Thankfully, we all felt much, much happier about our Christmas than Rigby felt during his visit with Santa! (Secretly, I'll admit that I was pretty excited to finally get a "crying baby with Santa picture" since Jack has never once shown any Santa fear!) And, to clarify, I think the reason Rigby looks terrified in this shot is that what we captured the exact moment that he woke up from a nap to find himself in Santa's arms!
So, aside from that one Santa moment, we did indeed have a magical and fun-filled Christmas! We did many Christmas things locally and it was fun to discover all the different ways to celebrate in a new city. We loved discovering the fun and beauty of Ponce City Market, the reading of the Grinch at Little Shop of Stories with a visit from the Grinch himself was great fun, and going to see the Rudolph puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts was a big hit for Jack.
We spent the week leading up to Chrsitmas in Pensacola (the last time we were there for Christmas was 4 years ago!); David and I were even lucky enough to sneak away to New Orleans for a a few days pre-Christmas while the boys stayed with my parents.
New Orleans was charming as always. Hearing live music in a sun-filled outdoor courtyard at Bacchanal Wine was really spectacular and probably the highlight of the trip for me! Going out for cocktails (Loa), eating delicious food (Bacchanal Wine, Willa Jean, Domenica, Copper Monkey - the gumbo and monkey bread beignets were so delicious!) and Parkway - the poboys are outstanding and so large (order a half size unless you are sharing) and the fried pickles should not be overlooked- yum!), walking the streets filled with beautiful homes, and gawking at immaculately decorated hotel lobbies (The Roosevelt, in particular) were all pretty outstanding too. It was a great get-away! I left wishing for more days there simply to have the time (and stomach space) to eat and drink more!
Pensacola Beach in the "off season" is one of my favorite places in the world. It is always so fun to see Jack and Rigby run and play in the white sand that David and I grew up running and playing in. Rigby absolutely loved the beach! He finds this sense of peace and serenity in the sand that he doesn't seem to find any other place and I just love watching him there. And, it just so happened that we timed our beach visit with the sunset, so it was lovelier still. We topped off our beach outing with seafood at Peg Leg Pete's and Jack (sort of) tried his first raw oyster.
This Christmas, the brotherly bond between Jack and Rigby was really evident; I love being a witness to the beginning of a lifetime of shared holidays between these two. They loved watching the train that Pop's set up around the Christmas tree, they snuggled together in my parent's living room, and they played so well with each other!
I hope your holidays were fun, restful, and full of magic and love. I love the start of a New Year; Let's do this 2017!