This was it. Our last day. And a full day at that, as our flight was not scheduled to leave until 10:20 pm.
I can sum up the day in one sentence – we received verification of negative Covid tests, went for breakfast, had a long walk, went for lunch, hung out at the pool, Stella played volleyball, Magnus drank coffee and read a book, Ana and I soaked up the sunshine, we played bingo and had drinks, then had supper, and shortly thereafter were transported to the airport, bought duty-free, flew home, breezed through Canadian customs and immigration with no issues, nor any need for Covid testing, drove home, and were in bed by 5:30am.
It had been two years since we last boarded an airplane together, and in two years so much had changed. Magnus is a foot taller, Stella is turning into a lady, both of them have busy part time jobs, both have been through hellish and bizarre high school years, and both Ana and I have had drastic changes to our working environments due to Covid. I had been anticipating this trip for weeks, and when it finally arrived, and we were not stopped by Covid restrictions, I was overcome with happiness and looking forward to a trip similar to the ones we’ve done in the past, which was naïve on my part, as not all of us were on the same page. Magnus is really his own person now, on his own schedule, and has his own preferences, so he spent a good part of the trip by himself, and seemed quite happy with that, but we had to accept that he needed his space and didn’t want to be around us all the time. Stella really did seem to have a great time and spent a lot of it with Ana and I, and didn’t seem too distracted by Covid, but did take the opportunity to spend some time by herself. Ana, on the other hand, just couldn’t shake the Covid anxiety and had a hard time relaxing, right up until the end of the trip when we finally got our negative test results and managed to get back into Canada without requiring any testing or quarantine. It didn’t help that I let my guard down at times during the trip and took unnecessary risks with Covid protection. So in the end it wasn’t a perfect trip (an impossibility), but I think it was as good as could be expected in the current environment.
This pandemic has caused a lot of unseen damage, and much of it won’t even be recognized or understood until far into the future. It has changed so much that it is really hard to comprehend, and even harder to remember what things felt like before this pandemic. But I am so very thankful that we took this chance to go away, take a break, and spend one more vacation together as a family. I don’t know what 2022 will bring, but I do know that both of the kids are very close to embarking on their own journeys through life, so I will relish the time we get to spend together, no matter how, when, or where that happens.
So, with that, the 2021 trip to the Dominican Republic comes to a close, and we return home ready to enjoy a wonderful Christmas!