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.
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 from the signature Gardens store and a Bellini at Brio. Basically perfection.
Not to mention the world’s best supermarket:
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!
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:
Whoa. So good.
We also ventured to a really cool cigar bar – Angry Moon Cigars
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 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: House rum blend, velvet falernum, don’s mix, grenadine, angostura, absinthe
As well as a most excellent cheese plate:
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:
One of my very best friends from college, Jenn, stopped by for drinks after dinner too, the same night! So much fun catching up
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:
Making her beautiful sand castle
Hanging with her Papi:
Yep! That’s my Daddy
Chilling with Mommy:
Baby fedora, we brought congri, and then P took a nap on the beach. Super Cuban.
Baking ninja gingerbread:
Excellent ninjas or spastic gingerbread men or whatever.
Attending church on Christmas Eve at Christ Fellowship:
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:
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:
Awwwww. P and Logan!
Oh – also Christmas day? This happened. It’s a full on Cuban Christmas lunch:
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:
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!