Monday 8 January 2018

Houghmas 2017

(all photos can be enlarged with a click)

No snow?  No problem.  Santa will still come!

It is possible that there was no Houghmas 2016 post.

To make up for that, today I give you the Houghmas 2017 Extravaganza!

(insert your own festive gifs here!) 

(or better yet, go look one up, like the one of Buddy the Elf shouting, "Son of a Nutcracker!")

(Go ahead, I'll wait.)

(pause - I just Googled it myself)

(aaaaand I'm back)

First of all, the obvious needs to be stated:  London is not Ottawa.

For some reason, giant pink flowers bloom here at this time of year. 
The getalong gang thinks it's pretty neat.
Here we are on December 22nd, enjoying a nice warm afternoon at the park.  Green grass, green trees, and the green pathway behind Tamsin is covered with nice green moss.  People plant in December, their "spring planting".  I almost approached a gardener to tell him that it would never work, but it looks like I'm wrong.

And here they are, 5 short days later.  We arrived in Ottawa late on Boxing Day, and when we awoke the next morning, the kids begged to play outside in the snow.  It was -28.  "Stupid cold", by anyone's definition.

However, what mother, two days after Christmas, could possibly deny her offspring to get the bleep out of her house?  "Dress warmly!" I said, tea in hand, jammies still on, and away they went.

 I was trying to capture the ice on her eyelashes.

Tamsin lasted 20 minutes (5 more than the requirement for hot chocolate when it's -28).   The other two played outside in that cold for almost 50 minutes!  (Evidently, and unlike their parents, they have not gotten soft over the past 5 months.)

We spent a day and a half at grandma's, with a delicious turkey feast with aunt, uncle and cousins, complete with cookie decorating and wii tournaments, then off we went to visit our cousin Kaiden and his very gracious parents.

On the menu:  STEAK.  Delicious, Alberta steak.  We were so excited that there was a rugged man around, willing to brave the f-f-freezing temperatures so that we could have a great meal!  We salute you, you manly man, you!

Study in Canadiana, Part 1:  Things you don't see in London:  barbecuing steak at -25. 

Kaiden looked like he had no idea what kind of festival was coming to his house, but I like to think that he'll miss the x-treme excitement of Hufflings on Holiday.

From there, we went to a fantastic wedding at Calabogie Peaks because SEAN GOT MARRIED!!!!



His brilliant and gorgeous bride and beautiful son will keep him on his toes.  It was an amazing party, as expected. 

The kids made tons of new friends, and the girls will be (s)talking about their idols and style icons, Emily and Grace, for the next year, at least!

Canadiana, Part 2:  You may have to zoom in, but I wanted to get a picture of very specific Canadiana:  the view of a Poutine truck from the drive-thru of a Tim Hortons.

Canadiana, continued:  stuck behind snowplows on the highway.  It just feels right.

The next day, we braved arctic temperatures (only -25!) and the bunny hill!  Chris and I are now rocking our lift passes... they unfortunately say "Carpet" in large black letters, but I'll own it.  This selfie was supposed to include the kids on the carpet lift behind me, but ... uh ... didn't.

 I always tried to explain to Chris why, in Medicine Hat, I'd bundle up on a winter day with a bright blue sky.  In the prairies, a blue sky is a warmer day, but here in Ontario, it means STUPID COLD.

Apres-ski, with pink cheeks and smiles all around!  The two graduates of ski school are in the back, and the daredevil/natural is in the front.  They are all looking forward to strapping on the skis again in February, when we head to Austria for (yet another) school break!

We flew back on the red eye, so the kids could sleep the whole time whole family could become almost hallucinogenic with how insanely sleep deprived they are.  The next day, severely jet-lagged, we staggered to the park for a lengthy introductory ping pong session in fresh air and sunshine.  Turns out that Vaughn is a natural!*

Home again, home again, warmity warm.  

Real life starts again tomorrow.  All in all, it was amazing, busy, exhausting, and too quick.  We were so happy to see the few people we could see, and look forward to everyone else coming to visit us here!  We hope that everyone else had as happy a holiday as we did, and that 2018 is full of laughter and health.

Cheers to all, and to all a good night!

* Although was possibly a hallucination.

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