Greetings from Florida!
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Happy Kwanzaa/Joyful Holiday Season! My mom, brother, and I were on the road for the past 48 hours (with a brief hotel break in Savannah, Georgia to catch some zzz’s) on our way to Florida, and we have finally arrived! My butt and legs are so thankful. #sittingissues
We were indeed driving all Christmas day, which explains the title of this post. It wasn’t an ideal way to spend the beloved holiday, but there were many festivities happening throughout the week that made up for it!
Christmas Eve Eve
My cousins, aunt, and uncle came over on Tuesday so that we could all spend some quality time together for a day. It was a joy to play with my little cousins, converse with my aunt and uncle, and celebrate the anticipation of Jesus on Christmas! And we ate lots because…’tis the season..?!
Mom and I prepared a buffet spread for the crowd that included curry chicken, green beans, salmon with dill honey mustard yogurt sauce, brown rice, and Singapore noodles from H-Mart. Everything was fabulous!
Lots of cookies have been consumed in the past few days, but I think these chocolate-dipped peanut butter pretzels from our lovely neighbors take first prize. Oof. Just look at that peanut butter to pretzel ratio.
Mom and I got up early to prepare breakfast for everyone, and my cousin Angela also helped make the banana pancakes and waffles with me!
That photo of the arranged Mickey Mouse pancakes/French toast muffins would be my plate, not my cousin’s. Because I knew I would be in Florida, so Disney, so yes.
The rest of the day involved more fellowship, food, relaxation, and some moves! I did Jen’s 1000 rep home workout before going to Christmas Mass in the evening.
No equipment, but all sweat! It was a fun, fast-paced, effective workout. However, I only quickly ate an apple after doing this and before going to Mass, so I was starrrrrrving for the 2.5 hours before we went to dinner. Christmas Mass was glorious though, and the hymns were beautiful distractions from my hunger.
Our Christmas Eve dinner was spent at a Brazilian/Italian restaurant called Gaucho Grill. Daliza’s family kindly gave us a gift card for the restaurant as a thank you for taking Daliza to Florida with us this summer (missing you here now, girl). The food was so delicious!
shared a crab cake for appetizer // Pop’s skirt steak // Ben’s meat-tastic paella // grilled asparagus and spinach for the table // Mom’s gargantuan chicken parm // my scallops with lentils // apple strudel a la mode to share for dessert
Came hungry, left pretty stuffed, but happy.
Why did we decide to travel all day on Christmas you might ask? Well, Pop only had Christmas Day off of work this week, but we needed to get to Florida to prepare the house for our family friends who are coming today. Thus, my family decided to spend Christmas Eve together before mom, Ben and I left for our two-day road trip. As I said before, these were not ideal Christmas plans, but we still had lots of family time, so it’s all good!
Ben and I drove the whole way down because poor mom is battling a stubborn, nasty cold that is giving her cough attacks and puffy eyes, so driving for her wouldn’t be very safe.
Morning of travel calls for overnight oats! Bonus points for it being in an almost-empty peanut butter jar.
A road trip in the northeast also calls for a stop at Cinnabon. The three of us split this [big] baby sans frosting because none of us are too crazy about it— the cinnamon roll is sweet and delicious enough as is! (Sorry, Arman.)
Virginia is for lovers…me, myself, and I.
After 12+ hours of driving, we hunkered down in Savannah, Georgia for the night. There is no feeling quite like stretching out after being cooped up in a car all day.
Ben and I walked to and from Hardee’s (a fast food restaurant) near the hotel for a refreshing evening walk. We didn’t get anything— just walked in, took a whiff of the burgers and fries, and left.
Afterwards, I convinced Ben to join me in doing this 15 minute arms and abs workout. The chest-to-floor pushups really got us both on that one!
Too happy about hotel beds.
Also too happy about
free included hotel breakfasts.
oatmeal with honey, dried fruit, pecans, and banana + eggs
Ben generously took the last 4 hour driving shift all the way to Orlando, where we stopped for lunch at Tako Cheena, a little Asian-Latin fusion restaurant. We all got some yummy Asian tacos!
tom yum chicken // “sweet stranger” tempeh and veggie // panko-crusted cod // tom yum shrimp // korean beef
And now we are finally settled into our Florida vacation house for the next 2.5 weeks! Moves were desperately needed after two days of mostly sitting, so Ben and I took a stroll around our neighborhood and then I did a quick impromptu workout in our backyard:
This workout plus Florida humidity=drenched in sweat and chugging water like no other. The double unders were really fun though! I’ve improved a lot since this video from the summer!
Dinner last night was a salad of spinach (that traveled all the way down the east coast with us in a cooler) plus balsamic vinaigrette and parmigiano reggiano + half a toasted banh mi sandwich we picked up earlier in the afternoon.
A couple hours later, I made a late night Publix run for some groceries, but this was the real reason I went:
Publix ice cream is the besttttttttt. I got the limited edition peach cobbler ice cream…naturally. When I got home from the store, I grabbed a clean spoon and scooped out the melted perimeter of the ice cream carton, because that is where ice cream is in its prime state of matter. And that was all I needed. That big melty spoonful made me content.
There you have it, friends— our not-so-typical Christmas. Then again, what is a “typical” Christmas for us anyway? We almost didn’t make it to Christmas last year.
Thank God for safe travels and of course, for sending His Son as a child to dwell on earth and die for our sins. Wishing you all a blessed weekend wherever you are and whatever you’re up to!
(I unfortunately think I might be coming down with something… It was inevitable considering Ben and my mom have been coughing up a storm for the past week!)
So tell me:
One fun holiday-related thing you did this week!
The best thing you ate this week.
Do you like to jump rope?
Is there a food you like to get on road trips?
Do you love that melty part of ice cream or nah?