Thursday, July 25, 2013

Outer Banks love

On Tuesday, we got back from Bordeaux, the capital of wine...and all things dedicated to the fabulously French good life.  We spent a few (very much-needed) days sipping, eating, relaxing, and belatedly celebrating our anniversary. After what has been a tough month, it was the perfect getaway and I can't wait to post some photos, but I wanted to talk about some other travel first.

Earlier this month, we made a more difficult trip back to the States, and while it wasn't a vacation, I still wanted to share parts of our time on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, because it's a place that means so much to Graham and me. He moved there as a child and grew up there, while I visited for the first time when I was 17 on a family vacation. I haven't missed going at least once a year since then and even lived there for 2 summers during college. 

It's a place that we both truly love and part of the connection between us. Soon after meeting Graham (over 9 years ago!) he invited me to visit him at his parents' home. If their house hadn't been on the Outer Banks, a place I was so familiar with, there was a good chance I would have said no. That tiny strip of barrier islands might be one of the reasons we're married today!

So in honor of such a special place, here's a little collection of phone photo love, just a few things that I miss about an East Coast summer and that make the Outer Banks great.

Crabs and corn on the cob, don't even get me started. Even better with good friends.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Second Spaniversary

July 17th (our second Spaniversary) came and went without us noticing. We had just gotten back from the States and had barely enough energy to heat up a frozen pizza and watch a movie, despite it being the momentous second anniversary of our arrival in España. I normally love a reason to celebrate, but it was just completely forgotten. Transatlantic flights and 24-hour travel days will do that to a person.

Monday, July 8, 2013

In good times...

and in bad.

Those are traditional wedding vows, very similar to the ones Graham and I took a little over two years ago, and that we experienced in the most bittersweet way recently.

On July 2nd, the day before our anniversary, Graham's mother passed away. It was not sudden or unexpected, as many of you who know us in "real life" are aware, and I had alluded to the situation in the post about our trip to North Carolina several weeks ago. 

April had been battling cancer and we are so very lucky that she had many happy years after her initial diagnosis. Our wedding, her visit to Spain last year, and the precious time that we spent with her recently are all cherished memories. 

While we absolutely love living in Spain, this is one of those times that we have acutely felt the literal ocean of distance that separates us from family and so many of our friends. We have received an overwhelming outpouring of support, from both near and far, and for that we are so incredibly grateful. Soon, we will travel back to the States for the memorial service and to spend time with Graham's father, brother, and family friends.

We are doing as well as can be expected, but decided to postpone celebrating our anniversary until our trip to Bordeaux later this month. Right now, we are focused on honoring April's memory, finding comfort in spending time together, supporting each other, and knowing that there will be a better time for champagne and toasting our wedding day, which seems to be the very meaning of the vows that we took. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

An afternoon in Málaga

To get to Poland for our long weekend adventure, we flew out of Málaga early on a Friday morning. To avoid having to get up at some unholy hour and drive over 2 hours from El Puerto, I made the executive decision that we should go the afternoon before and spend the night. 

Other than that, there was really no plan. Málaga hadn't been high on my list of places to visit and I even had the sneaking suspicion that I had been there before.... On a trip back in high school, I know that I stopped somewhere along the Mediterranean coast in Spain, but I really wasn't sure where. So, obviously if I had been to the city before, it hadn't made much of an impression on me.