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January 12th 2014
Published: January 12th 2014
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Sunshine is my favorite accessory

Happy New Year to all our family & friends & whoever the heck else reads these blogs! If you are getting this blog, and you never have before, all I can say is Travel Blog through updates to their system erased part of my addresses. SO I had to import them over from my email, so you might've been imported over if you were in my address list. And I'm not sure you want to read my blogs, so if I mistakenly added you, feel free to use the power of delete! (There are years of blogs on here for those that are new and wish to read about our trips to paradise, with many crazy adventures, good times and ups and downs as well.)

So holy macaroni, what a start to 2014 with a rare Polar Vortex moving in like a kick in the rear end with a frozen boot. So insert joke here. How cold was it? It was SO cold the hitchhikers were holding up signs of pictures of thumbs! Badum tish (insert cheesy drum roll now!) It was so cold I saw teenagers pulling their pants up.

Only a month ago I was blogging from Disney World & if you read the blogs, oh what a trip that was. I was pretty "Mickey-Moused" out by the time we got home but we did it up good while we were there.

We got back days before Christmas, and it was a bit of a whirlwind, rushing around so much it felt like my underwear had been blown right off me every night! Shopping, wrapping, food prep, cookin'/cleanin', entertaining & all that goes with the stress of the holiday season we all seem to look forward to with such damn glee.

We had mom & dad (Clem & Joanie) overnight for Christmas eve as previously mentioned & it was one of THE best Christmas's I can remember in a long time. I even survived two, count 'em 2, head injuries (which explains a lot). Someone opened the freezer door of the fridge just as I stood up which dang near caused me a concussion. Then on Christmas morning I went out to get something out of Mom & Dad's trunk, & the trunk lid collapsed on my head which was quite heavy due to the snow on it. So there I was grabbing my head staggerin' around in Cindy's driveway (and normally the staggerin' would've been from too much eggnog). And you should've seen these poor folks walking their dogs who seemed to pick up speed as they passed me, I suppose to avoid hearing the bad words that were escaping from my mouth. &^%$$#@ OUCH. After finally collecting myself & going back into the house with a bump the size of a goose egg, Dad says, "oh yeah that happened to me the other day too". HELLO? Maybe you could've warned me the "thingy-majiggy-trunk-holder-spring was on its last legs & was out to kill innocent people? Oh dad, you are too funny at my expense 😊 We had a good laugh over it all. (And YES I do recognize there's a theme of me getting injured during Christmas time. Me thinks someone is doing WAY TOO MUCH AL) I am doing too much Al do you read me? Over & out...😉

So Christmas is all but a distant memory now (well no wonder it's a distant memory because I got a few knocks on the head) The house looks devoid of holiday cheer & our backroom storage area is a death trap thanks to the girls "helping" us put all the Christmas decorations away. Let me tell you, a trained Navy Seal is no match for our back room right about now.

After being away at Disney, we hadn't made any formal plans to take our annual trip to Playa del Carmen this winter, but when your work is based in Playa del Carmen & the Riviera Maya, & sheesh then if you are offered a "comped" ocean front penthouse condo (again) with hammocks, loungers, rooftop terrace, private balcony, fully-equipped condo with housekeeping, infinity pool (ahhhh, I said all of that without running out of breath) then you TAKE IT. Unless you are really dumb and you don't take it?!

Happy to report as of last October I am now employed full-time with Playa Beach Getaways which offers luxury condo & private villa rentals in the Riviera Maya & Cabo San Lucas Mexico. I started out writing travel blogs for this amazing company, and now I am handling all of Playa Beach Getaways social media, blogging, marketing, client follow up etc. AND happy to report me wonderful boss Tonya (the owner) said that business is way up from the past two years and in her words, "it wasn't too shabby then either". Glad to hear I'm earning my pay cheque because I really LOVE my job.

Tonya (the owner of Playa Beach) & I had been discussing expanding the client base in the Riviera Maya & I am hoping to look into that while there. There are so many beautiful tourist beach towns that dot the shores of the Riviera Maya with owners who have luxury condos & villas to tap, including Tulum, Akumal, Puerto Aventuras & Puerto Morelos. The other option is I do nothing but lie on a lounger contemplating my navel, in which case that would be good too. (I hope she's not reading this blog; just kiddin' Tonya! Well I guess we'll just have to see how it Playa's out (oops, "plays" out). Get it "Playa" del Carmen..."plays"...??? Anyone?

Al & I have never had a vacation alone. EVER. So for all of 2 minutes we entertained going by ourselves until the sledgehammer of reality burst that tiny little bubble of hope 😞. Given the kids ages & schedules we/I just could not do it, despite all the offers from our wonderful family & friends to help care for the girls. When I hear of couples traveling alone, without having to commandeer a crew, I am SO jealous. Right now it's not in the cards for us to leave our kids behind. For those of you that can leave your kids, hats off to you, you sons of ***** biscuits you)! I said "biscuits" because I would never swear because my mom taught me not to...😊

So in the end, Ava (8) & Rory (12) are coming, along with my mom (Joan) who hasn't been there with us since 2012. Mom LOVES Playa; loves the warmth, the sun, the surf, loves to get in a morning walk, having fresh smoothies every day, and enjoys swimming in the pool with her grandchildren. What a fabulicious opportunity to spend time with your grand kids, without cooking, cleaning, while in the land of coconuts & paradise. HOLA madre!

Cindy is going to spend time with Dad, so he's all looked after while Mom is enjoying her time in Playa. Thank you Cindy - there's a special gift in it for you (do I hear a yep yep for Tequila?). And I know you enjoy the opportunity to kick back with dad & 'a driving the back roads you will go 😊 PS beware of that dang car trunk.

Lara has a heavy school workload in grade 9 so she and Martha will happily hang out at home. I think Lara is looking forward to having the TV, Wii and her own space in the house to herself. She is much like her mother (Type A personality), and has her daily schedule mapped out with summatives, projects, studying, library etc. Despite the heavy workload grade 9 presents, Lara is triumphing over it all despite a few years of illness.

It will be the smallest group we've ever traveled with & frankly, it will seem so darn strange! I am hoping though to take advantage of the quiet down time and read a novel back to back & recharge the old batteries. While 2013 had some amazing moments including our fabulous trips, it was a very challenging year for our family (not everything can be explained or should be explained in a blog). But we are so thankful to be where we are right now and every one is healthy and so far, 2014 you are my friend. As for new year's resolutions, the only resolution I made was to stop hanging out with people who ask me about my New Year's resolutions 😊 And I can only hope your resolution is to stop asking me to play a game on Facebook. ;>

Al & I look forward to spending some quality time alone, knowing the kids are in good hands with their nana. They say that marriage is much like a boat; you need to keep the rudder in the water, to steer your marriage & keep it going in the right direction, to spend time together & do fun things together & blah blah blah. So the rudder's in the water & we're gonna be sailing around the Riviera Maya (and for any of you that interprets "rudder" in a rude way, I know who you are (heh heh). I always wonder who "they" is...They say... Well "they" also say marriage lets you annoy one special person the rest of your life. So ahem, that's you Al. Let's have fun annoying each other this vacation 😊 (We always have fun on vacation together don't we Al...? AL...where'd that lad go again?)

Last winter's vacation was so looked forward to with anticipation as finally Blaine (and his son Greg) were joining us in Playa along with Al's parents. However, the mighty flu epidemic got a hold of us crew and threw us around like a Rottweiler with a rag doll. Once you board an enclosed plane (well you'd better hope it's enclosed) during flu season all bets are off. It's a breeding ground for partying super bugs who are ready, willing and able to hop from dirty hand to dirty hand, waiting in bathrooms, on handles to hitch a ride to any unsuspecting person they can find. I always make sure the girls sanitize & wash their hands & watch what they touch at the airport to minimize getting sick. However last year's trip took all of us soldiers down one by one. It gives me shivers to think about it now. It's unbelievable to be in a tropical paradise with the ocean waving to you outside your dang door and there you are, lying in bed, twisted up in bed sheets like death warmed up.

Short of praying & lighting candles to any god out there who will hear/answer my prayers, we are hoping to remain healthy and well and able to enjoy a morning sunrise and an evening sunset without having to haul our carcasses to bed to rest.

Within a little more than 36 hours we'll be in Playa before noon. I love getting there early, having the day stretch ahead, enjoying lunch by the ocean and seeing some of the fabulous people who we know there. By about 3 PM guaranteed a beach side massage will be underway. (Don't hate me right now...wait at least a few blogs in to really hate me!)

So amigos, this may turn out to be the most boring blogs you've ever read due to not having our usual gang of suspects, but read at your own risk. If all goes well, on this trip there will be scuba diving on the reef & in cenotes, a lagoon trip with snorkeling, perhaps a tour to Isla Mujeres, zip lining, great music, international cuisine, margaritas, margaritas and oh...did I mention margaritas? Insert very happy smiley face right here.

Hope to hear from you while I'm away 😊 For those of you that have someone that like to travel to the Riviera Maya feel free to share the link to my blogs: the more the merrier.

And if you wish to read one of my blogs for Playa Beach Getaways, here's one to sample. All done with humor while trying to be informative.

PS pics at the bottom of our lovely condo. It's not too late for y'all to book a ticket and hit Playa 😊

"Keep calm & stay anchored"!


Oh & for those that knew and loved my brother Bill, it's his birthday today. Here's a little call out to him.

On your birthday Bill, our wonderful brother, son, husband, uncle, friend, nephew, cousin, neighbor, co-worker - you left us suddenly & way too soon…we remember you like nobody’s business & in a thousand different ways. In the morning & at night. In a sunset & in the sunrise. In the stars & in the clouds. On a special occasion & in a song. Especially in a song; a Neil Young song, and this is YOUR song…

We've been through
some things together
With trunks of memories
still to come
We found things to do
in stormy weather
Long may you run.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes
have come
With your chrome heart shining
in the sun
Long may you run.


13th January 2014

As Always fun to read! Teenagers pulling their pants up - hilarious! Holding signs up of thumbs - LOL
13th January 2014

Well it's good to know I'm not boring the hell out of at least one person!! Need to get you back to Playa with us Lin!! xo

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