Saturday, December 28, 2013

Let There Be Light

This is the story of our Christmas adventure:

On Christmas Eve, we hosted our annual Christmas Eve dinner. We drank prosecco and red wine, we snacked on an amazing antipasti platter, we played games, we ate Ryan's famous lasagna, we did a Secret Santa gift exchange, we played more games, drank more prosecco, ate some chocolate, did all the dishes by hand, and went to bed when the last guest had left in Italian style after midnight.




On Christmas morning, we woke up and ate our Christmas breakfast, drank fresh squeezed orange juice, opened our presents, played with our presents, watched the rain and prayed for snow, took a nap, made beef stew for Christmas dinner, went to church, went to practice, Skyped with our families, and then....


...that night, finally, finally it started snowing and we ended up having a white Christmas after all! What we didn't know when we tucked ourselves into bed, exhausted after all the festivities, was that it kept snowing and snowing and snowing....


The morning after Christmas we woke up to two feet of snow and no electricity or heat. Ryan's game that night was canceled because the rink didn't have electricity either. In fact, ALL of Cortina and the surrounding towns had no electricity! And it was still snowing really hard.


So we helped our neighbors shovel, we drank tea, we ate leftovers from our Christmas party, and when it got dark we lit candles and played games like Monopoly and Backgammon until we just couldn't see anymore. That night we piled extra blankets on the bed and snuggled in early. We expected that the lights would turn on in the middle of the night and that one of us would have to get out of bed, turn off the hall light, and turn on the heat, but....


...two mornings after Christmas we still had no lights, heat or hot water! And we were getting cold. Ryan's game was canceled for a second time, and we walked into town to see what the situation was. Absolutely no one had electricity - the stores were closed, the cafes were serving cold beers instead of hot coffees, and all the fur-wearing Christmas people were walking around looking put-out and cold. Later that afternoon when the lights still weren't on, we decided to buy supplies. Since we couldn't see after 4:30 pm, we needed a flashlight, so we made our way downtown again, only to find that all the flashlights in Cortina were sold out, but we did manage to find two headlamps.

By this time, most of the power was back on downtown and the Christmas lights were back in action. We took this as a good sign, but decided to avoid cooking dinner in the dark for the second night in a row, so we ate in town and warmed up in the heat from our favorite restaurant. As we walked down the snowy path later that night with our brand new headlamps, we were optimistic when we saw house after house lit up with real lights rather than candle light. But when we got to Chiave....it was still dark! So we piled more blankets on the bed, used our new headlamps to read our books, and went to sleep hoping we would see that hall light on in the morning.

We did not. On the third morning after Christmas, we took to wearing multiple pairs of socks. Luckily we both got new, really warm ones for Christmas this year. We walked downtown once again to enjoy the warm sun -finally out now- and when we came back home, finally, FINALLY that hall light was on!!! We turned the heat on (our house was at 13C/55F), shed one pair of socks, and made some soup.

And THAT was our Christmas adventure this year. It was a fantastic first married Christmas. Hope everyone else had a wonderful (and warmer) few days too!