As the holiday season approaches, and I gaze out my office window to a dreary grey whiteout winter day I ask myself “do I really want to spend Xmas in Vancouver or away?”
Yes, yes, yes. YES!!!!!! I am travelling far away from both the physical (rain and snow) and emotional (stress and disappointment of the holidays) environment.
I selected Puerto Vallarta due to price, proximity, warm climate, and my deep love for this Mexican city after consulting with friends.
I originally researched:
- A Whistler winter wonderland getaway, but if one does not have accommodation, gondola passes, ski equipment and appropriate winter clothing for the full family, the credit card transactions can easily add up quickly.
- The clear blue water and white sand of the Mayan Riviera sound heavenly, but since I live in the Pacific Northwest, and it is East Coast, the price escalates. There are no direct flights from my hometown, and I do not want to risk spending my vacation in the congested airport due to layovers and temperamental weather. Also, I was lucky enough to visit recently, and can visit again in the future.
- I found cheap flights to Hawaii. However, after doing some quick calculations factoring in the weak Canadian dollar, the costs were astronomical.
Puerto Vallarta is along the Pacific Ocean’s Bay of Banderas and a quick 4.5 direct flight. We leave in the morning, and will be poolside with a margarita by mid-afternoon.
Think about this…
Would you want to sit in traffic commuting to your family Xmas turkey where you hate your in-laws, those bratty nieces & nephews, & then encounter roadblocks on the way back? Holidays can be depressing due to family dynamics or drama.
If you are hosting, there may be additional stresses…
- When that extra unexpected guest comes, one that you detest.
- A visitor with severe dietary restrictions.
- The turkey does not cook properly. This happened at our family’s potluck Thanksgiving, and as a result we did not eat turkey that evening
- you forgot to buy a Xmas present for a guest, and there are no stores open.
I will not have those scenarios occur. On Xmas Day, I plan to get up early to book one of the a la carte restaurants after watching sunrise, hit the sandy beaches to work on my tan, and then meander to dinner in my sundress a few steps away. If my kiddies complain about the a la carte, we will snack at the dinner buffet before watching evening entertainment.
Wikipedia December monthly averages (for the month):
- 6 degrees & 6 inches each of snow & rain
- 18 days of rain
And what about those windstorm power outages?
My uncle had a power outage a couple years ago. There were not enough candles to illuminate a full house. As a result, hungry shivering guests sat in the dark for hours. We were lucky when the power was eventually restored that same evening. My auntie was not happy when my cousin purchased McDonald’s as a pre-dinner snack.
- 25 degrees
- 0.8 inches of rain (there is no average snow)
- less than 2 days for rain.
Even if there is some natural disaster, it will still be warm & my expectations are less.
LOVE FOR PUERTO VALLARTA
My kids and I visited during Santa Semana during Easter break in 2014. I loved watching the Mexican families barbequing and playing live music on the beach. Our days were as relaxing or busy as we wanted. Sometimes we remained at the resort to read, eat, drink, or swim. When we needed more stimulation, we ventured out on various excursions.
This included: a shopping/tequila tasting tour, travelling on the public bus to Sayulita (surf town, the Malecon (shopping, restaurant & beach boardwalk), and my most memorable activity, skydiving. Imagine dropping from the sky to Xmas dinner. I loved landing on the beach not too far away from my resort.
This visit, we may take the boat cruises to the Marieta Islands, a group of small volcanic islands.
CONSULTING WITH FRIENDS
I have never been away for the full holidays, and asked friends who have, for their opinions. They all responded that a trip away especially when it involves sun and sand is fun. Expect that its’ different in a memorable way” especially from those who are used to colder winter holidays. You still are with loved ones, BUT those you CHOOSE to be with during the holidays. Of course, I will visit mine before and after who are not accompanying me. My kids and I also will be meeting friends from home also travelling to Puerto Vallarta, and it will be lovely to meet on Xmas eve in our tropical attire for holiday cheer. The resorts put forth a grand effort with festive celebrations, decorations, delectable food options (perhaps turkey cranberry tacos or burritos), and Santa Claus along with his elves appearances.