Ho, ho, ho and a bottle of rum. Santa’s run off to the Caribbean.
(From the song by Jimmy Buffett)
The high where I live in Florida today was 82° F. The beaches were packed. Folks were out in bathing suits and shorts running up and down the ocean and the illusion of Christmas was created only through the random person standing in the surf and sand wearing a Santa Claus hat.
Here’s how my holiday went down:
Christmas Eve was spent waking up and going to the gym. After a stop at Starbucks, Shannon and I showered, changed, and hit the road to Orlando. Once there, we valeted the Mustang the Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World and walked around Disney’s Boardwalk for about an hour telling tales of piano bar adventures at Jellyrolls and the era of the swing music fad at Atlanta Dance Hall.
We returned to the Dolphin Resort for a 4:00 PM reservation at Shula’s Steakhouse. I love that place. The restaurant’s ambience conveys the classic era of tube-television Monday night football and it reminds me of that late seventies/early eighties high end eating establishment vibe. The decor is all dark wood and the menu has no excuses made/over abundant portion sizes. The combination of it all reminds me of my dad during my youth.
Dinner was amazing, and from there we went straight to Disney Springs (the former Downtown Disney) to see the 6:00 PM showing of Quinten Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight as part of special 70mm film engagement: http://thehatefuleight.com/roadshow
(That will get it’s own blog post in the near future.)
After the movie, we wandered around Disney Springs and watched the insane amount of people there late at night on Christmas Eve.
It was a whirlwind day.
After driving home late last night, we tried to sleep in… until the texts started early in the morning wishing well on the holiday.
Christmas Day was spent braving Starbucks at 8:00 AM which was, for the record, MUCH less busy than I was expecting. Then: a morning of presents with the two most important beings (to me) on the planet: Shannon and Karma the Dog.
Every year since we’ve been a family, we’ve always spent the holiday with other family in some way, shape, or form. I would do an insane amount of cooking and we would travel to Tampa or Orlando or Georgia. This year, though, we opted to keep it small and intimate for a number of reasons – including and especially the fact that we almost lost Karma the Dog to advanced age/health issues a few months ago.
She didn’t need another road trip. She didn’t need need a stressful holiday. She needed a day with “mommy and daddy” ripping open presents for fun. As this photo shows, she LOVES opening wrapping paper.
The thing is, she KNOWS when to do it. Those presents have all been sitting out for weeks at ground level – but Karma knows not to touch them. She only does so when you tell her it’s okay to do so, and then she goes to town.
For reference, here’s a video from her seven years ago (2008!) opening presents.
Yup, my dog loves wrapping paper.
After the whirlwind of wrapping paper, we cleaned up and drove to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort where we had 2:00 PM reservations for an early dinner. We got married there, so we figured it was as good a place as any to do a Christmas Dinner where neither of us would have to cook/clean afterwards.
It. Was. Amazing
Prime rib. Shrimp. Snow crab. ALL OF THE FOOD.
(“ALL OF THE FOOD” may have been “TOO MUCH OF THE FOOD”. As I write this, Shannon is passed out in bed complaining of not feeling well from possibly eating too much. But, hey, it’s Christmas – right?)
We had a great time at dinner. While there we took photos with Goofy and Donald and walked around the resort. The swimming pool and beach were both PACKED while we were there.
Christmas in Florida.
Now we’re home relaxing. Shannon has spent the past couple of hour playing “Yoshi’s Woolly World” – one of my gifts to her – and I just got up from a nap.
We might watch some TV. We might make some hot chocolate. We might do a whole lot of nothing…
But we’ll do it together.
Merry Christmas, Internet. I hope yours was as magical as mine.