Monday, December 16, 2013

A New Christmas Tradition

With living in Florida, Christmas fun is limited because of the lack of snow.  Growing up in Buffalo, I have awesome memories of getting hot chocolate and getting in the car for a ride through the "fancy" neighborhoods to look at all the Christmas lights.  It's really no fun doing that here in Florida because honestly, Christmas lights look so much prettier when there is a fluffy layer of snow on top of them.  With that being said, I'm always looking for new Christmas traditions that can be done here in the sunshine state.  

There is a mall north from where we live in Carrollwood that is pretty awesome. It's a nice mall that has an open design and all of the store have entrances from the outside!  Over the summer, they have a fantastic market on Saturdays, but we haven't gone there in a couple of years.  At the holiday time, they have a tree lighting ceremony and a Christmas light show that is timed with Trans-Siberian Orchestra music.  Apparently the show is played every hour, on the hour, beginning at 6pm.  

After cooking a tasty meal of homemade sauce and meatballs (I did not make homemade pasta.... ain't nobody got time for that!!!), we quickly cleaned up and headed out to the mall in Wesley Chapel (It's called the Shoppes at Wiregrass).  When we got there, we quickly realized how chilly it was and we made a beeline for Starbucks.  Unfortunately, the only Starbucks there is the one inside of Barnes and Noble and the line was suuuuuper long.  But, you all know me and Starbucks - I've learned more patience there than anywhere else! Ha!  We opted for 2 tall hot chocolates - mine had skim milk and no whip and The Husband's had regular milk and whip cream.  Very tasty, but mine was only lukewarm.  I felt bad because I told my husband it was fine to go ahead and start drinking it, but his was of course, scalding hot.  Weird.  But, even though it wasn't all that warm, it tasted amazing  Godiva hot chocolate? Yes please! :)

By the time we made it back to the Christmas tree area in the courtyard, we must have missed the light show.  But, we were able to catch a local dance company performing some numbers from The Nutcracker! They were really good! We enjoyed standing there, taking in all the sights, and sipping on hot chocolate (or chocolate milk, ha!).  

I was able to capture a few pictures and thought I'd share them!

 Such a pretty tree!

 Enjoying the dancers!

 Now I really want to go see The Nutcracker!

 Starbucks in hand! :) Wow, I'm really short! LOL!

Now we're off to watch The Elf and have some Christmas cookies!  I love this time of year!

Simply blessed,
Lauren 

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