I can’t believe it’s already New Year’s Eve. We’ve been up in Canada for well over a week, Christmas has come and gone, but it seems like we just arrived here. Our trip is coming to an end. When we left Indy we hadn’t set a hard “return” date, but we were thinking about leaving on January 2nd. We could relax and enjoy New Years Eve with my family, and spend New Years Day watching the Rose Bowl Parade, football, and hockey games before heading out the following day. It seemed like a great plan, but Mother Nature is messing it all up! It’s not unusual for snow / winter weather to ruin your plans when you’re in Canada, but the weather up here is actually looking pretty clear. Unfortunately, it’s looking like Chicago and Indianapolis are due to get hit with snow and ice on Saturday (Jan. 3rd – ie the day we were supposed to be driving through that area). In order to miss this storm, and prevent us from having to drive through an icy / snowy mess, we’re packing up today and leaving tomorrow morning. Don’t worry, we’ll still be enjoying New Years Eve by eating Chinese food and watching the Canada vs. USA hockey game.
We arrived in Canada late in the afternoon of December 21st, in time to have dinner with my parents. My mom made pierogies with bacon and fried onions – a meal you can easily find in Winnipeg, but that I don’t get much in Indianapolis. Side note: I’ve actually managed to find some pierogies at Fresh Market in Indy so I do get them on occasion! After dinner I was anxious to get the Christmas tree up and decorated. Nothing beats the smell of a real tree in the house at Christmastime! I hadn’t been back in Canada to celebrate the previous two years, so my parents just stepped back and let me do all the decorating with my favorite ornaments that I hadn’t seen in years. We spent the next couple days finishing up the remainder of the Christmas preparations – shopping (we braved several malls, and I have a new appreciation for all the traffic circles in our hometown of Carmel after dealing with Winnipeg’s ridiculous number of stop lights!) and some last minute gift wrapping.
On Christmas Eve we were planning on attending church with my aunt and uncle, then we were going to be spending the evening at their house. Unfortunately, we got news earlier in the day that my uncle had been under the weather and my aunt was starting to feel ill as well. They wouldn’t be attending church that night, they certainly wouldn’t be up for hosting us all for Christmas Eve, and they decided to stay home on Christmas Day as well (which we appreciated, because we didn’t want to get sick!). We have a small family, so the loss of two people for Christmas dinner is kind of a big blow. That, and the fact that I don’t get to see my aunt and uncle very often, made it a bit of a depressing situation. Thankfully my mom’s cousin and her family were planning on attending a Christmas Eve service at their church, which isn’t far from my parent’s house at all, so we joined them instead! I got to see some of the kids in our extended family that I haven’t seen in a couple years. In that time they’ve gone from little babies to walking and talking human beings! After church we headed back to my parents’ house, and my cousin (Braden) and his girlfriend (Sabrina) came over. They didn’t want to get sick from my aunt and uncle either, but unfortunately it sounded like Braden came down with it a few days after Christmas. My mom heated up some frozen finger food in the oven, and Braden and Sabrina brought over Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuit mix. After eating, we sat down and played Wits & Wagers, a game I gave to Dave last Christmas. We even got my dad to play, which was a Christmas miracle. Continue reading Spending the Holidays in a Winter Wonderland