Let’s just keep this simple: I had a family holiday… thing this weekend to celebrate solstice, x-mas, and our 5-year wedding anniversary, all in one shebang. It was absolutely resoundingly wonderfully marvelous, largely due to two factors: The Pelican Inn and their marvelous staff, and my goddamn family.

Plug: if you are ever staying in the Bay Area, and want a wonderful, relaxing, fairly-British-like weekend, the Pelican is the place for you. I [heart] the Inn.

Plug The Second: My family r0x0rz the house. Most times, when you get your family together for a holiday thing, it’s a drag. No one is comfortable, and the kids want to leave before you get there. This year, somehow, everyone wanted to stay, and everyone wanted to do it again. I don’t really understand, but I’m rollin’ with the punches, as they say.

Here’s how it broke down:

Noon: Arrived at the Inn to discover mom was already hanging out in the Snug. Set up stuff. Hit play on the medieval solstice-y music compilation I had assembled not two hours prior.

(The Snug, by the way, is the guests-only lounge that hangs off the pub. As advertised, it is quite snug, with a big (big) fireplace and lots of furniture that will grab ahold of you and not let you go until you’ve given it a good sitting on.)

2:30pm: Everyone checked into their rooms, of which there are seven. We had reserved the whole place last year, and thus, the Snug was our own private lounge-o-rama. Cider, cookies, meats, fish & chips, and other goodies abounded.

2:45pm: Commenced hanging out in the Snug.

6:30pm: Extracted ourselves forcibly from the Snug, barely escaping it’s clutches, in order to sit down to dinner. Ate meat. Everyone had little english cracker things, and toasts were made. By the end of the toasts, I was telling them to stop, stop, just stop, goddamn it, I can’t see with all this liquid you’re causing to pour from my eyes. It was quite disorienting.

8:00pm: Return to Snug. Dessert. Gift exchange. Marginal success, but everyone was so determined to have a good time that it was pretty fun.

9:30pm: My brother and my wife’s sister’s husband begin to discuss politics. Those of you who know either man know that this is a) inevitable, and b) unstoppable. I sneak upstairs for a “nap”.

11:30pm: Awoken by my wife, who has given up on the two combatants, I crawl back downstairs, wish them all good luck and good fortune, and then return to collapse.

Some Ungodly Hour: The two crazy men agree to stop talking long enough for sleep to occur.

The Next Morning: We awake, with a food hangover.

9:00am: Food hangover or no, English breakfast is served in the… uh, well, I suppose you could call it a green house. It’s kindof like a little enclosed patio, but is “indoor” enough to provide shelter from the torrential downpour that was occuring outside. Thus, we gather.

(As an aside, I can of course mention that this downpour added to the ambience in that “ooooh, it really sucks outside, but boy it’s nice in here” kind of way.)

9:15am: Baby niece entertains the whole table by opening her presents, and playing with plastic barnyard animals. God damn that kid is cute.

10:00am: Breakfast thouroughly enjoyed, we retire to the Snug for a fond farewell. I instruct two of my children in the finer points of throwing darts. They are, of course, naturals at this; I’m sure that in twenty years they will both be competing in the international darts championships, against each other, with the victor walking away with $15,000,000. I’m betting on the kid who gets the best grades between now and then to win.

Have I mentioned that my kids read my blog sometimes?

12:00pm: Packed up, went home. Some folks ended up at our house, some didn’t. Some revelry continues to this day.

Fucking awesome. Here’s a shout out to all my family.

…None of which (save my wife & kids) read my blog. Sigh.