#SingerIslandScenes and Family Bonding in Florida

Wow.  It’s been a roller coaster couple of weeks.  First – a blissful week of relaxing, lovely vacation in Florida with my closest family and friends.  Then – home to the frozen north and a massive, cigar induced upper respiratory infection (more on the cigar to follow).  Play hard and pay for it?  Perhaps.  Worth it?  Oh very definitely.

heaven

Scene from outside of my Dad’s Singer Island condo. Singer Island is a lovely little strip of land close to Palm Beach Gardens, with a big state park right on the ocean and miles of wild and healthy beaches.  It’s pretty great.

It’s funny how after four years in Connecticut – Florida still feels like home.  Maybe it’s because my closest family (aka my parents and siblings) all live and/or congregate there for the holidays.  Maybe it’s because, well, Palm Beach Gardens is just awesome.  Endless warm weather, white sandy beaches, amazing foodie scene, and the best shopping center in the entire world: The Gardens Mall

lilly pulitzer and bellini

Lilly Pulitzer from the signature Gardens store and a Bellini at Brio.  Basically perfection.

Not to mention the world’s best supermarket:

veuve yaaas

Publix – home to $40 Veuve Cliquot sales and Caitlin’s favorite cake

Oh yeah – Cait was in Florida too – in Palm Beach Gardens – where she is ever year for Christmas.  It’s amazing we met in Connecticut and not previously in Florida, all things considered.  Anyway, it makes the holidays that much better, and it’s always lovely to see Cait’s little sister Hannah too!

downtown at the gardens

Photo credit to Caitlin in this picture, which is why she’s not pictured.  I love 1/ the Florida Christmas trees and 2/ that I casually match the tree.  Also – @SingerIslandScenes Instagram reblogged this – I recommend following them to anyone who loves beautiful Floridian wildlife, as there’s plenty of that on their page.

This particular picture was taken during one of several excursions to Downtown at the Gardens.  I relived my college days with happy hour at Ra and the completely amazing crunchy spicy tuna roll:

spicy tuna roll

Whoa.  So good. 

We also ventured to a really cool cigar bar – Angry Moon Cigars

cigar bar howard

Pros: excellent Instagram.  Cons: wicked bad chest infection which probably had something to do with cigar.  Oh well.  I’ll probably still try another at some point, as it was really good

And a huge trip highlight – a trip to The Cooper

dave bouchard cocktails

Dave doing his most excellent mixology thing

Yes – the Max Restaurant Group has a location in Palm Beach Gardens now, so naturally we’re obsessed with it.  It was lovely to drink a sophisticated take on rum punch in the December:

the walking dead

The Walking Dead: House rum blend, velvet falernum, don’s mix, grenadine, angostura, absinthe

As well as a most excellent cheese plate:

helen geo and caitlin

That’s my little sis in my crop top and my awesome cousin Geo in my vintage Lilly Pulitzer shirt.  I love it

And a small tuna plate:

tuna dish cooper

ALL MINE

One of my very best friends from college, Jenn, stopped by for drinks after dinner too, the same night!  So much fun catching up

kat and jenn

Love her

So yes – tons and tons of fun time with friends.  But of course – the time with Penelope was the most special and important of all!  And she had a blast – on the beach:

p on singer island

Making her beautiful sand castle

Hanging with her Papi:

p w papi

Yep!  That’s my Daddy

Chilling with Mommy:

with p on the beach

Baby fedora, we brought congri, and then P took a nap on the beach.  Super Cuban.

Baking ninja gingerbread:

gingerbread ninjas howard

Excellent ninjas or spastic gingerbread men or whatever.

Attending church on Christmas Eve at Christ Fellowship:

p mammy and auntie

There was a step and repeat (really – it’s the South) but unfortunately we were too distracted to get a picture (also I knew Helen would mock me for asking)

P also enjoyed playing her new American Girl dolly, courtesy of her Daddy’s parents… I mean Santa Claus:

p and beautiful dolly

Such a beautiful dolly.  I’m already plotting our trip to NYC for tea with the dolly.  Obviously more for me than for P at this point, but I think she will enjoy it also

with her cousins Christmas day:

cousins awww

Awwwww.  P and Logan!

Oh – also Christmas day?  This happened.  It’s a full on Cuban Christmas lunch:

cuban style christmas dinner

You know, the traditional stuff.  Tostones, black beans, yucca with mojo, brussel spouts, mac and cheese, glazed carrots, sous vide lamb, and sous vide pork. 

P and I wore matching Mommy and me Lilly Pulitzer from Silkworm in West Hartford:

p and mommy on the beach lilly pulitzer

My precious baby!

So basically yes, not a traditional white Christmas with stockings by the fire and a roast turkey (or …something?  I think some people do these things, haha).  But a perfect Christmas for us in every way.  Can’t wait to go back soon – I hope everyone else was blessed with lovely family and friends and great family traditions also!

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2 thoughts on “#SingerIslandScenes and Family Bonding in Florida

  1. Haha I did not take that photo of you/Helen/Hannah, I wasn’t in Florida yet! But, it was a great pic. And i’m LOLing at how trolly I am on the cheese in that Cooper pic.
    Florida still feels like home to me too! Even though I haven’t lived there since 2001. I guess if you come back to a place often enough, you never lose that feeling. I love that we both have ties to PBG!

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