I have always dreamed of having a Christmas at the beach. Well not ON the beach but in the condo or house by the beach. Mild tropical air, seafood, and seashells on the Christmas tree. During times of distress – you know – pandemics, your dog died, dealing with old dogs, no sleep, life demands, lots of responsibility – it’s a perfect time to dream up some good thoughts. This is where my day dream went yesterday.
What would it look like to spend Christmas at the beach? First of all let’s set the scene. It doesn’t have to be hot, it doesn’t really even have to be warm – but warm enough to enjoy a patio sit and beach walks would be nice. So far enough south you could do that. An ocean view is a must. A nice roomy cute condo with kitchen big enough to be able to feed 6 or 8 and a living room able to sit as many. A nice big TV, and a big huge picture window or wall of looking over the ocean. A Christmas tree over in the corner with sea shells and boats and lobster and all things nautical hanging from the tree. Outside there are palms, with their fronds flipping in the wind, a lure as if to say, “come outside, come play, there is more to be discovered”.
After settling into the condo, with our luggage and unpack, we set off to the grocery store to stock the fridge with favorite snacks, beverages, items for a tropical breakfast which would include eggs, bacon, and fruit every morning, not to mention leftover seafood from the night before. Several meals would be planned for the week, some meals would be eaten out, some cooked in. One meal would include a home cooked seafood meal and another night would be an Italian night, as even in paradise, one needs a break from seafood one night out of seven. 😉
A scope of the town would be made, favorite restaurants for eating out during the week would be selected and debated as everyone would have their own wishes. Pitches would be made as to why we should try this one or that, googling sets in for the competition of which ratings fare best and which have best reviews and character. An assessment of town shops would be noted, and plans to visit each and every favorite. A quick internet search would reveal which was the best of the seafood shops in town and arrangements would be made as to the day and hour to visit, once the home cooked seafood night had been selected.
This beach house has a ping pong table in it’s extended family room area. A family member posts a game tournament with brackets on the fridge. The first few players would be urged to tackle their games as soon as possible so the tournament could continue in timely fashion and winners determined by end of week.
After a trip to the store, the curtains are drawn back to display the sunshine, over a beautiful sea. George makes everyone a happy hour drink as the groceries are put up and fruit is chopped and placed in the fridge for easy nibbling or adding to breakfast plates in the a.m. (Correction to the story as I reread this, lol – George would have already handed out cocktails at the unpacking of the luggage on arrival- he wouldn’t wait til after the grocery run, lol.)
What about a quick walk to the beach before we head out for dinner? After a fairly good drive to be there, and a nice grocery adventure, let’s take a relaxing stroll and see the beach and put our feet in the sand. It feels so good to take the sandals off and put the bare feet into the coolness of the sand. It’s not summer and the ocean breezes blowing across the dunes are taking precedence over the heat of the late afternoon sun. Wait, is that a dolphin fin? The sea gulls dip down for that pringle someone dropped on the beach earlier, and oh, look, it’s a sand crab digging a hole as the wave crashed on the beach over it. And look there comes a few fishing boats heading toward the pass toward the marina. I bet they have had an awesome day’s catch. Maybe my grouper will be on it from tomorrow nights meal? Or the seafood for the meal we will be having on Wednesday, did we say?
By the way, what is our plan for the week? We talk about which days we should do what. Better consult the Weather Channel when we get back. Let’s plan our shopping days and eating in the condo for the rainy days and save the nicer ones for our drive day excursions and explorations and beach walks.
The days are quickly planned and take shape and the night’s seafood place is selected. Everyone spruces up and piles in the car and heads out. Smiles abound and moods are cheerful as the week’s events are about to unfold and possibilities are endless. What will we discover this week? What will we see? What meals will be our favorite? What will we get for Christmas?
So how do we handle Christmas at the beach? What about gifts? The rule was no gifts could be brought to the beach. Everyone gets a certain amount of $ to spend to buy each person a gift while there. That meant we better get to shopping early on, so we have time to get them and wrap them. The gift paper in nautical theme, or in colors of white, sand, turquoise, and ocean blues and greens have been purchased along with wrapping supplies and have been placed in the condo corner, ready for the wrapping. How cool are beach souvenirs for a gift this year? A sweatshirt from the beach town, an ornament, a beachy looking handbag? Oh what will it be?
Darts in and out of shops will take place and gifts wrapped and placed by the tree that stands beside the window looking onto the sea. Seafood meals will have been eaten and meals will have been cooked in the condo. Books will be read on the patio while hearing the waves crash onto the sea. Walks on the beach several times a day will help offset the hushpuppies we had with the fried seafood platter last night. The homemade seafood meal was something too. The Big TV would be watched late in the evenings until eyes were drooping. Sleep would come at the sound of waves crashing outside, enhanced by the iphone app because the breeze is a little too chilly at night to leave the window open.
The last days are coming of our trip, our Christmas was wonderful. We must eat all the food we brought in the fridge – come on – you want that last few shrimp with your eggs this morning? Now we pack up and head home, ornaments taken from the tree, gifts packed, cooler packed with drinks for the drive in, and that extra pack of gourmet cheese we never sliced into. A couple of cold beers are on ice for arrival back home just waiting for the moment when the luggage and the last package is brought back into our home on the home front.
It was a wonderful beach trip. Let’s do it again next year. What? We arrive home and there’s activity in the driveway? Who is that? What is that? huh? What do you mean Christmas isn’t over yet? We pull into the driveway. There is a white Ford truck twin cab and something behind it? What? A Minnie Winnie! What???? You didn’t! You Did! You love me that much? What? A friend had been arranged to bring the surprise to our driveway so we would see our RV upon arrival. I was so excited I couldn’t even get out of the car fast enough. There was someone in the RV. I heard voices and then a “shhhhh”. I opened the door and a puppy was shoved in my face! And then a glass of champagne.
Did it have the off grid package I asked? You know, solar power and lithium batteries and such.
The dog? No she’s off grid alright but she’s very real and able to move on her own.
No the RV!
Yes, yes yes, and it came with the cold weather package too in case you get caught with a colder night.
Is she potty trained?
What the RV?
No the dog!
Naw, not really.
Can we sleep out here tonight?
You can do what you want!
My wheels turn, I begin processing and planning what to stock in the RV. I begin planning when and where we will go first. I easily decide where it will be. I look at my new puppy and she kisses me on the face. I give her a big hug and take her outside for business. I look forward to the days ahead prepping, planning, and blogging about my upcoming experiences.
But first, we have huge mound of laundry to do and have to feed this new little beast that has entered our house!
So if I were to have a little slice of heaven at Christmas time. I suppose it would look something like that! 😉 It’s so fun to have to a dream come true in your head. Naw, we won’t have a beach Christmas this year, there will not be an RV, and there will not be a new puppy. But there will be family, food, fun, a few gifts, a few laughs, and a few ongoing dreams.