Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Best Way to Spread Holiday Cheer

With the holiday season upon us, LDPR staffers took the time to reflect and share their favorite holiday memories, yearly traditions, and any holiday disasters! With a love for travel, it’s no wonder our staffers have spent the holidays around the globe. From family feasts to excitement abroad, LDPR knows how to celebrate the season!

Laura Davidson and her family chop down the perfect pine
The Davidson-Bill holiday tradition is to go to the Maple Grove Tree Farm in Easton, CT and chop down our own Christmas tree!  Tobey and Jake get to use the saw, Andy shows his machismo by carrying the tree to the car, and I just look forward to apple cider donuts and hot chocolate.  It’s a great family outing”

Michaelann Millrood celebrates a “Joyeux Noël” in Annecy
“For four years each winter I spent the holidays in Annecy, France with my boyfriend's family. The traditional Savoyard Christmas dinner, snowboarding in the French Alps, and shopping the holiday markets along the canals (Annecy is the "Venice of France"), will always be my fondest memories of France.”

Tricia Lanigan recounts snowy slopeside holidays
“I’ve spent almost every holiday skiing with my extended family in Sunday River, Maine or Park City, Utah. While the skiing out West is always beautiful, the travel can be a bit of a nightmare. One year we made the mistake of flying into Salt Lake City on Christmas Day with twelve people, twelve ski bags, boots, and the token rental car disaster (my sister forgetting her wallet on the plane did not help either). But on the mountain the next day all is forgotten – there’s nothing a sunny, brisk ski day and steaming hot cups of cocoa can’t fix!”

Dana Curatolo digs into the "Feast of the Seven Fishes"
“My family and I spend Christmas Eve every year cozied up around my parent's dining room table, just a few feet away from our Christmas tree. We've participated in the "Feast of the Seven Fishes" for as long as I can remember and it's certainly become my favorite holiday tradition. We make homemade pasta with stewed tomatoes, sherry and calamari (squid), baked filet of fish (typically tilapia or flounder), lobster tails, mussels and clams with white wine and butter, and fried butterflied shrimp. Before we dive into all that seafood, and we ALWAYS, always crack open a bottle of Asti Spumanti sparkling wine before dinner. “

(Wouldn’t you love to spend Christmas Eve at the Curatolo’s house?)

Sara Geen Hill celebrates the holiday Scottish style
“Since meeting my husband Dan - a Scotsman - we've begun the tradition of heading to the UK each holiday season to visit his family. During our first trip three years ago, we headed to Edinburgh for my first authentic fish & chips experience, and the Hogmanay street party - what a fun celebration! Then over to London for sightseeing. This year's visit will surely be more low-key when we bring our baby boy for his first visit.”

Chandra Dillon on safari!
“My family trip to South Africa is my favorite holiday travel story--three weeks of visiting family, traveling the country and of course, going on safari.”

Kelly Brewer gets festive with family and football!
“Christmas Eve is all about the Seven Fishes with my fiance and his family (I'm with you, Dana!) In between courses of pasta and every other seafood imaginable, we will have the Giants/Jets football game on. We are divided between support for the two teams, but I'll be rooting for Big Blue! Christmas Day we spend with my family and despite being adults, my parents love to make my sisters and me feel like kids again. Cookies are still put out for Santa - that's right, I said it!"
Meredith Phares’ holiday (disaster) in the English countryside
“The Phares family has taken some interesting vacations over the years, but the holiday trip that really takes the cake was definitely when we flew to the south of England for a "genealogical adventure" to trace the roots of my grandmother's family. Somehow, the region experienced its first hurricane in seven years during our travels and we had to cover ourselves from golf-ball-sized hail as we explored the English countryside. I'm grateful to this day that my brother was a college lacrosse player, as we got stuck in a historic stone church with only candlelight - until he powered the heavy doors open after 30 minutes of panic. Happy holidays, indeed!”

Stephanie Preston trims the tree with care
“My favorite holiday tradition is hanging ornaments on the tree with my mom. My favorite is a beautiful, hand-painted ball that I brought back from Germany. That or the little robin perched on a clothespin that I made in kindergarten (how the Elmer's glue has held up for 20 years is beyond me)! “

Seasons Greetings to all and best wishes for wherever your travel takes you in the New Year!

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