Hi everybody! If you celebrated Christmas yesterday, I sure hope it was a great time for you. I’m still coming at you from my parent’s house in Port Charlotte. Since arriving in Florida on Saturday night, Dave and I have had quite the trip with my birthday and the holidays. But boy, how does it go by so fast?
Our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were both lovely and low-key. On Christmas Eve, we hung out around my parent’s house mostly, except for when my Mom and I attended a midnight candlelight church service. And yesterday, on Christmas Day, we all had breakfast, opened presents and then went on our annual Christmas Day beach barbecue at Boca Grande. The beach barbecue is something we started several years ago and has become a standard tradition. We bring a small grill for hot dogs, pack a cooler with salad, chips and other nibblies and have a nice lunch at a picnic table before walking around the beach. Although the weather report told us it wasn’t supposed to be very nice out, yesterday’s weather was perfect for sitting in the sand and people watching. We saw dolphins playing just off the coast in the surf, we watched some entertaining boogie boarders ride the waves, and we even observed some fishermen and crazy swim-suited people swimming in the cold water. We weren’t the only ones there either. The nice weather brought out the crowds, and it was the busiest I’ve seen it on Christmas Day.
After the barbecue, we went home, relaxed, took an evening boat cruise on the canals behind my parent’s house, had dinner at the table and played some board games. A great day indeed.
A different kind of “Friday Favorites”
Now I know I promised you a special birthday and Christmas “Friday Favorites” today, but rather than sharing all of my gifts with you at once, I just want to share a few favorites moments with my favorite people, during my favorite time of year. Sound good? This week is more about the memories than the mementos, so it’s not all material today, except for the last one. But don’t worry, I’ll be showcasing some of my loot very soon. My family and Dave’s family know me very well and they all did an incredible job in the gift department. But I’d like to think I did okay too. Because truly, I love to buy gifts for people. So let’s get to it …
My favorite holiday
Really though, who doesn’t love Christmas? Friends, family, holiday music, sparkly decorations, presents, nice meals and time off of work? I’m a fan of all of those things, and I look forward to Christmas all year long. Here’s a look at some of the holiday cheer in my parent’s house this year …
My favorite people
My family! We’re a small and mighty crew, with just my parents, Brother, Dave and me making up our party-of-five, and I cherish our time together. It doesn’t get to happen all that often because of distance — with Dave and me in San Francisco, my Brother in Atlanta and my parents in Port Charlotte. Nonetheless, we try to make our visits count, and we have a few family traditions that I so look forward to, like playing board games in the living room after dinner, and of course, our lovely annual barbecue. Here’s the scene from yesterday …
My favorite gift
So I said I wasn’t really going to get into the gifts I received, but this one is worth putting out there right away. I’ve been using a pretty old laptop for a long time, which was completely full of pictures, music and videos. It was super slow, prone to unintentional shut-downs and way ready to be retired.
Dave had this computer delivered to my parent’s house so he didn’t have to travel with it, and I was very shocked to receive something so huge for my birthday. Yes, I’m using it right now. Yes, I love it. And yes, I’m also excited to share that Dave bought me a year of one-on-one sessions with a team member at the Apple store, so I can make sure I’m using this computer to its fullest. Ohhhhh I love this little beauty and am still settling on a nickname for it. My old Dell laptop had a dark espresso cover, so I called it “Brownie.” This computer is thin, sleek and silver, so clearly the name needs to be a bit cooler. If you have any suggestions, let me know.
My favorite reads of the week
Hey, it’s the holiday season and you may not have been in front of the computer as much this week. If that’s the case, here’s what you missed on A Lady Goes West:
- Workouts and music — A hardcore workout playlist and my fitness
- Good times and a sweat session — A fun overnight in Orlando and calories burned
- Birthday recap and some pictures of food — A perfect birthday at home and my eats
- Christmas greetings — Sending some Christmas love to all of you
And that concludes today’s “Friday Favorites” session.
Soaking up the rest of the time
I’m very sad to report that tomorrow Dave and I fly back to San Francisco. These days with my family and friends in my home-state of Florida have been nothing less than awesome, but are always too short. We never get to see everyone we want to, but we certainly enjoy the moments with the people we are able to see. I’m already excited for my next visit to the Sunshine State. Until then, Dave and I have a lot of big changes coming in early 2015, and I hope you’ll be along for the ride.
Enjoy your day and your weekend, and I’ll be back with you as usual on Monday. Take care, friends!
Read more Friday Favorites
- A snack, a purse and a ritual
- A delivery, a bra and a guy
- A sweet, a wine and a read
- A drink, a gadget and a plan
- A time, a bottle and a powder
- San Francisco edition
- Beauty edition
- Beach vacation edition
- Hidden meanings
- Kicks, a book and a bowl
- The very best sweatshirts
- Party hosting and froyo
- Fourth of July daytime activity
- Beauty basics edition
- Workplace edition
- Shopping, sales and a show
- The foods I always buy
- Sushi, a game and pants
- Fitness apps
- Delicious and healthy products
- Comfort, fitness and function
- Beauty, buddha and blog events
- Dining, the city and gift ideas
- POPSUGAR, sweets and such
- A bunch of fun stuff
- e-book, food, picnic and tunes
- A link, a superfood and a mask
- Pants, shoes, food and links
- Dining, protein and goodies
- Shopping, events and a book
- A gym bag, pumpkin and juices
- Workout gear, a top and a massage
- prAna, a watch, tea and more
- Tasty stuff and gift sales
- Decor, bars, boots and a drink
- Flowers, music and more
- Coqueta, a brush and food
Questions of the day
What’s something that’s been making you smile? What are you up to this weekend? Did you receive any good gifts for Christmas?