Monday, December 19, 2011

IYC's Holiday Kayak Outing

Like many people, I have memories of my parents bundling us up into the family car and driving around the neighborhood to look at Christmas decorations. I never really got the point of this, but I now have a better appreciation for traditions and getting pleasure out of the simpler things in life (not that the way some people decorate can be called simple!!!) In Punta Gorda, this tradition lives on, but with a twist. Because of the PGI canal system and the resulting boat traffic, people decorate not only the fronts of their homes, but the backs as well. So you have options in your mode of transportation to view the holiday lights--you can go the traditional route and hop into your car or you can head out via boat or, if you're a member of the IYC kayak club, you can enjoy the lights from your kayak.

The IYC kayakers have done this outing for several years, and the veteran participants have it down to an art. The goal is not to just view the decorations but to become one with the decorations and a sight to be seen by those on land. So part of the adventure is to light up our kayaks and dress up in festive, yet tasteful, ways. My kayak had its own personal Christmas tree and five strings of LED lights and was downright subtle in comparison to the decorations that some people put together.

Thirty-seven kayaks carrying 54 people headed out at dusk last Thursday evening. The weather was perfect for our outing and we didn't even have to wear jackets over our holiday attire. I have to say that viewing the decorations from water level was pretty special. There were yards with angels heralding on high and docks with Santa washing out his clothes and lights everywhere you looked.

The organizers of the trip arranged not only for a perfect evening but also for libations along the way--wassail at one home and hot chocolate with a touch of peppermint schnapps at another. (Thanks to our friends who provided the refreshments. We thought we were quite orderly but I heard one person who'd handed out drinks from her dock comment that she couldn't really appreciate the decorations on the kayaks because all she saw was hands reaching up to her for drinks! I can't shake the image of baby birds with their beaks open waiting for their mothers to feed them!)

While it's wonderful to continue family traditions for celebrating the holidays, it's nice to supplement them with new traditions that are all your own. Who knows? Maybe the lighted kayak ride will become part of my annual celebration. Whatever your traditions might be, enjoy them this holiday season.

1 comment:

  1. You also have to be sure that enough of wire is provided along with these led motorcycle lights so that they can be installed easily anywhere on your bike.


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