We decided to skip Christmas this year. This decision was made early January 2014 as our frozen pipes burst in the house causing massive water damage to all 3 levels of my home. This was, of course, immediately after spending the entire week prepping, cooking and hosting 30 people for our annual Christmas Eve 7 seas dinner. We had had enough and vowed to leave town for Christmas in 2014, no matter where we went. Well, our budget was tight, and Christmas travel is expensive. We had a free place to stay in Florida (Chris’ parents have a condo there) and the airfare was manageable. SO…Florida here we come.
We arrived in Lake Worth, Florida late Thursday evening the 17th (found cheaper fares when flying out after 5 pm). Dropped my elderly parents off at the condo (did I mention that they decided to come along?) and went grocery shopping at the 24 hr Walmart (oh what fun that was). Anyway, got back and settled in, and just like that, we were set for the week in Florida.
This was a fairly uneventful trip. Probably one of the least active trips Chris and I have ever taken, mostly directed by the fact that we had my parents with us and my mom can’t walk a half block without getting totally winded. We spent a LOT of time at the beach, lucky for us the weather was good about 80% of the time! We took a day trip to Cape Coral to visit with a family friend and to see the house my parents have owned for the last 20 years but set foot in only once (they are not happy with the management company, but that’s another story). We also spent a whole day at Disney, Epcot center. What a tourist trap. Food, junk to buy and a reasonably decent story for each country. Not very authentic, at least I can tell you that Italy was not. But, for the 2-12 year olds that have a fantastic time there, I guess it doesn’t need to be. It was fun, but can’t say I would go out of my way to visit again.
We took a few drives down A1A (mansion gawking and dreaming), went to the Palm Beach dock and saw some nice Christmas sand sculptures, and we also saw two movies, Wild on Christmas day and Unbroken the next day. Unbroken being by far the best of the two.
Although it was a nice vacation and a break from the Chicago winter cold, Florida didn’t feel like Christmas. There were some decorations, lit up palm trees, the malls were decorated but nothing else gave me that Christmas feeling (no stress??). I felt very much exempt from it all. Since this was my intent, I guess it was successful, but I still have not decided if I like being away for Christmas enough to do it on a regular basis.