We're just back from the annual trek to Minnesota to spend Christmas with my family. And trek it was indeed - due to freezing rain, the drive up took us 14 hours instead of the usual 10, which put us in at 5 am on Christmas Eve morning. Thankfully, it was all uphill from there! We had a great visit with the family.

A highlight of our stay was a trip to Saudi Arabia. No, we did not actually fly to the Middle East. But we look like we could have, don't we?

My sister had the idea that we would have a "staycation" to Saudia Arabia, which meant watching the movie Lawrence of Arabia and cooking lots of delicious Saudi Arabian food. It sounded like a great idea to us (especially the part about food)!

Our meal included beef and herb khoresh and stuffed eggplant,

oranges in syrup,

and omm ali (a dessert made with filo dough, nuts and raisins),

all of which were recipes from an Around the World in 450 Recipes cookbook, which found its way from the Border's discount rack to my sister's Christmas gift (of course, I couldn't buy it for her without buying one for myself).

And yes, my mother insisted on the Arabic garb. My dad's ensemble was his Halloween costume from the 80s. (It always feels nice to get multiple uses out of these items; did you see my Halloween costume from this year?)

If you're wondering, Lawrence of Arabia was 4 hours of long, desolate treks through the desert sand. Fairly informative, though.

Another highlight of the vacation was our tour of the Summit Brewery in Saint Paul, which I'll let Alex describe.

We also had a great time relaxing with family, eating, checking out this French cafe (very cute and indie for being in Eagan), enjoying my sister's first time home since she left for her internship in Munich (click here for her intensely amusing blog), and being entertained by Luna. She was quite a hit with the fam!
Hope you had a great holiday as well!


Erin said... @ January 5, 2009 at 5:49 PM

oh my gosh, your "trip" to Saudi Arabia looks awesome!! Beautiful photos!

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