Friday, December 31, 2010

White Christmas in a winter wonderland

Christmas Day 
Albert Lea, Minn.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.
~ From "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin

Like the Irving Berlin classic song "White Christmas," there's something special about being able to spend Christmas Day in a winter climate, enjoying the snow on the ground and the nip in the air.  It was a moment in time captured during a nice walk to a nearby park following a hearty holiday breakfast.

A walk in Lakeview Park / Christmas Day scene in Albert Lea, Minn.

Last week, my wife and I spent our first Christmas Day in Minnesota ~ our home state ~ since 2000.  This year, our schedules permitted holiday travel, and we took full advantage of the opportunity.

Winter on Fountain Lake / One of Minnesota's 10,000 frozen lakes.

It was a very enjoyable wintry experience for us in Albert Lea, Minn., about 90 miles south of the Twin Cities.  We came prepared for winter and properly attired for our cold weather escapade, complete with our Lands End winter-weight parkas and boots, cable-knit scarves and colorful knitted mittens we bought years ago at a market bazaar during a visit to Estonia.

A winter wonderland / Fresh snow glistens on the trees.

And, of course, there was the warmth of Christmas Day spent indoors with family, opening presents, sharing good conversation around the fireplace, and enjoying delicious food. There was plenty of delicious food.

A white Christmas in a winter wonderland ... priceless.

Safe travels.  Happy 2011.  Cheers!

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