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Christmas Day on St George Island

Yesterday we drove over the bridge from St George Island to the small fishing town of Eastpoint, where Eleanor went on a seafood shopping spree at the local fish shacks.

Eastpoint fish.jpg

She bought smoked mullet, fresh oysters, grouper filets, and served all those things with frozen crab cakes and lobster bisque that we bought in Virginia at The Great Machipongo Clam Shack. This seafood dinner emanates from an old Italian tradition of serving seven fishes on Christmas eve.

All evening and night the sky was dark and the sea was stormy, with thunderstorms. Winds running 30 to 40 MPH whipped the rain against the Airstream all night, but we were comfortable inside watching movies and feasting and wrapping a few last-minute things.

Christmas morning started rainy and gray, but soon the clouds parted and by the time we were finished opening gifts over Ghiradelli hot cocoa, the sky was blue. Emma got what she asked for: a big old-fashioned alarm clock with bells on top, in addition to a lot of art supplies (beads, markers, a potholder kit, picture frames, small stones) and of course a little candy.

Eleanor’s idea of Christmas ““ and virtually all holidays ““ is to cook, a concept which which Emma and I agree. And I bet you’re wondering what she came up with, so here’s the menu.

The remaining oysters were sautéed with garlic buttons and stuffed into one of two sirloin tip roasts. The other roast was stuffed with pesto. She also roasted vegetables in the same pan: carrots, celery, Bermuda onion, whole garlic cloves, and whole macadamia nuts. The nuts become soft and mellow when roasted.

On the side we had a wild mushroom ragout with Porcini, Black Trumpet, Chantrelle, Lobster mushrooms, Oyster mushrooms, Shitake, Crimini, Portobello, and Black Morels. This dish has a particular meaning for us, since we personally foraged some of the mushrooms and dried them years ago. The Black Trumpets and Lobster mushrooms came from our land in Vermont. We collected the Chantrelles in Quebec, near La Mauricie National Park. The Porcini we bought on a trip to northern Italy, and the rest were bought dried from the supermarket.

Elvis is on the stereo singing “Why Can’t Every Day Be Like Christmas” and I can see three small pies (blueberry, apple, cherry) sitting waiting for our appetites to return. We’ll go for a long walk on the beach today, take some pictures of the wildlife, and then go out to post this blog entry.

I want you to know that we are thinking of all our family and friends today. We are so lucky to have met so many of you on the road, and you’ve all become friends. I hope ““ whether or not you celebrate Christmas ““ you are having a wonderful day.

An Airstream Christmas
By Rich

T’was the night before Christmas, and inside our Airstream
Things were not quite as they usually seem,
Stockings were not hung by the chimney at all,
Instead they were carefully Velcro’d to the wall.

The kid was so wired, our chance of sleep was “˜bout nil,
We considered hot cocoa with a strong sleeping pill.
Eleanor was sighing and yawning, and I was no better,
We were slowly growing limp in the humid Florida weather.

When out in the campground, we heard such a crash,
We assumed that raccoons had gotten into the trash.
I ran to the bedroom, and peered out the Vista View,
Hoping to relay the cause to my crew.

And what to my family, did I excitedly say?
“There’s a flock of brown pelicans drawing a sleigh!
Santa’s in a Speedo, and his Elves are in jams,
Toss out the carrots! Get oysters and clams!”

Straight and smooth flew his sleigh, with nary a twitch,
No doubt a result of his fancy new hitch.
The taillights gleamed with bright LEDs,
As the sleigh glided in among the pine trees.

A bit of a fog between the camp rows,
Was easily cut by the pink flamingoes,
And so, with a leveller and chocks pulled tight,
Santa’s sleigh was parked right next to our site.

He leapt to our aluminum roof, the old gent,
Nimbly avoiding the Fantastic Vent,
I knew he was there to make true my wish,
When I saw him installing a satellite dish.

As he worked on the roof, his belly and nose,
Jiggled and wriggled like a flowing dump hose.
There’s clearly no doubt he could have been thinner,
His weight the result of huge rally dinners.

This Florida Santa had different techniques,
He pulled Emma’s toys from the pelican beaks,
Then a few gifts for Eleanor appeared in a snap,
Spices and coffee, and a Wal-Mart road map.

In a flash he was seated back in the sleigh,
Pausing only a second to refresh his bug spray,
I think I heard what he cried, as he was waving his hand,
“This is still a White Christmas, if you count the beach sand!”

St George Island Christmas.jpg
Merry Christmas from Rich, Eleanor, and Emma

5 Responses to “Christmas Day on St George Island”

  1. abe & melissa Says:

    Thanks for all your posts this last year! We look forward to the time when your travels bring you all close to Virginia!!
    Merry Christmas!!
    Abe & Melissa

  2. Isaac Lang Says:

    Just read your blog while waiting to fly from Tokyo to Bangkok. We live on SGI on Gulf Beach Dr.
    It was good to have a taste of the island while away on Christmas. Next time you go for seafood stop at Island View Seafood in East Point and tell Michael I told you to shop there. Hope to run into you after the first of the year when we are home.

  3. Lou Woodruff Says:

    Merry Christmas!!! Glad to hear that you are having a good one.

  4. Bill Doyle Says:

    Thank you for your gift, “An Airstream Christmas”…
    I can see the (Silver) bell still rings for you…
    As it does for all who truly believe!
    See you in the New Year!

  5. Zach Woods Says:

    Happy Christmas and Merry New Years!

    And many more to all!