My sanity over the past eight weeks has been maintained by sifting through photos from this year, which, in turn, has allowed me to indulge in happy memories of our trips and visitors.
One of the most beautiful trips we took was back to the Pacific Northwest, where we spent some time in and around Vancouver before moving onto Vancouver Island and an amazing apartment in Tofino, right on the bay. Tofino is lovely, a small town on the Pacific Ocean side of the island surrounded by perfect beaches and great hiking trails. Even the drive over there was stunning, winding through the mountains and skimming lake shores. Tofino is more developed than I remember it being – lots of art and coffee shops make for a very chilled atmosphere. I would love to go back in the winter when people rent houses along the beach and spend their time huddled up in oilskins watching the huge storms roll in and engulf the west coast of Vancouver Island.
We also finally went to Maine. It took three days to drive there, during which time the boy and I got through almost as many books of Hiccup’s memoirs, breaking up the journey visiting friends and indulging in ice-cream. We spent the time mainly relaxing in a beautifully hidden cottage on a small coastal inlet with friends. When we weren’t chilling we were reacquainting ourselves with rocky coastlines and cold seas, having been spoilt by several years of long sandy beaches and warm seas. Oh and there was ALOT of lobster too.
This past year we have been fortunate enough to have a stream of overseas visitors, both family and friends. Having people come and stay is always great. Because of the intense amount of time you spend with them gives your relationship a boost and allows you feel part of their lives again.
Our bumper year of visitors also allowed us to explore closer to home. We experienced NYC at Christmas – always fun, and we even got to see a Rockettes show, which is almost as big a deal here at Christmas as a pantomime back in Blighty. We pedaled round DC on a carefully-planned city bike route which was an efficient, fun and ecofriendly way to get from the Capitol to Abraham Lincoln. We relaxed into the Luray way of life, basic and chilled (aided by hot tubs) but with some crazy truck-pulling entertainment – it really is what it says on the tin, an event where trucks, tractors etc compete to see who could pull a trailer the furthest on a dirt track, noisily encouraged by the crowd. We discovered whiskey Blue Ridge style during a quirky, knowledgeable tour round a tucked-away old barn converted for purpose and well worth visiting: Copper Fox Distillery.
Oh and we finally made it to the US open too – and got to watch Andy play!
What more could anyone want out of a year!
More pictures from our summer trip are in the album ‘Vacations and Visitors’.