Browsing: Isla Mujeres

Christmas Letter 2018

December9

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The Christmas season is upon us. As I speak Doug is roasting his 4th or 5th turkey for an event that he caters each year at this time. Our first Christmas of 2018 was in November celebrating with Doug’s co-workers at Petals West. He loves the hustle and bustle of his work and is already sourcing roses for Valentine’s Day!

My second Christmas was with my precious sisters earlier this week. We celebrated early because Kimberley and Michael are leaving soon for a six week visit in Australia to visit Danielle, Dylan and Dylan’s family. Our third Christmas will be Monday evening with the dinner that Doug is preparing for. At the end of the evening we light white tapers and sing Silent Night with the dinner guests.

We started the new year of 2018 in a flurry, taking down the Christmas tree on Boxing Day because we flew to Mesa, Arizona a day later. I went with Jer, Jen and the girls, Bekah and Seb and Grandma Jean. Doug and Kate arrived on the weekend.

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Doug found us a great condo where a Christmas tree was still up when we arrived. The occasion was the wedding of Doug’s nephew Justin.  All the Grisims were together for a rehearsal dinner on Friday Dec 28th and then the beautiful wedding the following day. The venue reminded me of a Tuscan villa and not surprisingly the food was fabulous. The next evening Doug, his Mom and siblings with a couple of nephews and nieces thrown in for good measure celebrated New Year’s Eve together, an event that has not occurred in a very long time.

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I arrived back home in enough time to throw a load of laundry in the washing machine and repack my suitcase because Doug and I were off to Portugal with good friends. Unfortunately the good friends did not make the trip due to unforeseen circumstances. In spite of missing them and feeling sheepish about it all, Doug and I had a wonderful time staying right on a beach in the Algarve.

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We took an overnight trip to Seville, Spain but otherwise stayed along the southern coast.

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The weather wasn’t tropical but it was pleasant and I am happy whenever I can walk along a beach.

We celebrated Doug’s birthday in late January and then Sebastian’s and Josie’s second birthday in February. Bekah’s May date came next with Jen and I following close behind. July brought Kate’s celebration as well as Isabelle’s, who turned five. Jeremy takes up the rear with a September birth date.

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In May there will be another milestone to celebrate as Jer and Jen are rounding off their beautiful family with another baby at that time. We never tire of our role as grandparents. We adore the Wee Ones and find joy again in every little thing when we are with them.

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Late February and early March was our annual sojurn to Isla Mujeres.

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Along with lots of family and good friends we reconnect with each year, long-time friends Melinda and Richard spent most of a week with us and it was a special time.

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When our traveling days were curtailed for the early spring, we focused on another wonderful blessing to our family. Doug and I drove back and forth to the lake meeting with a cottage renovator and hauling bead board and flooring in the back of Doug’s truck. By May long weekend we were able to set beds up and even though it is not yet finished, we felt luxurious with all the space and rooms and beds for everyone! I was also able to ask some girlfriends out for the occasional weekend.

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We attended four wonderful weddings in the summer-two of them in the same family!

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The first three were young members at our church and the fourth was that of our nephew Bronson.

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Since I had been so sick the summer before, Doug gifted me with a summer do-over and I spent a couple of weeks all by myself out there. I cannot adequately express, how drawn I am to our special piece of heaven.

In August Kate and Doug flew to Toronto so that they could attend the Rogers Cup together. Kate’s fav tennis player didn’t make the finals but Doug’s Nadal did.

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Come September, we had the traveling bug again and taking advantage of cheap flights out east, we visited Charlottetown PEI for our first time. Both the hospitality of a friend we met on Isla and the quaintness of the island ensures that we will visit again in the future.

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Another trip to Toronto for the Food Bloggers Canada conference and extended stay with Richard and Melinda rounded out the fall. Thanksgiving was once again at the beautiful lake home of Kim and Michael.

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The first weekend of November Bekah, Seb, Doug and I took a road trip to Minneapolis. Doug found us an Air BnB in a neighbourhood we loved and we explored many of the breweries and restaurants. Doug’s brother Jim and fam met us for breakfast and then Jim again that evening at Surly, a favourite Minneapolis Brewery. Bekah and I went to a Idina Menzel and Josh Groban concert and Doug and I took in a Vikings game. We not only had “nose bleed” seats, we were in the very top section in the very last row! Since then, it seems like Christmas preparations began soon after, which brings me full circle.

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Going backwards for a moment, Kate graduated with her Masters Degree this spring and we used it as an excuse for a family party. Little Brown Jug where both Bekah and Jeremy are employed allowed us to throw the party there and it was a wonderful celebration.

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Jeremy is head brewer at LBJ and acknowledges the blessing of being employed in a career which he loves. Wife Jen has launched her own business and is a certified pre- and post-natal fitness instructor. In some classes the participants carry their babies in a front carrier, soon Jen will look just like them! They love their little house in Wolseley where Belle’s school is a short walk away and the park where I used to take the kids when they were toddlers is just down their street. Isabelle is a beautiful, sensitive and kind wee one who adores her little sister. Josie is a character who loves to tell long animated stories and always goes for the big laugh just like her Daddy.

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Bekah too loves her work as the General Manager of Little Brown Jug. Having gone to school for International Development Studies, she is surprised that she loves business the way she does. Sebastian’s workplace is in the same neighbourhood, he is on the front lines of Siloam Mission and has signed up for the Reserves! They too have a home in the west end and it is big enough for all of us and additional guests to stretch along one long table for this year’s Christmas dinner.

Kate is carefully considering her options for her career but is leaning towards a not-for-profit where she can serve the minority communities that she is so passionate about. The gang collects together at Life is Good (the name of our beach house) all summer and for Sunday suppers the rest of the year.

I am chugging along with my small business, always delighted when a new client approaches me. Each day holds a different set of tasks and I amazingly still absolutely love what I do.

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Doug and I are still devoted to our neighbourhood church and we host a small group in our home, a couple of times a month. They too make up our family.

If you are reading this, you are important and loved by Doug and I and we can never adequately express the gratitude that we have for our many friends and enormous families. Peace and Christmas blessings to you all.

Kath’s quote: “God bless us everyone!“- Charles Dickens

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Love never fails.

 

Isla Mujeres 2018 Trip Report-Departure Day

May7

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Coffee and the sunrise was not quite so sweet now that D had left, but beautiful none the less.

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I got a text from D indicating that he hadn’t slept a single wink in the Minneapolis airport and he had to go in straight to work. I had a surprizingly good sleep, which never happens when he isn’t with me. I finished off the kitchen pantry supplies and had toast and peanut butter for breakfast.

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I spent the rest of the day reading, journaling and then caught a cab to catch the 11:30 am ferry. This was my last sights from the sea. Au revoir Isla-I love you.

Kath’s quote: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”-A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

Isla Mujeres 2018 Trip Report-Day 14

May4

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We were up for D’s final sunrise.

After we both did a bit of packing, we walked to Seso Loco for an amazing breakfast (see the photos and link here).

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This is what friends for 30 years look like.

It was already time for good-byes for D, with the rest of the gang the previous evening and now with R & M. There is no sadness when we leave friends on the island though because we know that Isla will always be a part of our lives.

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We ended up walking home because we couldn’t hail a cab. They were whizzing by full of locals heading to church and/or the beach.

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D did a little bit more packing and then enjoyed a nap. When it was time for his departure we had trouble again hailing a cab but eventually managed to get one to stop for us.

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I sat with the luggage while D tried to find something that he could eat for lunch/early supper. He ended up with a pina colada (which I finished) and a shrimp tostada. Then it was time for our traditional pouty faces and he was off.

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When I returned home, I opened a beer and sat down by the airport strip sidewalk to wait for the sunset. it did not disappoint.

R & M made sure that I didn’t dine alone and invited me to join them. They loved our dinner at Basto Grill (see details and photos here). I went home to a drink of wine under the stars, even though it was not a sweet as when my husband is with me. Had the pleasure of reading for a long time in bed before it was lights out.

Kath’s quote: “Reading in bed can be heaven, assuming you can get just the right amount of light on the page and aren’t prone to spilling your coffee or cognac on the sheets. ”― Stephen King

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

Isla Mujeres 2018 Trip Report-Day 13

May3

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Up for another late sunrise and then a quick breakfast of yogurt, granola and fruit.

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It was a big day for us because we had not really spent any time on the beach the previous week and we were renting chairs and an umbrella. We spent the entire day there. The gang joined us except for R & M who were spending the day with Isla friends.

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It was also my last chance to get a pic with my siblings on the island. In the back is Bro #3, in the middle Sister #3 and short (and blond) me in the front. You may be able to tell that I resemble my Dad’s side and these two my Mom’s.

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We headed home for showers and then came right back to spend some time on Playa Sol.

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Our friend (dressmaker) Hortencia had invited us for her mole on the beach. When we are on the island we spend a lot of time with her and her wonderful extended family. They speak to us the best they can in English and we reply the best we can in Spanish. Somehow, where there is love, we are able to communicate just fine. I can share with you that Hortencia is a grandma again! We got word of the baby boy’s arrival via Facebook.

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D and I snuck away just as the sun was setting so that we could enjoy our traditional progressive dinner (the details are here).

Kath’s quote: “Food tastes better by the sea”. – Authour Unknown

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Love never fails.

Isla Mujeres 2018 Trip Report-Day 12

May2

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I didn’t indicate anything about sunrise in my journal for that morning, so I guess that I either slept through it or there wasn’t one.

We had just ventured out to the street to commence our walk to Madera Food + Art when R & M came along. They had already walked to and from Playa Norte that morning. I bought these three beautiful fish there. Thy will be hung in our summer house that we are in the midst of renovating.

Our food at Madera was absolutely stupendous (see link here for details and photos).

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The rest of the afternoon was spent in the hammock and lounge chairs reading our books.

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And then this happened. The first rain we had on the island since our arrival.

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That evening we supped at Mala Hierba which I understand is now closed. Too bad. We really enjoyed ourselves and the food was very good.

Kath’s quote: “You will never get out of pot or pan anything fundamentally better than what went into it. Cooking is not alchemy; there is no magic in the pot.”-Martha McCulloch-Williams

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Love never fails.

 

 

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