Happy weird period between Christmas and New Year where you’re not really sure what’s going on or what day it is!
When we lived in England, this was a pretty laid back week, dedicated to relaxation, eating, drinking and spending time with friends and family. It was common for folks to take the entire week off from work, for offices to be closed and for the festive spirit to continue from Christmas Eve through New Years Day.
Over here in the US it’s very different. You have the big day on the 25th, then all goes back to normal for a week until the big party night on the 31st and the fuzzy heads of New Years Day! It kind of feels like being in limbo for a week.
However, whether I’m in the UK or the US, the festivities don’t end at midnight on Christmas Day for me, it’s my birthday the day after Christmas! Known as Boxing Day and a traditional Holiday in the UK,  I choose to continue the tradition here and give my girls an extra day off, except for the lucky midwife that gets to welcome any new babies who may care to share my day!
Our Christmas was fun! Of course, baby girl was home from Uni so there were the many Christmas traditions to be upheld. On Christmas Eve she and dad (aka Iain!) head out to the movies while I get on with cooking up a feast ready for Christmas Day, but first we did something new, which may well become a tradition. We went out for breakfast a local bar/restaurant that we enjoy Franky D’s in Lutz. Just a short ride away we have become very familiar with the staff and always enjoy a good time there. This was their first morning doing breakfast and we weren’t disappointed – tastiest omelette I’d had in a long time 🙂
After enjoying a fun breakfast, and a couple of good mimosas(!), we headed back and I donned my apron as Iain and Beth headed out for their movie and last minute gifts.
I enjoyed cooking up a storm and dancing round the kitchen to some good Christmas tunes….I love belting out “Fairy Tale of New York”, the Pogues/MacColl version of course!

Christmas Day dawned early for me….I’m such a child! Awake at 4am, I managed to stay calm and read until 5.45 when I got up to make a cup of tea, but when I walked in to the front room I almost went into panic mode. Baby girls’ Christmas stocking was still there, still intact, unopened……what disaster had befallen her? Should I call an ambulance? What possible reason could there be that the normal tearing to shreds of the stocking had not already taken place?!?! Routinely, she awakes with excitement on Christmas Day around 3 am, destroys the whole stocking, and waits eagerly to wake us up at 7:30. I have previously been known to give her a cheeky glass of wine the night before to help her sleep!
A few minutes later my fears were allayed when out stumbles my beautiful girl looking stunned at herself for sleeping so late…..never before known! We cuddled up in her bed and I was able to witness the shredding of the stocking for the first time in 19 years 🙂

The day proceeded well. Presents were exchanged. Traditions were observed; more mimosas, bacon sandwiches, phone calls to our boy and our besties back in the UK and to the parents in France.
Technology is awesome and being able to “FaceTime” makes these calls so much more fun. The best part was my dad laughing his socks off at Iain as he made a swift exit to the bathroom – has to be seen to be appreciated, but the poor man was suffering from an upset stomach, or “the shits” as he announced to our dinner guests when they arrived. As eloquent as ever my husband!

With Iains’ belly still being a bit squiffy, our original four-wheeling plans for my birthday didn’t seem such a good idea after all. I mean, you know, crashing around in the woods, in protective bike gear, with no bathrooms = not conducive to having to run to the toilet at short notice!
Instead we decided to indulge me and see what Florida could offer in the way of waterfalls. Seem’s like a wild goose chase don’t you think? I mean, flat Florida and waterfalls….doesn’t seem to match. But no, surprise of all surprises, the beautiful Rainbow Springs State Park, just two hours drive north of Tampa had three beautiful falls to see and waaaay more! We had a great time and got some lovely pictures. However, as you can read here in my post on the park, it is a park full of opportunities! We will definitely be going back soon to enjoy the full range of activities and probably even take “Betsy” up there to camp for a couple of days 🙂
Take a look at all the pics and read all about our trip here.

The hunt for waterfalls in Florida doesn’t end there. In a week we are hitching up “Betsy” and heading up to Falling Waters State Park up in the Panhandle. The first of many adventures, and blog posts, for 2018.

Enjoy the celebrations folks, stay safe and have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR 🙂