This Holiday Bucket List is my first post that I’ve written that is truly an indulgence for me and I feel like I’ve earned it 🙂 Christmas is my favourite time of the year. And though my focus is making memories with my kids, a huge driving force is reliving my favourite memories from my own childhood. When we moved to Ottawa in May, I left a piece of my heart on the Westcoast. Not only are the majority of my loved ones there (who knew I could miss my BROTHERS this much?), but also the majority of my favourite places in the whole wide world. Spring, Summer, and Fall have been about exploring new and less familiar places, as well as visiting the Parliament a lot. I figure it’s the castle-esque quality of the country’s powerhouse that has my daughter requesting we go almost every day, but that’s an aside. I couldn’t help but include a photo below because I too think it’s pretty gorgeous. Despite Ottawa’s incredible attributes, I’m ready to see my mom and dad, deck the halls the way I’ve always known, visit with friends, and pray in a futile manner I’ve grown all too familiar with for a white (not wet) Christmas.
My Holiday Bucket List
My Personal Priorities <3
I’m looking forward to:
Spending time with my mom, dad, and brothers. I feel like I don’t need to elaborate on that at all. I’m just excited to see them.
Seeing one of my best friend, Justina’s new baby boy. Moving was especially hard when I knew I wouldn’t see her beautiful second-born shortly after he was born. Her daughter and my son were born within three weeks of each other and we spent our year of maternity leave visiting each other regularly and also knowing we were in this together. While we still talk regularly, 4,360km is a pretty substantial distance.
Waiting for the arrival of one of my dear friend’s daughters. Chelsea’s son was born three days before mine and I am so grateful that I will be able to be there to meet her daughter shortly after she arrives <3
Finally meeting my blogging bestie. Three blogger-friends were my confidants and constants leading up to my big move and then through those initial days. As time progressed, Tarynn from Mama by Fire and I became increasingly close, sharing in our quest to shed the baby weight, commiserating in toddler-weaning, and questioning our two-year-olds’ sanity. Luckily, Tarynn happens to live close to Seattle. So, I will definitely be making my way across the border to finally meet her in person and hopefully take in some Seattle sites!
Seeing my best friend of almost 32 years. Nothing breaks my heart quite like being away from my Meghan for too long and fortunately, she’s coming home for Christmas too.
Getting alone time with my hubby. The hidden benefit of living away from Mom & Dad is they are especially keen to babysit. That means, my hubby and I actually get some toddler-free time together <3
Sites to See
I cannot wait to go! As my husband can attest, the Vancouver Aquarium is one of my happy places. Maybe it’s because I did high school work experience and actually worked there, but I genuinely think there’s no such thing as spending too much time there. When we lived in Vancouver, I was so grateful to have had a membership. Now, I’m just itching to get back. The Aquarium’s most substantial selling point is that unlike other facilities that house ceteceans (whales, porpoises, and dolphins), the Aquarium only accepts those that have been born in captivity or rehabilitated from injuries sustained in the wild and have been deemed unable to be re-released by an independent government agency. It is a non-profit science centre, is the world leader in Stellar Sealion Research, and is laden with educational and entertainment value. Tide touch pools, the Amazon Rain Forest, the Stellar Sea Lions, Pacific Whitesided Dolphins, and the cove set up as a play veterinary area with stethoscopes, play weigh scales, x-ray machines, and stuffed marine mammals are all favourite staples of ours. Christmas features we are eager to see include:
the Arctic Maze
The Marine Debris tree
I especially love this because all of the items used to decorate the tree were found littered on the beaches of the west coast. I talk to my kids often about how littering is bad for animals and people, but this creates a very valuable visual.
And my kids’ favourite, scuba claus!
This water-loving Kris Kringle was talked about endlessly last Christmas Season and surely will have my kids thrilled again.
I don’t know of a more beautiful light display. The suspension bridge sits 230 feet (70m) above the Capilano River and is breathtaking to cross day or night. If you’re planning to go yourself, please note that strollers must be parked before crossing. For infants having your baby backpack is a must because the Treetops Adventure is on the other side of the bridge and isn’t worth missing. This will be my son’s first year going and my daughter’s first time going that she will be old enough to remember! I’m so excited! BC residents, with valid ID and the purchase of entry, you will receive a complimentary annual membership to the bridge.
The World’s Tallest Living Christmas Tree
We will surely be making more snow play dough as it is a total hit in our household. We will also be making more ornaments, see cool ones from Twitchetts here, our ABC ones here, ones from old puzzle pieces here. I’m also hoping to make it to Bright Nights at Stanley Park’s Christmas Train and enjoy playing tourist in my hometown.
What are you and yours up to this Holiday season? If you too are taking part in the link-up, please leave your link in the comments below!
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