Our family tradition has always been to spend Christmas at home.  When Daddy passed away in 2011, we knew it would be hard for Earnie to wake up and not have him there with us so we all went to Ruidoso, New Mexico for a little getaway.  Daddy loved the mountains.  And, the best part of the trip, it snowed!  As if he ordered the snow just for us.  It was really special being there with my sister and brother-in-law and my family.

So this year, with it being our first Christmas without Earnie, we went to her favorite place — the beach.  I put Mr. Bee in charge of finding us a spot.  My criteria was that it needed to be a beach front property within just a few feet from the water.  It had to be private with no chatty Kathy’s on the porch asking me where I was from, etc…  And we needed a place that was dog-friendly so we could take Ruthie, the wienerful.  Mr. Bee scored on all points.

We traveled to Gulf Shores, Alabama (just a ten hour drive) and stayed in a private community called Martinique on the Gulf.

Our place was in a gated community with homes and condos nestled among the Bon Secour Wildlife Sanctuary.  Our unit was on the bottom floor and had a perfect view of the water.  The short boardwalk in the pic was right by our patio.  It was private and very quiet almost like we had the entire property to ourselves.  We were told that if you want quiet this was the best time to stay there because starting in March it stays crowded and loud until October.

We went for long walks on the beach looking for sea shells. This was Ruthie’s first time at the beach and she loved it.  She wasn’t interested in the water, but loved running up and down the beach.  I think the sand felt good on her feet.

I sat out on the porch and read and sipped spirits.  The owner of the property was an avid reader so it was filled with all kinds of books.  I read two of his mysteries while I was there. Under the book are two layers of blankets…and Ruthie.

I sipped mimosas.  The Champagne was a gift from a neighbor for house sitting over the summer. He brought it back from France.  I saved it for just this occasion.


I napped with the windows open to hear the sounds of the ocean.  I stared for hours at the horizon thanking God for the miracles of the sea.  I marveled at how a whole seashell could make it to the shore unbroken from it’s journey among the waves crashing into the sands.  I watched the seagulls and sandpipers soar and look for food.

We ate some really good seafood, this was on Mr. Bee’s wish list.

Gator bites from Crawfish Town.  I had never had alligator and I thought what better place to try it.  It tasted just like chicken.  Honest, it did.

Fried shrimp and hush puppies at Tacky Jack’s right on the bay.  It was a dive, but had really cold beer and even better fresh fish.  We found a fish market near us where you could purchase fresh fish to take home.  We peeled several pounds of fresh steamed shrimp and Mr. Bee ate his weight in fresh oysters.

On Christmas Eve we had pizza, Miss Bee’s pick, and I made a pumpkin pie.  On Christmas morning I made monkey bread, biscuits, eggs and bacon.  Every morning started with coffee on the patio.

It was perfect.  Until some kind of flu bug invaded my body and for two days I had 101 fever.  But, at least I was convalescing someplace pretty.

I’ll post the recipe for the monkey bread next week. I hope all your Christmas dreams came true.