Waiting for Christmas for 365 days… and it’s gone. How are you, my friends? Food-pregnant like me? I had a pretty tough time preparing our first Christmas all alone. I hardly slept 3 days in a row – my bigos was too salty, my jelly didn’t want to become jelly, whole house was a mess and Biscuit decided to meow for a whole day while cooking. The only thing that kept me alive was last Saturday we went to a Christmas party my husband’s work organized.
Sorry for poor photos quality, but we still didn’t get pictures made by hired photographer.
Probably the most fancy meeting I’ve been invited to – I even told my husband we should re-do our wedding there. Where’s THERE? The Blackhawk Automotive Museum in Danville, California. The museum houses about ninety classic cars. One of the museum’s most unusual features is a 1924 Hispano-Suiza H6C with a body paneled with tulipwood. Over the years, the museum has also housed a 1962 John F. Kennedy limousine and a Chinese Hongqi, the first Chinese made automobile to be imported to the United States.
The first floor usually features classic European sports and touring cars such as those from Ferrari or Aston Martin, but has also featured conventional American classic cars such as the Chevrolet Bel Air and classic race cars like the Ford GT40 or cars from the IMSA GT Championship. The second floor mezzanine provides a lounge area and a panoramic overlook of the lower gallery. The third floor features priceless antique automobiles and unique automobiles from the beginning of the motoring age up to the 1960s. The aforementioned Hispano Suiza is on this floor. Two automobiles are located in the lobby on either side of the reception desk – both of them red, I laugh to my husband it’s perfect color to celebrate Taiwanese company! The vehicles are often rotated to make the showcase more attractive and to reflect new exhibitions, but I’m pretty sure you can always find something that you will like.
If you want to visit The Blackhawk Museum admission fees are: 10 USD for adults, 7USD for students with valid ID, same for seniors (65 years & older). Enterance is free
for children under 6 (but they must be accompanied by a paid adult) and for active military personnel.
If any of the photos make you feel like visiting this place or even making a wedding party there check out their website!
Coming back to the awesome party we had… Few weeks ago my husband got an invitation for two to his company’s annual Christmas Party. First we thought it’s typical ‘Ugly sweater party‘ but later we’ve been told it will be a fancy, casino-themed party. It lasted almost 6 hours which included gambling (not serious one, of course!), good food, music and games.
We dressed up nicely and headed to Danville. I even sacrificed my feet and had heels. You cannot imagine how hard it is to find a good looking heels that won’t make you taller than your Asian partner. Thank you Husband for your cooperation during shopping.
But hey, I must say I haven’t seen Sing looking that good since our wedding. My mom later told me we ‘looked like million dollar‘ – good no one else thought the same way, cause one of us might get kidnapped (and sadly, it could not be me).
By the time we got there people were already holding their drinks and eating appetizers served by waiters walking around. I’m a very simple girl so it was a big thing for me. We got some gift cards, game-coupons for lottery that the company made, we also got the coupons we were suppose to exchange for chips to play blackjack or roulette. Blackjack tables were full, I felt sorry for a man waiting for anyone to join the roulette. Personally I didn’t play at all because… I don’t know how to play. I know how to play Mahjong, Big2, shanghainese-style Chinese Poker, Texas Hold’em but this one, na’ah.
Later we went to The Automative Dining Room, where CEOs of the company were giving awards for working 5, 10, 15 and even 20 years. They also showed a Christmas Video they made which include most of employees, even my husband. I love him but sharing a screen time with a cat dressed up as Santa and playing keyboard… sorry Honey, you lose. It gave me a lot of laugh and a man hosting the dinner was just hilarious.
After the show Blackhawk’s catering service made a great job and served delicious meals. You have my word, you can trust them!
We started with a baby spinach salad with apple, goat cheese, sugared curried pecans, maple cider vinaigrette along with sourdough bread and sweet butter.
Main meal was a choice of a vegetarian dish no one around ordered, so I have no idea what was prepared or duet of chicken breast and pecan crusted salmon in honey dried fruit cider cream sauce or duet of petite filet and lobster tail, marchand d’Vin and drawn butter, both served with risotto style potatoes and mix of steamed, winter vegetables. I don’t know why I cannot find my order (chicken and salmon), but I got the rest of the photos. I must say that from all the places we’ve been to this lobster’s tail was the biggest my husband ate in any of the restaurants. Should we be happy or worried? 😉
Dessert was served as a buffet so I had a chance to try all of the offered desserts: chocolate velvet cake, creme brulee filled profiterole dipped in white chocolate with caramel drizzle and lemon tartlets with berries. All served with Peerless European Royale Coffee and hot tea. I think I don’t need to mention I loved them all.
At the end of the evening company got even more generous – first with a lottery which let every invited employee to win from 25 to 125 USD gift cards. Sing got 100 USD (two 50USD worth) giftcards to Shell it’s almost a month of gas for us. Woohoo!
They also organized some group games including how loud can a table scream… The very next day I literally couldn’t say a word. When Sing told me he’s OK after I got my voice back I made a very serious face and said ‘And this is why we didn’t win‘. The table which won got 5,000 USD in cash to share. It’s 500 per person!
To the other game you had to be chosed by your coupon number – you can take 100 or try some limbo and win 50USD more everytime the stick went lower! I was impressed because there were people I wouldn’t expect how flexible they were.
Another game, also chosen by number was to guess which manager employees were pretending to be. If you gave up you get 100 USD if you guessed you went back home with 1,000 USD in cash. Some of them were difficult, but people around were so nice to each other they just pointed the right person!
We ended up this wonderful evening with a main lottery – you could win iPad mini, iPad Air and 60″ Samsung Smart TV. Of course we didn’t win anything, but Sing’s co-worker from one group won iPad Air so that made us smile.
By the end of the day I felt sorry only for two people: girl who misheard the number and thought she won iPad Air and… a DJ. Why? Imagine Taiwanese company, where most employees are Chinese, not even American Born Chinese but people from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan and non of them danced. Literally no one. My husband told me ‘And you were wondering how Chinese’s parties and clubs look like – here you have‘. Work hard, play hard!
I felt quite upset that this awesome party ended. Food was great, atmosphere was great, everyone was so nice to each other. I cannot complain about anything – maybe beside painful feet! After all we hanged around with romantic Christmas lights outside the museum.
My first adult-life Christmas party was just amazing! I really wonder how they can beat it next year. How about your Christmas? I cannot wait to read your 2013 Christmas stories!