The Best Christmas Ever

Christmas 1996 was the best Christmas ever, according to six year old Daniel. There is more to do in Florida and it is warmer then it is in Virginia.

Getting together in Christiansburg, at Daniel's and Alison's home, had been the Menkart Christmas routine for the five years prior to 1996. Trips to the library, grocery shopping and snowball fights spiced up the days for Daniel and his sister, Alison. For grandparents, Ellie and George, the annual visits included additional pleasures. An eleven hour drive from Florida was one of these. Local driving through snow and on ice was another.

Most memorable of the winter trips to Christiansburg was the one taken in 1994. That trip featured overcast skies but dry roads up to the point where I-77 crosses into Virginia. Light snow greeted the Menkart's as they started up the mountain. Heavier and heavier the snow fall became. Snow plows and traffic combined to keep the major roads open. Thus the Menkarts were able to reach the Mall which was the home of daughter Patricia's restaurant. There they learned that snow drifts made tthe last mile, of the two and one half, to Patricia's home impassable for cars.

The Menkart's Chrysler 5t Av. was left in the Mall parking lot and a neighbor's truck was boarded. A half mile short of the house the truck was stymied. Fortunately another neighbor was on the road with his tractor plowing. That effort was not successful as snow drifted and closed the road just as fast as the farmer plowed. The tractor was however able to negotiate the road and was the means of transport for the Menkart's for the final leg of their Journey.

Clearly, Daniel is correct in asserting that a Florida Christmas holiday is better. No snow, no ice and no long drive for Ellie and George made the 1996 holiday better for them. More places to go and more things to do made it more interesting for Alison and Dan. In the course of their one week stay Dan and Aly waded in the ocean and swam in DeLeon springs. A full ten hour day was spent at Sea World. Alison and Dan helped cook their breakfast pancakes at the Sugar Mill restaurant and they explored a wild life refuge where they saw lots of birds and a couple of alligators. There was so much to do that there was little time to play with their Christmas presents.

Getting ready to leave Daniel commented that the only trouble with this year's Christmas vacation was that it was too short there was not enough time to do anything twice. There is always next year he was reminded. His grandparents hope that he is looking forward to it with as much anticipation as they are.