Our first anniversary is just around the corner! Yesterday I sat down and wanted to write something little so it's ready for the big day. As I started writing, I couldn't stop. So, I thought I should start posting now in installments because it would be a novel to try to do it in one post.
I didn’t know that year goes by this fast. We have done so much. At one point we looked back and realized that almost every month we had traveled to a different country. The wedding was in Jamaica, which I smile about every time I think about. We had waited and anticipated the wedding for such a long time. And a year ago we were in sunny Jamaica, finally celebrating becoming one.
We went back to the States and spent two weeks in California visiting Neil’s relatives. Most of the time we spent in Orange County with his family there but at one point we ventured out and saw the Hoover Dam, drove up to the Grand Canyon and spent a night there. Also, we went to the Joshua Tree Park, spent a day at the Universal Studios, saw a show being filmed, drove to the Santa Monica beach, and spent a few days in Vegas, where we hang out with my friend Cassie.
All along the trip he was telling me stories and good memories of growing up and visiting the family in California. I also have to mention Uncle Ernie, who is the most hip grandpa ever. All three of us went to the local mall and spent a day there. Uncle Ernie had his first Starbucks with us, which he said was pretty good. He is one of those rare elderly people who are so inquisitive and loving and accepting and gentle. I hope that me saying “elderly” is not an offence, I mean it in the most respectable way. I think age is something to be proud about, especially when someone ages with such grace.
We flew back to SD and had a road trip to Atlanta where we spent an awesome week with Kerry and Brett. Hockey games and cheese cakes and movies nights were just the beginning of good times. It was so lovely to spend time with Neil’s sister and her fiancée Brett.
Michael and Felicia joined us there for a weekend and the six of us saw a lot of beautiful places. It could not have been a better good-bye to the US, with our close friends and family there.
We boarded plane in Atlanta with our one way tickets to London. I was a little nervous, after 10 years in the US moving to Europe with my brand new husband was a pretty big adventure. We spent a week with Neil’s mom and dad until we found a place of our own. I was the poster child for health during this time, as Neil’s mom has amazing knowledge and patience and discipline to eat the healthiest of healthiest. At dinner time Neil would always tease Lynn about the sausages and ribs. Neil’s parents are vegan and I have to say that Lynns cooking has opened my eyes to an abundance of healthy and delicious recipes.
The time in Bromley, south London was awesome. Neil and I got a little one bedroom apartment in three levels. It was cozy and stylish and our first home! I got a job as a sales assistant at British Home Stores in the bedding section, while Neil was building the biggest mall in Europe, right across from the BCC station in White City, London. On weekends we’d meet up with Lynn and Dave (Neil’s parents) who lived only about 30 min walk from us. Pret A Manger became by far our favorite hang out place. They are famous for delicious, fresh, sandwiches and excellent coffee and my favorite – chocolate croissants. There is only one word – mmmm! Pret is one thing I miss most here in Australia.
During the week, on most weeks, we’d have a dinner either at our place or Neil’s parents place. Neil would love to show off with his famous Nachos, which I have to say, are pretty amazing. Other times we’d hang out with Geoff, Sui and their little boy Bruce, Neil’s good friends. Bruce once was chatting with Neil and asked him why Neil didn’t marry Kerry (Neil’s sister). It was so innocent and cute, since he’d seen them always come to visit together, he assumed that they are married, instead of being brother and sister. Bruce is a very smart little kid. He was impressing me with his ability to write full sentences at the age of 5! Wow. I still struggle with that at the age of 28…
In November my friend Liva came to visit us. She spent a week, it was really neat to see an old friend and together we explored London. The highlight of that trip was the Rose Gardens near the Sherlock Holmes museum, which was pretty cool as well. I got to hang out with Dr. Watson, who turns out to be a pretty nice old man. I loved having guests as a married couple and telling Neil stories about Liva’s and my growing up. It was wonderful times.
I went to Latvia for an extended weekend to hang out with my parents and grand-parents at the end of November. It was nice to be able to be there without being tired from an 8 hour jetlag and not being in hurry to try to fit everything in one visit.
My dad and his wife came to visit us in December. This was the first time my family came to visit us and me, so it was a pretty big deal. Once again we were exploring London together and learning to whiz around the London underground. It was a lot of fun to be with the two of them and to be able to spoil my family as guests, for a change. Neil was showing dad how to play PSP, which proves one thing – men don’t grow up, they just buy more expensive toys. But I was thankful for their bonding time despite the language barriers.
More to come soon...
All the pictures