Monday, December 5, 2016

Weekending | Christmas Lights Edition

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, minus the fact that it's 60 degrees and has been raining for three straight days. I may or may not have casually looked into buying a boat today, you know, just in case.

Despite the weather, it DOES feel a bit more like Christmas than it has the past two years when we celebrated during the summer in Australia. I absolutely loved being able to go to the beach in December, and grilling on Christmas day in Melbourne with friends, but it's nice to be back Stateside where at least it's winter.

I ordered some Christmas gifts last week, which is wayyyy ahead of schedule for me. Actually, anything before December 23rd is way ahead of schedule for me. I had this elaborate plan to order Peter's gift off of Amazon in Ali's name because I knew if he was home during the day and a package was delivered with my name on it, he would open it right up. So, as expected, Ali and I were out of the house when the UPS guy dropped it off, and Peter thought nothing of it and set it in Ali's room. The issue was that I had only mentioned my plan to Ali in passing and she didn't remember to pretend the package was for her when she got home from work, so she forgot to play along and I ended up having to tell them both that it was Peter's Christmas gift, and he knew what it was immediately. One of these years I'll pull off a surprise, but this year is not that year!

On Saturday Peter and I headed to Target to get a small artificial tree to put up and were kind of surprised to find the cheapest one was $80. We decided that was a little ridiculous, so we headed over to Walmart and found an acceptable six-foot tree for $20. We put it together and then met Ali over at work and made our way to Mozart's Coffee Roasters for their annual light show, which is supposed to be a pretty big deal. Unfortunately, it was raining so only parts of the show were able to run, but it was actually kind of fun that way and we enjoyed our first Mozart's experience! Note: I am well aware that the following pictures are horrible quality, but turns out it's not easy to take pictures of Christmas lights, especially with my nice ol' iPhone 5...

So ya, as you can see, Mozart's goes all out. We might even head back in the next couple weeks when it's not raining to see the whole show.

Afterward, we went home to decorate the tree, of which I took zero photos other than this one from Snapchat. Please note and praise my caption for its trendiness.

Sunday was rainy again and we only really left the house to get ramen for lunch at a really popular place near our apartment. Sometime during the afternoon I stumbled across a list of Austin neighborhoods with the best Christmas displays. After dinner, we decided to head up to the northern suburbs of Cedar Park and Round Rock, where the bulk of the houses on the list were located. The first culdesac was one huge display with every house absolutely covered in lights. There was even a big tent-like structure in the middle with a place for donations.
We left wondering what would happen if one of the neighbors moved and the next owner wasn't into participating. Maybe they vet potential buyers?

The second house was just one family, complete with their own radio station to go along with the lights and give instructions for viewing in the least annoying way for the benefit of their neighbors. Nice gesture, but I can't help but think it would be a total pain to live next door to these people! Maybe I'm just a scrooge, but having my neighborhood be a sort of tourist destination might not be all that great?

We tried to swing by one final house with a display titled "Elfvis" but they had turned off their lights early due to the rain. We might go out another night this week and see it if it ever stops raining!

In an effort to continue the Christmas-themed weekend we just had, I made this peppermint bark this afternoon and am currently waiting for it to harden in the fridge. We have a pretty normal week planned, with a visit to Waco on Friday for Christmas at the Silos, which should be tons of fun.

Have a good week!


  1. One thing that we haven't done this Christmas so far is gone to look at all the Christmas lights! I'm thinking that we might need to do that sometime soon! My husband went to high school in Cedar Park actually and one of the things that I loved about that area was the fact that everybody always went out and decorated the trees off of one of the Ranch Roads out that way. It was always so festive, even if the city complained about it. And I think that we both had the same idea for food this rainy weekend- lots of noodle soup!

    1. I had never been up to Cedar Park- it's so cute and they have so many festive neighborhoods! Definitely worth the trip up there. I'm hoping the rain/cold/gloom ends soon, but in the meantime I'll continue eating soup :).



Welcome! I started Laura and Peter Down Under in July 2014 when my husband and I moved from the States to Melbourne, Australia for his job. I blog about expat life, our travels, food, and whatever else comes to mind. Follow along on our adventures Down Under!



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