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I'll Be Home for Christmas...Part 2

Updated: Jan 1, 2023

What a freaking ride our US tour has been. It has been filled with love, laughter, fun, family hugs, family tiffs, family makeups, family snugs, SNOW, ice, below zero temps and all the traditional home for the holidays feels. We loved it and our children got to experience Christmas with their grandparents, cousins and friends. But like all things, this trip must come to an end and we must return to our new reality of living in a perfect climate, gorgeous nightly sunsets, tank tops, flip flops and seeing monkeys and whales daily :(. We will make it work somehow :).

We started our trek from Charlotte (our home from 2016 until we said eff it and moved to CR) on 12/21. Our children handled the trip wonderfully. Short flight from Charlotte to Harrisburg, PA where we were greeted by my parents who picked us up in two cars to accommodate our insane amount of luggage and family of 5 (told you we roll deep). Trip was made easier with our partner products (the Murrays practice what they preach) DIONO Car Seat and BOBGEAR Stroller. Just a reminder, we are not just outstanding and hilarious blog writers, we also rent this equipment and much more for your vacation needs in Costa Rica at Mango Baby Beach Rentals.

The kids had not seen their PA grandparents in 6 months, so it was very special for them to experience the wonderful Christmas memories that my parents gave me and my siblings growing up. The Northeast was being threatened with an insane impending freeze that was to start on 12/23. We were blessed with a surprise snow storm on 12/22 and our kids got to get all the sledding and snowy fun that one could imagine.

Like many times in PA, the beautiful snow turned to rain later in the day and then it melted most of the beauty. Then that pesky ULTRA FREEZE came and made everything a deathtrap. We woke up on 12/23 and it was 40 F and by that evening it was -5 F. It was cray cray. Despite the "Day After Tomorrow" style death freeze that attacked us, my parents threw us a coming home party. Many friends and family that we have not seen for years risked their lives to celebrate a Murray Christmas! It was wonderful and we all had a wicked hangover in time for Christmas Eve. It was Christmas Eve and football was on, so the hangover didn't last long.

Christmas morning was wonderful and unique. First, it was the first time since Rebecca and I became parents 9 years ago, that we spent Christmas morning anywhere other than our own home. It was secondly unique because the bulk of our presents were sitting under a tree in Costa Rica.

Rebecca and my parents made the morning very special, with lots of fun, small, easy to pack and bring on a plane, presents for the kids to open. It was a different Christmas for our kids, but it was more special because we focused on being together and not accumulating stuff. It was also special for my parents, because for the first time in many years they had the pitter patter of little nerds running around the house acting a fool on Christmas.

The day after Christmas, we headed to "MurrayVille" in the famous Pocono Mountains (my brother and parents both bought lake houses right next to each other), specifically Arrowhead Lake. The kids got some great cousin time and got to enjoy Skiing at Jack Frost Mountain.

...AND indoor waterpark fun at Kalahari Resort Waterpark.

Oh I almost forgot...because Murrays are loco, we decided to do donuts on the frozen lake. It was probably the highlight of the trip. See was sooooo freaking fun!!!

The trip was really great, exhausting, fun, stressful and action packed. We loved it, but are ready to head to our new fully renovated home in Costa Rica. Final pics to come next week once we are home sweet home.

Rebecca and the kids return on 1/3 and I return with our very missed puppies shortly thereafter. It is very complicated to bring big dogs from one country to another, despite Fiona explaining that it was very simple here or below: Last time we listen to her. Thanks for nothin' Fi!

I will explain that mess to help our fellow international travelers in a future blog, after this process is done and goes smoothly.

Until next time Amigos! I need to get back to CR asap for a few reasons. I have eaten terribly and drank heavily for the last 3 weeks, with minimal exercise...AND...I haven't spoken Spanish during this time and it is totally a use it or lose it situation. Feliz año nuevo mis amigos. Nos Vemos! (Happy New Year my friends. We will see you soon!)


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