Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Keith's Birthday Advent Calendar

Another year, another birthday and Keith is now 29.  Last year I gave Keith the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar (7958) at the beginning of February. I was thrilled when I saw that Lego released another advent this year (LEGO 2012 Star Wars Advent Calendar 9509) but quickly discovered that the set contained mostly items from movies 1-3. The original trilogy pieces were Hoth troopers... which was both a good thing and a bad thing. Since Keith has been collecting the Hoth series, I decided that it would be fun to create a custom Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar myself (and with a lot of help on Ebay.)

On Ebay I found some specialty figures from older sets.  Thanks to the Thanksgiving Death Star Adventure, Keith already owned minifigures of most of the main characters.  

Jacob got into the advent action by contributing some items from his own collection.  Endor Luke and some troopers and bikes.  

I realized that I had so much stuff that it was hard to divide this into a 20 day advent, but I had a lot of fun trying.  My favorite day was day 19, where there was a Death Star Orb filled with 13 storm troopers.

I hope that I haven't set a precedence that I will make a custom advent every year, especially since we have run out of room to display these so some will need to live in a box in the closet.  

Happy Birthday, Keith! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chile for New Years

This past December, Keith and I went to Chile for New Years to visit our friends Sam and Caroline who have been living there since September 2012.  Alan and Jenn also went to Chile so we had a full PALS reunion in South America!

We spent most of the time in Santiago where Sam and Caroline have been living and working, but we also went down to Valapariso and Viña del Mar for New Years Eve.  We did so much exploring of the city, and had adventures including hiking, running a 5k with some stray dogs and eating LOTS of epanadas.

A view of Santiago
Everyone decided that it was worth bringing running clothes to Santiago, and there was even mention of finding a 5k for us to run together.  Since I was the only Pal to not run with the others, I decided that we should create our own 5k.  Keith and I ordered medals to surprise the pals.  We ran the first part of the 5k together, and then while Jenn and I continued the circuit the others ran a little further before meeting up with us at the end.  This run was a blast already, but it was made better by the fact that some stray dogs decided to adopt us and run the whole 5k!

Viña and Valpo were much colder than Santiago, so we didn't really spend a lot of time on the beach.  There was so much to see and do in these coastal towns that we didn't mind.  The murals in Valapariso were absolutely amazing, and we had a blast walking around the hills.


New Years was perfect.  We cooked dinner and chilled around our apartment before going to the beach for an epic fireworks display.   I am so glad that we got to visit Sam and Caroline while they were living around the world!

Do you want to see more pictures from our trip?  Check out Rebecca's Facebook Album: New Years in Chile.

(Of course, while we were in Chile we HAD to look for yarn shops in Santiago.  We found a whole district and everyone was very accommodating while I shopped.  You can read more about this over at ChemKnits.)