Merry Christmas or happy holidays to everyone, everywhere. Facebook and other forms of social media have lots of wonderful memes, poems, pictures, and so on this time of year with advice and wishes for a happy holiday season, regardless of what, how and with whom you celebrate.
I thought I would share some that caught my eye.
I remember doing just that, was lots of fun. There were a few houses in our neighbourhood that went all out with the decorations.
I am happy to report that several of my grandkids enjoy walking around our current block admiring and inspecting the lights and festive displays. This is the display one of our neighbours spent hours setting up; the kids just adore it:
Recently I travelled to Los Cabos, Mexico for my brother’s destination wedding. What an adventure it was! A week chock full of sunshine, warm weather, parties, great food and lots of margaritas, shared with a large group of cousins.
Two generations of cousins in fact were represented. Me, two of my brothers, andtwo of our (many) first cousins with all of our partners, as well as two of my sons and four of their first cousins, and a few partners. Unfortunately, many more were not able to make the trip.
Los Cabos Geography
Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are collectively known as Los Cabos, (or just Cabo). Although in Mexico, it is located on the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. Sporting dramatic views and rock formations of the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range, Cabo is surrounded by the rugged Pacific Ocean to the west and the calmer Sea of Cortez to the east.
Los Cabos is a popular resort destination for winter vacationers seeking sunshine, warm weather, beaches, and adventure.
Wedding guests stayed at the adult-only Pacifica site of the Pueblo Bonito resort. This oceanfront paradise was the venue for the wedding ceremony and other social activities. It was perfect for the older set of cousins, myself included. The younger set loved the fact that they could visit the livelier neighbouring Sunset Beach site with a short shuttle ride or cactus-lined walk. Both resorts are located within the gated hillside community of Quivira.
We did not stay in any of his rentals, as the wedding and events were at the all-inclusive Pueblo Bonito Pacifica. We did, however, get to visit one of his beautiful houses…
Living locally, this brother (AKA Senor Dave) scouted out wedding venues and organized our group excursions outside of the resort. His knowledge of the area and connections within the community were invaluable, much appreciated by the bride and groom as well as their guests.
The portion of the Pacific Ocean that Pueblo Bonito Pacifica is situated on is not swimmer friendly due to dangerous undertow, strong currents, and drop-offs. However, the sandy shores made for wonderful morning walks, whale spotting, and glorious sunset views. They also have a baby sea turtle releasing event this time of year that some of us were able to experience; look closely to see them crawling towards the ocean in the beach picture with the setting sun…
Cerritos Beach, on the other hand, 45 minutes north of Los Cabos, is a beach-lover, swimmer and surfer paradise, with nothing but pristine beach visible for miles.
Medano Beach, on the Sea of Cortez, is smaller and less pristine than Cerritos. It offers lots of hotels, restaurants, souvenir vendors, several designated swimming areas with views of visiting cruise ships.
Deep Sea Fishing
A highlight for my youngest son on this trip was a deep-sea fishing excursion at sunrise one morning. I’m sure you can guess why by looking at these pictures; that’s a 110-pound sailfish he hauled in! They released it back into the sea; a sailfish is quite a rare catch.
His brother, father, and I (and others prone to seasickness) did not participate in this adventure. That was our loss, evident in their obvious enjoyment.
Here are a few videos of their fishing adventure, including dolphins and a sea lion following/leading the boat as well as the rookie reeling in the sailfish….
As well as its beautiful beaches, Cabo is also famous for El Arco, the Sea Arch, or Lover’s Rock. This rugged, distinctive landmark sits at the tip of the peninsula where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez.
We experienced an up-close and personal tour of this landmark and other majestic rock formations in a spectacular 90-foot yacht. Whale watching and frolicking in the buoyant, surprisingly warm, turquoise waters of the Sea of Cortez topped off the day.
Enroute to Cerritos Beach, we stopped for lunch and shopping in the tiny, rustic town of Todos Santos. Its claim to fame for tourists? Home of both the Hotel California and Tequila Sunrise. Contrary to popular opinion and speculation, the (musical group) Eagles have never been there. In fact, a recent lawsuit challenged the use of the famous Hotel California name.
Mexican Culinary Delights
Along with every flavour of margarita imaginable, we sampled lots of delicious food too. Seafood lovers or abstainers, vegans or carnivores all had lots of choices. All-day and (apparently) all night with 24-hour room service. All-inclusive featured daily breakfast buffets, (including an over the top Sunday Brunch buffet), poolside snacks, casual and formal dining.
Not an adventurous eater, but not too picky either, I tried a few new things. You know, when in Rome (Mexico). These delectables included sushi (with more than avocado and rice in it), sashimi and ceviche. Of course, I included lots of my favourite Mexican treat, fresh guacamole. The jarred stuff is just not going to cut it now.
I sipped on my share of margaritas on this trip; tequila appears to be the alcohol of choice in Mexico. That makes perfect sense as agaves grow in wild abandon there. Tequila shots, meant to be downed quickly and not sipped, are not my style. I prefer to sip at a beverage. My eldest son suggested a low carb, liqueur-less, “skinny” Margarita with a bit of pineapple juice….delicious!
I am no stranger to tequila and the endless variety of cocktails one can create from it. In fact, I concocted my own skinny version last winter when we were just dreaming of a winter vacation.
My brother (the Mexico dwelling one) swears tequila is good for you. According to this information from The Independent he may be right:
Research has found that tequila can help lower your blood sugar. Agavins are the sugars which occur naturally in the agave plant. They are non-digestible so they act as a dietary fibre. They also support growth of healthful microbes in the mouth and intestines.
The Independent, July 24, 2018
I consumed more alcohol in a week than I normally do in two months. No hangovers slowed me down though. Skinny Margaritas may become my new drink of choice here in Canada. Move over red wine!
Covid Precautions for the Destination Wedding
The travel industry is eager to welcome travellers back at (what we hope is) the end of the pandemic. All airlines, airports, transportation services, and resorts we visited were fully Covid compliant. All staff wore masks, we did too when not eating or drinking inside restaurants and bars. Masks outside were not necessary.
Restaurant menus within the resort were accessible through apps on our phones. Much like here at home.
My immediate family members and those of the bride and groom had to obtain an expensive PCR covid test to return to Canada. That was on top of the rapid antigen test (less expensive) to fly through the USA. I was also randomly selected to submit to an additional PCR test at the Edmonton airport on our return. Thankfully that was not at my expense. All results were negative. Travellers were all double vaccinated, symptom-free, with all test results negative. For those reasons, we did not have to quarantine on our return home.
As a sign of the (pandemic) times, the bride and groom included customized face masks in gift bags…
along with a bottle of tequila of course!
Romance in the Air!
The oceanside wedding ceremony was very romantic. My niece (daughter of the groom) got engaged in Cabo as well. Her fiance definitely chose a romantic theme.
Photo Credit and Acknowledgement
I took very few of the gorgeous photos within this post. Most were taken on better cameras by more talented photographers, then shared amongst us on our wedding FB page.
In summary, the only downside to this adventure is that we had to come home to cold weather! I for one cannot wait to go back!
Much like myself, Susan quit her corporate job at the age of 52 to pursue her own dream. Creating her own jewelry, promoting other designers she admires, repairing and cleaning jewelry is much more rewarding and exciting. I am so proud of her for joining the freedom 52 club.
What Services does True Romantic Provide?
Who better to explain just what the business is all about than Susan herself:
Where is True Romantic Jewelry Spa & Boutique Located?
Although currently located in Scranton, Susan is moving her business to a bigger and better location in Pawtucket. Both locations are in Rhode Island. Of course, the spa services and cleaning/repairs while you wait are done only if you happen to physically be in that vicinity.
Online Shopping Option for Jewelry and Gifts
For those of us not located anywhere near Rhode Island, True Romantic does offer online shopping. Order unique jewelry and gift items with delivery services anywhere in the world.
The True Romantic jewelry workshop is more than just a place to learn new skills – it’s a warm and inviting space for great people to get together and have a fun time learning and making something new.
There are so many ways to join the fun – book a private party (up to 6 of your favorite people), come as a couple to make wedding bands, sign up alone to a scheduled workshop and meet other great people! Susan can’t wait to meet you and see what you make!
My True Romantic Plans
I have two ancient rings that my husband purchased for me way back when. One is an opal surrounded by garnets. The other is a cluster style, diamond engagement ring. I also have a wedding band but it is not something that can be worn alone as it fits against the diamond ring. Another problem? Most of the stones are chipped or missing. I am horribly brutal on any kind of jewelry, that’s why I barely wear any these days.
This is one of Susan’s bands I am contemplating, a sterling silver, rope twist stacker:
For the fancier piece, I would love to incorporate the gold and stones that do remain on my old rings and/or birthstones of my grandchildren. I will rely on the expert as combining all of these elements might be too complicated.
Are you a True Romantic? Be sure to visit the jewelry selection on Susan’s websiteto see what catches your eye.