Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas and New Year's in Minnesota

This was one of my favorite Christmases ever! Although I had just been home for Sarah's wedding, this was the first time being in the states with BH. My parents were also housesitting downtown, so we were not stuck in Lindstrom the whole time! Even though we did get out of my horrible hometown, BH was a little bored for the first week. It was a LOT of family time, and although my family tried, only Anna was making considerable progress on her ASL. Hanging out with Anna was a blast! Going downtown, shopping, eating food. If only she had more money :-P
Anna and her friends holding Byeong Hun
The food in Minnesota was great. My cooking in Bulgaria never really turns out, but my mom has EVERYTHING in her house. That is one thing I do miss about living in the states: having a fully equipped kitchen. We also went out to eat a couple of times, and BH tried bison for the first time.
As you may know, my family is big. This meant many Christmases. With my mom's side of the family, with my nuclear family, with my step-siblings, with my father, and then finally with my father's side of the family. That's five Christmases! BH and I got a Wii for Christmas, which was awesome, but my favorite gift would probably be from BH; he got me a stuffed radish (미스터 무) which is unbearably cute.
My dad offered us weird gifts. We were all allowed to choose something from his house... I saw two Frommer's guides to Europe that I snatched up. Although it isn't my favorite traveler's guide, its better than nothing. And these travel guides are not cheap!
On the evening of the 27th, after a birthday dinner for my brother David, we picked up three friends from the airport. They were all students at Gallaudet University at one point, but have all recently graduated. We had a grand time! We had originally planned to go to Chicago and meet my friend Rachel, but because of weather, this changed to a day trip to Duluth. Beautiful!
The next day was a day of recuperating. One friend had an incomplete and needed to finish his essay before we could do anything. BH and I enjoyed our new Wii, and we also just chatted a lot.
For New Year's, my friends planned on all meeting up downtown. We got a hotel, but they all canceled at the last minute. No big deal. To start out the evening, we went to the Deaf association in St. Paul. The Twin Cities has a long Deaf history, so I was really excited, but it turned out that none of the younger Deafies showed up. Too bad.
Deaf Club, Minnesota
After the disappointment of the Deaf association, Tyler and Sarah met up with us as we celebrated New Year's, slightly inebriated, at a random Indian restaurant. After clubbing around the city, we crashed late at night and woke up hungover the next day.
Mom and John met us downtown for a magnificent breakfast at Hell's Kitchen. If you live in Minnesota and you haven't eaten there, go! The bison toast was amazing, and their homemade spreads somehow are delicious on the odd sounding meat bread. We got home late at night, and found kimchi at the local grocery store.
Our last day in Minnesota was spent at my aunt's house. My grandma was a little awkward with my Deaf friends, but definitely kind. My aunt loved the guests, and happily served everyone Irish coffee. Too bad I was driving.
Of course, no trip to Minnesota is complete without the Mall of America. Although it isn't my favorite in the world, JS needed to see it. The girls were shopping for hours! BH and I just walked around, enjoyed Lego Land, and then were ready to leave.
The Mall
It was a fun two weeks. I wish we would have made it to Wisconsin or Chicago, but we ran out of time. Hopefully, though, I'll be able to come home for Christmas for all of the coming years.

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