Noel means Christmas

      Even though it was my idea, I thought that spending Christmas in a hotel would be kind of strange. Know what? It really wasn’t. It reminded me that what’s important on Christmas is who you spend it with, not where you spend it.

        I actually had to wake Kaitlyn up and tell her to look and see who’d been there while she slept. She rubbed her eyes and saw the little pile of presents by her bed and jumped up yelling for her Daddy to come see. She carefully opened each one, stopping to play.

        Once the presents were opened, it was down to the restaurant for breakfast. We’d eaten there each day of our trip and this was definitely the most crowded day. I guess a lot of people spend Christmas away from home.

        It’s funny to me that a town that makes a big deal out of being a Christmas destination is pretty much shut down on Christmas. Thanks to Bill’s push for an itinerary, we knew this and had a plan. We drove to Strasbourg.

        The markets were supposed to be open, but the only vendor who got that memo was the guy selling vin chaud (hot wine) to the people leaving Christmas service at the massive cathedral. There were also a couple of souvenir shops cashing in on the holiday crowd and nearly every cafe was serving up food. We headed right for the Ill river, where we took a cruise around the city on a glass topped boat. If nothing else, it was warm. I thought it was interesting, but just a little bit too long for a little kid. 70 minutes. And we had the incredible fortune of sitting in front of a little boy who seemed to be about 2 years old, who spent his ride either pushing on my seat or blowing raspberries at Kaitlyn or standing in his seat. All lovely things.

        Once that ended, Bill had had enough. He was freezing cold. Couldn’t take it anymore. The markets had opened by now, so we cruised there a bit trying to find something that would make a suitable lunch. Kaitlyn appeared to be in no mood to sit still at a cafe. Kaitlyn had a bit of a sandwich. Bill had a pretzel. I had some roasted chestnuts. (actually roasted this time) Steps away from the parking garage and a warm ride back to Colmar, Kaitlyn saw the kiddie ride was open. Three times around, and we forced her to call it quits. Never mind how cold it was. We’d run out of cash and Bill’s stop at the ATM left us with nothing but 50 Euro bills. Bill tried, but the guy running the ride was not going to take that.

        Our Christmas dinner turned out to be at the same restaurant where we’d been eating breakfast all along. We didn’t realize when we made the reservation a couple of weeks ago that would be the case. Kaitlyn was a bit disappointed when we got there and the tv wasn’t on. (They have it turned to cartoons in the morning). It was good. Better than last night. Doesn’t hold a candle to Saturday’s meal.

        After dinner we let Kaitlyn watch a movie in the room. Our only choices were what was on the tv… so we watched “Around the World in 80 Days” with Jackie Chan dubbed into French. Bill and I called our families, once we figured out the phone card we’d gotten earlier.

        This was a perfect Christmas.

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