It just hit me that I meant to do a post on Christmas, but it somehow slipped my mind... Better late than never.
This year we went for Christmas in a vacation park in the south of NL with all of my in laws (Parents, sister and brother in law and their kids). We took a very nice house (even though it's only a holiday home I think it was as big as our house...) and whilst Mrs Stace and I finished our working weeks to leave on Christmas Eve the rest went and started the fun.
After dropping the cat off at the cattery and re waxing the table he decided to sprinkle with fear of his travel box we were off. Much less traffic than I was expecting and we got there just in time for the park to be handing out pressies for the kids, and mulled wine for the adults.
Christmas morning we got up when my little niece woke up. (Not with exitement of pressents, that's done on Dec 5th in Holland - Sint Klaas). Got up and went to watch the look on her face when she saw that the 'Kerstman' (Santa Clause) had indeed still been overnight (we stacked the tree with the pressies that Mrs Stace and I had taken with use)
It was fun doing the lying for her. I remember my parents telling me the same lies when there were presents at my grandparents house... Santa knew that we would be there and so dropped all the presents off. And look! Santa even left presents for everyone! Spent the afternoon opening the presents and taking lots of photo's of the kids opening theirs.
We had booked a restaraunt for Christmas Dinner, and that's where it all went wrong. It started when my nephew started to get a temparature and feel bad. He was not quite one at the time the poor thing really couldn't come out. So feeling guilty we left my brother in law looking after him with the prospect of soup and bread for his christmas dinner.
Got the the restaraunt (I'm sure I've spelt that wrong :) ) and we could find nobody to seat us for 10 mins, started to think was this such a good idea... Found out that they were not quite finished from the 3pm sitting... We were eventually seated. Waited for the waiter for drinks. And waited, and waited a bit more. There was only one waiter for the whole room (+/- 100 people or so at a minimum) and it was taking him 5 mins to fetch a couple of bottles of wine.
Then the starter turned up. Before the drinks (how often does that happen?). We had been seated for 1/2 hour and it was 50 mins since we *should* have been seated. The drinks arrived midway through the starter and we started to try and enjoy it the best we could.
Finished the starter, got the soup, and half way through someone came to lay to table with steak knives and cuttelry for the main course. We commented that they must be in a rush!
Finished soup (8:15, been in the place for 1 1/4 hours) and waited, expecting to see the maincourse start to turn up. 20 mins later the table next to ours got their main course.
20 mins after that someone else on the table got a plate. 20 mins after that the last 2 people on the table got their food. In the mean time nobody else in the place had eaten. It's now 9:15 and we were not seeing the funny side any more...
Then a table got their dessert. We were still waiting. At this point the two tables behind us gave up and left. A table of old folks in front of us said they were cancelling their main course as they couldn't eat so late. 9:30. We asked were our food was. It was coming.
Another tables leaves. We asked again. It's coming.
Waiters are walking to the kitchen and coming back empty handed.
The live music (I use the term loosely) started again, we groaned.
At just gone 10, three hours after arriving we decided that we were going to leave. Cue a small argument with my father in law and a waiter that we diffused. He paid for the drinks (more than I would have done for them ruining our christmas dinner) and we left.
Whilst you may think that they could have been busy and that we were not giving them enough time I think I should point something out. It was a set menu, that you had to make a decision about 3 weeks in advance. Being served at two sittings, at a time they decided. And they still couldn't cope!
Walking out over the icy dekking they had in front of the door I found the limit of grip in cowboy boots on ice and hit the deck a little hard. Great. We got back to the house to find that my brother in law had really enjoyed his soup and was nicely full. We started to eat all the snacks in the house as there was nothing else to eat. Staying to look after his child he had actually had the better evening. Poetic hey :)
So that was my Christmas Day... I must say I still emjoyed it - the rest of the day outwieghed the food situation, and once we had had some snacks and a couple of drinks we could see the funny side...