The one holiday event that I look forward to every year is one Winter in the Park. The local museum takes their Tiffany glass windows and lights them up in our "Central Park" along our very own Park Ave. Not only do they have these beautiful windows up and glowing, but there is a choir that sings Christmas carols through the night on stage.
Paths are lined with poinsettias, the shops are open late to enjoy the crowd, and the people arrive early to secure a seat and to set up their night picnics. The types of night picnics that people set up are first class. Little tables with candles, blankets, bottles of wine and hot cocoa for little ones.
On this night, it was thankfully a little chilly in the air, which made it actually feel like winter. We opted for hot cocoa and walked around instead of finding an open spot to sit. The night picnics sound romantic and delicious, but arriving hours early to secure a good spot doesn't.
Coupled with the choir in Central Park, one of the historic homes on Park Ave opens it's doors for a holiday open house. There's more hot cocoa, marshmallows, and cookies. We stumbled upon it years ago and enjoy it so much we continue to visit every year. Maybe we still go for the nostalgia, either way it's fun to explore the small house and look over the open lawn from the second floor balcony. Up there, it's quiet. Our little Park Ave usually lines it's light poles with gorgeous yellow Christmas lights that hang down elegantly. This year, the city instead hung these colorful clusters of red, green, and blue lights, all down the street. I normally prefer the amber glow of yellow lights, but seeing the street full of people with colorful globes suspended above them had an unexpected air of fun and magic.
This time we ended the night at a Thai restaurant a block away from the choir. We ate outside under market lights and could hear the faint singing while we ate. We were still there when the singing finished, and it was like living in a real city suddenly. All of the singers and all of the attendees packed up slowly and began to make their way among the streets of our little shops. Eating outside on the sidewalk while people walked past, it was like the hustle and bustle of real cities like New York that I've come to miss every holiday season.
This past weekend we had a visitor and we also took care of some last minute gift shopping. We also attended S's work holiday party at a Brazilian restaurant where I got to practice the little Portuguese that I know with the gauchos. It was a delicious meal and we even got to enjoy one of my favorite drinks, the caipirinha, which is the national drink of Brazil. Going there reminded me that we need to apply for our Visas, and soon. We're coming up on less than two months until our trip! How did that happen? Either way, I'm going to have to start tying up the last few details like transportation, cash, and of course, the Visas.