Getting in the Holiday Spirit

Can you believe the holidays are only weeks away?! Here in Vancouver Christmas never really feels like Christmas to me. The month of December is typically cool, wet and dark. We sometimes get snow but it’s never cold enough to last long before the rain washes it away. I also find the city isn’t that big into decorations and aside from a few festive attempts like a big Christmas tree – not much else gets decorated.

When I was a university student I studied in cities far from home, so once final exams were done I was on the first plane home to celebrate with family. This meant I never decorated my university home with Christmas decorations because I wouldn’t actually be there over the holidays. Now this mentality and tradition has carried onto my adult life. I often don’t spend the holidays at my home, so I never decorate. But it’s cyclical and as a result it never feels like Christmas! I don’t have a ton of space in my small condo or much storage space so adding decorations that are only used for a couple weeks a year feels indulgent and unnecessary. But I’m starting to question if I need to start some traditions to get me in the holiday spirit. I used to help my mom with a lot of Christmas baking, but when you live by yourself, it’s not really necessary to bake a bunch of goodies, even if you give them away to friends. I know I’ll just be tempted to eat way too many sweets!

Do you guys have any holidays traditions you can share? I would love to hear how others have created their own traditions to make the holidays special as I explore what to do!



Hiking in the Desert!

I just got back from an awesome hiking trip in the Grand Canyon!

So, I know you’ve all seen photos of the Grand Canyon. The thing is, there is something about the Grand Canyon that just can’t be appreciated unless you’re there, in person, witnesses it in the flesh! It’s like the canyon jumps out at you in four dimensions when you’re there. It’s pretty surreal.

Anyway, months ago my good friend, Lorea, suggested that we go on a hiking trip in May, before it gets too hot. We found a bunch of cool articles on the web about hiking the Grand Canyon and planned out own trip!

We spent day one hiking into the canyon and then camping along the Colorado River. It was amazing! Along the way there are a ton of people riding donkeys or mules down or up the canyon. As hikers, we felt a big smug about navigating the canyon on our own two feet 🙂

The Colorado River is a powerful river that offers plenty of great swimming spots, especially after a hard day of hiking in hot temperatures! Lorea and I found some great swimming spots, threw on our bathing suits, and let the cool water wash away our aches and pains.

That night, some park rangers held an interpretive walk through the park with ultra violet lights. What could that be for, you ask? Well, as it turns out, the Grand Canyon is filled with SCORPIONS that come out at night!

Turns out that the scorpions have something in their shells which makes them glow under ultra violet light. So, the park rangers took us through the park and shined these lights on the ground – revealing hundreds and hundreds of scurrying scorpions all around us! It was freaky but cool at the same time. Definitely made us very careful not to let any sneaky scorpions into our tent when it came time to hit the hay!

We spent the next day hanging out around the bottom of the Grand Canyon and enjoying some day hikes. There is also a great lodge at the bottom where they serve up plenty of great food. We didn’t bring much in the way of food (mostly lots of pasta and lightweight food), so it was great to enjoy some more fulsome meals!

We then spent day three hiking up out of the Grand Canyon. This was definitely the most challenging part of the hike! As difficult as it was, we were sad to leave. The Grand Canyon is such a magical place and we would have loved to stay longer. Oh well, there’s always next May! 🙂

Have any of you ever spent some time in the Grand Canyon? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂