Sunday, January 30, 2011

Allen's 40th Birthday

A month late but at least I'm getting it done! My excuse is good though, since we've been back in Holland, I have worked a lot at school. My clearances finally came through on the last day of the December term so I can now so supply teaching, but only for the British teachers. Saying that I have worked 15 days, having said no to 2 days. I have really enjoyed being back in the classroom and have been in nursery to year 6, never bored! Anyway, back to Allen's 40th.

We flew in from Denver, landing on the 29th December. Dad picked us up from Heathrow and we headed back to Holwell spending lots of the day opening presents, meeting up with friends and family and doing a tad of shopping! The kids were on a strange timetable, sleeping in until 10.30 in the morning but staying up late too. For Allen's birthday we started with cake in the morning and then Allen and I went into London for a relaxing lunch at Yo Sushi in Harvey Nicks. We met Marion at Kings Cross in the afternoon and made our way over to South London to meet up with family and friends at a Tapas restaurant recommended by Allen's cousin Stephen. We had a brilliant night, food and company were perfect. I've included a variety of photos from the night. After the meal we ended up in a local pub doing Karaoke. Paul, a friend from Cheltenham, is in a band and he wasn't bad. The rest of us loved it but we're not ready to be signed to any record labels!

We stayed in the RAF club opposite Green Park and got the train back to Hitchin the next day. We celebrated New Year at Mum's with games and good food. Jacob and Abi stayed up to see their first New Year in and loved it. New Years Day was quiet, we went over to my aunt's, Annette's, to catch up with them. The next day we made our way back to Munstergeleen, getting back in time for tea. School started the next day, I was called to do supply but turned it down as Allen had the day off so we tried one of the outlet malls. Allen found his coat that he wanted for his birthday so it was worth the trip.

Life is now as hectic as ever, teaching, Daisy scouts and cubs. Allen's off to Greece this week. I'm working 3 days and Jacob and Abi have a half day Friday. Got to fit in 2 lots of coffee and one lunch out, not sure that will happen!

Booked 4 days away at half term, trying skiing in Germany.
Hope all is well


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Denver 2010


I know it'a been a while since the last post but we were enjoying ourselves too much to sort out the blog. Denver was a brilliant holiday. We arrived on Sunday 12th Dec, picked up a hire car and drove to our old neighbourhood and neighbours the Blunks. It was really as if we'd never left even though it had been 2 years since we'd seen them. The kids went straight off to play. Abi and Mallory got on great and Jacob and Will were straight to the basement to play a variety of video games. The adults caught up over a beer. Over the next week we gradually met up with lots of old friends. John and Sheri kindly leant us a car so we returned the hire car back to the airport. We went out for lunch with them and Sheri brought along her Ipad, which we were all very impressed with. I really thought we'd be going home with one, especially due to the amount of time we spent in the Apple Store at Cherry Creek Mall. Abi met up with Maya and had a lovely lunch followed by playdate at Maya's house. Jacob had great fun with Dillon and Nicholas and I had a good time catching up with their mum Renee. We also managed to catch up with Melissa's clan, meeting her one year old twins for the first time, Ryan and Risa, who were on holiday from their new base in Boston, and also the Livingston's. Missed a few people but I'm sure we'll see them next time! Also managed to do loads of shopping and we loved it. Visiting Denver made us both realise how much we miss America. Ate out loads, shopped too much, drank way too much!

So we then went up to the mountains for a week of skiing. I was hoping Allen would take it easy, due to his knee, but he didn't. He'd had a brace made before we left, which he did wear. Skiing was good for everyone. We even got the kids down a black run although Abi was a bit of a pain on the way! We were so lucky with the weather, lots of snow but good during the day. They have built a new outdoor, very heated, pool and 2 hot tubs which we used everyday. Jacob and Abi were torn between swimming and skiing. They did 2 days of ski school and then skied with us. They both said they prefered skiing with us so I think that's the end of ski school for them. Santa visited us in Breckenridge. Then we had to pack up and drive back to Denver for a Christmas dinner with our old Jewish neighbours Mindy and Shawna. We got down to brilliant sunshine so took the kids to the park. Mindy was in full flow, preparing an enormous meal for Christmas tea. She'd invited her family and cooked loads. It was all lovely, a favourite being yams with maple syrup and marshmallows! So we had a very different but great fun Christmas finished off with Betsy and Tim and kids joining us for a drink and then watching Dr Who on BBC America! We stayed at Mindy's for 3 nights, again we experienced brilliant hospitality.

I've included a variety of photos, Abi with Maya, a couple of group shots plus a few from Breckenridge. We had an excellent time away, didn't want to come back, endulged too much. Our livers definitely needed cleansing by the end of 2 and a half weeks. I hope we can repay Tim, Betsy and Mindy if they come and see us in Europe as they were so kind and generous.

Next post Allen's 40th.