Mele Kalikimaka

OK, we didn’t spend the weekend in Hawaii, but with comparable temperatures, we felt as though we did. The “land where palm trees sway” may be “green and bright,” but North Texas was just as warm and wonderful on a mid-December weekend. We enjoyed roaring campfires, Date Night al fresco, and long walks under starlit skies. We also took time to plan specifics for our “Christmas on the Coast” adventure next weekend.

This weekend began a day early, as we arrived at Loyd Park on Thursday afternoon. Jon’s company holiday event was on Friday, so we needed the extra day to get set up. Cliff departed from his traditional “Bowl o’ Red” chili, opting instead for a hamburger version. When we went outside to start the campfire, we discovered we didn’t have a lighter. And for some reason, we couldn’t get our stove to ignite. So Jon drove to the nearest service station to purchase a lighter. It wasn’t long before we had a crackling fire to warm our Christmas music and fireside chat.

Next day was a workday for us both, so we returned to Hampshire with the doggies to commence with our regular routine. After work, we attended Jon’s company holiday event, which he covered on social media. Meanwhile, Cliff did what he does best–he schmoozed, reacquainting himself with folks he has seen off and on for the last five years. We ended the evening by returning to Hampshire, changing clothes, packing up the pack and heading back to Cloud 9 for a nightcap.

Saturday at the campsite was spectacular. Clear skies and warm temperatures ruled a day that included reading The New York Times, enjoying Bloody Mary’s, brunching al fresco, napping, having cocktails by the fire, supping on grilled steak and veggies, and sipping our favorite Coppola claret. We ended the evening with a viewing of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” a 30-year-old classic that just seems to get better with age.

Sunday found us reading The New York Times, watching “CBS Sunday Morning,” drinking coffee from our new Mixspresso coffee maker, enjoying Bloody Mary’s, brunching al fresco, and napping before finally packing up and heading home. Calm conditions and temperatures in the upper 70s seemed surreal for the time of year, but we didn’t mind in the least.