UA-31290512-1

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Dreaming of a Wet, Sandy Christmas?

cruising destination sombrero beach florida keys
What are your holiday traditions?  Do they vary when you're far from home?

North blizzards wreak havoc, while here in the Florida Keys, holiday traditions take on a slight twist.

Instead of Frosty the Snowman, Sombrero beach-going families build a sandman, or at least the head, complete with makeshift eyes, nose and mouth courtesy of Mother Nature.

Rather than walking through the snow, we dinghied over to friends for Christmas eve dinner (thanks Ron & Dee, and glad Patty could join us too).

cruising life, Christmas celebrations
Dee cooked up a great
Christmas eve dinner aboard
their sailboat, Ursa Minor.

cruising friendships over Christmas
Patty Gilles Hamilton another
cruiser we first befriended in
Jacksonville FL.

cruising destinations, Florida Keys
Ron Claus.  Ironic to spend
Christmas with the Clauses!
Instead of sleigh bells ringing,  there was the random toot of a conch horn blown at sunset (click here to find out what that sounds like -- a sound not unique to the holidays here).

Christmas Day dinner we tandem-dinghied with Ron & Dee & Patty to their Texan friends, Jeff and Mary, then dinner together out.  Lobster and grouper were plated up as well as the more traditional prime rib.  After dinner, as the rain came down on our dinghy ride home, we were glad we tandemed, as towed Ron and Dee's dinghy motor died.  We towed them back.

cruising destination marathon florida keys
Drip-dry time after our wet ride back from Christmas dinner.
Instead of stockings hung by the chimney with care, we drip-dried our dinner duds in our boat's cabin, though the Boot Key Harbor marina's fund raiser supplied lots of bicycles and additional support for local children and families in need.

All in all, it was another tropical Christmas to remember (as was our last tropical Christmas in St. Martin - click here for more about that including an original Caribbean carol spoof [wrote more if you're really interested] and here for more yachtie tropical holiday twists), rife with new friends and altered traditions, filled with cheer.

What new traditions will next year's Christmas and New Year's bring?  Who knows.  Our current plans will place us en route to the South Pacific then.

Please share your more memorable extraordinary holiday experiences!