Testing Positive, Getting Boosted, and More: Highlights from my Holiday Break

I look forward to the holiday break between Fall and Spring semester all year. While having a four-month break in the summer is fantastic, I usually jump straight into working full time and taking a summer class or two. Plus, spending time with family and friends who are usually also on holidays is like a reset – lots of time doing puzzles, watching Christmas movies, and hitting up the best shopping spots. In addition, my love language is gift-giving, so it’s easy to see why the holiday season is one of my favourite times of the year.

This holiday break turned out to be the last thing I expected it to be, and there were certainly some memorable moments. It’s a holiday break I won’t forget, and here are the highlights!

Getting to check out some Vancouver attractions

Before the mayhem of the omicron variant wave of COVID, my mom and I were able to take a day trip to Vancouver on what was probably one of the last gorgeous sunny days since.

We were able to check out the Vancouver Christmas Market, where we spent way too much money on various artisan products like designer dog collars, gourmet hot sauce, and an expensive bag of mixed nuts. We even got to eat raclette and mulled wine for lunch!

Vancouver Christmas Market

After finishing up at the market, we walked along the sea wall to Canada Place where we took a free shuttle to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. If you love the beautiful lights at Butchart Gardens, you should definitely put Capilano on your list for next year. While it was really busy, we had a great time exploring and it was a perfect way to spend a winter night.

Vancouver Sea Wall

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Testing Positive for COVID-19

A few days before Christmas I started to have a scratchy throat. I didn’t think much about it at first but I stayed at home to be safe knowing how much COVID cases were increasing. That night I had a fever, chills, and congestion, so the next morning I called to book a COVID test.

Luckily my family had already been at home so we all isolated together and thanks to being double-vaccinated, had mild symptoms over the next week or so. We assumed we had COVID although none of us had officially tested positive, but in my heart I knew for sure I had it when I lost my sense of smell and taste and couldn’t enjoy my Christmas dinner!

About six days after my symptoms started I went for my PCR COVID test. It came back positive within a couple hours. My isolation actually ended the next day because my symptoms had started a week before, but I kept isolating to be safe until my symptoms were gone and the rest of my family finished their isolation time.

Testing positive for COVID was the last thing I expected to happen over this break, but if it had to happen, I’m glad it did at a time when myself and my family were already at home and had nowhere to be. And thanks to vaccines, our symptoms were mild and we were feeling back to normal within a couple weeks.

Seeing my puppy’s first time in the snow

While I’m usually not a big fan of the snow, my dog Rigby, who was born in March 2021, loved it. And I have to admit, I loved watching her first time playing in the snow when it hit Victoria on Boxing Day. I think I’ll be more excited for snow the next time it comes around!

Rigby’s First Time in the Snow

Spending (ANOTHER) New Year’s Eve at home

Last year, spending New Year’s Eve at home with my parents, I remember I couldn’t wait for New Year’s 2021 to spend it with my friends. While I love spending time with my parents, a fun night to ring in the new year is something my friends have been talking about for many months. So I was disappointed when we had to make the decision to spend it at home again between having COVID and rising cases everywhere, but I know it will make New Year’s Eve 2022 even more amazing!

We ordered sushi, tried out a new bluetooth speaker we got for Christmas, and watched the iconic ball drop. It turned out to be a great New Year’s Eve after all!

Getting my booster shot

Getting my Booster Shot

Just when I thought the excitement of the break was over, a few days ago I got a text inviting me to book my COVID booster shot. I was a healthcare worker and actually worked in a vaccine clinic during the early days of the vaccine rollout in 2021, so it had been just over seven months since my second dose.

Even more to my surprise, I was able to get a booster appointment for the next day at the University Heights clinic right by UVic! It was fast, easy, organized, and safe. I do have a sore arm, but overall the side effects have been super mild compared to how I felt after my second dose, and I’ll be feeling 100% by the time classes start on January 10th!

Overall, this holiday break was not what I expected, but that doesn’t mean it was all bad. I still managed to rest and recharge even though my body has been through A LOT over these past few weeks, and I am ready to get organized and back into the routine for the semester to come.

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday break! What were your highlights?

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