I’ll Be Traveling For Christmas

Here I am sitting with my coffee and my Activia yogurt (because, constant traveler’s tummy…) trying to adequately put into words how I’m feeling about Christmas this year. 

These have become regular cast members in the RV life.

I was driving down a Florida highway two days ago.  Palm trees whizzing by outside my window.  Blue skies on the horizon.  A hot blazing sun beating down on my windshield.  AC blasting.  And on the radio was that old festive tune, Walking in a Winter Wonderland. 

They can put as many lights on the palm trees that they want. This ain’t no Winter Wonderland! (Incorrect grammar used for emphasis.)

I…. I just…  I couldn’t form a correct emotion.  I kind of wanted to laugh at the oddity.  I kind of wanted to somehow reach my hand through the radio and slap the suntanned, flip flop wearing DJ who threw that song out on the airwaves who might very well have no idea what a Winter Wonderland is actually like.  Mostly I was just sitting there in the car thinking, ‘This is NOT Christmas’. 

And that’s something that Zac and I have said repeatedly since Thanksgiving came to a close.  I think it’s a combination of not being home, not being cold, and not being frantically busy that has got us feeling holiday-confused. 

So many things are different this year.  For the past ten years, Zac has been heavily involved in producing our church’s Christmas concerts.  This year, his friends were facetiming and texting to say hello during the show.  For the past few years, we’ve hosted family Christmas at our house.  I had a blast preparing goose one year and lamb the next.  This year there will not only be no hosting, but we won’t even see those family and friends that we hold dear!  It’s my very first Christmas that I’m spending away from my parents.  Strange doesn’t even begin to describe that!  My old co-workers at the church were texting me during their annual white elephant gift exchange to tell me that they missed my weird and silly gifts.  I miss you all too, friends!

And NO SNOW?!?!?!  Full disclosure: I have a love/hate relationship with snow.  I love it until about January 15 and then I hate it.   It’s a beautiful and fun change of seasons but then it somehow turns into nasty sludge later on in the winter.  And sometimes it drags on into April.  APRIL!  Not ok.  But for this North East Ohio girl, snow is a non-negotiable for that Christmas sense of holiday cheer.  We don’t always have a white Christmas, but it is at least cold outside and it has snowed recently enough to feel like curling up on the couch in front of a fire with a blanket and cup of hot chocolate.  I’m definitely having a hard time feeling festive here in the Florida sun.  And to all of you who live in warm climates year long, I’m so happy that you love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.  But for this northern girl, the heat is just not ringing true for the season.

Now, I am aware that this post thus far is feeling a little bit on the whinny side.  Now let me tell you what has been awesome about Christmas on the road in an RV….  This has the been the simplest, least stressful, most relaxed Christmas I have ever experienced.  And it has been glorious.  People, let me share something revolutionary with you:  The entire month of December does not need to revolve around Christmas.  Christmas is one day.  A wonderful day, mind you, where we celebrate the birth of our Savior with the ones we love the most, but still just one day.  It’s not a month.  I know there are those of you who like to break out the Christmas decorations on November 1st.  And that’s great.  You do that.  But for myself, I have never before realized how daunting of a task it was to drag out the 17 boxes of Christmas decor up from the basement and spend an entire day setting it up until I didn’t have to do it this  year.  I feel like in the past, I may have fallen victim to doing far more than I needed to just because I felt pressure to make everything “perfect”.  And pictures online and advertisements of perfect Christmas scenes didn’t always help with all my insecurity of my lack of decorative sense.  And you know what, friends.  I don’t even know what I’m trying to say here.  I’m not saying boycott Christmas craziness.   I’m not saying decorating is a bad thing.  And I love seeing what my friends have done with their beautiful homes this time of year.  I guess I’m just saying that this year has made me think and ponder.  Ponder how much craziness is really necessary.  Re-think how I might do Christmas differently in the future.  Because it really doesn’t need to be so stressful.  It really doesn’t have to kidnap your entire month of December (and the later part of November…).   Bottom line:  I’m really enjoying this super relaxed Christmas and we’ll see how it affects our future Christmases.  This time next year, I might still be decorating like crazy…. we’ll just have to wait and see!

Now that you’ve heard my random musings about Christmas this year, let me share with you some pictures of our most recent destinations: Charleston, Savannah, St. Augustine, and Walt Disney World. 

Our great friends, Alex and Mandi, visited us in Charleston for a fun-filled weekend!

 

Charleston has won the award for best food thus far! This little place was AMAZING!

 

This huge Angel Oak tree is estimated to be over 400 years old! It is stunning.

 

We spent an afternoon at Fort Sumter where the Civil War began.

 

We all got to be a part of the flag lowering and folding at Fort Sumter.

 

This coffee place downtown was so good!

 

This was our second time to Savannah and we did many of the same things. You can see what we did last time in Savannah here.

 

The one new thing we did this year was go to Tybee Island.

 

It was only 70 degrees when we were there and the kids were the only ones in the water. Practically had the whole beautiful beach to ourselves!

 

Phoenix didn’t want to go in the water, but loved playing in the sand.

 

It was a great afternoon!

 

We were SO pleasantly surprised with all there was to do in St Augustine. The Alligator Farm was a must since Caydence loves reptiles!

 

Caydence had just learned about Ponce De Leon and the Fountain of Youth in school, so this was a must-do. There are peacocks roaming the grounds, several historical presentations, and you can drink from the spring itself!

 

We went to the wax museum there. This is Brody with St Augustine himself! What ya lookin at, fellas?

 

The distillery gives a free tour with free tastings! And free lemonade for the kids so they didn’t feel left out.

 

We visited the old jail and the old store to see what life in St Augustine was like in the early 20th century.

 

The Castillo de San Marcos. It’s not everyday in the US that you can see something built in the late 17th century!

 

Holding down the fort!

 

This tiny dessert place in the historic section was DIVINE!

 

We took about 500 pictures at Disney. Here’s just a few.

 

This was at our site when we arrived! And Phoenix has taken to holding a fake gun while posing for pictures.

 

All ready to go!

 

Our first time to Disney during Christmastime. Beautiful!

 

Hollywood Studios

 

Epcot

 

Lunch in Disney Springs with our friends who were there at the same time!

 

We had a great time at Disney!

11 thoughts on “I’ll Be Traveling For Christmas

  1. I loved hearing your Christmas thoughts: coming to Long Island was about the same for me: no family, no shopping, different traditions. Over the years, I have learned to treasure the time for more thoughts about what Christmas is really about. Our little island tree is so special: the lights weigh more than the tree. I am really enjoying your honest writing … you are really living a life-changing experience. MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you!

    1. Merry Christmas to you too! Maybe we will be seeing you on the island in a couple of weeks?

  2. Wow, that was quite a trip from your last blog. I wish I could have been with you to experience all that. Well except Disney,too too too many peps. Christmas without snow is great , you would get used to it quickly. No boots no coats no mittens no ice no snow. You can spend all day outside in shorts and shirt. Christmas Eve 50 of us go to Jill and marks for a party. Maybe a swim. Thanks for sharing your lives with me. That was good staying longer in one place to see more. Best education kids can get. Love you all. See you Jan. 7 th. Only kidding the 2 no.

  3. I think I loved this one the best so far and agree with Susan-honest, so honest!! You capture the emotion in both your words and pictures!
    I can NOT wait for you all to be here and then to read THAT blog after!!!!!!!!
    Enjoy the holidays with your Fl family!
    AND I do understand about missing the traditional Christmas….well except for snow…..do NOT miss that at all!!!!!!
    LOVE YOU ALL!!!

  4. Looks like you are having a lot of fun. I can relate to your musings about it not feeling like Christmas. We went on our honeymoon at Christmas to Hawaii. It did NOT feel like Christmas at all. I was in paradise, yet missed my family and the snow terribly!

    1. We are having fun! Hawaiian Christmas would be interesting. We’ve been there, but not at Christmas time.

  5. I enjoy praying for you all everyday…anticipating the next set of pictures…….you have Christmas in your hearts……and it goes where ever you go!!! Thank you for sharing your trip…..I am so proud of you and Zak…..this is a great adventure!!! enjoy each day…unwrap it…life is a gift…..and hold each other close! I am so glad Christmas is MORE than a feeling……..because…feelings…can you really trust them? Na! so press on…keep sharing…keep enjoying your family in your RV ! stay safe! love you!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017..from your ol’ 4-H advisors, Mr. & Mrs. Teeters in cold Ohio!!!

    1. Thank you for the prayers! And your comments are always so encouraging! I hope the whole Teeter’s tribe has a wonderful Christmas and New Year! šŸ™‚

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