A Treasure Map, Sandcastle, S’mores and Double Digit Boxing Day helped wrap up 2020 on the Great Northern Pen

The Great Northern Peninsula is typically “where winter begins and ends on the island of Newfoundland“.

This past December had promise of our traditional white Christmas. However, the days leading up to Christmas would take away whatever snow we had. An even bigger surprise was on the double digit temperatures on Boxing Day that allowed for a nice beach walk, wearing only a t-shirt. In my 35 years, this has never happened before as I felt like I traded my little northern home for what felt like to me a Caribbean Island.

That Caribbean feeling may have inspired my nephew and I, as he devised a treasure map and we headed to the beach to find the gold! We may not have found a treasure box of gold, but the memories we made that day, felt like we had.

There’s something magical about taking an empty plastic tub and using your hands, shells, feathers, rocks and other surroundings to build a sandcastle on the beach in Northern Newfoundland. The possibilities are endless in size and style. As you move your hands through the sand as an adult there is something nostalgic that will reignite childhood memories. The art of creativity just comes pouring back if you have spent any time as a kid on the beach. I recall one summer building a massive sand castle with my two cousins from Alberta that took most of the day. We were so proud of our massive sandcastle complex that included a laboratory, multiple swimming pools and massive protections from outside forces – I know we took lots of photos to capture the memory. Our castle on the 26th of December was lots of fun building, even included a wall, but that was no protection to my “little” nephew who saw the fun as being a big giant in its attack and ultimate demolition. đŸ™‚

Our beach fun continued though, “skipping” or throwing rocks in the ocean, collecting shells and walking along the boats hauled up along the slipway. As I walked along the boards, it brought back many wonderful childhood memories of how this was the best place in the Cove for playing hide and go seek. We would hide along the boats and also try to move around to get to the place of safety without being caught by the person who was the seeker. I guess it was a combination really of hide and go seek and also tag. On many occasions you had to take a risk by walking along a log and hoping you maintained your balance. There was much laughter in those days, growing up in little Green Island Cove. There are fewer children here now, but for a moment with my nephew, it felt like I was back to those youthful days and carefree days.

The magic continued in the afternoon as the weather remained in double digits or near there, creating an unusually warm day. Although, my fire pit and outside furniture had been placed in storage since October, we managed to pull out off a fire in the backyard with a temporary set-up and ofcourse – s’mores. It is a little unbelieve actually, because my co-worker for Christmas gave me a bucket that lights up and says, “S’mores at the Mitchelmores” and included a s’mores kit. I could not imagine that I would get to use it in my backyard until summer. However, when the opportunity presented itself, our family took up the cause and blasted some summer tunes and enjoyed a time around the fire.

I am normally vacationing somewhere over the holidays, but this year gave me an opportunity to spend it at home with family and we certainly didn’t miss a beat on making memories and truly treasuring the moments. 2020 brought significant change and disrupted our day to day lives. A silver lining for me though was that I became more physically active, took time to pursue new hobbies and interests and spent as much time with close family as possible.

It’s not every day you will get a double digit end of December on the Great Northern Peninsula, where you are searching for buried pirate treasure, building sandcastles and indulging in s’mores by the fire – but on days when it is possible, don’t miss your opportunity!

As 2021 is swiftly approaching mid-January, I hope you all have taken note to do something important for you. It snowed since Boxing Day and we have since lost all of it. On snow days I went snowshoeing, sliding and skating and on the no snow days its been walking or running. Don’t worry for those snowmobiling enthusiast, we will have winter before too long. Although, I’m proud to say, it is my first January where I’ve been just as active as I was this past July. Find something to inspire and motivate you in your everyday. The Great Northern Peninsula has this around every corner, so get out and explore! I’ll be sharing with you more places, more adventures and beauty that is life on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore #NeverStopExploring

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