We had dinner and drinks with the parents of one of Finn’s friends on Friday night, leaving the girls with her older sister. Taking full advantage of the situation, we adults hit a restaurant downtown and ordered cocktails and generally had a fantastic time having adult conversations. Among many different topics, we talked about firewood, and they mentioned they had five chainsaws, and did I want one of them? Sure, I said, I’ll take a chainsaw if it allows me to chop up the four huge rounds we’ve had sitting in front of our woodpile since the trees came down. We stopped in for a last cocktail and R. found my present in his basement. It’s a Makita DCS 430, manufactured somewhere around 10 years ago, with a 16″ bar. It’s in excellent shape, but needs a fuel system flush and some new chain oil. I’ll look it over sometime in the next couple of weekends and see if I can get it running, and maybe I can clean up the backyard over the Christmas break if I’m lucky.
Saturday Finn and I were up and out early to head over the bridge for a Dickens of a Christmas, a holiday-flavored festival in Chestertown. We met up with Karean and Zachary at Brian’s house and the six of us rode over the bridge into town to see the sights. The festival isn’t as sprawling as the Harry Potter event they put on in the fall, but it’s still a blast, and everyone there commits to the era-specific details: the number of people walking around in tophats and bustle dresses and greatcoats almost outnumbered us normal people. We wandered the streets, playing games, snacking on food, and looking at the exhibits. As always it was great to hang out with friends, and we stayed out as long as we could in the cold before packing it in.
Sunday I slept in to recover from the previous two days while the girls went to church. In the afternoon we drove in to Baltimore to fulfill our advent calendar activity: ice skating in the Inner Harbor. There’s a wonderful rink built right between the two buildings that’s perfect for an afternoon skate, and it was just warm enough to be comfortable (well, that and the bike tights I was wearing under my jeans). Finn and I did a bunch of laps around the rink and I tried to get her to learn the proper way to skate. When we’d had our fill of that, we exchanged our skates and walked down the pier to the Christmas Village, a German-themed market set up right on the water. We’d been told the latkes were good, and that there was a big tent where we could get warm, and there were, and it was, and it was good. We strolled through the market and got some excellent German beer and a bunch of latkes and listened to a live band playing. By 4:30 we were ready to call it a day, and headed back home to get warm in our own house.