The kids' first New Years Eve

Okay, to be fair, Monkey is now 10, and Choo Choo is rapidly approaching 8. They’ve seen “new years eve” a few times, but they’ve been more the family-friendly type. Staying up to midnight is the new thing. The only time they’ve ever been up past midnight is because of travel, and that’s always been a bit of a struggle.
Last night, for the first time ever, they watched a clock tick from 23:59 of one year to 00:00 of another. Honestly, they fared better than I did.
And that, my friends, is not a good sign.
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New Years Tea, 2012

This year, we continued with our burgeoning tradition of having afternoon tea on 1 January. In our previous two years, we ventured into the mountains to the Banff Springs, which boasts one of the best afternoon teas I’ve had. But this year, we weren’t in the Banff area — we’re currently hanging out with Alex’s parents in Maple Ridge. Oh, what to do, what to do…
Thankfully, there’s a Fairmont hotel here, too, and the tradition continues fairly readily. So with enough advance notice, we reserved a space, and made arrangements to have the tradition carry on. The only question was who would be our guests this year?
Well, it’s not like we don’t know anyone in the Lower Mainland…
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2010, A Year in Review

Man, it feels like a year ago since I last wrote one of these … oh, wait.  (Yes, it’s a stupid joke. You should know me by now…)
2010 was the year we made contact … wait, sorry, wrong catchline. 2010 was the year my family welcomed new members, notably my youngest, a daughter (code)named Choo Choo. It was a year I changed my career outlook (yes, again), and found that I’m not (completely) useless. This was a year of family, for me, and that’s perhaps the most important aspect.
But despite all that, I hesitate to call it “a year of change”.
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New Year's Tea, 2011

I gotta tell ya, kids, 2010 was a pretty wild year. I know a lot of people who keep telling me that the years “just fly by” and before you know it, another year’s gone. The year past was definitely a change for our family, in many, many ways. (And I’d like to think that most of them were for the better, so I’m not going to try and figure out the split — I prefer to remain blissfully naive on this one.)
This is our “new” tradition. Mommy and I decided it would be tradition after having such a wonderful time with my old friend Sonny, having afternoon tea. Suddenly, it seemed just perfect to have tea every New Year’s Day. The question now, of course, is where to have tea. Last year, it was at the Banff Springs Hotel. This year, mostly for simplicity, we did the same.
Next year? Well, that’s a whole 364 days of Anything-Can-Happen!
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New Year's Eve in Costa Rica

We might not have spent Christmas in Costa Rica this year, but we sure as heck spent New Years here. Not that we went out for any sort of partying, I should say — things in Costa Rica are a little different than back in North America.  
Up north, it’s about the party — everyone goes out, whoops it up, suffers through the hangover the following day. Here, it’s a chance for family to be close together (most of the bars close at 23:00, apparently) and shoot off fireworks.  
Yes, fireworks. Remember, it’s still warm here.  
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Christmas in Oakville with Chris and Kaz, New Years with Alex

I had hoped to go some place warm for the Christmas holidays this year. I wanted to put Christmas lights on a palm tree. I wanted to make sandmen. I wanted nothing more to worry about than getting a sunburn on Boxing day.
So naturally, I ended up arriving at Pearson International Airport at 6:30 on the morning of 23 December, catching the end of a nasty two-day snowstorm. There’s poetic justice in this, somewhere.
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