But the main Christmas action was in Florida, obviously. We flew into Orlando and hung out with Nicholas and Katie. We also got to see Jenni, who flew into Orlando for her winter break and who we hadn't seen in four years! It was great to catch up with her and hear all about her dissertation on electricity and early 20th century American literature. I'm so glad she's enjoying her program. She's going to be one hell of a professor.
The next day, Andrew rented a car - which turned out by necessity to be a convertible - and drove back up to Tallahassee, and I rode with Nicholas and Katie over to St Pete, where we had a bridal shower to attend. We all - Bryan, Christina, Nicholas, Katie, Mommy, Daddy, and I - went to a fantastic Greek restaurant for dinner and had a feast of meze, pastitsio, moussaka, spanakopita, etc. and watched, bemusedly, a semi-impromptu belly-dancing performance. Good times.
Christmas in Tallahassee was, well, Christmas in Tallahassee. All the usual friends, the usual foods, the usual fun, the usual puppies, minus Harry. But he was there in spirit, and I got to pay my respects at his grave for the first time. He'll always be my Christmas puppy.
All too soon, we had to fly back to London, where we had a week of "working" - me at home and Andrew in an empty office. Then it was New Year's Eve. The Kiwis were travelling, so Andrew and I made a bunch of tasty snacks and drinks and played with our Christmas presents, including hours of Guitar Hero. So much Guitar Hero, in fact, that we missed the actual stroke of midnight, although our year-straddling performance did end, on screen, with fireworks. Aww.