The Lake District is a beautiful, scenic area in the Northwest of England. We've heard many recommendations over our time living in Newcastle, so this December we decided to visit for a weekend. Because we've recently started doing more hiking, we looked into the best areas for exploring, and learned about Helvellyn. We took a bus from Newcastle all the way to Thirlmere, and we caught a glimpse of the historic towns of Carlisle and Keswick.
At Thirlmere, we checked into a historic inn that was built in 1649.
On Sunday morning we started our climb, following the trails along Thirlmere and then up to Helvellyn. It was absolutely FREEZING, but the crisp air and snowy hills made for some fantastic views. In all, we hiked about 6 miles over the course of 4-5 hours. In the first photo below, you can see our inn, The Kings Head Hotel, near the bottom right corner.
After 15 months living abroad, we have finally come back to St. Louis for our first visit home. We booked our trip and counted down the days for the 10 long months before the flight. Two days before we were set to leave, Ron pulled me aside and proposed with a jar full of romantic notes... giving us that much more excitement to come home and surprise everyone!
We were exhausted after a long day of traveling. We shared a few drinks with everyone in celebration of our engagement news, and then called it a night. We woke up bright and early, ready to start celebrating Thanksgiving with not only my whole family, but Ron's came to share the holiday with us as well! We both had so much to be thankful for this year :)
After Thanksgiving wound down (and we finished a bottle of wine or 12), it was time to move straight into Christmas celebrations. We played festive music, wore our Christmas sweaters, put up the tree and exchange all our gifts.
After we finished the gifts, it was time for my traditional #MargaritaGirlsNight with my best friend. After a teary reunion on Friday night, Kristen and I stuffed ourselves with margaritas and burritos just like old times...
On Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early to spend some quality time with my dad. We spent the morning working his table at a local gun show, cracking jokes and making MRE meals together. These are just some of the things I've missed doing with my dad over the past year.
After saying goodbye to Ron's family on Saturday afternoon, I had a quick afternoon shopping spree with Michelle before heading back home to prepare for our evening ahead. We all got glammed up and headed downtown for dinner at BPV and some dancing at our favorite bar, Wheelhouse!
On Sunday morning, we had one of my favorite breakfasts - Kolache Factory! We followed that with a girls' day - more shopping with my mom and sister, and got my favorite snacks from Gus' Pretzels. I also popped over to visit my friends Gina, Clay and their beautiful new baby girl. Finally, I headed back home for my dad's birthday party at home (and was thrilled to see my Gun Safety gift went over very well). Finally, when the night ended I had to sadly say goodbye to my sister, as she was heading back to school :(
On Monday, I ran some errands with my mom, and then after far too long... Ron and I finally had a proper dentist visit. That evening, we met up with my brother so that I could finally see his new house. After the tour, we all went out for bottomless sushi, followed by yet more sad goodbyes :(
On Tuesday, we took a daytrip to the Ozarks to visit my great Uncle Bob. We told him about our engagement, and about all our adventures abroad so far. It was a great way to end our trip, as we were back off to airport first thing Wednesday morning. We were thrilled to get just a bit more TexMex before leaving the country, during our layover in Dallas. When we finally arrived back in Newcastle, we went into a bit of shock at just how freezing cold it felt... but I was pleasantly surprised with some festive flurries!
All around a great trip, that just flew by too quickly. We already miss everyone back at home, and just can't wait to come back for another visit soon!
Ron & Andee
Two Americans documenting our adventures abroad!
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