We woke up at my dad's house on Christmas morning, with our gifts already opened the night before. But never fear, there will be more gifts to open later in the day! :)
We went to an early lunch at a Dim Sum restaurant not far from my dad's house. You know that most Chinese restaurants in big cities stay open on Christmas day, right? It seems that Chinese restaurants never ever close! We arrived at 11am and it was already packed FULL!
Yummy dim sum.
The problem with dim sum is that most of the dishes have shrimp or mushrooms, which Todd doesn't eat. So he had a very "light" lunch. But again, never fear! There's another meal coming later in the day. :)
After lunch, we went and got a boba milk tea for Todd. His favorite is from a little shop in Rowland Heights called "Little Bean". The owners there know him because he's one of the few non-Chinese people who go there and orders it in Chinese. They always smile at him, LOL.
On the way back to my dad's house, we stopped by a park on top of a hill to check out the beautiful scenery. There was snow on the nearby mountains and you can see them from there. You can even see them from my dad's house.
After that, we left my dad's house for the 2 hour drive home. It turned out to be 2.5 hours, due to a crash on the freeway. BUT, we made it to the beach by our house, just in time before sunset! This is our 11th annual "Christmas On The Beach". Basically, ever since we moved to San Diego in December 1999, we have made it a tradition to go to the beach on Christmas Day. The only year we missed was in 2006, when my mom was too sick to go and none of us went. One of these days I want to make a scrapbook page with all my yearly photos of "Christmas On The Beach".
These next 2 photos were taken with my Blackberry phone. I thought they turned out really awesome!
Photos with my little Canon P&S.
And one with our Canon DSLR.
After the beach, we went to feed the cats for our friends Dejah and Roby while they're on vacay. Then we rushed home to cook dinner, because Sally was coming over for Christmas dinner!
Todd cooked some filet mignon with peppercorn orange sauce, along with Sally's favorite green bean dish. I cooked homemade mac n cheese with this recipe, but it turned out really dry. If anyone has any tips for me, feel free to share in the comments. Or you could share your favorite homemade mac n cheese recipe!
I thought everything was delicious except for my mac n cheese, but Sally had seconds, so maybe it wasn't SO bad?
We opened up a bottle of wine that we had purchased at the Fess Parker Winery in Santa Barbara back on my birthday trip in March.
After dinner, we opened up our gifts to each other. I'm totally for opening gifts on both Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day, it stretches out the fun longer.
Then we ate Sally's chocolate cayenne cinnamon cake with ice cream and it was delicious and slightly spicy!
Then we spent the whole night talking and it was incredibly fun to hang out with one of my oldest and bestest friends in the whole wide world. And Todd. :p (He knows he's my bestest friend. But I've known Sally since we were 12 years old.) Spending Christmas with both my family AND my best friend, plus all the good food AND a visit to the beach, was THE BEST! I felt so blessed!