Around 5, we started to get hungry and my family (Mom, Dad, and the twins) had to get ready to leave for their Christmas Cantata. We hadn't had lunch, so Anissa and I decided to go get the annual Christmas Eve Mediterranean Dinner early (we usually go around 7 or 8). One thing: when we arrived at Casbah, no lights were on and the chairs were stacked up on the patio. Both of us totally horrified, Anissa called and got someone on the fifth ring. Now Casbah is usually open on Christmas Eve until 11:00 PM. Not so this year, we were told; they had close at 5:00 this year with no warning on the door or anything. Disgruntled but understanding, we wished them a Merry Merry and called our backup in emergencies. But Hala Cafe was closed as well, no one picking the phone up at all. Getting desperate, I think we must have tried every restaurant in our area. We even headed thirty miles out of our way into Downtown and Riverside. Nothing. No European Street. No The Loop Pizza Grill. Not even Tijuana Flats Burrito Company. And at 6:00 PM. It was a ghost town here in the largest city in the US. Insane.
So, we crossed back over to our side of town and checked just inside the city limits of Orange Park (which is in another county, but just another suburb of Jax). Low and behold, there was a single Ruby Tuesday open. And seeing as how I hadn't been there in years, it seemed like a wonderful chance to eat something different. The food was excellent and the servers were amazing despite the fact that we unknowingly arrived an hour and a half before they closed themselves (at 8). I felt a little like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, introduced to Chinese Turkey. *LOL* You'd think, as exhausted as I should have been, I'd go to bed early. You would be wrong. I was up watching Nutcracker: The Motion Picture at 3 AM.
And was up and dressed by 11 AM, like an idiot. Santa was good to me, as well, despite the financial issues that this year has brought to the Joos clan. Anissa got me a new MP3 player (the one from last year has disappeared again and stayed AWOL for three months. Watching for my post about finding it in the next few months *LOL*), Britney's Circus CD (*high-fives autumnrae * I'm currently in love with Out from Under), Smallville Season Three!!!, and a gorgeous jewelry armoire that I've been wanting for practically forever). Not to mention stocking stuffers. There was a tea set from my MIL and a box of Starbucks Eggnog Truffles (the eggy taste of the nog isn't that noticable). Then off to the parents' house. I'm amazed at the stash waiting for me there. From April (the younger twin) I got a $15 gift card for Starbucks and a beautiful video she made for me personally of images from my family and events. Too beautiful and it make me cry. *snuggles her Boo* And Mom and Dad totally outdid themselves: Smallville Season Three (who cares?! If one messes up on me, I have a backup! ;)), Smallville Season Five, Supergirl, and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. A $25 giftcard to Barnes and Noble for me to get either Carrie or Bag of Bones in hardcover (my favorite Stephen King novels, neither of which I have in anything but paperback), and a $20 giftcard to AMC. And more stocking stuffers. :D
After an awesome meal of lasagna, corn, and garlic bread (Mom got sick of turkey at Christmas a few years ago and I won't eat steak and potatoes, so this is the compromise), Anissa and I headed off to the theater like the lemmings we are to see The Day The Earth Stood Still (I'm going to try for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button next weekend). I loved it, especially the message they were trying to get across, and I got something I wanted for years in that film. She may not have been playing Lois Lane or been a reporter in it, but I finally got to see Jennifer Connelley play a character that was helping an alien save the world! FTW!!! She was robbed. Totally should have gotten to play Lois. Anyway, awesome film, in my humble opinion.
Then we came home and wrote almost 1,000 words on the next chapter of Heirs.</a>
In conclusion: No Margot movies this year, but most satisfying. And I'll be buying Quackser Fortune and Sisters on DVD for myself soon, so I'll live. I'm thrilled and blessed to have gotten such awesome presents!