Brief Christmas weekend story

Temperatures dropped to low teens overnight, creating “sea smoke”  a.k.a. “vapor” or “vapah” on the water on Christmas Eve morning.

Inside the cabin of the mailboat, all packages stayed dry, and Ashley Bryan took a moment to write a Christmas card to my mother. Bruce and I were on our way over there to open her presents and make a lunch of crab claws, salad with lots of avocado, and popovers fresh out of the oven. She really liked it.

We arrived at Fritz and Meg’s apartment in Portland around 4:30. Robin and Stephanie were already there. We just hung out for a while before going to our hotel to change for dinner at Cinque Terre. Good food and good times, but no photos alas.

On Christmas morning, Bruce and I were looking out our window at Standard Bakery, which is below the back end of Fore Street, the restaurant where Fritz works. We noticed a few policemen standing around as if waiting for something. Then we realized we were looking down at a crime scene.

The top arrow shows where a break in occurred, in a window close to the sidewalk. Moving clockwise, the next arrow shows where our car is parked, only because we decided to use the $15/night valet parking service. Had we taken the suggestion to park in the empty parking lot behind the bakery (next to our hotel) we might have had to go in  for questioning, or at least had the car towed. The next arrow indicates where we might have parked near the dumpsters. The last arrow indicates the police and the owner of the bakery.

Crime scene unit arrives.

Evidence is collected.

Then we didn’t hear any more about it.

Had a great brunch with Fritz and Meg, Robin and Stephanie, and Kelly and Al. Again too busy to take many photos. We took a long walk, then everyone split up for a bit before gathering back at Kelly and Al’s for Christmas dinner.

My kind of tree.

AJ hanging in the kitchen.

Fritz adding his own magical ingredients to Al’s flavorful beans.

Everything came together to make an amazing delicious Cassoulet.

Great food and great family made for a wonderful holiday. As we stopped by to eat some leftovers and say goodbye on Monday morning, I rallied the gang for a family photo. I don’t know why I can’t remember to do this before we all feel so tired from preparations and celebrating. It seems to be the last thing I do before we head out the door to drive north.

False start with the timer.

The third try was the best of the group.

Now everyone is back home, safe and sound, and back to work. Hope you had a Merry Christmas too!


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8 responses to “Brief Christmas weekend story

  1. Looks like you had a wonderful holiday!

    I love Fore Street. It is my favorite place to eat in Portland. Oh and Street and Company which I believe is owned by the same folks. ANd I love their bakery as well! All my favorite food groups!
    Happy New year to you!


    • Barb Fernald

      It was a great time, Roberta. My son loves cooking at Fore Street. (Except he was the only one of us who had to go back to work on Monday.) We love eating there.
      It is worth the little bit of extra effort to go to 416 Preble Street in South Portland to Scratch Baking Company. ( My sister-in-law Al is one of the owners. Their bagels are so popular they only sell a dozen to a customer. On the 24th, they sold out in 40 minutes. (1700 bagels! The most ever in one morning.) There are tons of breads and sweet things too. Maybe you have already been there!
      Happy New Year. I’m thinking about you with your Mom.


  2. holly

    beautiful…looks quite merry…lucky you!


    • Barb Fernald

      It was a great time. I wish I were sitting down to a bowl of Cassoulet with you right now! Happy New Year my friend. I hope it brings you many many good things.


  3. Susan White

    Great pictures. Malcolm often brings us stuff from Scratch Bakery..Yum!
    I drive everyone crazy with my camera. I actually have been forgetting every so often…since not writing the column it seems. I guess I was always thinking about a pic for the paper!
    Sounds like a wonderful time..oh..loved the tree…we decorated our Fica tree again and left the lemon tree where we used to put a little tree! Glad it’s over!!! xo


    • Barb Fernald

      Yeah, I didn’t miss having a tree at all. But I enjoyed seeing all the lights and decorations in Portland. LOVED coming home to no holiday cleanup, other than putting away wrapping stuff.
      Happy New Year Susan and Chris!


  4. Looks like an excited and fun holiday! What a wonderful family! Happy New Year Barb!


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