This post is definitely long overdue. With the closing of our house, diving into renovations, my best friend’s bachelorette in Saratoga Springs, NY, her gorgeous fall wedding in Quebec, and my new job being busier than ever we have definitely had our hands full. That being said, I’ve been dying to share about our adventurous family holiday in Portugal.
Despite the fact that this winter has been particularly less colossal than years past, once March hits all Ottawa folk seem to be a little more desperate for some warmer weather. Lucky for us, Mother Nature decided to gift us some for Easter, and it was much appreciated.
Since Mike was out of town, Emma and I took advantage of that spring sunshine, and hit the nearby trails with my dad and furry blonde brother, Bailey. It was amazing to get outside in a light jacket, and breathe in that fresh spring air! The four of us set out on different trails Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and it was exactly what we needed after a recent bout of terribly cold weather. Although my dad and I walk the dogs together often after work, it was especially nice spend some quality time on extra long walks in the warm daylight.
The rest of the weekend was filled with loads of family and friend time. A barbecue with my best friend’s family, a girls night out to catch the hockey game, Easter lunch at my grandparents, and an epic hunt with my cousins for enough Tim Horton’s Nutella filled cookies to feed our big Italian family occupied my weekend, and made it fly by. Usually I wish for long weekend’s to slow down, and stretch out as long as possible, but this time was a little different. Mike was gone to Revelstoke, British Columbia to snowmobile in the immense Rocky Mountain terrain during prime avalanche time (of course :-|), and therefore, I really appreciated the swiftness of this holiday weekend. Every evening I waited for the mandatory “I’m alive!” text, and I could breathe easy again until the next morning. That said, it was all worth it to see Mike’s beaming face in a few breathtaking photos throughout the trip. It was a lifelong dream for him, and I couldn’t be happier that he was able to experience that with some of his closest friends.
Now that Mike has returned home safely, I am very much looking forward to getting back into our normal routine. Given the recent change in temperature, I see a few cottage weekends, long hikes with Emma, and swims in my grandparents pool on our upcoming agenda!
Hope you’re enjoying the warm sunshine as much as I am!
Ever since Mike and I first met, we have spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day separately. His family lives 10 hours north, so he always started the trek a few days before the holidays and spent a good two to three weeks with them. For the last two years I flew to Timmins, Ontario (side note: for those of you who are unaware, this is the home town of legendary country star, Shania Twain – try not to judge me for my excitement over celebrities and country music), from Ottawa on boxing day, and was happily greeted by my now husband at the airport. From Timmins it was a snowy three hour drive to Hearst, which seems like nothing in comparison to the one lane, ten hour journey to get there from Ottawa.
This year we decided to do things a little differently. His family graciously agreed to celebrate their Christmas on the 26th, so we spent the 24th and 25th at home. It was a typical Christmas celebration with my family, but was all the more special with Mike there. We spent Christmas Eve eating a seafood supper in our pjs, and Christmas Day inhaling a delicious pasta lunch. With full hearts and bellies, we set out for Northern Ontario bright and early on the 26th. Both of us were excited to spend a week with the Sousa’s enjoying the outdoors and family time. Mike’s whole family was ready and waiting for us with a traditional Christmas meal on the table, and a tree full of gifts to open. It was a wonderful three day Christmas filled with family and friends, but I look forward to the day when my in-laws are living in Ottawa and we can celebrate all together…which is hopefully sooner than later!
The rest of our trip will be spent playing card games, snowshoeing, cottaging, and ringing in the new year at the local bar. A week off in Northern Ontario will be just enough time to kick back and relax before the busy winter term at the university starts up, and I am drowning in administrative tasks again.
Here are a few photos from our 2015 Christmas celebrations:
Until next time!
I'm Jessie, and welcome to Cool, Calm & Cozy!
This space is an outlet for me to connect with my creative side and keep long lasting memories with my family. Writing and making videos of our adventures together is a passion of mine, which I hope brings joy to my whole family presently and in the future!
Hope you enjoy Cool, Calm & Cozy, and thanks for following along!