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Holiday in Paradise

I think our only real Christmas tradition—besides decorating our tree with travel ornaments—is that we almost never do the same thing twice. I’d say about half of our holidays have been spent on vacation rather than at home or with family.

This year, we went to Bermuda. We knew it wouldn’t be 80 degrees like the Caribbean—70 still felt darn nice, by the way—but we’ve been wanting to check out the island for a while now.

The water is several amazing shades of blue, the island is clean and well-maintained, public transportation is convenient and extensive, and people are friendly. On the flip side, food is very expensive, and nearly everything shuts down for Christmas Day and Boxing Day (which were back-to-back). Oops.

Still, we discovered hidden caves, cute towns, interesting flora, and gorgeous ocean views at every turn. A few highlights (click for larger slideshow)…

Late

I don’t always procrastinate. It’s not a sickness with me. Except with cleaning and shopping. I dislike both with almost equal passion, even if the results are usually worth it.

The absolute worst is Christmas shopping, especially when I have no earthly idea what will bring joy to any of the people I’m buying for. If I had a clue, I’d be the first person in line to head to the mall, eagerly picking out that awesome gift.

The pinnacle of my holiday procrastination was in college—either 1993 or 1994—back when the Internet had little or no commercial use. The Engineer (in training then) and I put off shopping until the very last minute because we were busy with final exams and projects. My parents were in Japan, so I had taken care of them early, but we were going to see The Engineer’s family in person, so we figured we could buy their gifts on December 23rd.

After my evening indoor soccer game.

Because, you know, the mall was going to be open until midnight for idiots just like us.

And then I broke my toe during the game. Some guy jumped up to head the ball and landed with his heel right on my foot. For some reason we decided this required a trip to the emergency room. You know, just in case. Two hours and some Advil later, I sat home icing my digit while The Engineer raced to the mall at ten o’clock.

Good man that he is, he got it all done, but that’s the last time we’ll ever plan our procrastination quite so close to the wire.

Do you have a holiday shopping disaster—or near-disaster—to share?

Happy Holidays!