Category Archives: Winter

I hope you like butterflies (Niagara Butterfly Conservatory)

I am continuing from where I left off after Part 1 of our Niagara Falls experience. Overnight on Sunday the temperature dropped about 20 degrees, so while it was enjoyable to be outside on Sunday, Monday was the opposite. It was absolutely frigid. We attempted to walk off our huge IHOP breakfast (we had a coupon included with our hotel) and make our way back down to the falls, but we abandoned that mission about 20 feet from our hotel. Being outside was out. Being outside for more than two minutes made me feel like I was gonna die.

But we weren’t ready to go home just yet. We tossed around a few activity ideas: glow-in-the-dark mini-putting? (we can do that anywhere); wax museum? (I hear it’s lame); tour of the power plant? (Evan’s dream, but closed for the season). Eventually we decided on this:

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The tropical paradise that is the butterfly conservatory. And the best/cheesiest part about this activity is…it was just like our second date at Allan Gardens (almost on the same day also). Minus kahlua, of course, and plus butterflies. A TON of butterflies. Apparently over 2,000 of them. I have never seen so many butterflies!

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They were everywhere. As soon as we walked into their steamy, tropical lair they were flying all over the place and basically surrounding you.

Evan was really excited for the butterflies.

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I actually felt a little bit afraid at times when a butterfly as big as a bird would start flapping around my face…but for the most part I was a fan of all the butterflies.

If you stayed still long enough, they would flutter over and land on you…

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You saucy brave butterfly.

I felt like Snow White surrounded by all the butterflies.

Or you could cheat and coax the butterfly onto your finger.

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Without touching their wings, of course, because that is bad for the butterflies.

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We both said that the butterfly conservatory was the highlight of our Niagara trip. I am so glad we decided to do this, it was extremely cool and it just made me feel warm and happy all over. Kind of how wine makes me feel.

We stayed and wandered through the lush greenery for an hour or so, just soaking up the atmosphere. Really not much else to say, but I have a ton of pictures, so enjoy the views. Most of these were taken by Evan.

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Monarch, my favourite!

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<3 What a beaut.

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Peek-a-butterfly

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The miracle of life.

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Like a tropical rainforest.

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Waterfalls.

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Turtles.

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Lovers.

I could have stayed in there with the butterflies all day long. I also kept thinking that I would not have minded living in there at all and I could totally live my life as a butterfly.

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They’re just living the dream in their little conservatory. It was a good, good time. If you’re visiting Niagara Falls, the butterfly conservatory is a MUST!

Have a great weekend!

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Niagara Falls Adventures

I have been very excited to share my and Evan’s Niagara Falls trip with you. We were only there from Sunday to Monday so only slightly more than 24 hours, but we packed in a lot of stuff.

It was kind of a one year anniversary celebratory trip for Evan and I, but also just a nice winter getaway. I am a big fan of experiences and creating memories. I am also a fan of saving money, so we booked our hotel through Travelzoo and scored a huuuuge deal. If you are looking into a Niagara Falls adventure I would HIGHLY recommend doing this. Our hotel was half the price of what it would be usually, and it included a bunch of coupons for restaurants, etc. as well. The deals are usually Sunday through Thursday, but since it is the Christmas hollies that was no biggie. It actually worked out really well since it was less busy than a weekend, and we weren’t there to party.

Anyway, we were staying at the Ramada hotel in the Fallsview district and arrived on Sunday in the early afternoon. Our room completely exceeded my expectations. I knew we had a king bed, but I’m pretty sure the jacuzzi was an upgrade from the front desk guy.

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So that was a nice surprise. Definitely made up for the view.

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So scenic and beautiful. But we weren’t planning on spending a lot of time in our room anyway, so no worries there.

We immediately bundled up and headed over to the falls, about a 10 minute walk from our hotel.

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The bundling was pretty unnecessary though, as Sunday was a balmy 9C degrees (48F) and it was in fact so warm that the ice rink was flooded and closed.

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That got a big thumbs down and a sad face from me because I was VERRRRRY excited for some romantic nighttime skating overlooking the beautifully lit falls. And we would hold hands and drink hot chocolate and take rosy-cheeked selfies. So that dream was crushed. Maybe for the best though, as Evan has informed me he does not know how to skate, and his dad used to call him The Zamboni when he was trying to teach him because he would just fall and clean the ice with his butt. We probably could have gotten him a pylon or something to push around though, to keep him upright. I guess his graceful water ability (aw, the porpoise!) doesn’t apply to frozen water. He is naturally good at a lot of things, so maybe he has magically learned after not skating in 20 years? We’ll never know (except we will know, because we’re going downtown for skating at some point this winter, and it will be just as romantic as I am picturing).

Digressing, digressing…

The falls were just beautiful, if a little foggy. I’ve never seen them in the winter.

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It was still chilly, so we were still rosy-cheeked (or red-faced).

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A romantic selfie

After wandering around for a while and taking in the sights, we decided to go on an adventure. The JOURNEY BEHIND THE FALLS! I have always wanted to do this.

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An elevator takes you down 150 feet (googled it), through the rock, to tunnels that lead to two portals behind the falls, and a viewing area to the side (where I took the photo above). It was a really cool experience, and pictures do not do it justice.

It was tricky tricky to get a picture down there but we still tried.

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The guy who is taking this took about 4 and his thumb is in all of them. Not ideal conditions, but you make do.

The coolest were the two portals behind the falls looking out.

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Evan has a cool video of this, the water just constantly rushing by the little tunnel. It was very loud, like THUNDA!

Afterwards we stopped by the giftshop, and since this is obviously a very popular American tourist spot being on the border, it was pure moose, mounties, and maple paraphernalia in there. And beavers, a lot of beavers. I promise you there is more to Canada. Come hang with me, I’ll show ya the sights.

Eventually we headed back to our hotel and got all gussied up for dinner at the Fallsview Keg, and our table had GORGEOUS views overlooking the falls. On a clear night it would have been ridiculous.

We had a coupon for the Keg included in our hotel package, which was helpful because the Keg is $$, so we went all out and even ordered an appetizer.

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Warm goat cheese and toast and brushetta-type tomatoes. And hooooooly that goat cheese. Holy moly. I loved it.

Plus bread for the table and a Keg-sized Caesar for meee (like a Bloody Mary, but spicy and with clamato juice – it’s a Canadian thing, they should serve these in the gift shop)…

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And then dinner.

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Apologies for the bad photo quality, but steak, scallops and shrimp with a little cream sauce and garlic mashed potatoes made up my entree. It was all delicious. ESPECIALLY the scallops. Both the steak and the scallops were melt-in-your-mouth.

It was a really, really nice dinner. Evan and I haven’t been out for a dinner of this calibre together in a while and it was so great to just enjoy each other’s company and stuff our faces. Good times.

Afterwards we did some walking around in the nighttime falls…

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It was really foggy, but the falls were still beautiful. I had always thought when they lit the falls it was from behind them, but they have these huge spotlights that light them up. They changed to red and green periodically also, all festive for Christmas.

And then we hit up the casino.

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I am not a big gambler and the thought of losing money just makes me feel sick to my stomach, but once in a while I think it’s a fun time. Usually when I go to the casino I put my designated $20 gambling money into the slot machine and I lose it almost immediately. I LOVE blackjack tables, but the minimum is $25 a hand and that’s a little steep. At the casino in Port Perry where I used to frequent occasionally when I was freshly 19, the minimum was $5 a hand so you could play for hours and win/lose a minimal amount. In the end we stuck to slots and Evan lost $10 and I broke even, so not too shabby for an hour or so of entertainment. Also, the Michael Jackson slot machine is awesome. If you find one, play it. It has so many fun things going on (random MJ songs playing, and MJ himself moonwalking all over your screen periodically) and mini games. I like slot machines that keep me entertained like that.

At the end of the day we headed back to our room with the upgraded jacuzzi, and The End.

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Romantic.

Not sure how I feel about posting a picture of myself in a bathtub HOWEVER, I might just be wearing a bathing suit under all those bubbles. You just never can tell 🙂

Part 2 Niagara things to come!

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Nana, Cookies and #icestorm2013

Good morning and Happy Eve of Christmas Eve! I am especially excited for this glorious day because today is my last day of work until January 6th. Hurrah and also yippee. My entire office is shutting down for the holidays, so I am a very lucky ducky. I am so grateful. I have been looking forward to having some leisure time since October. Not that I will be getting much of it over the holidays either, as I seem to be booked with activities every day until New Year’s Day… But at least it’s fun festive times with family and friends.

Well, I guess that isn’t entirely true about the leisure time. Forced hibernation and therefore leisuring came unexpectedly this weekend when (HASHTAG!) icestorm2013 rolled in.

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Freezing rain literally all weekend long, the worst from Saturday night through Sunday morning, but pretty icy all around. My friend Sherrie was hosting a gathering full of Christmas cheer on Friday, and I had my glitter shirt all laid out and ready…but since it’s about an hour drive Evan and I opted to stay in since the storm was starting, the roads were not the most fabulous, and they were just supposed to get worse. Flash freezing at any time. And on Saturday it was my friend Julie’s 30th birthday party, but again. Ice. And by then the roads were even worse, so that was out also. I was bummed to not be able to see everyone, but I cannot lie, I was excited to stay in my pajamas and enjoy being forced inside with my lover and a rum and Coke (I tried rum and egg nog but I am not really a fan).

At least we have had power the whole time, as a couple hundred thousand people do not. My dad and Mona were powerless for nearly 24 hours and at one point my dad called me and was all “If the power doesn’t come back on, Christmas might be CANCELLED!” (they always host Christmas on Christmas Eve, and it’s expected that some people may be without power for 72 hours, and no power = no heat, so cancelling Christmas would not be completely unwarranted). But the power is back on for them, so there will be Christmas! It’s a Christmas miracle. We only lost cable and the internet last night, but most of our neighbourhood is without power (and it’s estimated they will be until Christmas Day!) so I cannot complain. I really, really cannot complain.

I remember the last time we had a crazy ice storm like this, when I still lived in the middle of nowhere, and it was SO insanely icy that we could skate right on the streets. I figure skated over to my friend Melissa’s house, picked her and her skates up, and skated all through the streets with her all day long. Winter in the country is the best. Winter in the city…I can’t say many good things about it.

Anyway, Evan and I spent the entire day on Saturday making my Nana’s famous Christmas cookies.

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And I am not exaggerating when I say all day… We finished decorating them at about 7pm. They are quite time consuming, and we also made three batches of them so we had enough to bring to our families this week for Christmas celebrations. The time is totally worth it though, they are so ridiculously good. And as they should be, as they mainly are just butter and sugar, which is one of the best combinations of all time (chocolate and peanut butter might top it).

Evan was Santa’s little helper, which was awesome. It was the first time I have ever had help making these.

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He also figured out how to make the parchment triangles that I accidentally bought last year into icing bags.

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So I was pretty impressed with that.

When all was said and done, and after I ate about a pound of butter during the icing process, we had 70 beautifully decorated cookies, just like my Nana used to make.

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Speaking of the Nanners, we did eventually venture out on Sunday afternoon to go and visit her. It was still lightly freezing rain, but the roads were salted and not too horrible. She really needed Q-Tips, paper towels, and Werther’s Original, so we had to make it there. But maaaaan was it an adventure. Her nursing home is north of the city and most of the way there, the power was out everywhere. All the streetlights were out, and of course no one knows how to deal with a street light if it isn’t working (four way stop!!!), a lot of cars didn’t stop at all. Trees were down all over the place. Gas stations were closed. But the streets were still really busy with people. It was chaos. I felt like it was the apocalypse.

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I don’t have any good pictures of all the trees down, but some of my Facebook friends sure had some crazy things happening. At least it was pretty. The trees are suffering, they’re all bent over and mangled under the weight of the ice, but they are suffering beautifully.

We eventually made it to the Nanners, and we gave her the Q-Tips and the paper towel and her Werther’s Original. And she was reunited with her Christmas cookies!

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I hope they remind her of family Christmases like they do for me.

She was telling us about a certain young man in her nursing home who gave her a stuffed “dog” (it was actually a stuffed tiger, but close enough), and who is obviously trying to woo her. She said she kissed his hand to thank him, because “I wasn’t going to kiss him on the face!” It was very cute. 99 and a half years of age and she’s still got it.

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What a MINX!

And she still wears her wedding band even though my Papa passed away over 30 years ago.

I still cannot believe how great she looks and how with it she is. She definitely has her rough days, but she’s still mobile, she’s happy, and does a surprising amount for herself in that home. At that age I think that’s all we can ask for.

I left there with my heart just full to the brim and a bag of cookies she saved from meals for me. I’m so glad we braved the icepocalypse and trekked over.

I guess that’s pretty much it. I am all ready for Christmas. Our stockings are hung by the fake chimney haphazardly…

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Winnie only gets hers if she continues to be a good cat.

And we’re basically done all the wrapping.

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So I am feeling pretty good. I’m still waiting on two online presents to be delivered, but it wouldn’t be Christmas without minor annoyances now would it?

Hope you all had a great weekend, with power and heat!

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People of Florida, I need your help! (Plus a rant about winter, because it sucks)

I try not to complain about the weather very often. Being Canadian this is sometimes no easy feat, because sometimes the weather sucks for quite a long period of time. I will never, EVER, ever ever ever, complain about summer. Ever. I love the heat. I want to live on the equator. As long as there is some sort of body of water I am all good. Summer in Canada is my absolute dream. It is sunny and warm and gorgeous, the scenery is beautiful, and there are ample lakes for water activities. I can’t think of anything better.

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Dream.

But then, of course, there is winter. Cold, grey, windy, depressing, stupid winter. And on the rare chance it’s sunny, it’s usually even more freezing because there is no cloud cover to keep the “heat” in (I don’t know if that is actually scientifically correct, I’m just rambling).

Winter sucks. It is fun for maybe two days. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere where there is ample snow for winter adventures, then maybe it isn’t so bad (I mean, the hunting camp was fun), but I don’t think there is any way to put a fun spin on city winters.

Again, usually I try not to complain about this, but this winter has been exceptionally horrible. I have kept my winter anger to a minimum for the most part, but as I walked home from work last night and I stopped myself from slipping and smashing my poor windburnt face on the sidewalk for at least the seventh time, I felt a rage towards winter that I have never felt before. I want to punch winter in the face.

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It needs to stop.

Last year at this time, I remember sitting outside on a patio in the beautiful sunshine, several days in a row, drinking pints of beer and loving my life. I was all “Cheers to global warming!” and it was fabulous. I remember it being 10 degrees and sunny in early FEBRUARY.

This year, no. Ohh no no. It has been cold and awful since October. That is nearly six months of winter. That is half a year!

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And someone needs to go kick all the groundhogs in the crotch for predicting only six more weeks of winter. I call BS on that. It is almost April and it has been below zero every day this week. Is it too much to ask for plus one?  That’s all I want! Just one measly degree above zero and maybe no wind. I would take that.

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No one likes you winter! Even the diehard snow fans who are all “YAY! SNOWBOARDING!” they’re sick of you. GTFO.

I know I shouldn’t complain. I have been luckier than a lot of people this winter. Some people have it worse. At least I don’t live in the Yukon. Or the prairies. Or the east coast. And geez, Alberta. And at least I got to escape to Jamaica for a week.

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Though all that did was make me miss summer more when I got back.

Anyway, sorry, rant over. BECAUSE. Evan and I are going to Florida next week! THE SUNSHINE STATE! I can barely contain my excitement.

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YAYYYYYYYYYY!

So there is a light at the end of the tunnel. For me. Hahahaha, sorry fellow Ontarians. I am abandoning you.

My Dad and stepmom Mona bought a condo in Florida about two years ago, and I have yet to go there. In fact, I have never been to Florida. I know, what is wrong with me? I need to take advantage of this condo situation ASAP.

So Floridians and snowbirds, I need your help! Besides visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (a dream of mine), playing shuffleboard (a dream of Evan’s), and FINALLY meeting my longtime blog friend Paula for the first time (so excited about this), I want to eat all the things and leisure on all the best beaches! And I want to see a gator.

I am open to any and all recommendations of places to eat and things to do in the Tampa/Bradenton/Sarasota area (specifically Bradenton though no one seems to have heard of it). Florida friends, I have heard great things about your amazing food and cheap shopping and beautiful beaches, so please enlighten me. I need your advice. Please help me enjoy the sun and get fat! I will only be there for a limited time, and then it is back to this silly winter business. Although hopefully I will bring some sunshine and warmth back with me.

And Lord help me if the weather is crap in Florida while I’m there.

Anyway, you can just leave me a comment with your recommendations, please and thank you. Or send me an email. Whatever’s clever.

I hope you’re all having a great Wednesday and it is less frigid than mine. Blech.

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The Deer Run Inn

Hi friends!

As mentioned in my last post, a bunch of us spent the weekend doing winter stuff in the middle of nowhere Ontario, at Emily’s Dad Al’s hunting camp, the famous Deer Run Inn.

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Tripod for the group photo win. From left: Corey, Emily, Evan, myself, Dawn, Mark, and Dawn and Mark’s dogs Miyou and Bolt. You should recognize them all if you have been following my blog for a while since most of those beautiful faces tend to make an almost weekly appearance around here.

It was awesome to spend the weekend outside of the city with them all, and I had a really fun time.

The camp isn’t on an official road, so getting into it is a bit tricky in the winter because there is typically a LOT of snow and the “road” is unplowed and hilly. So we met Em’s Dad Al on the drive up in his 4×4 truck and he drove us in. I was grateful, as we had a lot of stuff.

Dawn and Mark came up a bit later though, so we made the trek back out so we could walk them in and help them carry everything.

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Dawn with her backpack and her brown blanket killed me. She reminded me of a movie character. I think the hunchback from 300.

The walk is about 30 minutes, but it wasn’t bad as we had beer to get us through.

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We liked to call Evan the Mechanic, or Coveralls, or Dan Ackroyd (because of Ghostbusters) because he was wearing an attractive one piece coverall set as snow pants.

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He said the coveralls were nice and toasty.

So a little about the camp. It’s gorgeous. Though the term “inn” is probably used a bit loosely…

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It has a lot of deer paraphernalia kicking around, and a lot of gun racks.

There are two rooms. In modern open-concept fashion, the main room is the kitchen and the living room together, and then there is the bunk room, which has five bunk beds with double mattresses on both the top and bottom bunks. Very functional.

The camp has no electricity (though there is a generator), and no running water. It is heated by a wood stove and a cook stove, and there is also a propane stove if needed (we used it for breakfast). There’s an old fridge on the porch that isn’t plugged in, and it kind of acts like a cooler. But in the winter keeping everything cold isn’t a problem, because you can just leave it outside.

We didn’t need a fridge for our snacks anyway.

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Epitome of health right there. We do not mess around when it comes to snacks. I had a lot of everything.

There is also no bathroom. Just this fancy outhouse.

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We were trying to figure out why anyone would put a window on an outhouse door, and we think it is because when all the men are up there actually hunting deer, they probably keep their gun nearby when they are using that in the morning. In case any deer wander by, you know.  It’s important to keep an eye out for your enemy at all times.

Anyway, the seat was frigid, but as far as outhouses go it wasn’t too bad. And besides the cold seat I have decided I much prefer outhouses in the winter to the summer, because there isn’t really a smell and there are no bugs. I have a feeling that thing gets pretty spider infested in the summer. And spiders, as you may know, are the one thing that make me panic inside.

The snow was up to our knees, so Evan shovelled a path over to the outhouse so we could easily get to it from the cabin.

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Very nice of him. Also, to the right of the cabin in that picture is the shower. We didn’t use it though. We just stayed dirty.

After we unpacked our stuff and got all settled, we got right into the winter activities. Like building snowmen!

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It was perfect snowman-building packing snow. We built two awesome ones, and then we trashed them.

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We had a pellet gun up there so we shot some cans off of that snowman before Mark tackled it. I actually have a pretty good shot!

And I have been wanting to make a snow angel for at least two years, so I got that dream out of the way.

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We also took the dogs on a big walk through the snow around the camp, and Corey showed us the tree stand he uses when he is there actually hunting deer with Emily’s Dad.

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I didn’t get a picture of it, but I wanted to post this one because in the top left of the photo is the “skinning shack.” We did not go in there, because I have a feeling it is just as horrifying as it sounds.

After dinner (lasagne), we played a round of Apples to Apples which I have never played before. It’s a really good family game and it was pretty funny.

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Coincidentally Evan brought the game Cards Against Humanity, which is exactly like Apples to Apples, only a million times more inappropriate.

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And I really do mean a million times more inappropriate. No exaggeration there. So we played that next, and let me tell you, it was the funniest game I have ever played. Ever. I was dying. Like laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. A couple people had to actually take a Tylenol because their heads hurt so much from laughing. Emily eventually had to lie down, as she just couldn’t take the laughter anymore.

And I really appreciated that they tailored the game for Canadians.

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I don’t think Evan stole his copy of Cards Against Humanity, just for the record. But there were a few American cards we didn’t understand, so we appreciated the Canadian effort.

We played the entire game, while wearing hats.

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We went through every card. It took us about five hours, but we did take a break to squeeze in some nighttime tobogganing.

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The hill wasn’t the greatest, but it was still a good time. We lit it with flares so we could see where we were going.

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It was pretty.

The next morning we woke up and made the best breakfast ever.

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So good. The hash browns almost reminded me of the amazing hash browns we had in Jamaica. Almost.

We also had toast, which Evan brought cinnamon spread for. Cinnamon spread!

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It took me back to my childhood! I took the leftover tub home with me and have been stirring it into my oatmeal in the mornings. It is goooood.

Corey, Evan and I also all had very attractive onesies that came in handy for the morning chilliness. Corey missed the onesie picture, sadly.

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Bolt and Miyou enjoyed them. My onesie was super comfortable. I think I might start wearing it all the time.

Fun times at the hunting camp!

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I am already excited to go back.

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CHRISTMAS!

Welp, it’s been four days since Christmas and I have emerged from my food coma and I am ready to talk about it.

I have to just take a minute and say how much I love Christmas on Facebook. I love everyone’s photos of their family and friends all merry in their Santa hats and reindeer antlers and ugly sweaters and general holiday attire. Looking at them just makes me feel happy. So if you are my Facebook friend and you have been posting photos and they are in my news feed, well I am creeping them.

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I am a creeper just like that cat.

My family always does the Christmas thing on Christmas Eve, so on Monday I headed to my dad and stepmom Mona’s for our fam jam. Also in attendance was my stepbrother Rusty, his girlfriend Leslie, and my stepmom’s mother Velta (who is hilarious and has a really heavy Latvian accent and pretty much everything she says makes me laugh hard).

Sadly my Nana couldn’t make it. She is doing well, but big outings like this are sometimes a bit too much for her. It is okay though, my Dad and I went to see her on Saturday for a little Christmas celebration beforehand.

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She is always so happy! She just kills me with her cuteness.

Anyway, my parents pets were all festive for the occasion…

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Tweedy is sporting the lion haircut like a rock star.

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I can never get a picture of Mojo (the dog) actually looking at the camera because all he cares about is food (maybe he reminds you of someone…) so he is always just looking at where the food is. It’s all he is after, all the time. Perhaps I should dangle bacon in front of my face next time. That will probably get his attention.

It needs to be said that there are few things in life I love more than a beautifully set Christmas dinner table.

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But I can think of one thing, and that is the CHRISTMAS DINNER!

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Ahh I wait all year for this. Deliciousness from left: stuffing, mashed potatoes (obviously with a gravy volcano, because that is the proper way to do mashed potatoes), veggies, squash, cabbage roll (a tradition!), ham, and turkey. Yes, yes and yes.

My family always does the present thing after dinner, and then dessert after presents. So I have time to digest for a bit before tackling this:

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That cake was so amazingly delicious. It was a strawberry cake, and typically I do not like fruity cake (vanilla with buttercream icing all the way), but that cake was seriously good. I may have to rethink my future cake choices.

And of course there were presents!

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I got a pretty good haul this year. Probably my favourite was a little trinket I can attach to my purse that is actually a sneaky alarm when pulled. My dad and Mona worry about me walking around at night in the city (not that I just wander around aimlessly at night, but you know). So just in case someone tries to attack me, instead of punching them in the face I can just pull on my handy little siren. It was a very thoughtful gift.

I also got these sweet straw glasses from Mona:

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And you better BELIEVE those are coming to Jamaica with me and I will be using them (note: the scarf was a gift, and the headband was a bow from one of the presents, I didn’t show up to Christmas wearing that thing…but I liked it).

My Dad and I got our customary photo in front of the tree…

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And overall it was just a great Christmas with the fam.

Christmas day I headed over to my friend Sherrie’s to watch Christmas movies in our pajamas while drinking wine. It was PERFECT, and we decided that this may need to be a new tradition.

She made me the best margarita also. And margaritas + Love Actually = Love.

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Amazing. And we had tacos for Christmas dinner. No complaints about that.

On Boxing Day my very oldest friend Emily invited me to her parents for dinner with her sister Sara, stepbrother Dave, and boyfriend Corey. I LOVE their family dinners (they also had me for Easter dinner this year), so I headed to our hometown of Blackstock, which is so small that I can’t even google the population (and I didn’t even live in Blackstock growing up, I lived outside of Blackstock). It’s the boonies, that is what you need to know.

Em’s mom made us all vesper martinis, which apparently are also known as the James Bond martinis.

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Very fancy. And VERY strong. I’m pretty sure they just wanted to get me drunk…

Before dinner we all hung out and enjoyed appetizers…

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And then it was time for Christmas dinner round 2! We started with parsnip soup that Emilio’s mom made.

parsnip-soup

I was skeptical about the idea of parsnip soup, I cannot lie, but it was so good! I couldn’t get enough of it. And then more of the usual Christmas dinner fare…

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Again, so good. I wish I could eat Christmas dinner every day. Thank you so much Emily and fam for having me!

The dessert spread was pretty impressive also…

desserts

Those peanut butter marshmallow squares remind me of kindergarten! My mom used to make them for me when we had snack days. Of course this wouldn’t be allowed now, silly peanut allergies… Also, Emily is cakepop maker extraordinaire, and her sister Sara MADE those chocolate peanut butter cups herself. I was dying. So delicious.

And then we all watched this:

xmas-vacay-2

What is this?! I had NO idea there was a sequel to Christmas Vacation, or I would have been all over watching that a lot earlier. Anyway, it was horrible. Don’t watch it. I’ll tell you what happens. Nothing. Nothing that you ever need to see.

We all agreed that it was probably the worst movie we had ever seen. But it was pretty fun to make fun of it at least.

It was decided that I was going to sleep over, as we had a snowstorm and the roads were bad, and I had also had some drinks. I hadn’t planned on this, so I had no pajamas. But Emily’s mom came to the rescue with a beautiful satin teddy bear nightgown.

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Em was all, “Hey, you wanna wear this?!”

And I was like “YES!”

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And actually that nightgown was super comfy. I may have to buy one for my leisuring.

And that was my Christmas. Good times with family and friends, and I hope all of yours were as well!

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