Christmas Eve found us celebrating with our wonderful ex-pat group at Lu-Lu's: a quaint pub in our soon-to-be home village of Kettwig. Brett, Marissa and I spent the afternoon engrossed in great conversations, and received a lot of fabulous tips on what to see in the area. The boys met a couple of children their age, and all 4 of them enjoyed video games on smartphones. Apparently, addiction to technology is international.
On Christmas day, we traveled to the Netherlands to visit our good friends. It was a very short 100 minute drive to Tim and Rita's, and they provided another fabulous day of conversation and fun. We experienced a new holiday tradition that we've got to try again at home. A large electric griddle (nearly the exact same ones that we use for making pancakes and eggs at our house) is placed in the middle of the table. Everyone is issued a small wooden paddle (spatula of some sort) for cooking and each chooses a plateful of raw meat and vegetables: we had chicken, marinated pork, bacon wrapped sausage, a Dutch version of hot dog, shrimp, and shawarma (this is Arabic actually) onions, pepers, and mushrooms. Then, everyone grills their own food in front of them. Bram was a fantastic cook, and helped both boys. Rita helped me. :) This had the added bonus of introducing kids to cooking on their own. One of the highlight's was Tim's American green bean casserole. It was very similar to what we'd get at home, and it was delicious! We'll definitely be hosting a party like this in the future. Thanks again, Tim, Rita, Bram and Emma for inviting us. Looking forward to our next adventure!