Planning Ahead to Stave Off Insanity

Joe, Jamie and I are talking about taking a winter holiday in 2009. This is something we typically don’t do. With five in our family, going from snow to sun and sand is not something we’ve been able to afford. But last winter, during that horrible cold snap that went on for weeks, we decided if we didn’t get away we were going to go stark raving mad (or at least I was). Just then though, the cold broke, spring showed up, and we didn’t feel the need to go anymore.

However by all accounts, this coming winter is going to be another cold one. And the thought of having to endure a repeat of early 2008, after being pretty much robbed of any kind of a summer here in the Yukon, just about sets off a panic attack in me. As well, we are down to three in the house, so it’s actually in the realm of possibility that we could swing this.

So, I’m looking for suggestions. I’m not much for sitting on the beach day in and day out, although I could handle a bit of that. Really, I’m just looking for a spot that’s relatively inexpensive to get to and where we can relax with a good book, enjoy some delicious food and forget the meaning of the word parka.


4 thoughts on “Planning Ahead to Stave Off Insanity

  1. I’ve only been to two “tropical holiday” spots in my adult life. The first was to the Dominican to a resort (for a friend’s wedding), the second was to Mexico (for my sister’s wedding).

    The Dominican resort was okay, but not something I’d care to repeat. I felt trapped at the resort; it was definitely more of a sit around by the pool or the beach kind of place. Doing anything outside of the resort, although there are options, cost dearly, and venturing out on your own wasn’t great because the resort was too far from “real” Dominican life. Plus the merchants there were super-aggressive.

    Mexico was fabulous! We stayed in a not-so-touristy town called Puerto Escondido at a “resort” complex called the Villas Carrizalillo ( We got the best of both worlds there because there was a restaurant right on the grounds if we wanted to go that route, but we also had our own kitchen with fridge and gas stove and cooking equipment. It was fun to walk into town to get local groceries, or try out one of the super-cheap local restaurants. The people are friendly and the weather was fabulous. From our particular location, the beach was a 5-minute trek down some stone steps, but there are other hotels closer to the beach. I didn’t mind the trek too much, and the bay was wonderful for swimming. The place had a little pool, too, which is nice for a change (and great for Jade, though you don’t have that particular consideration).

    For some reason, the saltiness of the water in Mexico was so much more pleasant than the saltiness in the Dominican. As far as I’m concerned, Mexico just wins hands-down.

    I wish I were going back there soon!


  2. We actually have a Caribbean cruise booked for but are going to sell it (we missed the cancellation date by a week or so, but the ship is sold out so will sell easily in Nov/Dec). Now we’re looking at flying to Phoenix and going wandering – lots of reasonable places to stay once you get away from the city, and the desert between there and Yuma is beautiful.


  3. Just to add on to what Fawn said, the food in that part of Mexico is SUPERB and the snorkeling was great. The deep sea fishing/turtle watching/dolphin watching was great (with the right guide) and there is surfing in a different part of town if you’re into that sort of thing. You can find some pictures of the place here.

    It takes a little more work to get there, but it’s worth it and it gives you a bit of a chance to see the countryside.


  4. If beaches aren’t a necessity, then there are some nice places in the southern-western states that can be nice at that time of year. I was in San Francisco in Jan/Feb and it’s nice. You can stay outside of the urban areas and go into the city on the train if you want to do things like Chinatown and art and funk. There are some great parks for hikes, and the ocean for walks instead of sun-bathing.


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