After a busy week of work, and a little bit of Christmas shopping, we were ready for a break this weekend. Saturday night was the resort’s Christmas Party, with a catered dinner and live entertainment.
Tom, Bryce and I helped with the setup and then stayed to enjoy the dinner & entertainment (at least Tom & I did, Bryce left after he helped clean up after dinner . . . he was afraid some of those ladies would try to make him dance! lol) Dinner could have been better, but the entertainment was really good, and some of the folks at this resort are pretty rowdy! We had a good time, and I even sampled some blackberry moonshine, from the Old Smokey Distillery in Gatlinburg. It was really good, and so smooth! I may have to get some of that!
On Sunday after mass, Bryce and I made gingerbread cookies while Tom found some people to visit with.
After an early dinner, we drove up to Punta Gorda for their Lighted Holiday Boat Parade. Bryce checked out the parade route online, and determined that the closest of the best viewing points was Fisherman’s Village in downtown Punta Gorda. It was about a 30 minute drive up I75, and we joined the crowds parking at Fisherman’s Village.
We’ve never been there before, and found Punta Gorda to be a cute little town. Fisherman’s Village is a collection of shops and restaurants along a pier, surrounded by a Marina.
The Grinch arrived just as we did, and stopped for a photo with Bryce.
Tom had to settle for a big fish!
The Punta Gorda High School Band was playing a Christmas Concert, so we found a spot overlooking the water where we could listen to them.
Not long after the concert ended, we could see the boats coming into the harbor alongside Fisherman’s Village. Unfortunately, the spot we had picked out for viewing (along with a bunch of other people) was not far enough out on the pier, and the boats were turning around and heading back out into the harbor before they got to us!
We quickly moved to a spot further out on the pier, but it wasn’t as good a spot, and there were lots of people in front of us. We could still see the boats as they went by, but I couldn’t get very good pictures.
I did manage to get a picture of one of the boats parked along the pier after the parade ended.
On top of all that chaos, Nicolas was trying to call me, and my phone wouldn’t let me answer! I missed his call three times, but as we were walking out, he called one more time and I was able to answer it! I’m so glad that boy is persistent!
We had a great conversation! He’s still doing well, and passing all of his tests and inspections. He’s at the halfway point now (I can hardly believe it!), and starting to practice drills for their graduation ceremony. This week they get measured for their dress uniforms and get their graduation portraits taken. His training group is not eligible to be adopted out for Christmas, but he said that they’ve already seen the menu for their Christmas dinner, and it looks pretty good! He’s doing amazing well, and we’re so proud of him! We can’t wait to see him soon!