Happy Holidays 2009!

We hope this greeting finds you well and happy for the holidays!

Happily, we can say that this is true of us. We’ve been incredibly blessed this year with stable incomes, rewarding travel experiences, good friends, a (mostly) healthy family and a worthwhile life in London. Fingers crossed our luck–and yours–holds for the new year ahead 🙂

During this calendar year, we’ve visited 10 countries: Austria, Israel, Jordan, France, Croatia, the US, Hungary, Estonia, Italy and the Maldives. Amongst our high points are:

  • K’s first time SKIING — in the ALPS.

    She was officially the queen of the bunny slope this March, even if by no other measure but by height 🙂 A key wish for this year was to spend more travel time with friends and family. As such, our ski trip was spent with friends–and was absolutely lovely. We’re blessed to have friends who are wonderful travel partners.

  • G’s first time running the BATH HALF AND LONDON MARATHON. While K’s been visiting the gym rather happily this year, G’s headed outdoors to train with long distance runs. It’s worked! And the collective effort has begun to pay off. K’s even begun to run and provided all holds, may participate in the Bath Half Marathon next spring.
  • Our first time renting a BEACH COTTAGE with FRIENDS and FAMILY. After being away now for over three years and generally dedicating our travel time back to the US to family-time, we decided to break from the norm this year and do something a bit different. We miss our US friends! So, this year we met friends from the Triangle in Durham and then headed to the coast for more remote friends to convene. Friends and family traveled from Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky and other parts of NC. And we had a great time. A special thanks to our families for giving up a bit of their ‘family time’ for a shared visit with our friends.
  • Our fourth HOLIDAY ABROAD with G’s PARENTS. Luckily, our move to London coincided with G’s parents’ retirement. As such, our goals match: Travel! As you’ve likely read in previous years, we’ve met G’s parents in Switzerland in 2007, Netherland and Tanzania in 2008 and this year’s visit to Italy makes 4. Thank you Allan & Virginia for taking time out to visit us abroad–you’re great travel partners. 🙂
  • Our first time staying on a DESERTED ISLAND. Well, almost. 🙂 This year, we saved back the last of our annual holiday allotment for a dose of tropical sunshine in late November. Maldives was a long flight away, but an absolute dreamland. The house reef was just below the surface and perfect for our snorkeling holiday. And the feeling of swimming with huge SCHOOLS of banner and trigger fish was unmatched. We even saw tuna, barracuda and sharks!

In 2009, we’ve sadly suffered one extremely troubling low. K’s father suffered a heart attack last February. We didn’t know at the time and were, hence, unable to travel back. But in the months since, through diet and exercise he seems to have made major strides in getting healthy again. Now, for the moral of the story…let’s all run more in the new year!

It’s hard to believe that this will be our 4th holiday season since moving to London! And it will be our first actually spent at home here. No travels, no stress, no crazy chores. Just wintry weather and some fun excursions to keep us occupied. This may be difficult at moments as we’re sure to miss our families and friends, but alas…look for more travels and visits when the weather’s just a bit nicer in the new year 🙂

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