Day 144: Christmas Eve in the Keys.
Christmas isn’t typically associated with coconuts and beaches. But that is exactly why we are here this year. We are spending an unique Christmas near the end of a very unique year in all of our lives.
As much of the country is experiencing a white Christmas with the other parts drenched in rain, we feel very lucky to be at what might be our favorite waterfront campground in all of Florida, maybe in all of the country.
Part of the beauty of Long Key is the constant breeze that comes across each site that blows away the mosquitoes and noseeums naturally without the need for chemically-laden pest repellents. Not only that, it also helps to cool down the air temperature and it makes for a perfect kite flying day.
Ahhh, who else is doing this on Christmas Eve? We are!
Luka is enjoying his first ever Christmas Eve at the keys and I think it might be downhill from here. Luckily he won’t remember this much because it might set him up for a life of irreversible depression.
While the girls lounged outside in the Floridian sun, Marlene and I stayed inside and worked on wrapping their presents. The downside of being in paradise for the holidays is that we don’t have any other family members near.
But that is ok since we did manage to assemble a decent pile of presents. Relative to the size of our home on wheels, it is a pretty significant pile!
Ava decided to see if the shorebirds are interested in a little fresh coconut. They flocked but they didn’t feast.
Our new neighbors who showed up a few days ago came with 2 single kayaks and a double kayak. We had tried to buy a used kayak while we were in Boca Raton but could not find one for sale at a decent price that wasn’t already sold. They offered to let us take it out for a little paddle and the girls were thrilled and I happily obliged.
Sea, sand, sun, sky and ship. The 5 S’s of a complete trip to the keys. OK, maybe a kayak isn’t technically a ship but you get the idea.
Just because we are spending Christmas in the Airstream, it doesn’t mean we can’t have a lit tree and ornaments. Even if the ornament is almost as big as the tree itself.
The staff at Long Key always organizes some kind of an event for the campers who decided to spend Christmas with them. They collected oyster shells from a nearby seafood restaurant, drilled holes on top with a piece of yard threaded through it and let the campers come and paint their own nautically themed Christmas ornaments. From top left going clockwise, we have, an Airstream, Rudolph the reindeer, Santa and a Christmas tree. Some of these will require the use of your imagination.
Traditionally we have spend Christmas at Marlene’s parents house in Los Angeles. As with many Catholic families, the tradition is to eat fish for dinner.
We were able to find some yellow-tail snapper freshly caught off of the coast of Key West. A simple salt, pepper, oil and lime juice wrapped in foil and cooked on the grill is all we need for a delicious meal.
Just before dinner, the local fire engines made their way through the campground.
Every year, the Layton Fire Station escorts Santa through the park to say hi to all of the campers. The girls were thrilled to know that Santa now knows where we are. For awhile, they had concerns that Santa wouldn’t know where we are with all of the traveling we are doing.
It wasn’t fancy but our dinner of fresh fish and shrimp pasta was exactly what we wanted for our little Christmas Eve dinner.
After dinner, the girls helped Marlene make some sweet treats to give Santa, even more motivation for him to find his way into the Mish with their presents.
The 3 hour time difference between here and California allowed us to spend some time with family back at home through the computer. Their cousin Mason was the only kid representing them at dinner back at home.
Before bed, Ava made sure that the reindeers had a carrot as a treat as well to thank them for visiting us all the way across the country.
Merry Christmas! Let’s hope our stockings are full in the morning!
over and out,
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