Saturday, January 16, 2010

Christmas in Florence

B & I left Durham in December and made a bee-line for Florence, where we spent a few days eating ourselves silly, baking, cooking, and generally enjoying a little down time on the lake.

Every year, Mom gets a coconut cake for our family and a few years ago we started making the cake and it's turned into a tradition that we love. Last year was the first year I made it with B in the kitchen and it was a disaster. I forgot to put the egg whites in the cake batter, made the lemon curd filling with egg whites, and somehow messed up the icing. We basically made the cake twice.

This year, the cake went off without a hitch, which left us plenty of time to eat, and eat we did. Fried catfish at Newburns, heaping bowls of pasta at Ricatoni's, and pasta night at Turtle Point.

Besides eating, we managed to get our teeth cleaned (thank goodness!) and help Mom pick out the marker for Dad's grave. That was tough, and weird. I'm so glad she didn't have to do it alone!

We showed up at the place and they were perfectly nice, but it's still just weird. I mean, they put the wife's name on the marker too, plus her date of birth. Weird, party of 1. Then we're trying to pick out all these different elements from these tiny brochures, so we finally go walk around the cemetery looking at different examples. Like window shopping, only with a very different slant. Weird, party of 2.

But we got it done and went out for a big lunch to mark the end of that part of our day. I did get to see Dad's grave, which was ok. I didn't know if it would upset me or bug me, but I didn't really feel anything being there. My family's never been big on visiting the grave sites of loved ones, but still, it's Dad. But maybe that's why it's ok-- I know it's not Dad, and that makes me happy.

We spend the rest of our short visit prepping food, seeing movies (Avatar!), and enjoying some low-key time together following the whirlwind days of Monkey Christmas 2009. I can't believe that was three weeks ago!

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