This month was pretty crazy for us! But despite being really busy, it was awesome because it was a month jam-packed with family.
Right at the start of the month, I got to see my good friend Jordan for a sushi dinner after his big trip to Asia and then my friend Ale for brunch, who I haven’t seen in over a year. It was so awesome to catch up with these two!
And then on Dec 5th we got to pick up my dad from the airport for his last minute week-long trip to Vancouver. I love when my family from Toronto comes out to visit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen as often as I would like, especially with my dad’s family as they are 4 people. So I was really happy that my dad decided to come out on his own and spend a week with us out west. Now that Vancouver has really become my home, I love the chance to share it with my family back east.
Dad lucked out and we got nothing but sunshine for his entire week here. I loved showing him our new home and indulging in our neighbourhood sushi place. We got to do some x-mas shopping at the mall and discover some new and old parks in Surrey, which Ellie loved. We introduced him to Colin’s mom, Margie, and hosted our first dinner party at our house.
We also got to do lots of fun festive stuff like checking out the lights at Lafarge Lake, attending the Yule Duel in Gastown, seeing the Four Seasons Christmas trees and Hyatt gingerbread houses, and visiting the Christmas Market at Canada Place. We browsed Granville Island, had brunch with relatives, enjoyed deluxe theatre seating, and ate lots of good food like Black and Blue happy hour apps, poke bowls and steaks at The Keg. All in all, it was an amazing week in Vancouver with my dad!
And then two days after he left, we followed him back to Toronto to meet up with my step family, the Lees, for our trip to Mexico! Before this year, Colin and I had never been to Mexico and now we’ve just come back from our second all-inclusive Mexican resort in the same year. This time our group of 15 journeyed to Cozumel, Mexico.
I love family trips like this where you get to spend time with everyone over the week instead of just a quick dinner where you make small talk with three people and then have to leave. It was so great to spend time with the Lees, who I haven’t seen in almost a year. It’s crazy how big the little cousins have gotten!
I’m not a huge excursion person when it comes to these resorts. I’m really happy to just lounge by the pool with my book, hang in the ocean, cruise the buffets and head to the swim up bar. And since I get seasick, I happily passed on the snorkel trip and the catamaran sail (which ended in the group getting rescued because they couldn’t get back to shore). But everyone seemed to have fun no matter what they ended up doing.
A typical day for us: hit the breakfast buffet around 9/10 and then head to the pool. There we would play with the little kids, take them to the bar for Dirty Monkeys and push them around in Jade’s giant inflatable duck. We’d lunch at the nearby buffet and be sure to fill up on fresh nacho chips and even fresher fish. Afternoons I usually spent in a chair by the pool reading my book and chatting with family. We’d usually stake out a row of chairs and take turns heading to the beach, playing with the kids and reading our books. Around 5/6 we’d head back to the room to shower up and then meet everyone for dinner. After dinner it was mini disco time for the kids and then we’d either take in the nightly show or play card games in the lobby.
Outside of our typical day activities, there were some extra special moments. On our last full day, we visited San Gervasio, a Mayan ruin, which was really cool to see. We took a jeep around the island and stopped for roadside chicken and ice cream. It was a really fun adventure and nice to see more of Cozumel. There was the fire show on the beach, which really blew us all away. There was basketball (both on the courts and in the pool) with Jade and Lee. And of course, there was the day Colin finally received his luggage after it had been missing for the first 5 days of our vacation…
But for me, it was the little moments that I loved the most. When my littlest cousin Jonny would let me hold him because he eventually recognized me. When I got to pick up Maddie from kid camp and she showed me all of her Paw Patrol toys. When Lara kept asking when Colin and I were getting married. When I got to connect and catch up with my aunts, uncles and grandparents on the pool chairs. When Chris taught us how to play Fuji Flush and I went to buy it on Amazon the minute we got home. When we watched the kids dance to the chu-chu-ah song and couldn’t get it out of our heads.
It was an awesome vacation and a great chance to spend time with family I don’t get to see very often. It was also really relaxing. A part of me felt guilty for not taking advantage of all of the excursions and activities. But I enjoyed my vacation and came back feeling relaxed and refreshed. It was nice to take a break from my laptop and real work.
On the way home, we got one more added dose of family. During our layover in Toronto, my mom and some other members of the Ang Gang showed up at the airport to hang out with us. Unfortunately, our flight was delayed so we couldn’t do dinner, but they brought up take-out and lots of Christmas presents. It was a short visit, but very sweet.
And then back in Vancouver, it was time for even more family. On the 24th, we picked up Ellie, who we had missed so much. We visited Colin’s dad, Randy, at the cemetery and then spent the night watching Christmas movies and baking Christmas tree brownies. The next day, we went over to family friends Jackie and Derek’s home for Christmas breakfast and stockings. It was a really nice time to be with a small group and enjoy a really yummy brunch and fun stocking opening. Plus, it was snowing so we got a white Christmas!
We went back to Margie’s to open more presents and then it was off to grandma’s. We got her ready and headed over to Uncle Rod’s for Christmas dinner. It was so much fun playing games with Colin’s cousins and then eating way too much turkey for dinner.
We rolled into bed later that night with full bellies and full hearts from a month filled with family love.