Pre-Christmas with the “Sgwotts”

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, particularly because it revolves around family and friends. And one of our favorite traditions is when we see our friends Scott and Gwen who visit from New Jersey (Scott is originally from Palatine). Larry and I refer to them as the “Sgwotts” because every time I would say their names it came out as “Sgwott” - I tend to talk fast, must be the East Coast coming out. Well, the name stuck with Larry and I and we finally revealed to them recently our nickname for them – so it’s official now.

With the complete dumping of snow we had recently we were worried that their plane would be delayed or cancelled for December 19th...and sure enough it was. We were planning on getting together with them on the 20th and were keeping our fingers crossed that they would arrive on time.

Although the snow kept on coming, Scott and Gwen arrived at our house in Crystal Lake in, I swear, blizzard conditions. We hopped in the car and headed to Montarra in Algonquin ( It’s a fabulous place with a very Chicago/edgy feel. The food and atmosphere are phenomenal. My one “gripe” if I were to have one would be the size of the portions: teeny. It’s one of the most expensive restaurants in the area and really worth going to…but could they just make the portions larger?!? OK, I’ll admit it…I’m a full-believer in leftovers. And dammit it…if I’m going to spend $27 on a steak I’d like a little leftover – is that so wrong?

That being said, we really enjoyed ourselves at dinner. But the snow was still coming down and we headed back to our house to open the wine, presents and just relax by the fire.

After the presents were opened we did what we typically do when we see each other – talk, and laugh, and talk – maybe throw in a bottle of wine or two (and the holiday beer that Lar and Scott were drinking) and laugh some more. Somehow Larry and Scott started to reminisce about years ago and we started to pull out the photo albums and boxes. Gwen and I always love to do this because we get to see all the great photos of Scott looking very “modelish” and Larry sporting some very fashionable hairstyles of the 80s – very “European!”

Before we knew it, it was 3:30am and we hit our limit. I’ll admit probably the latest I’ve stayed up in a while.

We woke up a little worse for the wear the next morning, although quickly recovered when we went to our favorite breakfast spot in Crystal Lake – Benedict’s La Strata; all I can say is “yum.”

After breakfast the “Sgwotts” were on their way – lots of family and friends to see while they were in town.

We can’t wait to see our travel buddies again in the spring – we’re planning a cruise of the Western Caribbean.

It’s December 21st and I am now in a mad-dash to finish my Christmas shopping and work on my holidays cards – somehow I managed to not get my act together again and I am in a complete state of stress. Why do I do this to myself??? Note to self: start preparing for the holidays in the fall so as to not have a nervous breakdown.

P.S. And just to prove that Jack the cat exits...also included above are a couple of holiday shots, including one of Santa Jackie (compliments of Scott & Gwen). More on Jack later...

No comments:

Post a Comment