Sunday, December 31, 2023

Celebrating Christmas with the family in Florida - 2023/12/27

Today, just a couple days after Christmas, we're celebrating Christmas together as a family!
Because everyone has obligations all over the country, it took us just a few days to get everyone to Florida and into the AirBNB house we'd rented. 

While we were waiting for that 4pm check-in time, everyone headed to the theater to see the new Wonka movie!

And everyone came away from it pretty happy! For being the third movie, I'm happy it wasn't just a rehash of the story we already know, but a prequel instead. Add in some fun music and visuals and it worked really well. It's difficult to beat the nostalgia of the original, but I'd definitely put it in second place. 

And with Bahama Buck's shaved ice right next door, how could you not stop in. It's definitely a favorite of the kids, and many of the Michigan family. 

After waiting in a ridiculously slow line to check in to Windsor Hills (like 40 minutes), we were finally able to go into the house!

There's some interesting bedroom decorating choices. Even though it's meant for kids, I think we'll put some of the newlyweds in here. 

Yep, that's appropriate. 

The kids are excited because they'll get to spend the nights with their cousins. 

The bunkbed kids room is full of Star Wars everything!

Except for this one giant Star Trek wall! 

Like so many of the garages in these rental houses, this one has been turned into a gameroom. It's a really nice one though! Real walls, carpeted floors, and everything! 

There's an arcade cabinet and air hockey table. 


Even stadium seating to watch movies or play video games. 

The next morning it was time for everyone to get together and play Christmas games! Instead of giving gifts to every person, we've started doing games to win money, so each family came up with 2 games for everyone to play. 
First up, a game from Theresa and I. Darts to pop the balloons and win money! 

Different prizes in each balloon, so a little bit random and a little bit skill. 

Everyone who played got to pop at least one balloon to win something. 

The next game was from Amy and Donald and they called it Reindeer Paws. 
In the middle of the table are 3 bags of marshmallows. You're hands are covered by cups, and you have to pinch a marshmallow and place it into your bowl. 

Judges are watching to make sure you don't pick up two marshmallows at once. 

Harder than you might think. 

Even though 4 are going at the same time, everyone is competing for the highest number of marshmallows in their own basket. 

Our big winner with 51 marshmallows in 60 seconds! 

Aubrey and I were next with 47, then Carson and Theresa with 46. 

Someone loved the reindeer games. 

For the next game, we're playing a version of War. You get two cards, one face up, one face down. You battle a single opponent and the highest card moves on to the next round. 
I was the dealer and I couldn't believe it when Tyler called for an Ace and got it! Unfortunately the next card I dealt for his opponent was a Joker which beats everything! Should have asked for the Joker Ty!

Richard had a lucky streak, getting a Joker in his first round. Then defeating Carson, Tyler, and finally Alli to take first place overall! 

Tyler and Rita's first game has us throwing balls into cups filled with water. Each cup has a dollar amount taped to the bottom. 

Richard showing some of his bowling skills. 

Ian came away with the big money, finding a $20 cup!

Don and Amy's next game has up competing to see who can move the most candy canes from one basket to the next. 

But you can only use a candy cane to move them... and only hold that candy cane in your mouth! 

Our winners were Jared and Abby who somehow managed 20 candy canes! Austin was close behind with 19, then Rita (18), and Theresa/Ethan/Aubrey (17). 

Our final game, from Rita and Tyler, has us thinking about the colors of the rainbow, but quickly. Each person has 6 cups in front of them and a whole pile of mini M&Ms in the center. With your non-dominant hand, you have to rush to get as many sets of Red-Orange-Yellow-Green-Blue-Brown (I know, blame M&M, not me) as you can in the time limit. Any colors that are in the wrong cups cause you to lose points. 

The fastest from each heat, go on to compete against each other in the championship round. 

And so the finals saw Theresa, Alli, Austin, and myself competing head to head! Despite an early fumble, knocking over my cups, I pulled out the win! Theresa came in at a close second. 

"But wait, there's more!" says Ethan. With no other instructions, he designated Theresa and I as team captains. It'll be a schoolyard pick to decide teams. With no idea what sort of game we'll be playing, how do you know what kind of team to put together? 
With teams chosen, Ethan announced that this is the perfect opportunity for everyone to play a game called Family Feud! He's got 5 Christmas themed categories. Top 8 answers on the board, who is going to give him the best answer?

Name a popular Christmas Character. 
I was quick to slap the table and name the one and only Santa Claus! 
Oh yeah! Number one answer! We're going to play! 
Ian - Rudolph! 
Group - Good answer! Good answer!
While we got the major Christmas characters, it wasn't long before we were down to our third strike. 
Richard - Jesus? 
Ethan - Jesus is not on the board. Theresa's team, you have a chance to steal! 
With an answer of Jack Frost, they took the win. Doh! 

Ethan - What are the top 8 Christmas Cookie shapes? 
Austin was quick to slap the table with a guess of Gingerbread Man! Number one answer! 
With the easy ones taken, like Star and Stocking taken, Richard's guess of "Cloud" had us all laughing!
Luckily with a guess of Snowman, which was not on the board, Theresa's team wasn't able to steal our points!

Abby desperately trying to convince Ethan that Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You should be on the list of Popular Christmas songs. It did not however make the list. 

With so many good answers taken, Alli seemed a little concerned that her pick wouldn't be on the list. 
Alli, I couldn't believe it either that Jingle Bell Rock didn't make the list. 
My team was able to steal with a guess of Frosty the Snowman. 

Time for the final round. Name something you start doing around the beginning of December! 
Easy answers were quickly taken, like go shopping, send Christmas cards, make cookies, etc. Then it got back to Richard. 
Richard - Hang out with friends! 
Ethan - I'm going to need you to be more specific. 
Richard - Hang out with family! 
Ethan - More specific than that. 
Richard - Hang out with friends and family!
We took a Strike for that answer, but Carson was able to get the gist and answer "Go to Christmas Parties" for the win!  

A few fun video clips.

There were just a few extra presents for the kids. Ian wanted "experiences" this year, so he'll be going bowling and go-karting. 

Alli has had her eye on these Pikachu Pokemon cards and gum. 

From the grandparents, they've given everyone envelopes on a tree that Amy brought all the way from Michigan! 

Love hanging out together with family! 

And to cap off the night, another trip to Bahama Bucks! 

It was fun celebrating Christmas with everyone! 

1 comment:

  1. Nice family photo to open the post. What a wild time of games (again!)..the different contortions a person had to go through for that candy cane game...such a unique Reindeer Paws game (complete w/ the antlers, too)...had to laugh at Abby's disbelief when her song selection of Mariah Carey's HIT didn't make the list :-)...such a fun family feud game. Alli really had a disappointed look when the popular Jingle Bell Rock wasn't listed...that song is definitely popular. Loved that one of the rooms was themed to my favorite Princess :-)...the ballgown "wow" scene and the wedding one are beautiful!!! The Star Wars room was cute, too. Having a furnished game room and even stadium seating (that was a first to see) helps pass some of the time away, as well as get the adrenaline going. Look at that shaved ice creation Alli held alongside Ian...quite a topper on that treat! Such a fun and wild time spent with the Michigan family for Christmas. EOM