We live near a neighborhood in Long Beach, California called Naples. Naples is an island neighborhood, and in the center of the island is a loop of canals. We have lots of family traditions this time of year, but one of our favorites is touring the canals by boat, or walking the canals up on the sidewalks and looking at the fabulous Christmas lights.
Naples goes all out with their Christmas lights and decor each year. (Thou shalt put up holiday lights is probably in all real estate contracts if you buy in that neighborhood!)
When we view the lights from the water, we rent a Duffy boat and cruise up and down the canal, looking at lights, waving to other boaters and occasionally stopping to listen to the gondoliers sing to the passengers in their gondolas whenever they go under a bridge. It’s very cool.
The views from the boats are great. We take Christmas music, cozy blankets, hot chocolate, wine and holiday nibbles with us. It’s fun to float around, listening to holiday classics and just enjoying the experience together. The boys used to love to take turns helping to steer the boat when they were younger.
We also enjoy walking the canals on foot. The homes along the canals are beautiful, and there are things you can see on foot that you can’t see from the water, such as musicians performing, or some of the intricate details of some of the decor.
One of our favorite homes on the canal is The Griswold house, modeled after the house in Christmas Vacation. It’s fun to see from the water, but there is a lot of detail that you can only see on foot. Many of these homeowners are out on their decks, celebrating and waving to passersby. It’s so fun!
For these outings we dress warmly (even in Southern California, it gets pretty chilly at night) and I always whip up a big thermos of hot chocolate to take with us. It’s nice to hold a warm cup of cocoa while looking at the lights. Something I just found that will make life a little easier for our outing? International Delight has just come out with a line of Hot Chocolate and Holiday Nog. International Delight has been creating flavors that capture the Spirit of the holidays for a while now. Whether it’s Pumpkin Pie Spice to celebrate the turning of the leaves in Autumn or White Chocolate Raspberry to sweeten up Thanksgiving dinner, they’ve been a part of our holiday celebrations.
Now they have Hot Chocolate in both Milk and Dark chocolate flavors, as well as Holiday Nog, in original and Vanilla flavors. In Southern California, you can find these at your local Ralph’s store. You can also use the Store Locator to find a store near you. By the way, if you visit InternationalDelight.com and share how ID helps you to capture the spirit of the season you have a chance to win a holiday brunch for friends and family hosted by International Delight!
What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.