29 September 2013

Photo Challenge

September 29, 2013 0
I was so glad that Selena from Oh the Places We Will Go tagged me in the Capture the Colour Photo Blogging Challenge.  I had so much fun with this challenged and loved going through old photos to find just the right ones.
The challenge is to post an image for each of the colors: red, yellow, blue, green, & white.
I thought I'd add another fun dimension to this challenge.  Since there are 5 colors I thought I'd choose pictures from each of the 5 locations we've lived.  Wow, was it hard only choosing one photo!!  
Pokrovsky Monastery, Suzdal, Russia, 2000
On the way to Konipiste Castle, Czech Republic, 2009

Altea, Spain 2010

Vienna Zoo, Austria 2012
Up close and personal

London Bus, December 2011

I'd like to nominated the following talented bloggers!!
Ell-Alice at Beautiful Hope
Alison at Chino House
Mar at t.o. & fro
Anyone else want to join in??

Be sure to tweet your entry with #CTC13 @travelsupermkt

Hope you all have a wonderful week!!

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27 September 2013

Peace in His Word

September 27, 2013 0
I love taking a stroll around Saint Mary's, The Parish Church of Horsham. It's the town's oldest existing building.

The church, it's steeple, the setting around it......

The wooden beams,

 and stained glass windows are all beautiful.

But what captures my attention even more is something much more simple.
God's Word written in the stone path that circles the church.

God's love and His promises are a reminder for every passerby.

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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24 September 2013

Beach Huts

September 24, 2013 0
This is a bit of a repost to share with Travel Tuesday.

I've become obsessed with beach huts since arriving in England.  While looking for some decor for our home, I stumbled upon this book.

A great little read about the history of bathing machines and how beach huts came along.  

We've had a chance to see a few in our local area and would love to visit the coastline across Great Britain to see more!

About 40 minutes from our home is Ferring Beach.  I love being such a short drive from the coast!!  We spent a few summer days here.

Aren't they beautiful, bright & cheery?!

The next beach over from Ferring is Goring Beach.  White-washed with colorful trim, but intriguing all the same.

To finish off the summer, we went a little further from home to visit the sandy beaches of West Wittering.  Such a gorgeous, sandy beach with it's own colorful beach huts!!  

Have you had a chance to see beach huts?

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22 September 2013

The Dream of a Gondola

September 22, 2013 0
Since I can remember, I was a dreamer. My second childhood home was on a quiet cul-de-sac in front of a beautiful lake.  I spent much time sitting on our dock dreaming of growing up.

My many day dreaming moments consisted of turning 18 (I find this funny now), dating, my wedding day, maybe one day having kids, exploring the coastline of Australia and riding a gondola in Venice.

I'm not sure where those dreams of travel came from.  I can only imagine it was the opportunities I had as a child.  From taking a road trip to southeast Alaska to the Spring Break trip to Hawaii with my parents when I was in 7th grade. Then there were the several trips to Texas & New Mexico over the years to visit family.

Venice, July 2000

After college I did meet my special guy (dream fulfilled).  One thing he wanted me to know early on was that he had a calling to live and work overseas.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that gondola ride would become a reality, let alone spend most of my adult years living in Europe.  We moved to Russia in October 1999.  Our first vacation spot.......Venice, Italy in July 2000.

I have to say, that gondola ride almost didn't happen.

 Do you know how ridiculously expensive those gondola rides are?  Ridiculous!!  But Jerry  reminded me that I'd dreamt of riding a gondola since I was a child and wanted to make it possible for me!  After a little haggling and walking away initially, the gondolier agreed to a trip that was half the amount of time as a normal trip (I'm cheap, what can I say).  We took it!

We were so young, and look at that girl with the extremely short hair! Ugh!

What a good guy he is!  Gotta love him for making my dream come true!

What were your childhood dreams?  Did you have a dream to travel?

17 September 2013

Den Building in the Forest

September 17, 2013 0
What was before us was plain to see, an enchanting world all made from trees.....

"Who's house is it?" we asked inquisitively

Squirrels? Butterflies? Birds or Bees?

Could it be Pixies? Elves? Let's go see! 

My guys had such a fun time den building with their friends! 

Box Hill is a wonderful place for kids to explore, create and imagine. 

Thanks to fellow England expat blogger, Tanya at The Other Side of the Road for sharing about this fun place!
Have you ever been den building in the forest?!

Linking up with Travel Tuesday.

16 September 2013

Expat to Expat Q & A

September 16, 2013 0

Happy Autumn Monday morning from England!  I'm linking up this morning to:

Found Love. Now What?

We're answering 2 questions about our expat identity.

How do you fit in to your new culture without losing some of your identity? 

I've been around expats that felt you needed to completely immerse yourself in a place, it's culture, it's language and I agree to a certain extent.  I believe there needs to be a balance.  The country we're in, the people we're around know that we've come from another country.  They know that we will never completely be one of them.  When I first came overseas I felt pressured to completely immerse and be Russian.  I was fine with buying a Russian coat (cause they are REALLY warm!) 

Our Russian wear circa 2000, Kremlin Wall, Moscow Russia

and boots, learning the language and eating Russian food (it's not all so bad), but my Americanisms came through no matter what.  Instead of trying so hard to be so much like them I embraced a somewhat Russian lifestyle while sharing my home country with them.  I knew people that wouldn't shop at the expensive American grocery store and pay $8 for peanut butter.  It wasn't because they didn't or couldn't pay the prices.  They just felt they needed to be "Russian."  I was more of the mindset that if it makes you feel better to pay $8 for peanut butter, then go for it!  It doesn't mean you aren't embracing the culture.  It just means you need some reminders of home every once in awhile.  And that's ok too!!  I found that Russians enjoyed that we were Americans and wanted to learn about our culture too.  I'd make things like banana bread and chocolate chip cookies and they always loved it!

Now we're in England and it is quite different from Russia or the 3 other countries we've lived in between.  I've still continued with a mindset of having a balance between cultures.  I am and will always be American but I'm learning and embracing an English way of living too.  I may be cooking shepherds pie from time to time, but I am making Tex-Mex as well as Spanish Paella and other things I've come to love from our other "homes."

What do you think your biggest trigger for homesickness is?

This has been different in each place that we've lived.  Right now, the thing that's triggered it for me has been conversations with English people about America.  So far, my experience has been that many English love America.  Just about as much as Americans love the UK!  I know not all English do and I'm happy that those that don't have not told me otherwise.  I've had shop workers (yes, more than once) just stare at me when I ask for something and I wonder what I'm doing or saying wrong (I'm not in a place like London that has lots of foreigners, so it is different than the big cities)! Then I find that they're caught up in my accent.  They begin telling me how much they love the US or ask why I'd want to live here and not there!  Or, when a new friend asked if the culture in the movie "High School Musical" is really how it is in America.  Then I went on to tell her the traditions at high school football and basketball games.  Just talking about it makes me miss the things they find so fascinating.

The other trigger is missing big events in the family.  I can't tell you how many weddings and funerals we've missed because of being abroad.  I always ache to be there with our loved ones.  Luckily, we have very understanding families who know how difficult and expensive it is to travel back.

These have been great topics for me to think about and share and will be interested to see the answers of other expats around the globe!  Have a happy Monday!!

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13 September 2013

Creating a Lover of Travel

September 13, 2013 0
You know you're creating a lover of travel when you have a conversations such as this.

Brennan comes into our room where I've got our sea glass collection from our beach travels.  Sitting with the glass is a tuft of seaweed from my girl's trip to Alghero, Italy last year.  Have you seen these seaweed balls created by Neptune Grass in the Mediterranean?  Really cool, although it comes on the beaches in droves and can make the beach look a bit messy, captivating at the same time.

Brennan was talking about the seaweed ball and where I got it.  He then says to me "Mom, you need to take me to Italy where you got this so we can get more."

It just got me thinking more about how travel has impacted my kids.  Later I asked him "Where has been your favorite place we've gone"?  He answered, "Alaska."  Then I asked why.  He answered "Because we got to climb a mountain and we went into the clouds and it wasn't raining in there."  It's always so fascinating to hear their answers and the memories made! 

Then I asked him where he would like to go.  He said "Somewhere hot with a pool.  Like Mexico.  Didn't you know it was hot and they have pools there?"  Ha!  So sweet!  

Happy Weekend to all of you!!


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