It's a good thing that we didn't exhaust ourselves with too many superstores in The O.C. since this past weekend may have set a new record for action packing (Verd, please copyright this verb for me).
It began with a formal holiday party on Friday night where one of the hosts, Jason, (also featured here as a pig skin aficionado), dressed up as Santa Claus. Not only did jubilant guests clad in their holiday finest get to sit on his lap and register gift requests, but each of us actually received a present from the big man in red--right there! All you had to do was contribute something to his pile of goodies earlier in the night and then you got one back when it was your turn to hop on board.
The best part about it was that by the time it was your turn to lap sit, you had forgotten all about the item you gave away (4 adorable finger puppets made of Peruvian alpaca). This way, you could focus on your brand new present (a giant blue salad bowl). Pure genius, I tell you.
The next morning I woke up, adorned myself in Santa-inspired attire and headed out for a Bridesmaid Dress Summit hosted by Ms. Dayle, the bride-to-be (details = spared). While it would have been nice to dress up in a cute little brunch outfit like the other bridesmaids, I had no choice but to wear a red felt Santa hat and a puffy white jacket as I would be headed directly to the Santa Pub Crawl Conference ("SantaCon") immediately afterwards.
If you don't yet know about SantaCon, read up on it here. Basically, it's a city-wide pub crawl open to the public where all participants dress up as Santa. Hundreds and hundreds of people hit the streets in celebration of the holiday season. And, oh, do they celebrate. The best part about it is looking around and seeing a sea of red velvet and fluffy white trims filling bars, stopping traffic and confusing San Francisco tourists from around the world. There were big Santas and little Santas, boy Santas and girl Santas...and even gangsta Santas.
The weekend wrapped up with a dim sum breakfast followed by a champagne and potato chip house party (see pic below). And, yes, the party was as fun as it sounds. The host is a wine writer when not busy with his "other" job working as an attorney for punk rock bands (I know!). So, he naturally has all sorts of champagne lying around that we got to test drive.
But even more exciting than the dizzying assortment of bubbly was the new method I learned for opening champagne bottles: knocking out the cork with the dull side of a chopping knife. I don't think I've ever felt as powerful as I did when I slid that knife up the chilled bottle directly along the glass seam and successfully chipped off the lip of the bottle setting the cork in motion as that indistinguishable "pop" sent onlookers into drunken cheers. That may be the closest I ever get to Axl Rose style partying, although a girl can always dream.