Exactly a year ago, we were in the middle of an 11-day road trip around the South of France. It was an absolutely massive undertaking to plan, inspired by cheap flights from Madrid to Toulouse and Lonely Planet's France's Best Trips book. I pieced together many of the different road trip itineraries in the book and added in some additional stops based on blogs and sites I'd read online. The final plan was very ambitious and had us covering quite a bit of southern France, but the end result was...fabulous (if I do say so myself). Now, when I think about going anywhere in Europe on vacation, a few places come to mind, and the South of France is without a doubt at the top of that list.
Typically winters in Madrid are pretty mild. One decent jacket is usually enough to get you through, and we've found anything else is hardly necessary aside for the occasional cold snap here and there. We've never had snow during our three winters here, save for a few flurries one day last year, but this week that all changed.
Like most people, we have to buy groceries each week, but I thought it might be interesting if this week we shared our meal plan for the week, everything we bought, and how much it cost. I can be a pretty nosy Ned, so I find these types of posts on other peoples' blogs particularly interesting, and perhaps someone else will be the same.
So we spent two months this past summer in Turkey (end of June through end of August). Let me enlighten you if you missed me mention it 39 times over the past six months - we spent our weekdays working at an English summer camp in Istanbul, and our weekends exploring the city. Two of those weekends, though, we planned ahead and went a bit further afield - in July we went to Cappadocia, and in August we went to Pamukkale and Ephesus.
I've had a penchant for London and all things British ever since Will and Kate married, and over the years, I've come to consider it the world's greatest city. So this past May (ahem, just shy of six months ago) when we decided to create a three-day weekend for ourselves over my birthday, London was my first, and pretty much only, choice. Danny and I met each other at the airport on a Thursday after school, and after flying to Gatwick and taking the bus into the city and then walking through the rain to our Airbnb, we finally made it.
It's hard to believe that come mid-September, it will have been two years since we first moved abroad. During that time we've been primarily in Spain, but we've also spent a good chunk of time in Scotland, and we'll be wrapping up our summer in Turkey in the next few weeks. I'm still learning about living abroad (make that living in general), that's for certain, but I like to think that I have picked up a few tips for making the most of time spent outside of one's country of origin. It's not always easy to live in a foreign country, but for a lot of reasons, I think it's a really worthwhile endeavor, full of experiences and lessons that are hard to replicate in any other way.
Most Saturdays for us look fairly similar: we sleep in a little bit, make breakfast together (usually one of these recipes), clean up, maybe read or play a game and then realize it's time to start making lunch already so we do that, leave the house in the early afternoon to run some errands or visit a park, then maybe have dinner with friends in the evening or eat else leftovers as we're typically sick of being in the kitchen after all that cooking. They're pretty low-key days, but nice days, and I'd be lying if I said that major changes to those plans don't usually disappoint me.