Wanderlusting: The Annual Marik Christmas Party

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

My last major trip of the year is going to Vermont for my friends’ annual Christmas party which is held on the second weekend of December. While I always fly back to New Hampshire for Christmas, it really does NOT count as it is home.

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Friday

I was still feeling crappy and had debated cancelling, but this is me we are talking about and when have I ever cancelled something? I got up way to early to board the first train out to Albany at Penn. The day had actually started well as my taxi driver was insanely nice and got me there with plenty of time to spare. Thankfully that meant I could stop at Starbucks before I lined up to board the train.

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It was a quick ride, and in no time I was reunited with my Gemini Twin. After a happy reunion, we drove the remainder to Burlington where we reunited with Krystal and dropped our things at her home, then we hit Church Street.

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Church Street is the hustle and bustle of Burlington. It has countless shops, both locally and corporately owned, as well as scrumptious restaurants.

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We grabbed grub at New Moon Cafe. It not only has amazing food, but I love the vibes. It is hipster meets chic, meets holistic, and as such it is always filled with people, not just eating, but hanging out with their laptops.

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I got a maple latte (which was decent, but frontside still wins!) and a turkey avocado club sandwich on gluten free bread. As always it was delicious!

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After our bellies were satisfied, we shopped until we dropped, perusing the stores and going into some of my favorites, such as the Sweet Lady Jane, and Ecco.

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Before we headed to the Skinny Pancake for dinner, we stopped at My Little Cupcake for pre-dinner dessert.

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They have the best cupcakes and even have gluten free ones.

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Then it was time for the moment I had been waiting for. Dinner at the Skinny Pancake! You have read about my obsession with this place, and while I have found some amazing crepe places in the city, the Skinny Pancake still has a place in my heart.

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It was absolute heaven and afterwards we headed home, to hang out watch some Christmas Vacation, and get ready for the next day.

Saturday

We grabbed breakfast at, you guessed it, the Skinny Pancake. (I needed to get my fix!) We ran a couple errands, and finished getting glammed up for the party before heading over to Mike and Arik’s.

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I seriously flipping love these people. There are always so much laughter that I don’t need to do an ab workout for days!

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Mike and Arik always put on a gourmet dinner that would make the likes of Martha Stewart jealous! Afterwards, we play games, have our yankee swap, before we bust out the Cards Against Humanity and the several spin-off editions.

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This year was special because, we also hosted a baby shower for our friend who is due in January. And guys she is the cutest pregnant woman out there!

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While we usually go to a Christmas concert or a drag show, this year we ended up going to see Bad Mom’s Christmas which I had already seen, loved it and would happily see it a dozen more times! It was the perfect way to end such an amazing day!

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Sunday

I woke up to a beautiful couple of inches of snow. While it didn’t make up for missing New York’s first snow fall, it was enough to make me happy!

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We met Michael and Arik at The Skinny Pancake for one last reunion, (and of course to feed my addiction!) before Amanda and I headed back to Albany. Despite the snow, the drive was easy and we got back to New York with plenty of time to hang out at Starbucks before I caught my train back to Manhattan.

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It is always sad to leave this amazing group of friends. They are some of the most genuine, inspiring, and care-free people I know. There is never any judgement, and the amount of support they offer literally means the world. They always make my heart full and seeing them around this time of year really does channel the spirt and joy of the season.

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Are you going to any holiday parties this year? Do you celebrate with friends?