Dec 4, 2013

Our First Christmas

12/04/2013 — cori

Do these look like blissful newlyweds or what?!  This was our first Christmas together 18 years ago. Believe it or not, it actually got cold enough in Dallas to wear jackets, gloves and blue furry ear muffs. It was also in the age before digital cameras.  We had to wait a whole week to find out what all those photos looked like stuck inside our camera.  We had no way of knowing if they would turn out blurry, or if we would have weird expressions or enough lighting until we actually had the photo in hand.   But we still managed to have fun and have visual reminders of good times.

This particular evening we were at a very special event.  The ritzy, upscale area in Dallas known as Highland Park Village always had special horse drawn carriage rides during the Christmas season. They were rather expensive, but this was our first Christmas, we both had jobs, we figured we could splurge.

The carriage takes you through the mansion lined streets of old Highland Park where you see the gorgeous houses decorated to the hilt.  It was everything you could think a romantic evening would be. But we didn't end up going by ourselves, we went with my parents.  We thought we'd enjoy the evening together and maybe grab some tea or hot chocolate at La Madeline, our favorite little French cafe, after our special horse drawn carriage ride.

Oh how quickly things deteriorate.

Yes.  We did end up riding one of these beautiful carriages.  We waited in line for what seemed forever (probably only an hour) in the freezing cold (for Dallas, it must have been at least 50 degrees) until it was finally our turn.  Unfortunately, two other people were already in the carriage that was supposed to be ours.  These carts are made to carry two people on either side, facing one another.  How were we all going to fit when there were already two strangers in our cart?

Apparently we didn't feel the need to wait for the next carriage.  Maybe the cold had frozen our sensibilities but we were all getting on that cart do or die.  It was like the last helicopter out of VietNam and there was no way it was leaving without all of us on it.

So let's just throw 'Romantic Evening' out the window.  This is how it all went down:  No one really knows who was directing this show, was it the carriage driver?  was it my parents?  was it the other two people in the cart?  One thing is for sure, Chuck and I were the pawns and just went where we were told.  That meant that I was sitting in the middle, between both of my parents staring at the two people in the seat opposite us while Chuck was sitting on the bench seat next to the driver.  Yep.  I got to look at the back of his head the whole, romantic, horse drawn carriage ride.  Not only did he get to sit up high, he also got the special job of flipping the tape so we could have continuous Christmas music playing.  

Technology plays a big part in this little story, doesn't it?  Again, these were the days before ipods or even cell phones that could play music.  If we wanted music that could travel we either had to bring a tape deck that had enough batteries in it to last or a walkman.  But walkmans only worked with headphones (think ones with spongy ear pieces), so that was out of the question.  So Chuck is freezing his butt off with no blanket to wrap around him on this windy, chilly night as he has to play meticulous attention to the tape deck so he can manually take out the tape and flip it over and press the 'play' button again so we can all enjoy the beautiful Christmas music while sitting snuggly together wrapped in warm blankets enjoying the view from our cozy carriage.

Ahhh....the memories. Life doesn't always work out how you plan....and that's the beauty of it.  Who knew this would be the beginning of a lifetime of Mallott Family Adventures that always ended up other than we planned.  One thing's for sure....we know how to laugh - at ourselves and situations out of our control.  Who wants a bunch of boring old memories where everything goes the way it's supposed to...where's the fun it that?

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