For the Christmas holiday season, Rob and I usually travel down south to visit family and friends and go somewhere warm and tropical to warm up from the arctic freeze. Previous trips included going to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Thailand and the Bahamas, however now that we own a sailboat, our trips have been closer to home to visit our sailboat and to get it ready for our one year off to go sailing. This is the unfortunate part about living up in the north right now and having our sailboat on Vancouver Island, in that we don’t get to spend much time on her or to get her ready for sailing.
This year we were fortunate to see my family in Penticton, BC, friends in Naples, Florida and Rob’s family in Toronto, ON and no, we did not get a chance to see the boat this time as part of this fly around North America trip, but we will later this year in April/May when we start our one year leave/sabbatical! We were also fortunate that we weren’t caught in all the bad weather storms that hit all of the eastern provinces and part of the states over the holiday season.
Before Christmas, Rob and I headed to Penticton to spend time with my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law and my little niece. We had a great Christmas holiday where we spent time playing with my niece (Rob got his nails painted by her), making a gingerbread house, learning how to make cookies, tobogganing, enjoying the fluffy snow at -5°C (yup only -5°C when it was -53°C in Baker Lake) and having Santa bring us lots of toys. Actually Santa skipped most of the adults and brought my niece lots of toys and even a pink dress that was made by three of Santa’s elves from Cambridge Bay. For Christmas day we all gathered at my sister’s home for Christmas dinner and my niece had on her new pink dress and new pink Mickey Mouse slippers that my mom gave her. Santa also gave her some books (thanks to her aunt) and after we went through the books together and I told her all about them, she grabbed the book called ‘Pinkalicious’, found her mom, and asked to have it read to her. Do you think she likes pink?
Late on December 29th, we caught a 6:30pm flight and flew to Fort Myers, Florida from Penticton via Vancouver and Toronto. By the time we made it to our friends place in Naples, Rob and I were up for over 27 hours. We were spoiled though when we were picked up at the airport as our friends picked us up in a Maserati and we had a fun ride all the way into Naples. The lack of sleep eventually caught up to us, and Rob and I eventually had to take a nap before dinner. For New Year’s Eve, we enjoyed a nice dinner at an outdoor restaurant with our friends, their family and friends. We saw fireworks afterwards and ringed in the New Year around a bonfire with lots of laughter. We were spoiled while we were in Naples as the weather was very nice and we were able to visit the nearby beaches, go to the zoo, see a few movies and play in the pool at our friend’s place.
We left Naples on January 3rd and made our way slowly back north with a stop-over in Toronto for a few days to see Rob’s family and some friends we knew from Cambridge Bay. We even went to one of Rob’s favourite places to eat while in Toronto; the Queen Mother Cafe! Rob has been going to this restaurant since he was 18 years old and it was the first restaurant he introduced me to when we starting dating and I went to Toronto to meet his family.
When we left Toronto to fly to Winnipeg, our flight was one of very few flights on the board that were not delayed but as soon as we got on the plane we were delayed due to late arriving passengers and then they could not find the ground crew! How do you lose ground crew?? Apparently, due to the cold weather (maybe -20C at the most), the ground crew had to rotate out with another crew and went inside the terminal to warm up but then they disappered and the other crew never showed up! We ended up being delayed by over an hour until the ground crew came back and then had to be de-iced. Again, like I mentioned before, we were lucky that with all the flying around over the holidays we were not delayed too badly due to the weather, but both Rob and I looked at each other on the plane and started to laugh because the ground crews in the north work outside even when it is -40°C (I guess we can take a bit of northern pride here)? It is not fun, but you do it when you have too!
We are back in Baker Lake now after only being delayed by one day in Winnipeg due to blizzards in the north and happy to see our dogs and experiencing our first blizzard of the season. We are also getting exciting and very nervous as we counted the days and we have less than 3 months before we start on our new adventure! There is a lot of planning and packing to do though in a very short time period! ~ Sophia & Rob