Vacation came at a great time this year.  The holiday celebration was over, yet the excitement of the New Year barely had time to settle before we bid our friends and temporary home farewell on January 2, 2012.  Overall I will really miss so many people from contract number eleven.  The amount of genuine and caring individuals I came across during those two and a half months aboard still astounds me.  I am so grateful for those amazing friendships.

Rob and I headed back to Burscough that evening before nightfall and were encircled by the chilly English air in no time.  Unfortunately, both our flights had some very questionable and terrifying bumps, drops, jolts, and shakes, so obviously touching down at Manchester Airport was a welcomed change of scenery.

Only a couple days later we were off for Papa Nicholson’s 50th birthday at a quaint little cottage nestled in the Lake District.  I really enjoyed spending time with Rob’s whole family, including their stout white dog, Dexter.  I imagined the Lake District with mountain peaks and snow and little cottages dotting the hillsides.  I was right about the little cottages.  Ours was nearly one thousand years old!  Complete with wood-burning fireplace, glass conservatory, exposed beams, and stonewalls; the Haybarn fit all the adorable stereotypes we Americans have of English cottages.  Looked like it came right out of that movie, “The Holiday.”

Although the weather proved nippy, the scenery made it worth enduring some chills.  We walked over bright green hills, through muddy patches, past sheep pens – absolutely gorgeous.  We could have been walking through a painting.  I really enjoyed our time spent there together and in the nearby village, as well as at the Kings Arms local pub, which again totally satisfies that vision of an English pub Americans have.

Since then I have completely switched gears, time zones, climates, and currency for two weeks with my parents in Abu Dhabi – like I said, I am still on the move…  But more on that later!

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