This was our first trip back to my hometown as a married couple and also my opportunity to introduce my husband to a South Florida Christmas. He’s originally from Virginia but has been a New Yorker for about 12 years now and he doesn’t understand how we could properly celebrate the holidays without cold weather, hot chocolate, boots and scarves. Or how could we even relate to songs like White Christmas or Let it Snow if the weather barely ever drops below 60 degrees?
But we do Christmas in our own way and I had a fun time giving him an introduction into my world and what I call the 5 Elements of the South Florida Christmas…
Coming straight from the airport our first stop was Publix. If you’ve never been, then you just don’t understand how wonderful this grocery store is. Their tagline is “Where shopping is a pleasure” and oh what a pleasure it is – wide aisles and fully stocked shelves, store associates who are friendly and go out of their way to help you – I’m talking almost Chik Fil A level friendly. It is the Promise Land, flowing with milk and honey. While we were there we picked up some snacks and of course Publix Subs which is basically manna from heaven.
2. Crab Fest
Forget about Joe’s Stone Crab – my mother makes THE best crabs. I’ll put her up against any seafood restaurant and she’ll come out on top. She whips up king crab, shrimp, corn on the cob, potatoes, sausage and garlic bread in such a way that is so divinely delicious, you can’t help but smile and dance in your chair while eating it. And the weather was so nice that we were able to set up the tables outside to enjoy the cool breeze as we ate until we couldn’t eat anymore. I tried to get a picture but we swept down on the food like a pack of vultures. Only shells were left by the time I grabbed my camera so I had to share a pic from a crab fest from a few years back so you can get a little taste of how it goes down.
On the second day of our vacation we went to Hollywood Beach, which is my favorite when I want to have a chill day and actually get in the water because it has more of a low key vibe which I appreciate. We were blessed with warm but not sweltering hot weather. That water though. Oooh it was coooold and felt like a cup of ice water. It took me probably 30 minutes to inch my way in, but hey, I couldn’t come all the way to the beach without taking a swim.
Yes, the shopping mall. Oh how I’ve missed them so. There are so many malls in South Florida but not so much in NYC and I miss having so many options in one indoor space so, we had to make this a stop. My mall of choice – The Boca Town Center Mall in Boca Raton for a little last minute Christmas shopping and of course, Chik Fil A – another thing that’s hard to find in New York City.
5. Family and Friends
Of all the unique things that South Floridians enjoy that may be different from other places around the country. Getting together with family and friends during the holidays is the same. And we both enjoyed spending quality time with our loved ones that we don’t get to see very often. There wasn’t enough time to see everyone I wanted to see. I still have some dear friends that have never met my husband but, I know that after this trip my husband is a believer and we will be back very soon.
How did you spend your Christmas? What things make it unique to where you’re from?