Well, almost. We spent a little over two weeks in Canada, visiting Matt’s family for the Christmas holiday and new year.
It was splendid! We ate too much, we slept a lot, we opened presents with the nieces and nephews. We skated, hiked, snowshoe’d, sledded, and had a massive snowball fight, Adults vs. Kids. We sat in the hot tub. We drank beer. We played cribbage, Scrabble, poker, and bowled. Matt even got to take a shot off of his nephew Cal, goal-tending on the hockey rink. (And challenge him to WII, which may have been harder, I think.)
A confession: Christmas is not normally my thing — as some of you know, being Jewish and all. When I was fresh out of college and living in Oakland, Calif., with ELL and ACK, I loudly protested the purchase of a Christmas tree for our apartment. And then I happily helped decorate it, after my roommates overruled me.
I enjoyed spending Christmas with Matt’s family — but it was the whole package that I loved: Being able to play with the kids, laze around and play games and talk with the adults, cook and schmooze. Family celebrations, no matter what the religion, are a good, good thing. It made me homesick to be so close to home, and yet so far away.
Toward the end of the trip, we drove from Kimberley (B.C.) to Lacombe (Alberta), with five adults crammed in the car, as well as all our luggage and Christmas booty to boot in the boot. A few Tim Horton’s stops were required. Once settled in Lacombe, we had some business to add to the pleasure — we took care of some key banking issues, and we shopped! Most important purchase: Matt got ice skates at the local secondhand store, and I got mine at Canada Tire.
So, finally, well-fed and exhausted, we packed ourselves back home (nearly 24 hours of travel). Our luggage made it home to the apartment the day after we did, including an extra bag of loot and with our delectable maple syrup somewhat intact.
We returned well over a week ago. The snow is melting here in Stockholm, but should start up again soon. We’ve already had one visitor, and I’ve been playing catch-up with work. Matt started teaching yesterday. We are headlong into the new year.