This is Teddy Bear Alley at the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street.  We would like to take this moment to thank all of you for the many kind comments we have received over the years regarding this ongoing tale of our journey to nowhere.   We also wish one and all the happiest of Christmas seasons and a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year.   Merry Christmas!  Love, Chuck and Kalyn

And, of course, we can always count on the brother-in-law to ship us a case of “Glady’s Big Dog Red” as the perfect pairing for such a treat . . .

After packing up our wine and what remained of our Christmas cookies, we departed Alabama and settled ourselves in New Orleans’ French Quarter for the winter.   The "Quatah” as we locals call it, has a personality that can be found in no other place . . .

New Orleans is known for not only this abundance of inexpensive entertainment and fine restaurants but also the grandeur of the Christmas decorations adorning the lobbies of the local hotels . . .

Christmas is always a very special time of the year regardless of where we happen to find ourselves. This year we began the season in lower Alabama where the seasonal lighting of the trees along the main street in Fairhope is always a very poignant reminder of what life in small town America once was and still remains in many such places . . .

The scruffy jazz musicians can be heard on nearly any street corner and a variety of unique artists provide curbside entertainment for a few coins or, most preferably, some folding money . . .

   Christmas 2009                                                    December 23, 2009

These are white and dark chocolate macadamia nut cranberry cookies which remain a novelty reserved for this time of year alone because they are just entirely too rich to have laying about throughout the year.  In fact, simply baking 6 dozen cookies requires the creation of enough batter for twice that amount to compensate for the pilferage which occurs before they ever get to the oven . . .

Just down the road from Fairhope in Point Clear, is the Grand Hotel and their annual creation of a gingerbread village which replicates the Grand Hotel complex . . .

Of course, just being in a room with the sweet smell of this much gingerbread is enough to put just about anyone in the mood to bake up a few Christmas cookies . . .