Holidays in World Golf Village

Posted by: Rick Pariani in Uncategorized

WGV EntranceThis Holiday Season marks my 14th in North Florida. The best advantage of being able to host the Holidays here is that everyone wants to come. The weather is usually superb – the air is dry – the sky is blue and the good cheer flows.
While raising a family on the Holiday trail has its own joy – nothing beats being able to sit tight – and let the party come to you. No long pat-down lines – or surcharges on extra luggage and Christmas packages means that you can actually give a loved one something other than a gift card. No tail-gating at 80 mph – or extra sanitizing after frequenting public restrooms means that you can actually prepare and enjoy the cocktail hour when guests arrive. I remember when the Holidays were “work” – shuttling the children between the grandparents, making sure that everyone had equal face time. Now, the beauty and allure of where we live is what brings everyone here – and the memories get better and better.
Start with the typical Holiday weather – cool and dry with the French doors open wide and a fire on the hearth. Entertaining on the lanai, in the garden or on the pool deck is a wonderful way to capitalize on our local attributes. You can even try letting the children “camp-out” in the yard around the fire tray while the adults get some relief. You will also find this to be an excellent opportunity to show off the “summer” kitchen – since the Holiday season is perfect for outdoor cooking and dining.
Blend in exploratory activities – so that all ages and all guests can participate. Strolling the beach on a Right Whale watch or a hike at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve is sure to be a pleasure – either in anticipation of the big feast – or as a way to recover afterwards. Boating on the majestic and scenic St. Johns River or a day trip to Cumberland Island National Seashore, with a keepsake gift exchange, could become a new family tradition. Even a drive out on the beach at Huguenot Memorial Park, Vilano Point or down at New Smyrna Beach enables an easily accessible, quality encounter with our seaboard environment – one that all guests will enjoy.
Pick an evening to linger in historic St. Augustine while you marvel at their immense holiday light display and make sure to reserve a table at one of their best restaurants. Take a carriage ride with the opportunity to detach from your ordinary routines – and you will find it the perfect tonic for getting family and friends “in the mood” for the Holidays.
You can use your address as a gateway for your guests to take on other activities, such as horse-back riding, fresh and saltwater fishing, and off-road bicycling. You can plan day trips for them to Florida’s entertainment and amusement venues which are no more than 2 hours away or for shopping excursions to Jacksonville’s St. Johns Town Center, the St. Augustine boutiques and Prime Outlet mall or the internationally-acclaimed Millennium Mall in Orlando. You can even take in a day at the famous Renninger’s Antique Village and Winter Extravaganza in Mt. Dora.
If you plan well and take advantage of our regional eccentricities, you will be rewarded with the knowledge that you made the right choice to live and work here – and every one of the folks that you have the pleasure of hosting will tell you so. When that happens – you will always look forward to their return.


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