Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas 2017

Well, we’re wrapping up our week-long Christmas jaunt down to Hilton Head, South Carolina, visiting with the wife’s family. This is the first time in seven years I’ve been down here this time of season. In 2010 it was a mild 50s/60s experience. This time around, however, temps averaged 10-20 degrees colder, the skies being rainy and overcast the last few days (though Christmas Day was truly beautiful).

The island sans tourists is a lonely place. We rented a villa a hundred yards from the Atlantic Ocean for a little more than the cost of a regular hotel room, and feel we own it since the resort is at most hovering at 10 percent capacity. On the beach, though, there’s usually anywhere from a dozen to over a hundred people meandering, jogging, walking canines, observing wildlife, communing with the Sea. All depends on the wind factor, I suppose.

Egretta thula that stalked me over three days …

Santa was, of course, good to the girls. Very good. A trip to Disney in the near future. Pajamas and gloves and bathrobes and mugs and stuffed animals and jackets and art supplies and games. Patch got a pop-up tent she’s wanted for months, and Little One got an iPhone upgrade. The wife got a gift certificate to the local fancy spa as well as some little trinkets from the girls. Me, I got clothes (desperately needed), plus another desperately needed item, a 20th-century piece of technology known as a CD player / Walkman.

No books from the fat man in red, but I have plenty to read. Indeed I’ve put away nearly two books of SF short stories – maybe twenty tales all told. Plus a book on Carl Jung (always been meaning to dip my toes in those waters) and a field guide to local bird life down here.

Also been maintaining my lower-the-high-blood-pressure routine. Walking every morning for 30 minutes. Kept up with my glass of red in the early evening and chocolate square in the afternoon. Ate pounds of blueberries and a bunch of apples and bananas, and took all my supplements. One night I had a few too many beers (really the only night I had beer) and the next morning I could literally feel the blood vessels constricting. It was a lesson learned.

Was also a bit of a working vacation, too. Spent a little over six hours finishing my pre-tax Tax Season, which involved two more online classes, registering in New York state, and studying my 120 pages or so of notes from over the past two months. I don’t feel as prepared as I should, but I’ll be in good shape when I start sitting with clients to prepare tax returns, probably in a month’s time.

What did we do? Well, my in-laws are serious gourmands, so just about every night we dined like royalty. They belong to a club down here (their house is situated on the 11th fairway), so lunch was eaten there. I’ve sampled a couple different varieties of salad. And while I don’t feel that I’ve lost any significant weight, I don’t think I’ve gained any holiday pounds either.

The girls swam in the resort’s indoor pool just about every day. One night we walked around Harbor Town and moseyed among the vibrantly-lit Christmas displays. The girls and I invented a fun volleyball-ish game to play in Nana’s driveway which entertained us with laughs and giggles for over an hour. They played their instruments for their grandparents (clarinet and saxophone). We’ve done about 75 percent of a puzzle on the living room floor. Tonight, in honor of 20 years since our first date, the wife and I are going out for a bite by ourselves.

Tomorrow we begin the fifteen-hour trek home, leaving the villa around 6:30. This time tomorrow we should be entering North Carolina. A bittersweet ending to the year. After New Years Eve and Day (which we have no plans but to rest and relax from our “restful” and “relaxing” vacation) it’s roll up yer sleeves and back to the grindstone.

Next up – Hopper’s “Best-Ofs” for 2017 …


Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful! So happy for "The Hopper Family"! Have fun in Disney...please blog all about it! Safe trip home...and, back to work!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to all. Glad you had an enjoyable "Christmas Vacation". See what I did there? Better start getting ready for the new tax law next year. Worked it out and comes out about the same for us using this year's numbers.