Saturday, December 6, 2008

On the Road for Christmas: A Magical Holiday on Sanibel

The first Christmas I ever spent away from home was on a trip through South America. It was my first Christmas on the road, but not my last.

That first Christmas eve on the road occurred while I was staying with friends of friends in Miraflores, an upscale suburb of Lima, Peru. It was a delightful place to catch my breath on a rather off, off road adventure where basic comfort was often a luxury. But there in Miraflores, the home was commodious and elegant. Beds were large with good mattresses and meals were convened with the ringing of a little silver bell which beckoned the staff from the kitchen.

It was warm that first Christmas on the road, as seasons are reversed with the USA, and everyone in Miraflores was outside celebrating on Christmas eve. I remember that at midnight fireworks went off as far as the eye could see and the tropical landscape was illuminated in bright spurts of various colors. I was in a foreign country but it did not feel strange. My hosts, however, sensing that I might be homesick gave me a Christmas present I will always remember, allowing me to call my family to say happy holidays.

My second Christmas away from home was in Merida, Mexico. A little older, I was with a romantic interest traveling through Mexico. On Christmas eve I was treated to a horse and buggy ride to see this tropical center of the State of Yucatan. The colonial and historic aspects of Merida made for a most pleasant and interesting ride through the charming, lamp-lit cobblestone streets which were lined with palm trees.

Both of those Christmas holidays were wonderful, and ones I won't forget.

But equally memorable and wonderful was the Christmas I spent on Sanibel Island, Florida.

The Christmas lights, the decorations on every building and seemingly on every palm tree, the good cheer of all the people visiting, the great purchases possible both pre and post the holiday and the ability to walk and bike and develop a tan when everyone back home was digging out their cars from under a major snow fall has kept that vacation fresh in my mind after all these years. It was magic in the making, and remains so in the memory of it.

And, when contrasted, the Sanibel Christmas was truly a familiar Christmas given the relative ease of vacationing in America---- where neither language nor monetary denominations needed translation.

Have your own Christmas on the road this year on the Island of Sanibel. Rates are down making it more affordable than ever, bargains in buying are everywhere, and the holiday lights are bright against the star-filled tropical sky.


Tootie said...

AND, the weather is PERFECT! :-)

Samba said...

As it always is, Tootie. Lucky you to live on this paradise Island!