Chippewa E Free was doing their annual Christmas performance this past weekend so we headed up there on Friday after work. On the way, we hit a bit of a white out on the highway-it was so beautiful but kind of dangerous with the nutty Pittsburgh drivers. After swinging by McDonald's for a quick, and I mean quick dinner,(10 minutes to get in, use the bathroom, eat, and get out to make it the E Free on time) we safely arrived at our destination. Once again E Free did a fantastic job. As much as I enjoy our church we're currently attending, it was good to be "home" at E Free. Peter and I both really miss it, and if it wasn't so far away from our current house, we'd still be attending. Who knows-maybe we'll be back someday? In the meantime, we stop by occassionally, but especially for the Christmas performance. The drama, singing, and message were all fantastic and a great way to refocus on the true meaning of Christmas. On our way home, I commented on how fabulous it was and that it's a free Christmas performance too. It's probably the best tradition Peter and I have right now :)
Saturday morning was another trip to Goodyear. We've been there several times in the past month since having new tires put on the car. Something's not right so they changed out two of the tires, which has helped but still might need another trip for the other 2 to be switched out. We don't know if the tires are bad or what, but we're trying to get everything in order before our Christmas travels next week. We killed an hour or so at the mall while waiting and I got a few extra presents at JCP. Roughly $150 of merchandise for $18! Thanks to coupons, JCP cash and extra special deals I felt like I made out like a bandit :P
After our morning excursion, we came home to shower up and head into the city for our annual Christmas theater date. Last year we saw "A Christmas Carol" so this year we opted for "The Nutcracker".
It was quite sunny on Saturday and super bright since there were still 3 inches of snow on the ground. So we both sported our sunglasses on our way out the door.
We had a $50 gift certificate to Jamie's Restaurant in Mt. Lebanon (I won it on the radio in the summer and was saving it) so stopped there for dinner. We were told they recently remodeled and it was beautiful inside. The had an area as "the before" and it was nice, but the remodel made it very elegant and classy.
The food was fabulous! Even with ordering a glass of wine, salad, an appetizer and the two most expensive entrees on the menu, our total was only $80 with tip. Minus $50 certificate = we only had to pay $30. It wasn't crowded at all since we arrived early as to allow plenty of time to get into the city and to the theater by 7 for the show. We were seated in a corner booth near the Christmas tree which just made for a great little dinner. Unfortunately it was too dim in the restaurant to get any nice pictures of the surroundings. The flash made everything in the background too dark to see and without the flash it was too blurry. Maybe one day I'll invest in a Nikon or Canon, but for now these blurry ones give you an idea.
Here's a picture of me, enjoying a quiet dinner out with my hubby.
We shared a "Wild Mushroom Flat Bread" appetizer. It was made with Shiitake, Cremini and Oyster Mushrooms on Flat Bread with Plum Tomatoes, Basil Pesto & Goat Cheese. Delicious!
I had the Crab Cakes entree (Twin Jumbo Lump Cakes, Spicy Remoulade, Confetti Rice and Greens Beans) with a house salad. Even more delicious!
Peter ordered the Petite Filet with Crab Stuffing (Grilled Beef Tenderloin Bordelaise and Jumbo Lump Crab Stuffing, Potato Pancakes and Red Pepper Asparagus) which he said was fantastic.
We don't dine out like this often so it was a treat for us. As yummy as it was, we'd never want to do it everyday since I love being in the kitchen and we prefer it to be the exception rather than the rule, if you know what I mean :P
Even better than the food was my amazing handsome date:
We took a picture outside the restaurant, but you can't see the sign or the wreath-only the shiny bow. Oh well-it's still a nice picture of the two of us :)
After a leisurely dinner, we headed to the Benedum for the show! As is evidenced by the picture, it was quite cold out and our faces were nearly frozen from smiling haha.
I love the Benedum. It's such a beautiful theather. Though these are dark/blurry pictures, it again gives you an idea.
(Love this ceiling!)
Here's the big nutcracker clock:
And the opening scene:
We had great seats-just where we like to sit! We ordered tickets back in September since I knew where we wanted to sit. Last year we got the first row in the first tier but it was kind of far to the side by the time we ordered them (still able to see the whole stage) but we wanted more in the middle. From now on, we'll pick the seats we had this time (if we can). First row in the first tier and as much to the center as you can get. The first tier is great because floor seats aren't elevated enough to see past people's heads and they're more expensive. The first row means we can hang our coats over the railing instead of checking them and we get a little extra leg room :)
The show was great! The music, dancing and everything just flowed together so well. It was so much fun to watch the dancers glide and leap across the stage effortlessly. And the little dancers dressed as bees and children were adorable! I just love kiddos. :)
Here's me and the hubby getting ready to enjoy the show!
Sunday after church, my parents drove over from Hollidaysburg with Ryan and Bryson. We enjoyed lunch at Carino's (minus the somewhat rude service) and then split up. My dad, Peter and Bryson headed back to the house and my mom, Ryan and I went to Burlington Coat Factory. I dropped off a few coats for the "One Warm Coat" organization. I hadn't worn them in a few years and thought they'd do a lot better keeping someone warm than taking up space in our closet. And as a bonus, I got a 10% off coupon to use for my purchases. I picked up some last minute gifts for nephews, etc. and scored some cute (and cheap!) fashion jewelry. 4 necklaces and a pair of earrings for $15.
After shopping, we joined the others at the house and had some hot chocolate before sending everyone on their way home. It was super cute to watch Bryson, who's 5 now, enjoy his very first cup of hot chocolate. What a mess-but super cute!
The hubby and I rounded out the evening watching Christmas movies on Lifetime and enjoying the lights on our tree while snuggling on the couch.