Monday, August 19, 2013

Santa Didn't Come to Town, We Did

Another Facebook comment allowed us to visit with one more grade school friend when I posted we were in Jacksonville.  Dan wrote we were in his neighborhood (I thought he moved to Deerfield Beach for some reason) and he invited us to his home and to dinner at his favorite Mexican restaurant.

In the morning we went back to Our Lady of Consolation in Callahan for Mass where we were remembered from Wednesday and warmly acknowledged and welcomed. They had coffee and doughnuts afterwards and the deacon came to our table to chat.  When Ted threw our things in the trash, a parishioner asked from where in Texas we are from and a conversation ensued.  What a warm and friendly parish.

After returning home, Ted went shooting and Eileen and I walked next door to the flea market.  I was looking for greeting cards, a new I-Pad cord and a piece of costume jewelry needed for Kristin's wedding.  We struck out on cards but I did find two jeweled pieces that might work so I bought them.  The only cord I saw was $8 but once I get home I can send for one from Amazon for $4 so I passed on that.  When Ted returned he went over and found a cord for $5 and bought it.  Now we're set.

It was about a 45 minute drive to Dan and Denise's home and they were waiting for us.  They moved from Tampa to Memphis to Jacksonville since we saw them last in 2001 just as we were moving to Texas.  They have a lovely home on a nice lake with a beautiful yard.

And what is the something special about them?  They are Mr. And Mrs. Santa Claus!

This is his Santa room, he has a closet full of Santa clothes and his doorbell plays Jingle Bells.  They are very busy during the holidays but Dan is Santa all year long.

His pride and joy is his sleigh used in parades.

He took us to his favorite Mexican restaurant where he was warmly welcomed.  We had a great time with the two for one drinks followed by really good Mexican food.  Ted had told the server to give him the check but we received our first Christmas present of the year from Santa himself when he beat Ted out.  Thank you, Santa!

Our second present was Cincinnati's Graeter's ice cream for dessert when we went back to Santa's house.  It is still made in French copper kettles and packed by hand in Cincinnati.  I guess we have been good little boys and girls so far this year.

Denise asked Tom and Eileen if they had relationships like the ones folks from Westside Cincinnati seem to have.  They admitted they did not and the three of them decided it was unusual.  Actually I think the word they used was "weird!"  Dan, Ted and I got a kick out of that.  If you are a westsider, you don't need six degrees of separation to find a link.  It will take only one or two.  

Thank you, Santa, for a wonderful visit and the gifts.

We are heading west tomorrow, stopping west of Tallahassee for the night.  We haven't heard a peep from Chris.  With the mail going to a commercial service, I guess he didn't have any questions for us.

We have lots of trips on our calendar before the Bucharest to Budapest riverboat cruise next August.  There is still lots to see and do so we need to get back so we can leave again!

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