*Annual Pond Lighting at the North Florida Regional Medical Center, Gainesville
This is a fun event for anyone to go see during the Christmas season. They have a count down to light up the whole area surrounding the pond! It was really pretty. They also had free hot chocolate and cookies, Santa and Mrs. Clause, The Grinch, Frosty the Snowman, and live entertainment (mostly singing).
*SeaWorld with Kristina, Jenna, and Owen
I was so glad to FINALLY get to hang out with my old roomies (and Owen) again! I have always loved SeaWorld! The Clyde and Seamore show with the sea lions is my favorite! The sea lions have such great personality's! The (fairly) new roller coaster, Manta, is a lot of fun. You are sitting upright, but right before you take off they turn the seats, so you are in a position as if you were flying like Superman. The only downside was that the Shamu show just isn't the same since the trainers no longer get in the water with the killer whales. :(
They decorate SeaWorld nice for the holiday. They have Christmas trees all in the water, decorations, and lots of lights. I even received a little glass dolphin ornament for being a season passholder. Also, I think the Christmas ice skating show is new...and was fun to watch! I love seeing all the costume changes...and of course the ice skating itself!
---SEAWORLD HINT--- Jenna & Owen found out that if you are a Florida Resident, instead of buying a single day ticket you can get a "Fun Card" for the same price...which allows you to come back to SeaWorld as many times as you want until the end of 2011!!! We got ours upgraded at the counter since we originally bought single day tickets.
*Alpha-1 Christmas Party
Great food and company at our annual Christmas party!
*Epcot and Hollywood Studios with the Fam
For lunch we ate at Restaurant Marraskesh, which had Moroccan food (think couscous, cinnamon, thin pastries, lamb, and kebabs). They have live music and a belly dancer perform on a stage in the middle of the restaurant. Afterwards, we got to see Whoopi Goldberg tell the Christmas story at the Candlelight Processional. The story of Jesus' birth is told in between Christmas songs from a choir and orchestra.
--EPCOT CHRISTMAS PROCESSIONAL HINT-- We got the dinner package where you eat a meal at one of the restaurants in Epcot and then get guaranteed seating for the Candlelight Processional show. I would highly advise you doing this package if you want to see the show, because it fills up QUICK. The whole seating area seemed to almost be completely filled by the time the special guests and dinner package peeps got in.
After Epcot, we headed over to HollyWood Studios to see the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. The whole street is filled with lights that dance to the music. Sadly, these were the last pictures taken by my precious Canon camera. :( I think there was some kind of electrical charge in the area that just killed it because my mom and I took a picture at the same time, my camera turned off (forever) and her screen went all wacky and had lines on it. So...I'm under the impression that Disney killed my camera.
*Paula Deen's Restaurant, The Lady & Sons- Savannah, GA
If I had a bucket list...eating at Paula Deen's restaurant would be on it! I guess admiring her butter loving recipes from afar has deeply intrigued me to want to try some of them first hand. I finally got my chance this month! I had seen mixed reviews on the restaurant, so I wasn't expecting too much....but we were pleasantly surprised! Eric and I both got the buffet and it was SO delicious! EVERYTHING was good! Great hoe cakes and cheese biscuits, creamed corn, sweet tea (was SO good!), yams, fried chicken, collared greens, mashed potatoes....I mean I could go on and on.
I would definitely say it is worth the wait...which by the way--you have to do in the morning! The restaurant does not take reservations unless you have a party of 10 or more (except on special holidays like Valentine's Day). To get a seat for the day you have to go by the hostess station the morning you want to go and get a time slot to eat. I hear that during the tourist season the line can start a couple of hours before the hostess even starts taking names. I think the hostess starts taking names at 9:30am. I was there at 9:15am and was the first in line. Shortly after, people started lining up behind me. I think the line was so short because it was freezing outside! Lucky us! lol.
Congrats to my wonderful husband for getting an Engineering degree from the University of Florida!
*Ugly Christmas Sweater/ Cookie Party at Work
What do you think about our Christmas sweaters? Ugly or not? And which one wins...the black or pink one?? :)
Sorry that this is like a MEGA post. Have a very Merry Christmas and fabulous New Year!!