The Christmas Boat Parade was just what the name promised - and more.
Twenty one boats decorated with lights and manned crews of revelers dancing and partying (and with enough Santa Clauses to take care of a LOT of shopping malls) looped around and around Christiansted Harbor. The shore was lined by about 4,000 revelers and everyone had a great time. Max found some other kids to play with (Max always finds some other kids to play with) and Janet came and enjoyed the spectacle.
And it finished with fireworks - a really good show of them over the water. Anything that concludes with fireworks is okay in my book.
The traffic getting out of town was impossible, so we went east, cut across the island and took the South Shore road back to the highway and home. And yes, we're very excited about the fact that we knew how to do that. We almost never get lost anymore.
Our decorations were modest this year. We have two boxes stuffed with Christmas decorations, but they're still in storage in Oregon waiting for us to ransom them.
One thing I insisted on getting, something I wouldd have scoffed at back in Oregon, was a three-foot-tall plastic snowman, lit from inside, with a kind of scary leer on his face. I think that's supposed to be a smile. I don't know, but we immediately dubbed him Ugly the Snowman.
In a snowy, cold locale the thing would be beyond kitsch. But here it's wonderfully ironic, and it made me smile every time I plugged it in.
Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree,
Your palm fronds delight us.
Oh yeah, we went with the palm tree for our Tannenbaum. You can get traditional trees here, shipped in refrigerated containers, but they range from badly overpriced for scraggly, four-foot trees, to hideously overpriced for five and six foot trees. Remember, living in Oregon we had never paid more than twenty five bucks for a tree, full, tall and lush. We just couldn't, although Tori did bring home a few lopped off branches so we could sell the "Doug fir smell. Instead, for sixty bucks we got a six-foot live potted palm that carried the few ornaments and lights we've bought. It's beautiful, and it's alive - we'll have this tree for ages.
If you've been watching this blog at all, you've already seen the picture of Tori on the beach three days before Christmas. On Christmas day we went down to the beach so she could try out the new snorkeling mask she got for Christmas.
The water was a little choppy, she said, but the mask worked beautifully, no leaking and better visibility than she had with her old Kmart special. And considering that back in Oregon there was snow and ice and all manner of crap all over the ground, complaining that the water was a little choppy seems sort of rude.
We have been watching the weather back north, and we try not to taunt people, but it's hard. I mean, one of the main reasons for moving here is the weather. And I remember how cold and miserable we were every winter. So I hope you'll forgive us for a little taunting.
People keep sending us pictures of the snowfall on the streets, houses and landscape with notes saying, "Isn't it pretty?" "Isn't it beautiful?"
Sorry, but no it's not. I have driven and walked and suffered through enough of that in my life to say no. What's beautiful is that stretch of beach three minutes from my front door.
Christmas morning was good. The kids seemed to enjoy things, everyone got something they really liked, even though sometimes choices here on the island are limited. Even better - the kids all seemed to feel really good about things they got other people. As a parent you always like to see when they get it, you know?
Lots of books under the tree. I'm now working my way through "American Lion," the bio of Andrew Jackson, Tori already whipped through the New Toni Morrison, and Millie flew through the four boo she got.
We'll have a little more before we wrap up the holidays, but this is getting too long.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and all the other joys of the season (no matter which season you celebrate) to all our friends, from the Baurs tucked away warm on their island.