Having grown up in Michigan, enjoying winter activities such as skiing, sledding, and snowball fights, it has been strange to have celebrated the Christmas holidays in warmer climates since we have been fulltime RVers. This year we stayed at Wickham Park in Brevard County, near Cocoa Beach, FL. The park has a community center, senior center, multiple picnic areas and playgrounds, a big Frisbee Golf area, and an RV park – something for just about everyone! Wickham Park is a great place to camp. There are full hookup sites, plenty of paths and trails to walk on and an easy place to bicycle. There were also plenty of geocaches to keep me busy.
As we pulled into the park one of the first things we noticed was that it was the site of the Space Coast Lightfest. Every evening people would drive for miles to drive through the park enjoying the lights. The night after we arrived was set aside for a “stroll” through the park. No cars were allowed and we walked around the park enjoying the light show, quite a unique experience. There are light shows in Michigan but you certainly don’t walk around them in shorts and a t-shirt!
We may not be in snow country, but we still decorate for the holidays. We drape ornaments from the crown moldings of our trailer’s slideout rooms. I decorate the small tree that my mom sent to me when I was deployed in the Persian Gulf for Desert Shield and Desert Storm. We hang lights in our windows and I make a tree of lights outside. Pat says it is hard to really get into the Christmas spirit when you have the air conditioning running while you are decorating! As we walked around the campground it was interesting to see how others had decorated their RVs for the season.
There were several interesting things going on this season. One of the first was the “super” full moon. This was one of those rare times when the moon is the closest to the earth. We could see the detail of the craters with only the aid of normal binoculars.
My sister flew in to see her brother-in-law, Paul, his wife, Mary Ann, and we joined them for lunch. You know it’s getting bad when the prime topic of conversations revolves around aches and pains and other health issues. I’m not saying we are old, but it is getting harder to ignore it!
We also got to witness the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral. We drove to a site on the beach where we could get a good view. I was glad we got there early because the area filled up quickly with others having the same idea. One thing that made this a very unique launch is that they recovered the booster rocket by having it land back on the launch pad. It was literally like watching the launch in reverse.
On the Florida Spacecoast Santa doesn’t come down the chimney, he skydives in! We spent most of an afternoon watching “Skydiving Santas” landing on the beach at the Cocoa Beach Pier. They jumped from a WWII era C-47 cargo plane and a UH-1 helicopter. The targets on the beach included inflatable chairs and sleighs. Several of the Santas landed right in front of us and I was totally jealous of them. Just watching them made me want to climb into a parachute harness and join them!
The rest of our time was spent doing Christmas shopping, attending services at three different churches in the area, kayaking, and spending time with some friends from Key West who were camping at nearby Patrick Air Force Base. Like us, many of them were killing time waiting for the campground at Sigsbee Island (Naval Air Station Key West) to reopen. We joined them for their weekly happy hour at the base marina.
On December 19th we flew back to Michigan for the holidays and our annual doctor visits. We had plenty of snow and cold weather this year and the temperatures stayed in the single digits the most of the time. The plus side is that I got a chance to use my cross-country skis again!
Christmas with the family in Bad Axe is always fun. We were able to see relatives that we only get a chance to see once a year and celebrate how blessed our lives have been. We hope everyone else had a Merry Christmas and the next time you hear from us we will be enjoying the sunshine in Key West, FL. Happy New Year!