Somewhere between trend and tradition lies our habit of celebrating Christmas with our families on alternating years. Christmas 2006 saw my parents (and much to their disappointment their mild Florida weather) visit us in Columbus; in 2007 Liz and I make the trek to Sacramento; and now this Christmas past, Liz and I flew down to Jacksonville to spend Christmas (and Kwanzaa) with my parents. Much to my mom's disappointment, it was even warmer than usual (mid 70s, so no cranking up the AC just to be able to light a fire). It was however, a very nice experience, as we hadn't had the chance to see my folks since our wedding.
I won't bore you with flight details this time, and Christmas itself was pleasant, but not blog worthy, so we'll just start from 26th, the first day of Kwanzaa. We headed off to Anastasia state park, where we wandered on the beach, taking in the salt air, scouring for shells, and taking snap shots of the scenery (where else does one find pickup trucks and pirate ships?). We continued on to Vilano Beach for more of the same. We began our seafood smorgasborg (like grizly bears we load up for a week and have to make do for months--due to Ohio's shitty seafood selection--without) in the afternoon, and for dinner we chowed down on 2lbs and 3.5lbs of crab legs respectively.
We had two goals in mind for our trip the the Hollywood Studios: Fantasmic and the Christmas lights, but alas we needed to wait for night for both. We ended up getting in line for Fantasmic about an hour and a half before the show, but at least we were able to sit for most of it. While waiting, the crowd started busting out waves, fast waves, slow waves, and other nonsense. The show was delayed for a bit, and we got even more waves--wahoo! Eventually the show went on, and afterwards we saw the Christmas lights. Had we not been supremely underwealmed with the light show at the Columbus Zoo's Wild Lights, I may have expected more. There were lights--lots of them. Thats it. We then headed to the Magic Kingdom, by way of the Polynesian. We barely missed the last train at the Magic Kingdom, so we had to brave the hoard of people waiting for the fireworks just to get to our intended destination, and before we got there we got to watch the fireworks. Afterward we enjoyed fries, a sundae, and a trip to Pirates of the Caribbean. Before long we were starting to get puckered out, so we made our way to the exit. The damn parade was going on, but they waived people through to cross the parade during a break in the action. Liz and I started across, I was waved forward, but she was held back, we were together holding hands, but so much for Disney family values. Desperately wanting to leave, we pleaded, were waved on, before I was clubbed, ney clotheslined by some Disney employee asshole, who felt that we somehow were going to endanger the dude in the wolf suit twenty feet away--there wasn't even a vehicle coming! Could he have quickly escourted us across, yup. Could he have not waived us through a second before, yup. Could he have told us to hurry, yup. He'd rather clothesline me, and no he didn't even apologize. I guess the show must go on. Don't think I'll forget that one Disney.
All in all it was a blast, and we were able to sneak in a trip to a fish camp (hard to explain, but I've only seen such things in Florida). I managed to eat bacon every day there, and we returned home to our wonderful furry family. Who could ask for more?