Happy New Year from England! It’s hard to believe 2014 is over and my, what a year it was. We spent the first half of the year wondering if this great adventure of ours was going to come to fruition, and the second half preparing for it and make the move across the pond. We only spent three months of 2014 in Europe, but we’ve already been to seven different countries and seen so many amazing sights and made memories that will last a lifetime. Now, into 2015 we go. We will spend the entire year living in Europe. Chances are, this will never happen again for us. I wonder what this year will bring? There will be the usual routines - school for the girls, work for Eric, and for me, blogging, chauffeur, head cook, laundress, afterschool tutor, etc. But we’ll also be doing as much traveling as we can afford the time and money to do, as well as welcoming some of our family over to England for visits, which we are all very much looking forward to. And, we’ll be making a much anticipated trip back to the states for a few weeks in the summer to visit family and friends because, despite all the wonderful adventures we are having here, we really miss home.
The rest of the week was spent reading, going for walks in the afternoon, putting a puzzle together, decorating cookies, watching movies, and eating good food. The girls spent Saturday afternoon running back and forth between our house and the house behind us where one of their friends from school lives, sharing their new Christmas toys with each other. And we all got to play in some snow. We came back from our trip to find a very unexpected couple of inches of snow on the ground here in England that stuck around until Thursday. Snowball fights, snowman contest - never thought that would be a part of our time here in England so we thoroughly enjoyed it.
We ran out of time before Christmas to make and decorate gingerbread cookies so we decided to do it right before New Years. We've never made them before. I hunted and hunted for molasses for the cookie recipe but alas, I could not find any here in England. What I did find is something called Black Treacle, sort of like molasses but not exactly molasses. When I opened the can, I found a very strong smelling pitch black sludge with a molasses like consistency. Into the cookie batter it went and the gingerbread men turned out just fine. A little strong in flavor, but add some sugar icing and sprinkles on top and you balance out the flavor.
|So serious about her cookie decorating.|
We also had baked Camembert cheese with garlic and rosemary for the first time. Camembert cheese seems to be a popular thing here in England and it was ooey, gooey cheesy deliciousness.
On Friday, we headed to a little town not far from here and had lunch at a wonderful old pub called Harpur’s. When we walked through the door, a warm fire crackling away in the fireplace with a glowing Christmas tree standing next to it greeted us. After a leisurely lunch, we hiked to the edge of town and found the trail that if we followed for 6 miles south would lead right to our front door. Maybe someday.
And Eric, what did he do? Well, besides partaking in all of the above, he also spent time going through the 1700 photos he took on our trip. Yes my friends, you read that right – 1700 photos. At first, I thought he said 700 photos and said, “Wow, that’s a lot of photos.” Then he correct me and said, “No, 1700 photos.” That is a lot of photos, but let me tell you, he outdid himself this time beautifully capturing so many of the things we saw on this trip that I can’t wait to share them with you, which is exactly what I will be doing over the next few days. Don’t worry, I don’t plan to share all 1700 with you. He’s weeded through them all and pulled out the highlights. As I’ve done with past trips, I’ll split the posts up so as not to overwhelm you or me.
This was one of my all time favorite trips and I can’t wait to share Austria, Germany and Amsterdam (where we unexpected had to spend a night) with all of you. I fell head over heals in love with Salzburg and the Austrian Alps. The blog journey will begin tomorrow. Until then, auf wiedersehen!