Thursday, 28 August 2014

Summer adventures

Well, it's been quite a summer. We travelled for over three weeks, perhaps the longest trip we've ever done together, and I have so many great things to tell you about that I don't know where to start!

We began in Iceland where I finally fulfilled a dream of riding a beautiful Icelandic horse. Wow, they are super speedy but also very comfortable. We also went to the bottom of a volcano (the only place in the world you can do this) and ate at a stonking restaurant called the Grill Market. Next we flew out to San Diego and spent five days at the zoo, Chargers game, pottering in La Jolla and Torrey Pines, exploring the USS Midway and just generally enjoying this amazing and beautiful city. Next we caught the train to LA (actually Burbank) and picked up our hire car. This was the first time driving in the US but D did just great in his massive Chevy Tahoe. We headed up to Malibu where we hiked in the Santa Monica mountains, ate amazing fish, swam in the sea, visited the Getty Villa and drove about enjoying all the little communities that side of LA.

Then we drove up to Topanga and stayed a couple of nights in the mountains in a beautiful, eccentric hideaway. While here we went to the Getty Center, worked out LA style at Burn 60 and watched a performance of Midsummer at the Theatricum Botanicum. We returned the car and headed back to central LA for a few nights for a Dodgers game, a tour around Hollywood and the city, and WWE Summerslam at the Staples Center. Then we flew north to Banff for a couple of days in the Canadian mountains for lots of walking and glacier exploring. We took the Greyhound bus to Lacombe to visit our besties and their sweet family there, and D fulfilled his lifetime ambition(!) by going to the West Edmonton Mall. Then we flew out of Edmonton to Vancouver which remains one of our favourite cities in the world. The weather was warm again (lovely after a couple of freezing days in Alberta) and we took a tour of Gastown, ate amazing sandwiches, watched a BC Lions game, took a trip in a speed boat, visited Granville Island and enjoyed a celebratory last night meal at Market by Jean Georges.

So, just a typical Warden holiday of adventures and excitement. It was such a great trip. We met loads of super cool people along the way, staying in Air BnB homes, visiting welcoming churches, chatting to folks in shops. For the first time ever I have had a bit of post-holiday blues. Usually I am glad to go on an adventure but also glad to get home. This holiday I could have stayed in Vancouver for at least another week enjoying the warm sun and the cool vibe. We've been back three days and I am starting to get used to not having iced tea on tap, not being too friendly in shops and the chilly autumnal weather than has started to arrive in the UK.

This term is full of exciting stuff though so I'm focusing on all that. Plenty of conferences, collaborations, projects, trips. I have completed my term plan for up to Christmas and it is FULL!

Hope your summer was amazing and that you have exciting adventures planned for the autumn.