As we enter this festive season visions of playing in the snow with grandchildren and grand dogs dance in our heads. Our family and friends, and over the years, our blog family, know of our tradition of puzzles over the holidays. Jigsaw puzzles on the kitchen table and giant crossword puzzles on the kitchen counter. Here on the blog, we present our own creation, the 2019 Holiday Puzzle from Travel Tales of Life. 

Sue and Dave Travel Tales of Life in Jordan

.For years our dog Bruiser, a fluff-ball pup sarcastically named for being scared of our hamster, wrote our Christmas letter. With paws on the laptop, (not easy for a tiny dog) he shared the tales of woe, living with an adventuring family such as ours. His letter always included a secret message.

With Bruiser no longer here, we are left to come up with our own secret message holiday puzzle. It was far easier when the dog did the writing.

Our Gratitude to Each of You

We never imagined having a blog would result in connecting with so many kind and caring people around the world. We are truly grateful for your loyal following and ongoing encouragement.

Whether you are a quiet reader or one who comments on every post, we value your presence and wish you much joy this season and good health in 2020. Remember you are never too old to explore!

Now on to the competition….

2019 Holiday Puzzle

Match the corresponding letter to each numbered clue to solve the secret message below.

Photos for 2019 Holiday Puzzle

1.    You cannot sink. Bobbing like a cork in the Dead Sea.

2.   Dave’s sister Nancy and Aerilyn showing off their latest dance moves.

3.   Congratulations to Tedi on receiving her certification as a Red Seal Journeyman Carpenter.

4.   Volunteering with Leftovers, moving quality food to those in need rather than it being wasted.

5.   This ride in Wadi Rum is very lumpy.

6.   What fun at the Kramer family reunion in Unity, Saskatchewan.

7.   Uncle Jordan telling Aerilyn stories about her Mom.

8.   Chris (Super Dad) with middle daughter Aerilyn.

9.   Dave restoring hiking trails volunteering with Friends of Kananaskis.

10. Sue’s Mom Shirley showing Dave she still has the moves on the dance floor.

11. Exploring La Sagrada Familia Barcelona. (massive protests not pictured)

12. Leica showing off her volleyball skills on the way to the city finals.

13. When brothers are retired, they happily ski mid week. (and they let Sue tag along)

14. Robyn and baby Kyla keep the Ami and Emme crochet business booming

15. Goodbye to our dear friend Cheryl. Always in our hearts.

16. “Aerilyn you’ll be mountain biking with Auntie Tedi and I soon, right?”

17. Sue at the ultimate adventure the birth of granddaughter Kyla.

18. Winter walking with grand dogs Nahla and Jake.

19. Only 50 years for these 3 first cousins to be together. (Michael, Sue, Doug)

20. All you have to do is stand up and paddle in Fernie, BC.

21. It was a whale of a good time, glamping with Darrell and Sharon in Baja Mexico

22. Hiking, ice crossings and lots of laughter. An Ontario adventure with Ed and Maureen.

23. Could Amsterdam be the most dangerous city in the world to cycle?

24. After decades of hoping, this ‘dream come true’ view at Petra, Jordan.

25. Almost destroyed by wildfire in 2017, Waterton reflects its beauty.

26. Cheering at the World Cup Bobsleigh and Skeleton races with family and friends.

27. Dave’s Mom Jean welcomes the newest of the four generations.

28. Adventure on high at Banff’s Via Ferrata.


Good luck in the quest to crack tour 2019 holiday puzzle. Post your results in the comments. Anyone looking at other people’s answers will be reported to Santa’s naughty list.

Why should you attempt such a thing?  After all there are Christmas cookies to be devoured and eggnog to be chugged and glugged.

If you live in the land of snowbanks, this may keep you busy while some kind snow angel shovels your sidewalk. Meanwhile you can scratch your noggin over the holiday puzzle.

For those of you in blazing sun on the other side of the world this may save you from heatstroke.

We’ll add the names of anyone who solves the secret message to the bottom of this post. What a glorious victory it will be! Well maybe no glory but hopefully some satisfaction. 

Good luck puzzling!

Snowshoeing in forest near Mount Engadine Alberta

Congratulations to the following readers who solved our 2019 Holiday Puzzle!

Brenda, Jim and Diana, Gilda, Lexie, Liesbet and Laura.