After dropping off the technological radar over Christmas (Vermont is not known as a center for communications), I'm back to give an update on the abounding festivities!
Two Chevrolets, six Aussies, three Swedes and a Dane walk into a chalet. The punchline? I think I put on about five kilos in food baby, but lost about three rolling around on the living room floor losing my s*** laughing the whole time. The place we stayed was actually really amazing, although the roads were like an icy death trap and the GPS seemed intent on killing us all, we made it into Killington, Vermont about 4pm on the 23rd of December and proceeded to light the wood burning fire (come on, baby) and then we hit the road again to find a market (i.e. grocery store).
It seems that no one in Vermont understands the concept of distances. We drove down onto the main street and looked for a market. We couldn't see one. We asked. We got told five minutes down the road. We drove five minutes down the road. We couldn't see one. We asked. We got told five minutes down the road. See how the circular narrative continues? Half an hour later we finally found what we were looking for and proceeded to purchase enough food and alcohol to kill a small army (or to feed the mini UN in our chalet for five days anyway) and on the way back up to the chalet we stopped so that Georgie, Jimmy, Jess and Louise could be fitted for skis.
The next car load of people arrived early on Christmas eve morning and people started to split up for the day. The aforementioned people fitted for skiis went skiing with Emma and Steve, who came in the second car, whilst myself, Jennie, Jo and Marie stayed at the chalet to hold down the fort. (I've just noticed there was an inordinate amount of people with a name starting with "J" in the chalet..interesting).
Scandinavian's celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. So when they all got back from skiing (with success stories), they began to cook up a Northern European feast while we all got changed into our (semi) finery and Skyped our respective families.
Swedish and Danish dinner included but was not limited to; scalloped potatos, meatballs, herring, eggs with mayonaise, ginger biscuits with blue cheese & baked potatos. Desert was ice cream with this Swedish jam, and all these little Danish marzipan and chocolate related goodies. I actually think I might still be full from that dinner! We then engaged in the Swedish tradition of watching this Looney Tunes/Disney montage of film clips from different movies that had been dubbed in Swedish and apparently they all watch every Christmas eve. I now like to think I could hold a reasonable conversation in Swedish. As long as the topic doesn't stray too far from "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain".
We gave out Secret Santa presents on Christmas morning which all turned out to be fairly amusing- George had me and I got this t-shirt she had made which reads "rofl rofl rofl lol rofl- OMG it's a ROFLCOPTER". She got this really amusing flip book of insults from Steve. Like you flip one side and get a word such as; cooch, twat, dick, fetus etc, and then flip the other side to get a corresponding word like; licker, sniffer, twister, dangler. It was pretty hilarious and we played with it for most of the day.
I'm going to skip straight to telling you about Australian dinner because the next day ran fairly much like the previous. The others went skiing and we sat on our asses and went for explorative walks of Vermont. Considering none of the Aussies had the slightest idea what they were doing (I was the only one in a group of 10 people who knew how to make pork crackling, go figure) dinner was a raging success. I made chocolate spiders with fruit and nut in them (you know the ones made from dried noodles) and stuffed, roasted capsicums and tomatoes. We also had; prawns, pork, roast beef, pasta salad, sweet potato bake, apple pie, chocolate strawberries and rum balls (known in Sweden as (it wont let me type this word, think derogatory term for black people) "a******* balls"- from one of the most progressive and liberal country in the world- lost my s***). Anyway, there's many photos of the cooking processes and I think we were all fairly proud of our cooking and eating efforts.
Our Christmas tradition (new tradition) was to watch "The Castle". I noticed about halfway into it that only the Aussies were left in the room. Lost in translation I guess! But the rest of our Vermont days were similar, lots of food, wine, laughter and boardgames. (Guess who is awful at scrabble- although I was watching House in the background which didn't help my strategy at all). We also had a hilarious game of Bulls*** with some awful strategizing from Team George and Team Steve. George likes to call her cards and put down different cards even though she might have the ones she needs- in other words, she's a pathological liar, while Steve likes to call Bulls*** on everyones turn, thus ensuring he gets all the cards so he knows who is telling the truth. The aim of the game is to get rid of your cards, not to collect them. A fact which seems to have passed my good buddy Steve by. Semantics.
I will leave you with a short rhetoric on how much our long suffering driver Marie hates GPS and probably all other forms of vehicle related technology. It led us in absolute circles coming over the border and back into Montreal and in hindsight we should have thrown the thing into the Saint Lawrence River. When they finally got the car back the place was shut and we had to keep it an extra night and pay for it! Not happy, Jan. But other than that small hiccup, my first white Christmas was an excellent one. Today we have to try and pack up all the s*** in Georgie's room before we all head off to New York City on the midnight bus tonight! I'm soooo excited!!!
JOYEUX FETES, AUSSIES :)