Okay, so....it has been a full year since I got that horrible sinus infection aboard a cruise ship on our journey back from lovely Hawaii. It has been a year since that sinus infection turned into pneumonia and nearly a year since I ended up getting an overdose of pneumonia drugs and landed in the hospital. Not just any hospital, but geriatric psych hospital...for a week. And I got home just in time for Christmas. It was a bad time. I wish I wasn't thinking about it, but a person does think about anniversaries, even if they're not celebratory ones. However, I am celebrating. I'm feeling good about the year, what we've done, what I've done, the fact that my brain healed along with my body and that we could travel without my getting sick.
We waited until June to take any trips, but the first of the year was to England--my third time there since my son's family moved there for his job.
We had a Falconry Adventure! This is a hawk on my granddaughter, Ali's, gloved hand. Granddaughter, Zuzu, is nervous and Aunt Laurie even more nervous! Trainer on the left.
On another day we went to Hever Castle, where Anne Boleyn grew up. Beautiful grounds. The target at the entrance was there because there was a WWII tribute going on. It's a 13th century castle located in Kent.
The grounds had lovely gardens--this twisted tree was the perfect spot to take a picture of granddaughter, Zuzu.
We visited many places, but we also were visiting our son, Christopher and his family and oldest daughter, Erin and her husband, Kent, also living in England. Our son lived in Surrey for 3 years, until August of this year. Our daughter lives near St. John's Wood and will be there for possibly two more years.
Daughter, Erin, taking a load off, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
We visited, we ate, we walked, we went to see The Book of Mormon in London, we played, we watched movies, Ali and I wrote a long book about cats and so did Zuzu and I (a shorter one). This dish, eaten at a restaurant near Arundel Castle, was called the VIP Pizza. It is definitely a Very Important, Incredible Pizza! Zuzu decided Daddy might need some help. I don't think he did!
We spent a month in England. When we got home we tore into our bathroom remodel.
Not long after the bathroom was done, in mid-September, we took a car trip to Calgary, Alberta to visit Michael's cousin, John and his wife, Shiela.
Michael's cousin took us to some of his favorite places not far from the city.
The Quaking Aspens (or Trembling Aspens, as John called them) had turned beautifully golden and the weather was uncharacteristically warm for Calgary in September. We came home via the Trans-Canada Highway. It was a delightful 5 days.
After two days at Spring Mountain we drove into Las Vegas and stayed in a room in the Bellagio Hotel with a view of the their magnificent fountain:
So, here I am, just to prove I was there, in the gorgeous pool area of the Bellagio Hotel, just before we went somewhere else to have breakfast!
It's been a good year, just enough travel, revitalizing scenery, laughs with family, giggles with grandchildren, historic places, luxurious accommodations, life-enhancing experiences. This is practically a Christmas letter! Thanksgiving is coming and Christmas, too, way too soon! Gotta get ready! And hey! When we were in England we found out we have a new grandson on the way! In December! He might be called Enzo... you know, after Enzo Ferrari, my son being the car enthusiast that he is. Actually, it is Zuzu who has decided this will be the name for her new baby brother. Perhaps she doesn't want to be the only family member with a Zed in her name! In December we will have grandchild #7. What a great ending to the year.