Jesse and Andrew talk about how they celebrated Christmas and the turn of the New Year. Jesse introduces the concept of a "bachelor party."
Intro [Jesse]: Hi everyone. My name is Jesse Robbins, and welcome to LPLE from Dialogue FM. We're the podcast that lets you practice listening in English. We speak English slowly and clearly so that you can follow along and understand native English speakers more easily. I'm excited to help you improve your English listening skills, as well as help you learn new vocabulary, grammar, and idioms commonly heard and conversation among native English speakers. If you want to practice listening in English, then we invite you to join our conversation.
Jesse: Happy New Year!
Andrew: Same to you.
Jesse: We are in January; it is 2016. I'm curious, how was your holiday vacation back in December?
Andrew: Very good. It has been a busy couple of weeks, but I had a lot of time to visit family and friends, and, so, in addition to the Christmas holiday at the end of December, I also went to a wedding that happened on New Year's Eve, and then celebrated the New Year before coming back to work in January.
Jesse: That's fantastic! Whose wedding?
Andrew: This was a wedding for two of my good friends who live across the border in Canada. We are here in Seattle, and the wedding and the New Year's Eve celebration we had was up in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada, about 2 to 3 hours drive away.
Jesse: How long did you stay in Canada?
Andrew: Let me see... We went up the day before New Year's Eve, so December 30th, the wedding was on December 31st, and, so, we had the wedding ceremony during the day, and after the wedding was finished we went to downtown Vancouver to watch the fireworks at midnight to celebrate the New Year, and then went home with lots of traffic in the early morning of January 1st.
Jesse: For New Year's celebration, every year my wife and I go to our friends' house. Our friend lives in a neighborhood called Capitol Hill. They live in an apartment and their apartment has a rooftop that people can go on to to have a beautiful view of downtown Seattle.
Andrew: So, this is a tall building on a tall hill in the middle of the city.
Andrew: And there's a good view of the downtown city area where the fireworks happen.
Jesse: Yes. So, we hung out at a friends' place for a few hours. And then, 15 minutes before midnight we took a bottle of champagne, we went up to the rooftop, and we waited for the fireworks. The fireworks event was happening at a place in downtown called Seattle Center. On the rooftop of our friend's apartment there were many people, so it was a little bit crowded. However, we had enough space to have a clear view of the Space Needle.
Andrew: That's great!
Jesse: So, we waited, and then when it was New Year's we all drink champagne and we gave each other a hug, we wished each other "Happy New Year," and then after that I quickly went back inside the house because it is very cold outside...
Andrew: ...in December in Seattle, yeah.
Jesse: How was your Christmas?
Andrew: My Christmas was also very good. It was a little bit busy because this was the first year that my girlfriend and I were trying to see both my parents and her parents all on the holiday. So, on Christmas Eve we went down to my parents' house, which is about 30 minutes away, and spend the night there to get up in the morning, and exchange gifts, and have a Christmas dinner meal in the middle of the day. And, my dad's parents--my grandparents--were also there to celebrate with us.
And then, we had to leave that evening to go to her parents' house up north of the city, about an hour away. So, there was a lot of driving involved, but we got to see everyone and have dinner with both sides and get back in time to jump into the other activity that I had to fit into this busy season, which was the bachelor party for my friend who was getting married. So, December 25th and 26th it was Christmas celebrations, and December 27th and 28th, which was the weekend, my friend from Vancouver came to Seattle with some friends, and we went around the city to drink and celebrate his wedding that was coming up very soon.
Jesse: Let's explain a bachelor party really quickly. A bachelor party in American society is when the groom--the guy who is, the man who is going to get married--has a party with his guy friends before the wedding. Sometimes it's the night before the wedding...
Andrew: And that's a bad idea [haha].
Jesse: Sometimes it's the week before the wedding. Sometimes it can even be a couple of months before the wedding. Typically a groom has a bachelor party, and usually a bachelor party includes drinking alcohol and beer, going out into the city, or...or even going to a destination, a far away place like a cabin or...
Andrew: Another city to take a vacation.
Andrew: And, usually there are other activities to celebrate the occasion of his getting married like going out to dance, or going to a show, or celebrating at someone's house. We did a lot of those things and had a very good time. Although, some of the guests had a little bit too much to drink and had headaches the next day, they had a hangover.
I believe the bride also had her version of this party, so she had a bachelorette party that was up in Vancouver. So, they were separated to celebrate on their own independently, and then came back together for the wedding the next week.
Jesse: Typically, for a bachelor party there are no women in the group
Jesse: Likewise, typically, for a bachelorette party for the bride there are no men in the group, it's only women.
Jesse: For my Christmas holiday, it was very relaxing. We had Christmas dinner at my wife's family's house. They live very nearby. And then, throughout the day I relaxed at home and watched four movies.
Andrew: [haha] That's a long...a long day!
Jesse: Four movies, back-to-back-to-back-to-back.
Andrew: Eight hours or so of film?
Jesse: Yes. Whenever I have a holiday vacation like Christmas, or like Thanksgiving, or like New Year's, I like to spend time watching movies at home. It's a chance for me to catch up on many movies that I missed over the past four or five years.
Andrew: Four or five years?
Jesse: Yeah! Not just this past year, but over the past few years. So, I stayed at home watching movies and just relaxing. That was it.
Andrew: Sounds like a good time and a good way to relax before coming back to work and your normal life after the holiday.
Outro [Jesse]: Thank you for listening to this episode of LPLE, Let's Practice Listening in English, from Dialog.FM. Subscribe to LPLE on iTunes to hear the latest episodes, or listen to past episodes on our website, Dialog.FM. That's d-i-a-l-o-g-dot-f-m. If you have questions or comments about English, or if you would like for us to use a word, grammar, or idiom in our conversation so you can learn how to use it correctly, we would love to hear from you on Twitter at @dialogdotfm or Facebook at facebook.com/dialogFM.