This heat wave in Orange County has been crazy the last couple of days. It feels like we are in Palm Springs. I mean, 100 degrees at the beach in October? Where is fall? It seems to always jump from summer to winter every year. I am really hoping this is the last heat wave of 2017.  I am craving boots, sweaters, Halloween movies, and the smell of pumpkin bread; without feeling sweat running down my back. I try not to envy all the breathtaking Instagram photos that show a glimpse of fall. I am in awe of these cities that have their streets covered with multicolored leaves, ah!

Living in this heat, with no AC, can be miserable. I am talking nights of sweat dripping between your thighs, the fan blowing in your face all night long (dries you out), and not wanting to cuddle with your spouse. During these moments, Jason and I have to find ways to manage and make it bearable. We find that dreaming of the holiday season and cool weather helps us when pushing through the last few weeks of “summer.” We have a lot of activities on our holiday list, and I am ready to start checking off every item. All we need is some Christmas weather!

November-January is the most wonderful time of year!

With November right around the corner, here below are some holiday traditions we are looking forward to (as we sit here drenched in sweat, lol):

  • 109th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade: Grab your blankets, chairs, and sweaters because the 109th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is upon us (December 13-17). This is one of my favorite holiday traditions in our community. We make sure to bring our chairs, blankets, sweaters, hot cider, and snacks as we cuddle up and sing along with all of the jolly filled yachts that glide by. If we are not outside watching the parade, you will find us in a cozy bayside restaurant with a festive beverage in our hands.
  • South Coast Plaza: Now, South Coast Plaza is way out of our price range. The only store bags you will see me carrying here are Forever 21, Macy’s, or Nordstroms. Even though South Coast doesn’t fit into our budget, it doesn’t stop Jason and I from experiencing the holiday cheer that is so evident in this Costa Mesa mall. We like to crab a coffee and cruise around the hallways as we take in the magic that lies in every corner (Christmas trees, music, decorations, etc.).
  • Ring of Lights, Balboa Island: On Balboa Island, Jason and I will grab a warm drink and enjoy a brisk walk around the island. We love to take in all the beautifully decorated bayside homes that go all out for the “Ring of Lights” contest. From dancing penguins on ice, to staged Nativity scenes, and to out of this world light shows that would make even Clark Griswald proud! It is spectacular! We are looking forward to this extravaganza as an excuse for a fun date night or a night out with our friends.
  • Fashion Island: This is another one of our favorite malls during the holiday season. Fashion Island puts up their Christmas tree in November for all to see. Now, the Christmas season flies by! So, we like to soak up as many weeks as we can (thank you Fashion Island). You will find Jason and I walking around Fashion Island on a crisp night, holding some hot coco, and dark chocolate from See’s Candies, Newport Beach.
  • SideDoor, Corona del Mar: This English-style gastropub is one of the most magical restaurants during the holiday season. It reminds me of a smaller Ritz (old Ritz in NB). SideDoor is a separate operation within Five Crowns. It has warm, relaxed atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re in small town pub in Europe. It is unique! During Christmas time, Jason and I like to go to SideDoor for some festive cocktails. My favorite seats in the restaurant are the chairs that sit right by the fire. We love to sit here under the candlelight and talk about our dreams and ambitions. Romance is definitely in the gastropub air during the holiday season! It’s contagious when spending time with your significant other.

When I am sitting by an annoying fan, that’s blowing hot air in my face, I will be dreaming of all of our favorite holiday traditions that I listed above. They are right around the corner! We are almost there.

Yes, I am still in shorts and a baseball cap on October 24th like the picture below. I know they don’t go along with the holiday theme, but they remind me of being in the middle of the desert (which is how I feel right now). Please go away heat wave!