On the evening of December 19th, I put on my “comfy clothes,” made myself some Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese, and prepped (AKA, watched several episodes of Gilmore Girls) for an overnight, 24 hour long drive down to Orlando, FL with my family. Michael would be joining us later via plane (smart dude) and was off celebrating Christmas with his family that night, so I paced around expectantly like one does before a big trip. Once on the road, we popped on the Serial Podcast, and were good to go.
Our first stop was Universal Studios in Orlando, mostly because of Harry Potter World (#dreams). We spent two days waiting in long lines, seeing an adorable rendition of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and pretending we were at Hogwarts. It was definitely a different sort of Christmas, that’s for sure! 80 degrees? My body was certainly confused. Once finished, we drove another two hours down south to Port St. Lucie, FL, where my Grandma and Great Aunt now live to celebrate Christmas as a family for a few days. :)
Next up, we drove a few more hours down south and ended up in Boca Raton for the “beachy” part of our trip. It was here that I had one of the most fabulous pasta dishes of my life (second to the carbonara in Nice, France) at Piccolino. It was this hole in the wall place that only seated maybe 30 people tops. We weren’t sure what to expect, but man, it did NOT disappoint. The owner served everyone himself and even gave us free fried zucchini appetizers + shots of their homemade limoncello. Plus, the Penne Vodka is something I will dream about for, well, forever. We also spent an afternoon in Miami (South Beach), where we soaked in the hot weather, art deco architecture, and ate amazing Mexican food at a little taco stand called Taquiza.
Overall, it was a great trip and an an interesting take on Christmas from what we’re used to up here in Minnesota. I’ve never spent this particular Holiday out of state, so experiencing 80 degree whether instead of snow was fun! And now, it’s back to dealing with negative temps + a windchill that I’m not too fond of. Until next time, Florida! Stay warm.