Meet The In-Laws

Trip Start Dec 21, 2012
Trip End Jan 19, 2013

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Flag of United States  , New York
Monday, December 24, 2012

The big day of nerves for all concerned.

Started at the mall to buy Christmas wrapping paper. Did you ever realise just how hard it is to find a simple thing like wrapping paper and sticky tape in a large shopping centre? Anyway, after an hour we succeeded, and headed off to find Brendan's new apartment, coaxed by our ever patient GPS.

The apartment is lovely - spacious and light, though they have put enormous amounts of work into it - painting, plumbing, rewiring, flooring, tiling and goodness know what else to get it up to scratch. It will take them a little time to finish everything, but it will be really nice when it's done. It's in a lovely area, just 10 minutes walk from Rachel's college, and a few minutes stroll from shops and restaurants, so it's ideally placed.

Ash hadn't arrived back till 2:30 in the morning from his marathon Greyhound adventure, so he didn't appear till after noon, in that typical 'Ashley just up' state. A bite of lunch and we headed off to meet Rachel's parents before the Christmas service. Well at least that was the plan. Lynne was there, probably pacing, but Mike had gone for coffee, without his cell phone, and never re-appeared, so we did all the introductions, and poor Tucker the dog was put through his entire repertoire of tricks for us.

When it was clear that Mike was not coming back, we hopped in the cars and went off to the Christmas service at The Chapel, where the family worships. A large church, probably 2000 or so there, and you couldn't call either the church or the production modest. By Australian standards a fairly short service, and surprisingly we only go to sing one carol for the whole time, so it was far more of a performance and less participation than we are used to. It's actually Christmas Eve here, but they don't have a Christmas Day service at all, although there are three identical services today to make up for it, so I suppose there would be 5000-6000 people through in the day.

The Chapel emptied very quickly after the service, quite like a theatre, so its hard to get a feel for the place, but it made it easy for Mike to find us when it was all over, so with Sarah and Mike introduced, we could all relax a bit. Ash wanted to get to the discount malls before they closed for the season, so it was off to one lot via the tailor for some fittings, and then back to Rachel's, where we happily worked in the kitchen the rest of the afternoon preparing the evening spread.

Grandparents and friends came and went during the evening, and we swapped stories till about eleven, when we dropped the boys back at the apartment, and headed back to the room before a visit from one of Santa's elves.
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