Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Visitors

Living abroad has been an absolute dream come true. The only downside is being so far away from family and friends. Dan and I are incredibly lucky to have such great friends though. Over the winter holidays four of our friends come and stay with us. Two couples each stayed a few days, and they overlapped by a day. It was a crazy, super fun time having six adults and one infant running around our house. It was truly joyous.


Our first visitors were Jeff and Steph, whom you may remember from our trip to France last Christmas. We caught them just before they moved from England back to Canada, where Jeff got an amazing work opportunity. We spent Christmas in our pajamas, watching great movies (It's a Wonderful Life; A Christmas Story; Elf) and eating delicious food (homemade peking duck!).

We spent Boxing Day touring Fountains Abbey--still one of my favorite places around here. Can you believe the local high school kids use this as their graduation venue?

We sent Jeff and Steph off in the true Yorkshire way...with tea and scones at Betty's.

This was Dani and Brian's first trip to Northern England, but not to Europe. In fact, Dani and I met in Paris for a girls' weekend a couple years back. While in England, they wanted to see castles, so we went to the ruins at Knaresborough, Durham and Skipton. Unfortunately, Durham castle was closed for the holidays, but I was really impressed with the Skipton castle. I can't believe it us so long to visit. It's pretty close to home and is very well-maintained. Though the castle was closed, Durham was still worth the visit. It's such a great little town. And the  inside of the cathedral is absolutely stunning.

Knaresborough; photo courtesy of Brian

Durham; photo courtesy of Brian


We also took a hike through Malham Cove. Dan and I have been there once before, in May 2012 when Dan's parents came to visit. I remembered it being a nice walk across fairly flat land. I wouldn't have even described it as a hike--more of a walk. How wrong I was. Not only did I completely forget about the very steep climb up to the top, but I didn't think about how the weather would affect the landscape. All the winter rain made the grass so slippery! Thankfully we all made it--muddy boots and all. It's a gorgeous day out and I would still recommend it, but just approach it with a little more sense than we did.

Photo courtesy of Brian

Photo courtesy of Brian

Photo courtesy of Brian

We had such a great time with our friends. Be sure to read Dani and Brian's write-up on their blog. Thanks so much to Jeff, Steph, Dani and Brian for coming to visit us!  Hope to see you again soon!

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