A Year Ago Changed Our Lives

Last year on New Year’s Eve my wife and I had a meeting that would change our lives. Early last December we had a couple power failures and numerous branches fall on the house. It was time to look at doing something about it. So we met with a real estate agent last December 31st.

I don’t miss the hardships of country living.

The fact that he met us New Year’s Eve impressed me tremendously. We weren’t about to put the house on the market immediately, but wanted to discuss listing in spring. He didn’t just show up, but had other listings nearby and a price point ready for us to discuss. At the time, my wife and I thought we could make 1.7 million if we were lucky. He was also of the same thought. Our house at that time would sell for 1.6-1.75 millon. We were happy with that idea.

The day the world changed for us.

Then by mid-February we had the house ready for staging and listing. The market skyrocketed up. And we listed for almost 2 million. A week later we would sell for 1.9. Our lives changed drastically when we made that decision to sell. We did buy our dream home a week after that. Taking a chance to make a huge change in our lives was scary. But we did it.


Yesterday my wife and I dropped off our son at his friends pace that lived nearby our old house. So we decided to take a drive to our see the old stomping ground. Not much had changed for the outside of the old house. But as we drove down our street, a sight surprised us. The neighbor across the street had a “For Sale” sign. He used the same agent as us. So my wife and I stopped in to talk to them.

Bob loves staying active.

Bob is 88. When we sold our place, he said he would never sell unless he could get 5 million for his home. He planned to die in that house. That house and our old place were built that same year- 50 years ago. Besides my wife, he was the only original person in the neighborhood to still be there. Us moving from the neighborhood surprised a lot of people. Especially Bob and Mary-Anne.

Yesterday we sat and talked with them for a couple of hours. It was a really nice visit. Except when we found out why they were selling. Bob has stage 4 cancer- with a chance to survive six months. Which explains why they sold their home. They got the same price as we did ten months earlier. The move out date is May 1st. The sad reality is that Bob may actually die in that house. However, his attitude towards death is one that I hope to take up when my time nears.

He lived a good life with numerous experiences that he shared with me over the years. Yesterday he said that he’s ready to go. He’s ready to pass on the fortune from selling the house to his family- because you can’t take it with you. Bob doesn’t look or act like he’s dying. He’s still a youthful 88 year old. He has never let age, pain, or his body stop him from being active.

I’m glad we stopped in to see them. They were always so kind to my family as we lived there. Moving away was tearful for us. Staying there would’ve been more emotional. It’s astounding what can happen in a year. Our lives changed in a year because of one meeting. It appears that meeting also changed the lives of those around us as well.

Half Day Gone

Today was the first day all month that I slept in. So I took it to the limit! I got out of bed at 12:15 to start my day. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t even want to start the day. But I’m glad I did.

The snow made the views from our home even more magical than before. It’s moments like this that make me appreciate the world. I just stood at our window in awe and stared out into the distance.

The sky, the snow, the trees, the mountains, even the skyscrapers shone in an icy blue. I’ve said it numerous times before, but I don’t think I’ll tire of these views any time soon. The fact that it’s what got me out of bed is impressive on it’s own.

What gets you up from bed when you really don’t want to? Share that inspiration with me!

Cheesy Goodness

It’s that time of year when rich foods fill you up and your brain becomes mushy. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is the time to overindulge and the have a reason for working out in January. I do the eating part. Not the workout part. Oftentimes I’m filling up on cheese. It gets tough to know when to stop.

We turned a meat and cheese charcuterie into a meal the other day. It was a lovely foray into the various cheeses that we know and love. Goat cheese (of all varieties) has become the most popular for this spread.

Sometimes we do a baked Brie that doesn’t last long either. But with all the other cheeses we bought, we didn’t pick one up this season. But tonight we will be having a cheese fondue. Normally that meal is saved for New Year’s Eve. But we moved it up a couple of days and plan on doing a “Deep Fry Fest” on December 31st. End the year with a greasy bang!

Do you get filled up on cheese during this week? Any favorite flavors that are a must have for the winter season?

Let me know in the comments.

Lighten Up

In this day and age it’s important to find ways to be calm and relaxed. I’m not new age, nor do I fully understand meditation. But I have found my own way of letting go of the stress and frustration of life.

Some people run marathons. Others play online first-person shooters. Me? I breathe, stretch, write, enjoy classical music and just try and let the world problems wash away. I used to burn incense, but my wife’s asthma has prevented that. Recently, I have been utilizing my salt lamp and aroma diffuser as alternatives.

I have always enjoyed lighting and the effects it has on emotions. For Christmas, my son gave me a lava lamp. I had recently donated my old lava lamp telephone (because who uses a landline anymore?). He knew I missed my lamp, so it was really nice that he bought me one. So I placed it on my bedside table next to my salt lamp.

When I came home last night, I plugged it in and turned it on. After it warmed up for a couple of hours, I was able to zone out staring at it while I fell asleep. The green and orange hues were calming and I woke up feeling recharged.

Sleeping with lights on isn’t for everyone. Same with meditation or music. I just found something that works for me to help calm my life and I like it.

It’s A Nice Cold

Yeah, the weather is colder than we are used to up here in the Vancouver area. We like our sunny warm summers and rain for the other three seasons. This winter blast has been usual and a bit chilly.

I like the nip in the air and the briskness of each breath. It reminds me of my youth when I lived in Edmonton. This winter doesn’t feel like the “wet cold” that we are used to. It’s a bit sharper and you can feel it on your face. I enjoy this sort of winter.

I can appreciate the -14 and -20 with windchill because I know that inside my home I can warm up after. Sitting on the couch with a fire going while I take in the view of a slightly grey sky takes me back.

I don’t want to move back to the frozen tundra of central Canada mind you. I’ll take these little snippets of winter so that I can enjoy the summer equally as much.

Christmas Playtime

To me, Christmas is about having fun. Since I was a child, I always remember getting toys, puzzles and video games as gifts. On Christmas Day, and the days following, would be spent having fun. Living the dream of playtime!

Back in the early 80’s with my father.

My fondest memories of my father was at Christmas. That was when he would crouch down to my level and play with my toys and me on the floor. This was always the most father/son interactions we would have all year long. Those fleeting experiences meant the world to me.

When I became a father, I spent as much time with my kids as I could- not just on Christmas. We continue to have Family Movie Nights and video game time. Christmas is a little more special and we put in a few more hours of goofing off. This year, we played some UNO, finished a puzzle and got back to basics with some smack talk during Mario Party!

We accomplished these fun times because the teenagers are very helpful as they have grown older. Having teenagers help out with the chores and Preparing Meals means that we can all spend more time as a family relaxing and playing. Even though I miss when they were little, I can still look back on those memories with joy and happiness.

Christmas is the one time of the year that we would take a lot of pictures. This year we lacked any real family photos. Perhaps it was a bit the fact that our teens don’t like their pictures taken, and maybe also- we were trying to live in the moment a bit more. This winter break didn’t feel like Christmas at first and held a bit of depression in all of our hearts. But the tender and fun moments we had as a family helped bring the joy back and made for a good Christmas Day.

How did your Christmas feel this year?

A Beautiful White Christmas

Ten days ago I was hoping for A White Christmas. My wish came true. Waking up to seeing snow covering the ground, and still falling, brought joy to my heart.

Our oldest arrived early in the morning to join us. I was still in bed when they arrived. It was nice to see them talking with my wife by the window as the snow fell. First thing in the morning, we opened gifts as a family. That felt good as well, just being together again.

After gifts and breakfast were done, we all headed outside to see the snow. I brushed off our palm trees and the kids shoveled the driveway. It didn’t take long, so the two youngest grabbed the toboggan to enjoy the hill up our street. For a sled from the mid-60’s it has held up quite well.

Having a white Christmas in our new home helped to make it a special day. For the first time in almost 50 years, the house my wife’s father built is not in the family. Emotionally, this holiday season was going to be a tough one for all of us. But we had a lot of smiles and good laughs celebrating in our new home.

I hope everyone else had a good Christmas with family and friends. Be safe out there if you have to travel.

Christmas Eve: Preparing Meals

Since I was a child, I always remember Christmas Eve day as time spent in the kitchen. There was dinner to get ready, fancy sandwiches to make, even a breakfast bake to get ready. This year is no different.

Having a large kitchen has made this year’s meal making an easier experience. My wife and daughter worked together making potato salad followed by the breakfast bake. I was able to work on the other side of the island and stay out of their way.

Besides just making the meals, we were also teaching our kids about cooking. Such as sharpening knives, proper mixing techniques, and the use of taste to create a palatable meal. As well, our son took great pride in laying out the sandwiches.

The sandwiches are called “Fancy Sandwiches” and was a tradition in my home growing up. My father always made fresh baked bread, so I followed suit and baked two loaves this morning. The smell of fresh baked bread fills the house with what I consider the smell of Christmas Eve.

Spending Christmas in the kitchen with the family is stressful, fun, and creative. By the end of the day, we all get to enjoy the food that we worked so hard on preparing.

Matrix: Resurrections

Last night we went to the movies. It’s the first time in quite a few months since going to the cinema. Mostly due to concerns of Covid and such. We attended opening night of Matrix:Resurrections. In an auditorium that could hold approximately 220 people, there was 20 patrons- including the four of us. Not a good sign.

Prior to watching this movie, we watched the original trilogy over the past few days to get in the mood for the film. The first film is still my favorite and it holds up quite nicely considering it came out in 1999. The two sequels that came out in 2003 were decent, but didn’t have the strength of the first film.

We were excited to be seeing this latest installment. The first act was great and was about to take us on a fantastic journey. But the second and third act fell short. Mostly the story writing and character interactions. Everyone loves nostalgia, and unfortunately the film did too many flashbacks with archive footage yelling in our faces, “Remember this part of The Matrix?”

The film started in a very meta fashion. I was hoping there would be more of an explanation of Neo’s ability to “see” in the real world once he went blind (the end of the third film). I wanted to see a Matrix inside a Matrix: Sort of like the film “Inception”. But this story just kind of went on post war from the original trilogy. In all honesty this story wasn’t necessary to be told. It felt like the studio was moving in on a cash grab of nostalgia and no content.

Not a good film to be viewed in the theaters. Save your money and enjoy it at home. A solid 5/10 for me.

Quiet Solstice

Yesterday we were going to have a gathering of friends to celebrate Winter Solstice 2021. But as the event drew nearer, our friends began to have second thoughts. Which was completely understandable and acceptable. So my wife and I canceled. However, one set of friends and a coworker did stop by for a few appetizers and some conversation.

The one friend who came by is our son’s godfather. He is essentially family to us. He has always taken the extra step and care to know each and everyone of us. He knows me so well and puts thought into gifts. He and his significant other brought me some IRN-BRU and some European treats. Having these reminded me of my travel to Scotland when I was 19.

The coworker who stopped by is someone who I have taken a liking to and we share a lot of hardships with one another. I have found that between our conversations, we tend to help one another through those mentally taxing events in life. I appreciate his candor and honesty.

The other friends who were unable to attend all have a special place in my life. Many have been friends of mine for decades. For each of them, I still had a chance to talk prior and was able to wish a Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas to. There was some comfort in showing love and care to each other.

May you all stay safe during this new wave of Covid. As painful as it may seem to not see friends and family, be respectful of their wishes and health.

Winter Solstice 2021

At 7:58 today the Winter Solstice occurred. Officially it is the darkest day of the year with the least amount of sunlight. After today, the daylight peaks out more and more until the Summer Solstice.

Every year, we have a Winter Solstice Party. This year it is being limited to a select few friends. Mostly because of lockdown procedures requested by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19. But having a party on a Tuesday is different as well.

My wife and I use Tuesday as a special day throughout our lives. We were married on a Tuesday. Our son was born on a Tuesday (not much choice there mind you) and we bought our dream home on a Tuesday. The Winter Solstice falling on a Tuesday is great. Not everyone wants to hang out at the start of the week. So it makes it extra special being around those who do make an effort.

As much as I love Winter Solstice and feel it is a worthy celebration, my wife has requested that we have a Summer Solstice party in 2022. That just so happens to fall on Tuesday June 22. It’s as if the universe is telling us something.

Happy Winter Solstice everyone! May us all look forward to our lives getting brighter as each day comes forth.

Pupper Comfort

We adopted our dog Maki last November. Since then she has been a big part of our lives. She helped brings some vivaciousness to old elder dog, Lex- thus giving him almost another year with us. Maki has also helped with being an emotional support animal of sorts to all of us at one time or another.

Even though Maki is a strange character- oftentimes acting as if she is going through an Existential moment- she is still a dog needing love and attention. She enjoys curling up on the couch and trying to take the best seat.

I’m not always happy with this turn of events. I preferred having dogs at our feet. Not on the couches or beds. Maki is not an exception in my mind. But I have been outvoted since day one. So she gets a spot on the couch.

I swear she knows how I feel. Because as soon as she jumps on the couch- her face is in mine. And she has The Worst Dog Breath Ever! She must know this because that snout of hers goes right up to my nose.

Maybe if her breath didn’t smell so bad, I’d be more accepting of the fact she has earned a spot on the couch, not just our hearts.

Getting Baked Before Christmas

Saturday my wife and I went all out and baked a bunch of cookies and treats. Normally we start baking at the start of December, but that also means the cookies are gone before Christmas Eve. This year, we have a bigger kitchen and better oven, so we worked cohesively in the kitchen.

We utilized the island to prepare the baked wares. Then used the stove top to allow the cookie sheets to cool, and the counter by the sink had the cooling racks to finish the job. Our sink was constantly filled and we washed up as we went.

We started at noon and finished baking by five. Although my wife pre-made and refrigerated a couple types of cookies ahead of time, we were still hopping in a busy kitchen. In the morning, my wife bought the elusive “Mint Chocolate Chips” that we had been looking for since November.

So in the end of one day we made the following cookies:

Peanut Butter with peanut butter chip.

Double mint chocolate chip.

Butterscotch oatmeal.

Whipped shortbread.

Yuletide.

Gingersnaps.

And Rice Krispies Treats.

Before Christmas my wife has a few more cookies she wants to bake. Unfortunately I have to go to work, but coming home to fresh baked goodies is also a pleasure!

Are you done baking yet? How many different cookies do you make?

Not Everyone Is Happy To See The Snow

Last night we had a bit bigger of a snowfall than there was earlier in the month. I saw a ton of pictures and videos on social media about it. So I had to share mine.

Our backyard gave me the perfect emoji. The pool is showing the emotions that many adults feel. Sure, the snow is pretty. But it’s still snow.

I love the white dusting on the ground. It always makes me happy inside. Even driving in the snow is fun. In January 2020, we had a big snowfall, so I took the kids out and we did donuts in the snow in the Honda Element: Read about it here Snow Day Snow Way!

Not everyone like the snow. Many people live in the Lower Mainland BC because of the mild winters. Normally we get a few snowfalls throughout the winter, nothing major. So when the snow happens, I thrive in it.

How do you feel about the snow?

Starting Winter Break…With a Lockdown?

Today is the end of school for winter break. In previous years we have gone as a family to the latest Harry Potter, Star Wars or Marvel film on the Thursday prior. And as soon as we get home we would watch the Christmas classic- “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” We also had a Party for Solstice.

Today however, BC announced new restrictions for gatherings. FUCKSAKES. Even though many of us are vaccinated, wear masks, follow the rules- it seems our gatherings are to be limited. So instead of a big party with all our friends and their kids/ teens- we are inviting only five couples over to join us for light snacks. We are maximizing our friend time before that gets taken away.

Oh Instagram- you so funny!

It feels as if the joke is on us. About to start our third year of lockdowns and limitations is going to drive people crazy. I am going to try to just enjoy the holiday season and ignore the world. Closest friends- unite! But at a distance…

Frugal Christmases of Yore

When I first met my wife, I didn’t have much of anything to my name. A bed, an old stereo, a tv and a DVD player was pretty much it. We slowly began to acquire items from family friends. A couple couches, a deep freeze (which we still have to this day!) and some old dishes were sent our way. And we appreciated everything about it. That year, I chose to donate almost all of my Star Wars action figures to the needy. I kept a couple basic characters in hopes that one day we’d have a kid to pass them on to.

A couple years after marriage and our first kid was born in 2002. They were spoiled that year by everyone in the family because it was the first grandkid on either of our sides. Two years later and kid (grandkid) number 2 arrived and was equally spoiled. Same with our third who showed up two years after that. By this point I was still making a fairly low income and my wife was a stay at home mom doing her best to add extra income in any way possible. But my job at the time had one great perk.

I was a manager at a Chuck E. Cheese’s. I was in charge of ordering all those prizes on the back wall. My boss at the time told me I could always add an extra few toys for my family whenever I wanted. So I did. I accumulated these bigger ticket items throughout the year to stockpile for Christmas. My kids also got treated at least twice a week to dinners and unlimited games and small prizes. In their eyes- this dad had the greatest job ever!

Not everyone has loads of money to make the holidays “special”. Sometimes we rely on the kindness of those around us to make it feel better. I was not ashamed to thank family, friends and coworkers for their generosity. The joy I felt from their kindness far surpassed my need to go it alone.

If you see someone needing a hand, emotionally, financially, even spiritually- try and help out. I’ve been doing my part to “Pay it Forward” over the years.

Helping people financially isn’t always giving money. Sometimes it’s offering a home cooked meal, or helping them get better jobs, supporting their art, or buying their handmade wares. Getting that internal smile always made me feel good that someone out there cared. And in turn, I know they felt good as well.

Wanting A White Christmas With Family

Living in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia means we generally have rain for Christmas. It’s been a few years since snow has fallen on Christmas Day. But nature has been teasing this region a bit more this year than ever before.

A gentle dusting of snow occurred this past weekend. It was here and gone so quickly it felt like a bit of a let down.

I missed the snowfall at the start of December, but our son sent us this picture. Weather reports are teasing that snow on Christmas Day may happen. If it happens, I cannot wait to see the winter wonderland out our back windows. The best part about a White Christmas is staying inside bundled up and warm spending time with those whom you love.

I’m hoping all of our kids will be here for our first Christmas in this new house. But I’m not holding my breath for it. Our oldest has gone off on their own with little communication back to us. With a vagueness that only a 19 year old can possess- my wish for a White Christmas with family may only be half fulfilled. If it came down to it and I had a choice- I’d choose family over snow.

But I don’t get the choice, I just get to accept that what happens, happens…

Shelf-determination

Back in July we shopped around for the perfect bookcase for our bedroom. We were determined to find a piece of furniture that would fill the space along our bedroom wall.

Our first place to start was IKEA because of the simplicity and ease of assembly. However, my wife and I were not exactly sold on the designs available. More over, the fact that most were simply a Billy Bookcase with additional pieces added on. Almost everyone I know has owned a Billy Bookcase. It has been a staple of the IKEA furniture line since 1979!

We did buy two of them in red with glass doors, but that was for a display cabinet in the piano room. The one change we made to the bookcase was adding some new knobs to the doors. That in itself made it more elegant looking.

As I stated, back in July we were looking for the perfect bookcase. Loads of online searches, into various furniture stores and we were coming up empty handed. We finally found one at a place in Langley, BC called Renaissance Home . My wife and I thought the bookcase would be perfect. So at the start of August we ordered it. Today it arrived.

The delays were due to many factors. Working in the rail industry, I knew it would be a lengthy time. When we ordered it they told us it should arrive mid-November. The extra three weeks added on was that the bookcase was held up in customs. Knowing all this, Renaissance Home was fantastic in giving us a discount off the initial price. As well they delivered and assembled the bookshelf. It came in three large and heavy pieces that they had to take upstairs around a few tight turns in order to get it to its new home.

It is a perfect fit for the room and we love it. All that’s left now is for my wife and I to unbox our books, add a few delightful knickknacks, and fill the shelves with memories.

Temporary Bedroom

Since we went away on a vacation last week, we required someone to be here to help our two youngest get to school and look after our home. My mother was gracious enough to travel over from Vancouver Island and take on that task. At 79, we couldn’t ask her to sleep in a kids bed. So we offered up our bedroom.

In doing so, my wife and I needed to sleep elsewhere in the house. So we took over the queen size bed in our eldest child’s room. Since they chose to go stay elsewhere over the past few weeks, it wasn’t going to inconvenience them. It’s a pretty good room in many ways. Close to a bathroom, has a fireplace, it’s own entry to go outside, double French doors inside… but you can hear everything that goes on downstairs in the kitchen and living room.

For me, Sunday was challenging to get some sleep since I have to work night shifts and the noise during the day kept me up. Today, because I am so tired, as soon as I’m done writing- I should be passing out. It’s the last time I need to use this room since my mother is leaving to return to her home.

I noticed that sleeping in our home has a “Goldilocks” feel. Our son’s bed is two small and the next two beds are two soft. But because the master bedroom is ours- it definitely feels like a “Papa Bear” place to rest. Which will be my normal place after this sleep. I look forward to that, but fully understand that our oldest may get cranky sometimes when people aren’t respectful while they try and sleep.

Do you give up your bed for guests, or do you have a spare room/ bed you give them?

Tree Time 2021

Having gone on vacation at the start of the month, it meant decorating the Christmas tree was a couple days later than normal. Yesterday was the only chance we had to get on it. So right after an early dinner, we decorated.

As is tradition in our home, we put on “The Wiggles: Yule Be Wiggling” and “Wiggly Wiggly Christmas” whilst we decorate the trees. This year old oldest didn’t join us, but Grandma sat in to watch the fun.

As is also tradition, my wife and I enjoyed some Fireball and Eggnog: aka FIRENOG. We discovered this drink from my wife’s brother a few years ago and it has loosened us up for the holiday season ever since then. As is another tradition- and ornament gets accidentally broken and put on display. This year, no one broke an ornament, instead one came out of the box broken. It always seems to be the red ones…

Our new nine foot tree looks great in our new home. I’d say it’s almost done. As I mentioned, our oldest was unable to join us, so my wife and I put up a few of their ornaments, but saved the rest in case they wanted to add them to the tree at a later date. If not, that’ll be okay as well since this tree carries all of the special ornaments given to the family members. My wife and I knew that one day those ornaments would find a new home wherever our kids move to.

We also finished off our kids tree. This holds all those handmade ones gathered up over the years. From preschool onward, as well as the fandom made ones (Star Wars, etc..) This tree will be one my wife and I will always put up. And finally is a tree in our master bedroom. That one will be decorated in a few days since my mother is using the room during her stay.

Did you decorate a tree or trees this year? Any movies, music, food or drink that you enjoy while doing so? Let me know in the comments.

Leaving Mexico

Yesterday was bittersweet having to end our vacation in Mexico. Seven days and six nights of fun was the perfect amount of time to get a mental recharge.

To end our morning, my wife and I walked the other side of the beach. Someone had set up a “reindeer” from driftwood. A bit of a reminder that Christmas is a couple weeks away.

A couple of hours before our shuttle was to arrive, we checked out at the main lobby. We had the option to go and swim, eat, or drink as we waited. Instead we all sat around and just talked. My wife and Megan played some cribbage. Russ enjoyed some cellphone time and I found a couch to shut my eyes for a bit.

The ride to the airport was quick, but getting through the airport was drawn out and exhausting. Airports always feel like that- organized chaos. Once we were in the sky, our six hour flight home felt like an eternity. But we made it home safely. My wife and I are already talking about when to return to Mexico again.

It was a fun trip for being a last minute excursion. (Last minute by our standards considering we only booked in Mid-October).

Second Last Day

On our second to last day, we went for breakfast at the restaurant by the beach. We had our regular breakfast server- Carlos. He had seen us numerous times this trip. We were even seated at the same table every morning. Carlos brought us our drink order without being asked. He knew exactly what we wanted.

Immediately after breakfast we spent the rest of the morning on the beach. The waves were calmer than the day prior, so we enjoyed splashing around and being goofy. At one point, there were schools of fish swimming up to us. A fellow guest at the resort gave me a bun he had taken from the breakfast buffet. As I tore off pieces and tossed them in the water- more fish approached me. I was able to reach down and pet them.

In the afternoon we wandered to the pool and cooled off before dinner. We chose the French restaurant this time. This was quite the elegant experience. From frog leg appetizer to baked Alaska dessert, everything was a production and delicious.

We ended our evening at a cheesy magic show followed by a few games of UNO at the bar. Every single day has been filled with good times starting at 8am and ending by midnight.

Mid-Trip in Mexico

In the middle of our vacation to Mexico, we decided to take a day on the beach. The beach first thing in the morning was impressively pristine. So we spent all day hanging out there.

Our friend, Megan, joined us while we relaxed. We had a few drinks, read our books, and frolicked in the ocean. I did my attempt at being David Hasslehoff running out of the ocean. The service was great as well, and the drinks kept coming.

Mid-day was a PCR test. We require this in order to get back into Canada. Not really a highlight, but it was quick and over with in a matter of moments. Soon we were back at the beach. That was when a couple of vendors came by selling jewelry, towels, blankets and dresses. I did my best negotiating and haggling and picked up a couple of souvenirs.

Shortly thereafter, my wife and I went to get a back massage on the beach. This was a fantastic way to relax and get those tense muscles loosened. The sound of the ocean in the background was tranquil and soothing.

Afterwards we headed out for dinner at the Teppanyaki again (it was by far the best experience for dinner). Once dinner was over, we headed to the theater and enjoyed a burlesque show. The theatrics and acrobatic dancing was intense. The show was well worth watching. My throat was sore from all of the hootin’ and hollerin’ I was doing.

It was another full day of relaxation and fun.

Poolside In Mexico

Yesterday we had a full day just hanging out at the pool. That’s a lie. First thing in the morning we ate breakfast at a restaurant by the beach. Shortly after, we learned how to make guacamole and the history of the ingredients. Then we did salsa dancing lesson. THEN we hung out at the pool.

It was a good time relaxing. The drinks kept flowing and laughs were raucous. Lounging for hours really helped with the relaxation that was needed this year. As well, seeing our pool back home surrounded by snow made me happy to be here.

Later we had dinner at the Mexican restaurant where a mariachi duo came to our table and played some music. Afterwards I caught the tail end of a Michael Jackson tribute. We ended the night eating churros as live music played in the main plaza area. Halfway through vacation and it’s been so much fun.

A Birthday To Remember For My Wife

Yesterday was my wife’s birthday. Besides enjoying Mexico, I added a day excursion for her and I to enjoy. All three activities were a blast!

First was a visit to Tulum. We learned about the ancient civilization and had a wonderful view of the ocean from up top. Shortly after we had some fun snorkeling with manta rays and sea turtles. This was immediately followed by a visit to swim through the Cenote caves.

When we got back to the resort, there was a lovely birthday plate waiting in our room for my wife. We met some friends for a Teppanyaki dinner. Great show with excellent food. Again, my wife was treated to a birthday dessert.

It was a great birthday for my wife who doesn’t always like being in the spotlight. The resort has been wonderful so far.