And … I’m back!
How was your holiday season? I hope you had a wonderful one! Apologies for the radio silence these past couple of months. It’s been an incredibly busy time for me and my family — like most holiday seasons — but I haven’t been able to quite find the time to add blogging into the matrix.
My mother-in-law came to visit in November from Cornwall and we had a great visit. One of the highlights of her trip was taking her to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for the first time right before Thanksgiving! Our kids had a blast and if you’ve never been to Disneyland during the holidays, I’d highly recommend it! It was my first time visiting when the park was completely dressed in holiday splendor and we had a lot of fun seeing some of our favorite rides like It’s a Small World and Jungle Cruise get redone for Christmas.
Other Disney highlights:
* Seeing “Aladdin” stage show at the Disney California Adventure
* Watching the holiday parade at Disneyland
* Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan and Soarin’ Over California
* Fried chicken dinner at the Plaza
Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share some other adventures I’ve had over the holiday break. Stay tuned! In the meantime, have a wonderful three-day weekend!
John Lewis’ 2014 Christmas advert
Nothing says “Christmas is coming” quite like John Lewis’ annual Christmas advert.
Here’s this year’s present.
What do you think? Do you like #Montythepenguin? I’ll admit that I cried the first two times I watched it. (It’s definitely an improvement over last year’s bear advert, but not as good as the 2011 version)
Gift idea: Adopt a tea garden
Nudo Darjeeling has a sweet little offering that could make a perfect holiday gift for the tea lover in your life (or could be a treat for yourself)!
You can adopt one of their Darjeeling tea gardens for a year and receive the finest quality, first flush, loose leaf tea straight from their garden!
It starts from £18 and includes an adoption certificate and a spring delivery of a 125g tin of organic, first flush, loose leaf tea!
Why “The Holiday” may be the most underrated holiday movie there is
This weekend, we kicked off the post-Thanksgiving period by watching “The Holiday.” There is so much that I love about this film — and am happy to see that I’m in good company with one of Buzzfeed’s staff writers, who hits on all the high points of what makes this movie one of my favorites this time of year.
If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out!
Happy Thanksgiving! I want to take a moment to thank you for reading and following this blog. It’s been a trick to keep it going with all of the other things I have going on in my life, but it’s been a joy and I’m thankful for your support!
Enjoy today! I hope it’s filled with delicious food and laughing with those you love! See you back here tomorrow!
Where to celebrate Thanksgiving in the U.K.
I’ve spent a few Thanksgivings in the U.K. and at the time, there weren’t many places where you could go to celebrate (apart from calling on other Americans and planning a meal together). But things are progressing.
About.com has compiled a good list of places throughout the U.K. offering Thanksgiving menus this week (and not just the usual turkey and stuffing, but some variations on the theme like Cornish crab macaroni and cheese and pumpkin and ricotta ravioli!) Yum!
Happy Veterans Day … or for the Brits in the room, Happy Armistice Day! A big thanks to all of our veterans for their service and sacrifice.
2011 Pressie Guide … Tomorrow!
Oh, to vacation like a Brit! While most Americans are slaving away each working day, living for an average of 13 miserly days of paid time off each year, British workers are living the life of Riley, basking in a statutory minimum of 28 vacation days and eight public holidays a year, according to CNBC. (I’m not sure who this Riley guy was, but he certainly wasn’t American … wait, stop the presses! According to Wikipedia, Riley WAS American. Who knew?).
Twenty-eight vacation days! More than an entire month! I remember fondly having 20 vacation days back when I was working in London and I remember wishing for more. For more! Oh, the greed! And if you got sick, you took a sick day. No, you didn’t have to use a vacation day for it. No, you didn’t have to cough up a lung on the phone to prove you were really sick. You just stayed home and you got paid for doing so.
These days I have 13 vacation days, about two weeks of sick leave and 11 public holidays, which is considered a fair amount. By all American accounts, it’s nothing to balk at, but balking I do. Particularly when I take stock of the amount of vacation that my British friends get. I see their Facebook statuses. I know the fun and frivolity that they enjoy by virtue of being employed British folk.
They work hard and play hard and take time to stop and smell the roses along the way – and those roses might be in the south of France or off the coast of Africa or somewhere in between. It’s a good lesson for us all.