When you think about the Christmas season, what comes to mind? If you say sleigh bells, snowmen and seriously cold weather, you’re not alone. But if you’re like me and prefer your festive without the frigid, a boating excursion in sunny Sarasota might be your new favorite holiday tradition.
Picture this: instead of snow, how about miles of white sand, glinting in the sunlight? Instead of a pine tree decorated with ornaments, how about tiny white lights spiraling up a palm tree, or a dozen crab traps, lit up and stacked to resemble your favorite Christmas spruce?
Gary and I spent the first weekend in December on MissLED, and the Christmas season in Sarasota was already in full swing. We spent Saturday evening docked at Marina Jack, a festive marina and restaurant in walking distance from downtown Sarasota. Have you ever seen a yacht adorned with garland, or wrapped in bright red tinsel?Neither had I—until I saw the boat in the slip behind ours. I was expecting Santa to saunter off at any moment!
When we walked into town that night, we stumbled upon the city’s Christmas parade. Yes, it included a ship and several convertibles—not to mention a white tiger.
Sunday we found ourselves doing a typically Floridian activity: sitting on the beach, watching the sunset over the Gulf. Felt more like July than Christmas–until I caught a glimpse of a Christmas tree over the bluff, framed beautiful by tall palms and a festively-lit restaurant.
Admittedly, all this Christmas pine in SW Florida is about as natural as fake snow; the more common evergreens, of course, are palms. Plastic pine aside, in just two days we were swept away by Sarasota’s Christmas spirit, which is genuine, whimsical and simply fun.
And let’s be honest: who wouldn’t rather rock around the Christmas tree with a tan?