Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

This year has been a good one for our little family.  We're now fully ensconced in Mike's second year (of three) at university and our second year (of many) abroad.  We're ending 2011 in good health and in Rome.  So, yes, final judgement on 2011 was that it was a good year.

Travel: We started 2011 in Paris and are ending it in Rome.  We were also able to visit England, Spain, Sweden, and Germany, in addition to continued explorations of Scotland.  As far as travel, we did really well this year.  We'll be starting 2012 in Rome with no solid plans for additional travel beyond our June trip to Baltimore for a friend's wedding.  We hope to get to the Iberian Peninsula in April and check off our first eastern European city some time in 2012 but, since Mike's final year will be a doozy (he'll have a dissertation due in January 2013 plus his Degree Show in May 2013, which will technically be his first gallery show, or at least simulate it), beginning mid-2012, our focus becomes entirely about Mike's graduation in May 2013 and travel becomes a distant second priority.

Funds: We're still living tight but we're better off than we were last year at this time.  Hopefully the trend continues and next year at this time will be better than today.

Flat: Our new place in Dundee is TONS better than our horrible student flat at Tay Mills from last year.  That place was miserable and didn't contribute to a positive initial experience.  Now, with a better flat, we're able to get comfortable and feel more at home.  We'll probably be keeping our current flat for the duration of our stay in Dundee, allowing us some continuity in an otherwise temporary existence.

We're looking forward to what 2012 has to offer us.  We hope to continue to enjoy good health and good times and we wish the same for you.  Auguri a tutti!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Let The Holidays Commence

Mike & I haven't had a traditional Christmas for quite some time.  Our last Christmas tree was the 'Real Tree Debacle of 2000' when, among other events, our Yorkie almost died from ingesting pine needles and a jogger may have required medical care after tripping over our illegally dumped tree in the neighbouring city park after several frustrating attempts to dispose of it legally had failed.  We tried to keep the spirit alive for a few years after that disaster; exchanging gifts, preparing a big dinner, etc., but it was awkward with just the two of us.  While one of us would unwrap a present the other would watch and take pictures, and then we'd switch.  Awkward.

There comes a point when reason trumps tradition and we decided to take back Christmas.  In 2009 we started a new tradition, spending Christmas on holiday.  We stopped exchanging presents because we're adults and buy what we want when we want.  It didn't make sense to not buy something so the other person could buy it, wrap it, then watch you unwrap it, knowing the whole time you knew what it was.  It still makes no sense.  Christmas is for kids.

On Monday we remove to our Roman flat for the holidays.  We'll be staying near the Colosseum, with a view of it from our rooftop deck.  While most people are enjoying Christmas with family and friends, we'll be sucking down Limoncellos surrounded by strangers and not understanding anything anyone around us is saying.  That, friends, is what we call a Merry Christmas.

We wish you all the same.
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