Archive for December 25th, 2007

The Captain Has A Biltmore Christmas

After an extremely busy season, the holidays are finally winding down.  Megan and I had a very low key first Christmas as husband and wife.  Considering the immense amount of traveling we did this year, we decided to stay in Florida for the holidays.  That turned out to be a great decision.

After a day of lounging around the house, we drove down to Tampa on the 23rd to visit some of my family.  The weather was gorgeous; it stayed in the 60s and 70s both days we spent in Tampa.  Sunday afternoon we took my grandmother shopping at Costco for her Christmas present, which gave me the perfect opportunity to stock up on wine and booze for the new bar cabinet.

We spent Christmas Eve-eve at Belleview Biltmore Resort, a 110 year old hotel built right on the bay in Clearwater.  The view outside was dazzling, and inside the view was reminiscent of the hotel in The Shining.  The white walls, long hallways and gothic-patterned carpet aesthetic gave off quite a creepy vibe.  We couldn’t resist attempting a couple of creepy pictures.

We finished off our evening with a walk around the marina and a dip in the outdoor hot tub.  While it was a bit surreal to be outside in a swimsuit the day before Christmas Eve, the full moon and mild weather made for a quite a relaxing time.

Megan and I started out our Christmas Eve with a nice long walk on the beach in the morning.  We spent the afternoon enjoying Christmas dinner with family before heading back to Tallahassee.  That nite featured a mini-Christmas miracle; I went to midnight Mass with Megan.  I’m not exactly the church at midnight type, but I wanted to make the holiday special for my new bride.

On Christmas Day Megan and I enjoyed our 4th annual holiday lazy day.  Our first Christmas together we started a tradition of devoting one day during the holiday break to do absolutely nothing.  We spend the day lounging around the house in our pajamas eating unhealthy food and watching bad movies.  This year we enjoyed a rack of ribs (which were excellent) while watching Stardust (which was better than I imagined) and 3:10 To Yuma (which was not as good as I imagined).

We also opened all of our gifts on Christmas Day, which was quite rewarding.  Megan and I decided to designate the purchase of the bar cabinet as our main gift to each other, and only bought small stocking stuffers for each other this year.  The gifts from family and friends effectively completed our wedding registry, which is amazing.  The kitchen in our house is now magnificent; thank you to everyone who helped to contribute.

All in all, the Biltmore Resort and our house on Biltmore Avenue were the best way to spend a relaxing Christmas after such a hectic year.  I have now spent three of the last four holiday seasons in Florida.  I’m getting rather fond of the laid back Florida version of Christmas.  However, next year I am planning to return to St. Louis to experience the crazy wild and exhausting Christmas to which I am accustomed.  Until then, I’m gonna kick back and enjoy the rest of 2007.


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