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It’s time to catch up!

Now that the many holidays are over (I say that because we had five Christmases this year), my thoughts have turned to vacation-planning. I mean, a minimum of 30% of my brain is occupied with vacation planning or scheming at any given time, but even moreso when our customary February escape-from-the-cold is approaching.

I believe things are as finalized as possible at this point: we have our flights to and from Puerto Rico and from San Juan to Vieques, we have a hotel in San Juan for the first night, we have a VRBO rental that I’ll pay off next week for Vieques, we have a catamaran trip booked in St Lucia on Matt’s birthday, and we have pretty solid plans for what we want to do in most of the other spots. At happy hour last week with Jessie, we discussed taking the ferry from St Thomas to St John for the day, because we happen to be there at the same time they are. How great is that?

Anyway, I drew this map of where we’re going. In MS-Paint, because I am awesome at drawing.

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The other vacation thoughts occupying my brain switch back and forth between “Why are tickets to Kona and/or Kahului so expensive??*” and “When are we going to Vegas this year??**”

*We want to go back to Hawaii in the fall, and even though we have one free ticket, the second would be a thousand bucks. The current alternate plan is to just use the miles for two roundtrips to Jamaica – since we know we’re for sure going next February – and just pay for somewhere in the fall. So hopefully Hawaii gets cheaper.

** We have to go to Vegas this year, too, obviously.

In final travel-related news: in case you missed it, I finally finished with my travel journal entries for our trip to the Florida Keys and our brief-but-great trip to Chicago last month. I’m glad to be entirely caught up on that stuff.

So there was the Polar Vortex, which everyone knows about, and it was horrible but we survived. Apparently there’s going to be another one soon, so I’m at least grateful that the brutal cold chose to give us a (sort of) break for OUTDOOR HOCKEY.

As you probably know, I’m the coldest living human being, and one of my biggest fears (after tornadoes and being broke) is freezing to death. But, dammit, my favorite hockey team was finally playing an outdoor hockey game, and I was going to do whatever I possibly could to survive it.

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And I did!! It was amazing, and I loved the whole experience. I also don’t think I ever have to attend an outdoor game again. I feel like we did a really good job of gearing up; it was only midway through the third period that I started losing feeling in my fingers and toes, and I had a whole pile of handwarmers to fix that situation. (Also, those heated insoles don’t work very well.)

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Yesterday we joined a group of ten people to play Whirlyball in Maple Grove. If you’re wondering if this is something you might also enjoy, the answer is yes. You’re divided into two teams of five, and your goal is to score goals with a whiffle ball you throw around with a plastic scoop. And oh yeah, you’re in BUMPER CARS. Andy has already organized a return trip, since we all loved it so much.

Jumi had the excellent idea to organize a group on Facebook dedicated to the Sky Scarf, in which for an entire year you knit a row reflecting the color of the sky that day. The idea of the group is just to do some kind of knitting project for a year, with no real rules. Because I figured the sky project might be depressing living up here in the Frozen North, I decided to knit the daily high temperature instead. And, yeah, I know that has the potential to be depressing, too, but I like the idea of seeing it gradually warm up (starting in not too many weeks, I hope), plus I plan to knit the high temp wherever I am at the time. That means that at the end of February there will be a lot of pink and red in the middle of the greys and blues. It’s a good memento, I think, and I like how it’s looking so far. (I went with a REALLY simple project so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting behind or feeling like I only had to work on that project. I have a blanket to finish, after all.)

There’s a lot to look forward to in the next couple months: this weekend is the Northstar Cup at the Xcel Center (which may remind us a little of the Final Five, R.I.P.), next weekend we’ll be at a cabin in Cross Lake with Wendy, Amelia, Missy, and Joe, and then we have romantic hockey-related plans for Valentine’s Day. The week after that, we’ll be on a plane to Puerto Rico. I think I might actually be able to survive the rest of the winter after all.

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