Playing Catch Up on 2017

Hi again. What just happened? A few months rolled by as I took a full-on hiatus from writing this blog. There were several times I thought I might have given it up for good, but I felt guilty about that. Not because anybody was missing my updates, but because I missed creating them, and I was sad about not keeping this chronicle for my family. After all, I don’t write a journal anymore and we hardly print photo-books, so capturing memories tends to happen in a perpetual stream of social media posts and filtered Instagram photos, only to get lost in the Internet abyss.

So, I’m sorry that this late-November blog post contains lots of photos from spring and summer, but hopefully it lifts your spirits to see sunny, warmer days.

The last blog post I wrote introduced our new puppy, Reina. So, it’s tempting to blame my lack of blogging on her arrival, but that would not be true. Of course, she has added an extra element of responsibility, (mostly taken on by yours truly) but I can hardly call daily walks through the park a terrible sacrifice. She’ll be a year old on December 30th and we feel truly blessed to have her in our family; definitely one of the best choices we’ve ever made – sacrifice, expense and all!

6-month poodle puppy reunion

We decided that after getting the dog, we would focus on a few road trips around the UK, so that we could take her with us. In the Spring, we drove to Scotland, stopping in York and several other places along the way up and down. We took a little over a week to do this, but it would have been wonderful to have even more time.

York Minster, England

York Minster, England

St. Andrews, Scotland

St. Andrews, Scotland

Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire, England

Whitby harbour, North Yorkshire, England

Whitby harbour, North Yorkshire, England

Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire, England

Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire, England

It was on this trip that we bid adieu to our Hilton timeshare. When we were living in the US, we purchased a timeshare, thinking we would mostly use it for ski trips. When we moved to Europe, we found it increasingly difficult to use, and it limited our accommodation choices. A timeshare doesn’t give you the opportunity to make unconventional accommodation choices, such as staying in an abandoned church, above the coastal town of Robin’s Hood Bay. That was an interesting (and very cold) night.

St. Stephen’s Church – our accommodations for the night.

Morning coffee in St. Stephen’s church, looking out at the view of Robin Hood’s Bay.

View from the church

We slept on cots and had other supplies provided by www.champing.co.uk

We also had visits from both sets of grandparents in the spring and summer of 2017. We took day trips with Brett’s parents, visiting cathedrals and castles, as well as local favourite places.

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle, West Sussex, England.

My mom came and stayed with us for 10 weeks – fluttering back and forth between my sister and me. She joined us on a little holiday to the Isle of Wight, which is more beautiful than I realised.

My parents outside Kensington Palace, London

Since the girls started school in September, things have been a bit of a blur. They are at different schools this year, since M started secondary school. The transition has been smooth and she’s enjoying it. I started working 3 days-a-week, during the kids’ school hours. I work on digital marketing at a travel PR company, have a 3-minute walk to work and can take the dog with me. It doesn’t get more ideal than that, really.

We’re all looking forward to the holiday season, also a few more travel opportunities in 2018. Perhaps my New Year’s resolution will be to keep the blog up-to-date, but I don’t really make resolutions. I have a few ideas in mind of what I’d like 2018 to include and things I’d like to work on, but that is good enough for me.

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