This year, as with almost every year, I spent Christmas in Tampa, Florida. Christmas 2016 was a balmy, summery 86°. Thank goodness Christmas this year was a more moderate one. Still necessitating short sleeves, but not leaving me sweating!
I don’t see myself ever living in Tampa as an adult, but I do like visiting over the holidays. It’s nice to have a little respite from the cold, see a couple friends and catch up with family (not to mention get some dog cuddles in). Whenever I visit Tampa, I usually try to visit my favorite restaurants, cuddle with Watson, and just relax as much as possible. It’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle for a while. Below you’ll find a little diary of my time in Florida. I didn’t do much, but it was nice. Keep reading for just how exciting my life is (and for adorable pictures of my dog Watson).
Watson got THE BEST gift from his dog sitter (see below!). I freaked out when I opened it and tried to make him pose with it as best I could. Speaking of…Mom, can you bring the back with you when you next visit me?! I need more Watson in my life.
Watson took some naps while I wrapped presents for friends and family…
We took a trip to Mazzaro’s Italian Market in St. Petersburg for some last minute Christmas shopping. It was absolutely packed inside, but I loved visiting the cheese room per usual.
I followed my mom to Hyde Park Village for some obligatory shopping (downsides of not having a car…)
We took a family photo shoot (Watson was included! and he almost peed on the photographer which was hilarious). Watson made such a great model and I got to hold him on the way back home because he was so cute.
Florida has the most beautiful sunsets in the winter (and, let’s face it, all year round) and I couldn’t help but snap this shot from my dad’s car on the way back from the photo shoot.
We had Christmas Eve day brunch with family on my mom’s side at our country club. Thankfully, we made it out without coming across anyone we knew (a rarity in South Tampa) and I had a nice time catching up with my cousins and grandparents. #youknowyoureanewyorkerwhen you wear all black on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Day was spend mostly in pajamas, as Christmas Day should be. Watson got the softest bed and loved it. He hopped right in once we opened it for him and started burrowing. It was adorable. Later on, I hid some treats in the creases and it was so fun to watch him sniff them out. His bed now lives in my parents’ room, where he sleeps almost every night (except when I kidnap him to make him sleep in my bed).
It wouldn’t be Christmas without my hedgehog ornaments!
Michael made a tartiflette for our Christmas dinner, which meant I ate about a quarter of this bacon from the pot as it cooked and got a really bad stomachache #worthit
Our Christmas table was really pretty and our Christmas meal was really delicious. I haven’t had a huge sweet tooth lately so I enjoyed a couple helpings of all the other food in lieu of dessert!
Watson liked our table too!
One thing I miss about the “South” is the quality BBQ, so I made my mom take me to 4 Rivers BBQ when the guys went to the beach. I definitely shouldn’t have eaten that much food, but I did and it was worth every bite. It’s been too long since I’ve had brisket, baked beans, mac n’ cheese and green beans and a biscuit and I savoured every mouthful. Yum.
I also got tea with my friend and it was lovely catching up and chatting about life over tea, scones, sandwiches, and desserts. I haven’t had a proper tea since England and it was actually very good! We didn’t get to choose our tea but the one that was being served that day was delicious!
Watson likes to sunbathe and whenever he goes to his sunbathing chair, I follow him and try to make him cuddle with me. Sometimes we snuggled on his chair but when he wouldn’t let me on it with him, I just pet him and he would hold my hand with his paw. Does it get any sweeter?
Finally, my dad commissioned me for a picture of a sunset at the beach (you still need to choose, Dad!), so we headed over to Anna Maria Island for the afternoon. I got some candy at the flip-flop and candy shop (it’s a thing) and mom and I bought lots of ornaments on sale at one of the cute little shops. The sky was super cloudy so I wasn’t expecting much in terms of a sunset, but per usual, the sky did not disappoint and we were greeted with a beauty!
The rest of my Christmas break was spent just relaxing, mostly at home, or running errands with my mom. I hadn’t had a proper break from work since before I started my job so it was nice to do nothing for a couple weeks. I watch Season 2 of The Crown and re-watched most of Downton Abbey and just chilled. It was a much-needed, well-spent break that left me relaxed, refreshed and mellowed for the new year.