Have a wonderful Christmas Eve

Trip Start Jul 30, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  ,
Sunday, December 24, 2006

Just wanted to send all of our family and friends a warm Merry Christmas from Australia.  We love you and miss you, of course.  But we must say the Bartorillo's are doing a great job of making it a wonderful and memorable Christmas for us.  Luke isn't into Christmas that much, so when Nadia said she was going to the store to buy more decorations and a Christmas CD to make it feel more like home for Lyn, he wanted to crawl in a hole. 
We started our day off at 9:30AM, when Frank and Joyce picked us up to take us to Franks sister Mary's house.  Bart meet them all about 5 years ago when he was here with his Mom.  Just like the Italians back home, as soon as you walk in the house "What could we get you, something to eat or drink".  And even though we said "we were good", which the Australian's get a kick out of, especially Joyce she says "I know you are good, but would you like something".  Within 5 minutes of being there, there was food all over the table and offering drinks, beer, scoth, wine, tea coffee.  Unbelievable, what wonderful hospitality.  We had a wonderful time there, just listening to them all talk.  Frank his two sisters and cugina Carmela from Sydney and his brother in law Manuel. Robert received some more info for his research. 

After our visit we went for a short ride to the Pinaroo Cemetery where Franks dad is buried, took a few pictures, then off to the grocery store.  Lennie and Luke loved the broccoli salad I made last week so much, I was asked if I could make it for Christmas Day.  After a long morning, we started to get a little sleepy in the car, so we decide to go back to Nadia and Luke's for a nap.

I was so surprised when we walked in the house.  It was beautiful.  Nadia had the table set all in red and green, just lovely.  And the Christmas music was playing, it is really starting to feel like Christmas.  We decided to kill two birds with one stone, we napped out in the back yard, under the hot Australian sun with the colorful Lorikeets flying around above us.  Today was a high of about 85 degrees, just checked the weather back home in Pennsylvania, looks like a warm one this year of 42' F.  Everyone has been writing about how unusually warm it has been lately.  Of course, we decide to travel the year it's a warm winter.  One of the things we were trying to do with this trip was avoiding the cold weather and we did a pretty good job of it except for Greece those couple of days.  After about 2 hours in the sun and taking a few pictures of the lorikeets.

I decide I should send our Christmas hello and work on the blog.  But before I could do that we had a little visitor from next door.  She came over to borrow some vanilla off of Nadia, so they could make cookie's for Santa.  She told us she really likes the chocolate chip cookies she was making for Santa, but Santa doesnt REALLY like milk... he likes beer!!  We got a good laugh out of that one.  She was so cute.  And then Bart asked her when is Santa coming and how does he get into the house.  She told him the elves that travel with Santa crawl through the doggie door.  Once they are in they try to reach the door knob, because it is so high and they are so tiny like about 2 inches big (she showed us with her hands).  She said they are the elves that let Santa into all of the houses.  Isn't it interesting that no matter where you are in the world Santa could always deliver the presents somehow!  As a kid at heart, mom especially you, love you !!!  Santa comes down our chimney, since we live in the US where it is cold, no chimneys here in Australia so Santa has to find a way in another way.  And I know at Makena, Jules, Rhiannon and Seth's house Santa loves his cookies and milk and the reindeer like the carrots!

After our short visit, I went in for a shower to put on my Christmas outfit.  Not like the usual tradition, no new fancy clothes, just my traveling skirt and a borrowed green top from Nadia, which fits perfect.  In the mean time Bart was on the computer and gave me a wonderful surprise.  He found our radio station from back home that plays Christmas music 24/7 -Magic 93.  So I can say, I miss home, but feel like I am home in Asutralia for Christmas and it is terrific.

We wanted to thank all of you who have been following us all around the world.  We love your comments, keep them coming.  We miss you and love you all very much..  I will especially miss our traditional Christmas Eve events, seafood dinner at my parents house, and hidding the leftovers from Dad.  Opening all of our presents at Nana and Papa's, no one better be in my spot.  If someone does, enjoy it now because next year it is mine again.  Next we would go to midnight mass and sing all of the Christmas songs.  And our nightcap, drinks and snack after church at my parents house, just up the road from church, can't believe this will be the first one I missed in 30 years.  I must say I love it here in Australia and traveling, but I really don't think I could miss Christmas ever again.  It's the only holiday when you get a chance to see our entire family all under one roof.  Bart's family has their traditional Christmas Day gathering, where this year we will miss out on the first time with 4 generations.  We can't wait to come home to everyone next year.  Especially to see all of those new babies.  Any more new arrivals, Niki and Krista?!?  We wish you all the very best..

Frank and Joyce arrived and Sabrina put our some appetizers, we had a few glasses of wine as well.  After while Luke decided he would call Nadia to see how much longer she would be, she said only about 15 minutes, but to start without her.  We had a wonderful dinner prepared by Sabrina, chicken, scallop potatoes, and asapagragus, salad and dessert.  The food was so tasty and good.  Nadia arrived we took a few pictures. opened a few gifts.  We had a great nice, I called home to my parents house to say Merry Christmas, it was nice to talk to all of them.  After that I was very tired and decided to go to bed.  Soon after Robert followed.  Looks nice tomorrow will be another warm day.

Looks like no snow this year at home, one thing we always looked forward to waking up on Christmas Day.  We love you, with a extra special hello to our moms and dad, brothers and grandparents. 

We hope all of you take a look at the beautiful sky this Christmas Eve and remember all of our angels up there, because we are.   Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.  Currently "Let it snow" is playing on Magic 93!!!
Love you all..  Merry Christmas..  Love, Lyn and Robert
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