Our Second Try at a Christmas Vacation Worked like a Charm

Our Second Try at a Christmas Vacation Worked like a Charm

It’s been awhile since I wrote a life update, hasn’t it? Back in December, we were supposed to fly back east, to Ontario, to visit with family. It would have been our first Christmas trip since 2018. Ironically, we bought a new house in 2019. We moved so close to Christmas it felt wiser to stay home and work on settling into the house. We had no idea that Covid would strike in 2020. Or that it would take 3 years before we would be ready to try flying again.

If you follow my newsletter, you’ll know our Christmas trip never happened. It’s hard to call any winter occurrence in Canada a freak snow storm since, you know, it’s Canada. The land of winter. But there are some parts of Canada that don’t deal with winter as well as others. One of those areas is Vancouver, the airport through which we most often connect when we travel.

Shortly before we were supposed to travel, an unusually heavy snowfall sent the entire Vancouver airport into chaos. We watched in some dismay as the backup failed to clear during the final lead up to our trip. We grew increasingly worried we would get stuck in Vancouver if we attempted the trip.

So many flights had been canceled in such a short amount of time that a cancellation would result in days of waiting for a second connection. Now, we don’t live that far a drive from Vancouver. But the road leading back to our town is notoriously treacherous in the winter. Added to the fact that we had a limited amount of time to make our trip happen, the odds were stacked against us.

We had to face the sad Christmas music

We made the difficult decision to cancel our trip. With heavy hearts, my husband and I hastily planned a makeshift Christmas. We all tried too hard not to think about what we’d be missing. Considering how long we looked forward to that trip, and how much we had planned, it was a heavy blow to let go of it.

Somewhat ironically, the clog at the Vancouver airport did clear the day we were supposed to fly, and the flight we would have boarded took off on time. But it was -35C the night before we were supposed to leave. And the flight that would have carried us to Vancouver at 8AM from our local airport was canceled.

Like Vancouver, our local airport suffered so many cancellations in such a short span of time, there was no option to reschedule our flight. And even if there had been, we never would have been able to reschedule the connection in time. So it turned out that we made the right decision, and doing so gave us the extra time we needed to get food and other supplies into the house before everything shut down for Christmas.

But that didn’t soften the blow of having to cancel all of our Christmas plans.

When you spend basically three years looking forward to something, it hurts a lot to have to let go of it. (Again, since we originally hoped we could travel in 2022, but it just didn’t feel safe.)

It wasn’t all bad

This all makes it sound like life has been nothing but bad news since my last update. I’m happy to say that isn’t true. Christmas might not have been what we hoped, but we did our best with last minute plans. We hung out with friends digitally and close to home. We put together a few epic meals. I even baked Christmas cookies (which my husband was particularly happy with this year).

At the beginning of 2023, I started an extremely ambitious writing schedule, which has kept me quite a bit busier than I anticipated. It has certainly made the year whip by faster than I anticipated.

But one thing we made a point of fitting in to the first part of the year was a rescheduled Christmas trip. My husband is a high school teacher, so the first and best available opportunity turned out to be March Break. So during the last two weeks in March, we finally made the trip to Ontario for the visit that didn’t happen in December.

While we all agree we would have preferred to do the trip at Christmas, lots of things about moving the trip to March worked in our favor. First and foremost, all of our flights were on time and none of our luggage was lost. (My in-laws took a trip just after the start of the New Year and boy do they have lost luggage stories!) My mother-in-law even went to the trouble of re-scheduling as many of the Christmas activities as she could, including a turkey dinner and frozen Christmas cookies she had left over from the holiday.

Better a late Christmas than none

Our most recent vacation was certainly not the most exciting we’d ever taken. Outside of rescheduled Christmas activities, we didn’t do a lot. But given how crazy life has been for both me and my husband, it was nice to take a break from the hectic hustle and bustle and relax for a change.

Our biggest rescheduled activity was to see a show – the first time we’ve seen a live show since prior to the pandemic. Originally we were hoping to see a musical, but there were none playing during the rescheduled trip that were of great interest to us. So my mother-in-law grabbed tickets to a comedy show instead.

The comedians we got to see were Brent Butt (who I largely know from the show Corner Gas), and Shaun Majumder (who I largely know from the Daily Show). Their routines were extremely different – so much so I’m surprised they were part of the same show. But that said, they were also both hilarious. Both of them made me laugh so hard I cried several times throughout their routine. So it was quite an enjoyable evening.

In between the show and enjoying quiet time with family, we partook of the usual activities. We went to a nice brunch at a local maple farm. We tried some new games – including Bunco which is an age old dice game, apparently. (At some point we decided if you rolled 3 of the same number that were not a Bunco it was called a “plinko.”)

I also discovered that my mother-in-law is a fellow cross-stitcher! She and I spent a few hours around the dining room table working on our various projects, and I highly enjoyed getting to chat with her over stitching.

Back to the grind

Every vacation must come to an end. Sooner or later, reality regains its foothold, and things have been twice as busy since we got back. As I write this, it’s April 21st, and I feel as though I blinked and missed much of April.

Outside of the usual adult requirements – such as taxes – we’ve been the good kind of busy. The hubs helps with his school’s rugby team and they’ve reached tournament season. And I landed my first BookBub feature – after several rejected attempts – so I don’t mind the extra work required to get everything set up.

On the busiest days, when my brain starts to feel a little mushy, I look back on our recent downtime and it always makes me smile. Those quiet little moments with the people who care about us are the fuel that get us through until the next time life lets us take a little break. Things certainly didn’t go the way we planned, but they worked out in the end.

Of course, every time I take a break from writing for awhile, my muse sparks to life. And since I wrote the outline for the last three Aruvalia Chronicles books while we were away, my brain is on fire with new ideas. I’m looking forward to next Christmas. Hopefully whatever plans we make will come together more smoothly than the last time. But until then, I’m happy to keep plugging away at the day to day. (More updates on writing projects are coming soon – I promise!)

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