Winter Vacation

Our winter vacation is different this year. Rather than being on a beach, we are heading into the Rockies. With aging parents, we didn’t feel comfortable leaving the country this year. We wanted something within a couple hours of home.

I’m fortunate to have friends who have a vacation home in Canmore, AB. They’ve offered it to us in exchange for looking after their dog while they go on a skiing trip. It’s not two weeks at an all-inclusive or revisiting a Hawaiian island, but it’s four days away from responsibilities at home.

I asked ChatGPT what the top 5 things are to do in Canmore. It gave me this list.

  1. Hiking – Yeah. I know. Kananaskis Country and Banff have great hiking trails. I’d like to get out to Johnstone Canyon and Grotto Creek.
  2. Skiing and Snowboarding – No thank you. I don’t like heights so ski lifts are out of the question. I’m a prairie girl. Cross-country skiing on level ground is my comfort zone.
  3. Wildlife Watching – I just finished developing a course on Wildlife Safety for a client. I have no intentions of going out and seeking wildlife. I fully expect we’ll see elk and deer, but my life is full if I don’t encounter a bear or cougar.
  4. Canoeing and Kayaking – Yeah. It’s winter. There will be none of that.
  5. Shopping and Dining – One of my curses is to be with a man who loves to shop. Canmore, and nearby Banff, have some interesting shops. I’m quite sure at least one afternoon will be spent exploring the downtown core of each. As for dining, Martin is an excellent cook and he enjoys it, so we prefer to eat at home. Besides, with all my food allergies and sensitivities, it’s just easier.

For the next five days I’m leaving my computer at home. It probably wasn’t the best time to start a self-imposed 30-day blogging challenge, but it’s life. It never goes how we expect.

I’ll be sure to share our adventures once we’re home.

So Long, Playa del Carmen

You may have noticed Vanessa has been busy blogging the past few weeks while I’ve been absent. That’s because Martin and I were in Playa del Carmen for two weeks.

It was the first “real” vacation we have taken. Sure, we’ve gone camping for a few days and we’ve visited each of our ‘home’ cities, but this was the first time we were heading out of country together.

I have to admit, I was slightly concerned. With Martin’s work schedule, he and I haven’t spent more than 10 days together since we met two years ago – now we were looking at three weeks together, two of them in Mexico. Just him and me – no distractions – only each other. Add to this, Martin has a stronger than average need for solitude given his introverted nature. How were we going to manage?

Turns out, we managed very well. We got through airport madness, resort construction, street vendors, getting lost when we tried to find Walmart, and COVID tests intact. We fell into a routine where he’d get up before me and get our lounge chairs for the day. He had a couple of hours to himself before I joined him. We’d have breakfast together and then go to our loungers where he’d read stock market news and I’d read a book or play “Plants vs. Zombies” on my iPad. I’d go to the gym (he joined me a couple of times) or join in on water volleyball and water aerobics classes while he suntanned. Sometimes, we’d snorkel in front of the resort. Then, we’d relax on our room’s deck and have dinner together. Some evenings, we’d walk into the city or watch the evening entertainment. Other nights, we’d go back to our room to relax.

It was a perfect vacation. Our goal was to get somewhere warm, near the ocean, and relax. We didn’t book any excursions, though we did go over to Cozumel for a day. We’d be in bed by 10:00 Calgary time, and sleep soundly through the night. We didn’t realize how exhausting it was to do so little!

It was a wonderful way to end 2021. With everything that happened throughout the year, getting a chance to spend so much quality time with him was exactly what I needed. I think it was what he needed, too. He hadn’t had time off since March of 2020.

As I said good-bye when I dropped him off at the airport last night, he gave me a big hug and said “I’m actually going to miss you.” I laughed. I knew what he meant. I’ll miss him, too.

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