Barrie & I think this trip might also be our "bridge too far". By the end of 2018, we will have been gone from our home 9 months out of the last 12. We are tired. Parts of us have battle wounds and feel injured too. We had physical therapists in Barcelona and Arnhem over the past 6 weeks tell us one of those "at your age" stories. It seems "at our age" so many things are common ailments! We thought we were forever young!
We are tired physically and mentally. We have stretched our resources this year and without saying it out loud, we think 2019 will be a year to stay home more than we travel. We are also hoping it will be the year of a huge move: selling our house in Naples and moving to California. A move is a stressor that will be felt, even if we are moving to the place we love most.
2018 has had wonderful highs in our travels that we wouldn't trade for the world:
- January - a chance to spend 3 weeks in AZ reconnecting with old friends.
- February - CA near Jason, Niki, and other family. It cemented our desire to live in CA
- March - a trip to Washington to march with the kids for gun control
- April - home for a month! Time for all our dentist and doctor appointments
- May - back to CA for 2 weeks then off to Sydney Australia
- June - Sydney, Uluru, Melbourne
- July - leaving Melbourne (that we LOVED) and heading home for awhile
- August - brief trip to Jacksonville to see Carolina graduate
- September - off to Barcelona
- October - Munich followed by Arnhem and now. . .
- November - Gloucester
- December - Bournemouth
- January - home
. . .BUT 2018 has also had a few blips that we could have done without:
March - a very bad virus that started with Barrie and ended with me, took us down. During this period, we had family visit that we couldn't enjoy, a road trip to Washington we couldn't enjoy and we vacated our home so another Home Exchange family could use ours. I can honestly say that it was one of the worst colds/viruses/flus I have ever had and I just wanted to be in my own bed, but couldn't!
Then in Munich in October, a bad cold caught up with us again. I blame the trip to Barcelona for this! No one in Barcelona seems to have gotten the memo that you should cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze! And for God sake - don't use your hand and then put it on the railings in the buses and public places where others put THEIR hands!
So half way through Munich I was down for the count most days and by Arnhem, Barrie had caught it and was even worse than me! It was our "bridge too far".
We are looking forward to the UK for the next two months. We will a have familiar language, familiar home, familiar town, familiar everything. Fish and chips for Barrie. Cold weather, warm houses, cozy evenings, homemade soups and chili, Thanksgiving (we have invited friends from England to celebrate this very American holiday with us), Christmas, and then a brand new year!
I absolutely LOVE the Christmas Holidays in England. The Christmas cakes, the odd chipolatas and red cabbage that are served alongside the roast turkey, the roasted potatoes instead of mashed, the grocery stores filled with things that are all new to me. . .these are a few of our favorite things! I can walk through the grocery stores and just stare for hours.
We've already bought tickets to see Hamilton in London at the end of our trip. London for a few days - that will perk us back up!
And if London can't do it, Paris always can! We have Paris in April dangling in front of us like a beautiful carat (think diamonds - not vegetables).
After all - bridges are made to be crossed!