No procrastination on taking down Christmas decorations this year. Like yanking a bandaid off, we took down and stored all the outside and inside holiday decor. Thankfully the weather was good for the outdoor lights and one more day of Christmas shopping although I hated the crowded mall.
After an overnight stay in Columbus to visit family, we began our flight south. The weather was overcast but clear and we could only hope that it would hold as we passed through the West Virginia and Virginia mountains.
A little snow began falling the higher we climbed and instead of the temperature rising as we headed south, it fell as we gained altitude. The snow got a bit thicker and whiter and deeper before we crested and began our descent into North Carolina. To our delight the temperature rose from a cold 25 in the mountains to a warmer 40 degrees by the time we stopped in Dobson, our regular stay along the way.
Bob had already made reservations at the Harvest Grill that sits in the middle of a grape vineyard at the Shelton Estate Winery and Vineyards. A roaring fire in the fireplace greeted us and we were seated just close enough to be toasty and comfortable for our dinner.
The next day our goal was to see the temperature rise at least another 20 degrees. It did. By the time we reached our next stop in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island it was in the lower 60s. We still needed a jacket but certainly not a winter coat although there were some Floridians bundled up in boots and coats in the evening as we went to dinner.
Two things were happening that night. First there was a NCAA playoff game, OSU v. Clemson--but we won't elaborate on that. Let's just say that we didn't watch it all the way through. The other event was the local shrimp drop that was to happen at midnight to welcome in the new year. Since we needed to get up early for our last leg of the journey we didn't stick around for the drop but did catch a glimpse of the preparation and watched a bit as many families began to arrive for the festivities. It looked like there would be a lot of fun for all ages.
Sure enough our last leg of the journey had the temperatures rising more than 20 degrees. By the time we landed in Key Largo, the temps were in the lower 80s. They were in a stretch of unseasonably warm weather unlike the previous year where we arrived to unseasonably cold weather. Warm or cold, it was still better that back home where our camera showed at least four inches of snow on the deck.
Unlike last year too, we arrived to find a beautiful condo awaiting us with a warm welcome note and a bed ready for road weary travelers. Let the Florida fun begin.