Happy New Year!
It was so good having two of my kids here for the holidays. I sooooo miss living close to them. We had a wonderful Christmas, mostly through the eyes of Torin.
He’s one of us — already begging for beer.
I soooo miss that little wiggle worm! I have to wait at least 6 months before I can see him again.
Day after Christmas we packed up a rental van and drove to Normandy, where we stayed in a renovated farm house and Kelly got to pay homage to all (including his grandfather) who did not get to experience Normandy with the love and warmth we did.
Loved this swing (and playing with my little Mama) in the barn. This would be the perfect place to spend the summer.
They used airplane toggles for light switches. How clever!
This bathtub was perfect for Torin (sorry i didn’t get a good shot, but my daughter got a few). LOL I took a bath in it, and had to do yoga to get back out (I’ve never done yoga before — um a wet, naked me was not a good way to begin).
Joe’s and my bed in the attic room. I want the world to know that even under the influence of fermented French grapes, my fat ass and weak ankle can still climb the ladder to this comfy bed. Our first night I fell asleep to the wind howling because it could not budge those stone walls or the tightly fastened roof (Amen to that!).
Thanks to it being unseasonably warm, we ended up stripping down to tank tops just so we could enjoy our last night with a fire and Saving Private Ryan — a must see after visiting all the sites, just to remind us of how awful it all was. May we one day learn to resolve our conflicts without destroying our precious young and land.
Watching the sun rise from my bed in the attic room. How cool is that?!
Who doesn’t want to um, read in this room? Another perk: the floors are heated! OMG my tootsies love a warm bathroom floor.
And, here are some shots of the fam touring the shores and churches of Normandy.
We lit a candle for peace — oh may it shine brightly.
My little photographer taking all sorts of close ups. Torin is not amused.
My baby of the group — looks like he belongs here!
I love Torin’s facial expressions, especially in his carrier. He seems to love the mist on his face, but he’s always “so whatcha up to?”
Kelly with his mom.
Then we came back to Mons and brought in the New Year with fireworks on the Grand Place. This was the first year they threw a party on New Years, and it was fantastic. I do so love where I live. It just seems to get better and better, except for the fact that my kids aren’t here permanently.
It’s all good because my trick to not suffering Empty Nest Syndrome is travel, so on Jan 2 when my kids flew home, Joe and I boarded a plane to Venice, where we spent a lovely long weekend with his sister (since he’s retired, Joe got to spend a few days longer; I’m still jealous).
This is my favorite shot I took during that trip, and I took it from the balcony of Joe’s sister’s apartment.
These two shots are from the windows of our apartment.
It was so cool to sip coffee with that view (fingers crossed I didn’t blind any gondoliers with my no-bra jammies). We stayed in the San Paulo area, which is where Joe’s sister has been visiting for years (15 I think). It was so nice to have her as our guide because we got to feast and sip with the friends she’s made there over the years, and we now love it as much as she does. Thank you Linda for giving us another place to call home!
This shop was our guide to turn onto our street. And just in case you need more pics of Venice, here you go…
I could have sat and sipped here alllllllllllll day long.
Joe and Linda catching up our first night there. We now know the best time to visit St Marco square is at night, after Christmas. STILL magical!
But, can you ever get enough gondola shots?
These two dogs waited patiently outside while their owner bought bread. Going by the amount of people taking pics, I bet they’re international social media stars by now. Badger would love it here since dogs seem to be welcome and adored everywhere.
Gotta post a selfie of us standing on the dock right by our bedroom window.
We had such a wonderful time that we decided to join Linda for Christmas there next year. I’ll be sure to bring a big suitcase so that I can load up with more glasses and bowls and oh my the shopping! So many pretty things, but the best — besides the scenery — were the people (food and wine almost tie with them).
As for the new year: I no longer make resolutions. However, this year I made one, and that is to upload my photos to this blog as trips are happening. It takes a ridiculous amount of time to sort through them all and do it on a lazy Sunday (when I also have the pressure of having real work to do — ugh). It’s quicker uploading via my phone anyway. So, there you go: fingers crossed I’ll keep to it.
Before I say chow, here are a few links that might interest you (and no: I don’t get paid to share other people’s stuff. lol I don’t get paid for this blog at all).
First one is Badger’s take on my return (poor boy is getting old, which means less trips in 2020 without him): Badger Does Belgium
Second is a link to our cottage in Normandy. Know that it’s an hour from most sites, but it has a lovely beach nearby: Glatigny Farmhouse
Third is a Venetian walking food tour (by American guides) we haven’t taken yet, but we totally plan on bringing friends to Venice to do this (we’ve met the couple who do this and can’t imagine this being anything but fun): Venice Bites
And that’s it for now. I’m back in my real world and have a busy few weeks coming up. Are they ever anything but busy?
Posted on January 12, 2020, in Belgium Year three and tagged happy new year, Mons, Normandy, Venice. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.
Bettina it was terrific having you and Joe visit!
I’m thrilled you both fell in love with Venezia!
I have so much more to share with you next Christmas!!!
Can’t wait! It was terrific visiting you.
Thank you for sharing your personal and hilarious insights, I loooove your blog!! Amazing photo of Venice with the sunset! And it brings us such joy to see gorgeous families making happy memories and having fun times together at the Farmhouse, we so hope to welcome you all back soon..but in the mean time you have totally inspired me to go to Venice! Sending you so much love and best wishes to you and your lovely family, Francesca and Sam xxx
Oh my goodness, you should so visit Venice — during the off season. I bet you could find a place that has as many personal touches as your rental. We also enjoyed our apartment in Venice, and I can share the contact info for that place via email should you decide to go. We totally hope we can visit your place again during the summer months! Thanks and best of luck to you both.
You sure know how to use your time off well!! And these pics are both heartwarming & stunning.
lol except for the blurry ones. Thanks! May we enjoy that time in Portugal this summer — can’t wait!