P's family lives in Strasbourg, so it was only fitting that we spend our first French Christmas there. I've been here many times before, usually around Christmas or in the middle of the summer. P had to work on Christmas Eve so I headed Strasbourg a day early to spend time with his family. I about missed my train, it was quite the adventure I tell you. More adventure than I care to have at 5:45 am. I was happy to arrive early and meet my little niece Grace.
Not only is Strasbourg one of the two European capitals, it's widely famous in France for being the capital of Christmas and for their Marché de Noël [Christmas Markets]. I really can't even explain how mesmerizing and fun these markets are. There are around 17 throughout the city all pretty much offering the same things. There you'll find lots of vin chaud [hot wine], breztel, ornaments, chocolates, beignets, wooden toys, christmas decor galore, cakes... goodness the list goes on and on. It's a Christmasphile's dream. I can't wait to take my parents one day since my dad LOVES Christmas :)
In the town center plaza is where you'll find the city's Christmas tree (see above). This year it was assembled incorrectly and leans to the left. It was given the nickname "leaning tree of pisa".
Pierre's dad makes vin chaud every year and it's SO good. Below are some of the basic ingredients: Cinnamon, anise, ginger, pure cane sugar, orange and of course wine. There are other ingredients not shown, they're family secrets ;)
Charlotte, Micka & I hit up the Museum of Modern Art on Christmas Eve. Got to see some Rodin, Picasso and other treasures.
Cute tiny finger food pasteries
We started off Christmas Eve dinner with an aperitif. I always love these because you get your snack on (and a lil buzz) before dinner time. Aperitif was light because our meal was heavy. Aperitif consisted of the following: Christmas Picon cinnamon beer, smoked salmon, boudin blanche and small flavored cheeses. Dinner: yummy tasty delicious foie gras [duck liver] on spiced bread, seafood & avocado salad, Chapon stuffed with farce and sweet potato fries. Lawd!! For those of you who don't know Chapon is a rooster and farce is stuffing. Our farce was a mixture of bread, foie gras, veal, potato etc. SO good. For dessert we had a lovely Buche de Noel made by P!
On Christmas day I was able to Facetime with my family in the States who were in Chicago spending the holiday with my brother. They got to meet Pierre's family for the first time! We're so lucky to live in a day and age where we can see our loved ones on Christmas even though an ocean separates us! love love love.
Geez, Christmas was just so great this year. I'm so thankful to P's family, who made me feel like apart of the family. I know my parents are thankful for that as well. First Christmas in France = a success!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas as well!