January 3, 2014

Holiday Team, Assemble!

The most awesome traditions come about by accident. This is the third successive holiday season in a row we have spent with our great friend, Jes. 

We found beer for Jes!
But our tradition is very progressive - because it's never the same holiday.
2011: Thanksgiving in Paris
2013: New Year's in Paris
2014: TBD, but definitely none of the above, and not in Paris!

This year we had about a week and a half together to celebrate a barely belated Christmas, and ring in the new year with our best laughter. We spent the in-between days on a road trip to the castles of the Loire Valley, and enjoying the mild winter weather in the streets of Paris.

I love when my friends become friends...
We were also joined by other Americans for our New Year's Eve soirée; my dear volleyball friend, Tanya (I have a lot of friends named Tanya!), her current teammate from Germany, Molly, and Molly's brother on holiday from the States, Trevor! Our out-of-town neighbors also graciously allowed us to host our friends in their "belle maison," making for the greatest night possible.

This was just the appetizer table.
Equally managing a party of six between three people is: perfect. Marc, Jes, and I were super on top of party food prep way ahead of time, and we cleaned as we went. Our menu of appetizers (see photo), lasagna and avocado/mango/spinach salad, and crêpes for dessert definitely fit the bill of a complete NYE dinner! When the party ended at 3am, we had minimal final clean-up. Seriously my new favorite way to throw a party!

Just the beginning of our crazy night of laughter!
We borrowed a game we learned at our first French NYE party called "Time's Up!" It's basically a mash-up of a bunch of games we've all grown up playing, but I tell you what - it's a whole lot easier to play in English.

To set up, every person writes down 8-10 famous people on slips of paper and tosses them into a bowl/hat. It is a game of three rounds: Round 1, Taboo without "Taboo words" (just explain whatever is on your card); Round 2, describe your card with only one word; and Round 3, Charades (if I have to explain this, you should go re-live your life).

What makes this game so much fun is that you use the same cards every round, creating unbeatable inside jokes from the cues we choose to give each other. It's definitely one of those "you had to be there" games, so I won't bother you with the particulars, and the six of us will find our jokes funny forever. I will say that it was hysterical to play around our age gaps (32, 30, 27, 22, 22, and 20!). Our definitions of "famous" all learned something (or someone) new!

Enjoy our final moments of 2013 with us, with our multilingual countdown!

Languages included: English, Spanish, French, German, Hebrew, and Chinese! We Americans are working hard to move up in the world of cultural literacy.