It’s difficult being away from family at this time before the holidays.  I wish they could see how I’ve decorated my home and share with them warm meals and other festive goodies.  Luckily this year I’ll be flying back to New York this Christmas Eve and the following morning will be just as it was before I moved to another state.

It’s odd living in California in the winter time.  For years, the holidays meant it was cold outside and taking a walk down an illuminated street was accompanied by a warm cup of cocoa and a few layers of wool.  As crazy as it sounds, I do miss the cold, however nice it is to not have to bundle up all the time.  In fact, one of the coolest parts about this sunny side of the country is Christmas on the water.  My Florida family have been telling me about this for years.  Decorated boat parades and Christmas light contests.  It was not until I traveled 3000 miles away from my norm that I was able to take part in this fantastic holiday tradition.

Last night, after some delicious sushi and Saki, The All-Star and I drove down to Naples in Long Beach to enjoy some of their festive flare.  The temperature of the air was probably 60º which was the first “hooray” in my book.

Here’s a little bit about Naples for those who don’t know….  Many of the homes are on canals which run throughout this little part of town.  What makes it so unique (for me) is that the front of the homes are on the canals instead of the backyards, (which is what I’m used to), and there’s a sidewalk between the water and the properties with little bridges to walk and drive over and for boats to pass under.  It’s a very cool part of town.  Over the summer The All-Star and I kayaked through this area, not realizing at the time we were actually looking at the front of these beautiful beach dwellings.

So last night was the judging contest for this year’s “California Dreamin'” Christmas theme.  There were lots of folks walking up and down the canals and connecting streets, admiring the hard work of these most fortunate home owners.  A very cool sight to see.  I have to say that although I certainly do miss Christmas in New York, (not a whole lot beats that Rockefeller tree), seeing this light show on the water does get me into the holiday spirit.  How lucky I am to be able to experience both sides this year…the cold weather with the love of my family to keep me warm, and the warm weather with the excitement of the holidays to bring joy into my heart!

Happy Holidays!