2 minutes that shined like a jewel as the greatest 3 1/2 minutes of the entire trip.  Robyn's Dad read "The Night Before Christmas" while Robyn and Teanca performed an interpretive dance.

It was the greatest thing ever.  Despite that, Robyn is embarrassed about it.  (She's embarrassed that no one else can even approach her awesomeness.) So I'm not sharing the video, but here is an animated gif made from some of the highlights.  Hopefully that won't embarrass her too much.

We're bikers
I wasn't doing my normal exercise routine, but we tried to get out and do something every day to exercise.  We even did some biking.  Despite the pain in the buttocks region, it was a lot of fun and after our ride I told Robyn I want to buy a bike, so we can do more at home.  She agreed and said we totally should when there is no snow at our house.  Woot!

We're totally bikers.  We biked to the John R. Wright station, named after Robyn's Dad.  It was 9.2 miles round trip.  Not a bad little ride.
Angry Birds
Have you ever played Angry Birds on your phone? Have you ever wished you could catapult birds at piggies in real life? We got a fabulous gift for Christmas. Take a look at this.
The moment we've all dreamed of is here.

The piggy death star.  Destroy it before it destroys you.
It was just as fun as it sounds.  Here's a video of us taking it on its maiden voyage.

The Zoo
We took one day and went to the zoo in Fresno.  I've loved the zoo since I was a little kid.  What can I say?  I love animals.

I FED A GIRAFFE!  I totally got to pet them as well.

Will was not nearly as excited about feeding giraffes as I was.  In his defense, their tongues were as long as his whole body.

The goat let me pet him, but when I tried to take a selfie with him he ran away.
Also, this happened.
Sometimes Teanca poses with statues.  It's how she rolls.

Woodward Park
We took a couple hours to explore Fresno's Woodward Park.  I want a ginormous park like that.  Good thing they're building a new park right by my house.

Robyn said she didn't remember a fountain being in this park, but we found one anyway.

There were these weird structures all over the park.  I assumed they were built by an ancient civilization.  Robyn said they were exercise equipment so people could do circuit training outside in the park.  I like the ancient civilization theory.

There were millions of ducks and geese.
In California, they haven't invented urinals yet.  Instead they use troughs.

Yosemite National Park is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  It's only 2 hours from Clovis, so I convinced Robyn to take a day trip with me.  It was totally worth it.  We did the Mirror Lake hike this time around.
The trail was really pretty.  I loved the bits of snow and ice amid the beautiful trees.

Just looking up at the mountains.

Mirror Lake isn't much of a lake.  In the winter it's basically a stagnant river.  The word on the street is that in the spring there's much more water.  Robyn looks really cute standing in what would be the bottom of the lake at a different time of year.

It looked like a stairway to heaven.  I climbed it.  It was just a stairway to some rocks.

Sometimes I'm a tree hugger.

There's no scale in this picture but this crow was ginormous.  It followed us for a half mile because I was eating a cookie.  It reminded me of the movie "The Birds".  It would just fly and sit somewhere near us until we got more than 30 feet away and then it would fly somewhere in front of us again.  It was creepy and awesome.

Robyn is cute among ginormous trees.

I loved seeing the mountains and trees reflected in the water.

You can't go to Yosemite without taking at least one picture of half dome.

Christmas Morning
Of course, Christmas morning is always a highlight.  I think the best part of Christmas morning was that my 18 month old nephew decreed that I was his official assistant to open his presents.  I think it was because I had him help me open one of my presents.  After that, he just kept bringing me presents and I let him rip them open.

Eventually, he brought me a present that wasn't addressed to him.  I made him take it to his Dad, who it was addressed to.  That act of betrayal lost his trust, and he didn't bring me any more presents.

The Christmas tree before we opened anything.
Megan and Will frolicking in the wrapping paper.  Sometimes the paper is better than the presents.
Of course, the best thing was just being together with family. We had lots of laughs and lots of good times. That's what Christmas is all about.


  1. Thanks for bringing back memories of my sore afraidness. I was trying to forget...

  2. I'm glad that you had so much fun, but I'm sad that I never get invited to Wright family events. It's like someone doesn't feel that I am part of the Wright family. (I bet it's Megan...)

  3. It was a great trip! Thanks for giving up your white Christmas to be in California with me and my fam!


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