We're not used to being this warm during the holiday season and to be honest, I do miss the white or almost white Christmas from the North East. When is cold out you dress up a little more, you talk about playing in the snow and drinking hot cocoa. On this day we were not eating or drinking hot foods, we were not concerned about the right weather clothing to go outside and I, personally, was not worried about getting shocked upon entering or leaving the car. This time we were concerned with having enough water bottles in our beach bag, realizing that some of us did not have a bathing suit and "where's the sun block?" "Do we have enough towels?"
Well that is definitely different for us. I'm not ungrateful at all. It was a very casual day of opening presents, playing outside in the sun, eating delicious, not-so-great for the waist foods, and going to the beach. On Christmas Day? Really? People in warm parts of the country do this all the time. We had a great time playing in the waves, the water was crystal clear with shades of emerald green and deep blue. We collected sea shells and sea glass just for fun and we ate ice cream for dessert. The kids went to the outdoor movie theatre, "The Lyceum," after a heavy Christmas Dinner at the Galley.
Everything about this day was different. One thing remained the same. We were together as a family and that is at the heart of every family, to be together celebrating life. Soon everything will return to a normal routine. Josh will go back to school in the states, the kids will go back to school here, the baby will soon start a 3 day a week, 3 hours a day program and I will busy myself with going to the gym (to work and play), finishing my degree, and unpacking, getting things organized and coming up with delicious meals that fit the environment, I think I'll be grilling A-LOT!. Michael will continue to work as he has since he arrived in September and we will establish a routine just as we have in every duty station.
We have met many great people already and that makes this place very unique. Everyone knows we are all here for the duration and we have to support each other because we've all been "the new family" at some point. Those with more experience help the new ones get around, learn the ropes, and just be friends. I will be forever grateful to those who came and made our beds, provided extra linen, towels, toys, and food. The welcome letter went out to everyone so now we're not anonymous. Thank you everyone for being so welcoming, that means a lot to all of us!
Enjoy the rest of the holiday season, where ever you are.