Saturday, December 3, 2011

Winter Arrives

December stretches out ahead of us.  We decided to spend December in Lake Placid.  It seems pleasant to be able to hang out at home instead of the usual hectic holiday schedule of past years.  We'll take the road bikes out for meandering trips inside Highlands County where we live.  On short trips to the coast, we'll throw our folding city bikes in the car.

The first true cold front swept through Lake Placid bringing chilly nights and cool days.  True, winter in our area is mild.  We switched our central system from air conditioning to heat in October, but the heat has yet to switch on even once.  The past few days have been the coldest so far this year with lows in the 50s and the highs barely in the 70s.

Since we ride in the morning, we've had to add some layers to our bike clothes.  It's not cold enough for typical northern cold weather gear, but it is much too cold for our usual Florida gear.  I compromise by wearing a second pair of socks with my bike sandals.  (Yes, bike sandals in December.)  And I add a sleeveless fleece bike jacket with a wind-stopping fabric front over my usual gear.

Our ride today was beautiful.  Low grey clouds accentuated the winter mood.  The clouds aren't typical winter weather here.  The nickname "the sunshine state" comes from the fact that our winters are sunny.  So while the tourists may be complaining, we were admiring the beauty of the clouds over the scrub.

Christmas decorations were up.  While some still had uninflated displays strewn across their yards or roofs (elves, reindeer, and snowmen waiting in line for their blow jobs), most homes seemed ready for the holidays.  One home stood out.  The homeowners had limited the decorations to a huge traditional wreath on the front door---and Santa hats on the home's outdoor lights.  Very, very effective in its simplicity.