2016 round up

After the previous year's excitement of wedding planning and getting to finally say I do's, before enjoying the honeymoon of a lifetime travelling around South Africa and Mauritius, we were ready for new adventures in 2016 that would lift our spirits. Luckily our diaries had started to fill up nicely and we managed to make an impressive amount of trips across the year, so here are my 2016 best nine..

First up was seeing 2016 in with style in Berlin at some of the very best German Christmas markets. Doing this with good friends, Vicky and Chris at Eat Sleep Love Travel made it all the better. Lots of steins and bratwursts (and herbivore equivalents were consumed) before the new year was welcomed in with a spectacular firework display.

January and February were lazy months with long winter walks, getting cosy at home and eating hearty food in the lovely pubs around Beverley and Hull. We managed to fit in some holiday planning though and settled on somewhere hot and sunny.

March saw us jetting off to Goa in India for an adventure of a lifetime. Ready for some sun on our pale winter bods it couldn't have come soon enough.We traveled the length and breadth of Goa experiencing jungle, river boating and cities, as well as going on a gastronomic journey. The food was some of the best we have known on our travels and there was plenty of time for chilling in between. We loved Goa and got to experience Holi festival which made it all the more special.

We arrived back on British soil and straight into our next adventure which saw us visiting the New Forest to see the wild ponies. This was a dream for me, being a massive horse lover, and it exceeded my expectations. Hundreds of horses, from Shetland ponies to welsh cobs, gathered around us looking for treats. The rest of our stay was about long walks and good food. We managed to get over to Highclere Castle also known as Downton Abbey, during our stay down south, which was also magical. The sun started to peek out and buds started to emerge from their winter hibernation. Spring was on its way!

April brought the Carnivore's birthday and planning a surprise trip for him. I chose to hire a cosy cottage with open fireplace in beautiful Robin Hood's Bay, as it's somewhere we've always enjoyed visiting. The windy streets, clifftop walks, little seafood restaurants and charming pubs are right up the Carnivore's street, so he loved our stay here. Especially because his family, who are based down south, surprised him with a visit.

May and June brought warmer weather and saw us enjoying country pursuits at home such as clay pigeon shooting, horseriding and eating out at our favourite restaurants. I had also learned of changes afoot at work and was feeling very unhappy there so was questioning my next move and whether to look for something else. I also teamed up with The Harrogate Girl for a day in Harrogate at the Turkish baths and the gorgeous Betty's tearooms, before reciprocating with a day at Beverley Races for champagne afternoon tea and a flutter.

We also visited the magical Lost Village festival in Lincolnshire and were amazed by the stories brought to life by surreal characters roaming the woods.We got up close to Jack Garratt and Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) and enjoyed lots of champagne outside under the stars before finishing the weekend with yoga and hot tubs.

July and August saw food featuring heavily with visits to pizzerias, a beautiful fine dining Indian restaurant and crafting our own recipes at home. We also were back at Beverley Racecourse for Ladies Day and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the dapper guys and gals decked out in their finest. I also wrote about Blog at the Beach which Icelolly hosted and I'd attended a month back. I announced some rather exciting news that I was working with them on a press trip and I was taking Vicky as my guest.

August was an amazing month, especially with it being my birthday, which saw us taking a trip to the awesome Feversham Arms in North Yorkshire for a spa weekend. We were pampered and preened, followed by enjoying some of the lovely fine dining on offer in the restaurant. I had always wanted to go to this hotel so to finally get there was a dream.

Not long after it was time to celebrate our first Wedding anniversary (my how that year had flown) and we did it in style by heading off to the Big Smoke for a weekend of salubrious celebration. We dined at Chiltern Firehouse, Duck and Waffle and The Ivy which were all absolutely divine. We stomped around town enjoying fine cocktails and enjoying the sights in the warm weather. I also booked a show as a surprise - Blanc De Blanc - which turned out to be a raucous cheeky burlesque affair, which was a lot of fun but not quite your usual romantic wedding anniversary pursuit.

Early September saw my work situation come to a head after seriously weighing up whether it was secure and if it was making me happy. After a lot of soul searching I decided it was time to move on and took the brave and scary step to leave. With some potential irons in the fire simmering away, it was time for a well earned rest after a stressful summer.

First up, Croatia for a girlie holiday with Vicky, which was a press trip for Icelolly Holidays which I secured at Blog at the Beach. We soaked up the sun, enjoyed catching up and took in the stunning sights of Split. Although it was short, it was sweet and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I was back for less than 24 hours before picking up the Carnivore and we were off on the next adventure. We landed in Vancouver Canada, feeling tired but excited about the epic trip lying ahead of us. We caught up with old friends for a few days and then picked up a motor before traveling the open road. We took in Seattle, Vancouver, Whistler, Revelstoke and Banff on our trip and loved every minute.

We arrived back in October and first things first was to sort out my work situation. Luckily one of my irons in the fire came good and I was head hunted to a new company into an exciting new role. I had a couple of weeks to tie up loose ends before I was thrown headlong into a new venture. At the end of October I booked a spa weekend for my mum and I so that we could catch up. We headed off to test out my new Honda CRV 4x4 on a drive to Snowdonia National Park. My mum had always wanted to go up Mount Snowdon so we did.

November was work, work and more work and feeling shattered. Bonfire night was celebrated and made better by some very exciting news. We also managed to squeeze in a lovely trip to the Lake District for a spa break, where we stayed at The Daffodil Hotel in Grasmere. We enjoyed long country walks, snoozes and hot tubs as well as some lovely Cumbrian food at The Forest Side restaurant.

December was all about building up to Christmas with do's, Christmas shopping and twinkly lights featuring heavily. Soon it was time to finish work and pack up the car for our festive family trip to Buxton, Derbyshire where for the first time the whole family spent Christmas together, Staying at Buxton Lodge we gathered around the large dining table to celebrate Christmas with our dear ones. We enjoyed great food, funny games and long breezy walks and it was perfect.

All in all 2016 was a packed year with ups and downs but far more positives on balance. There is still a great deal of this I haven't actually had chance to write up yet so watch this space,

As for 2017, I have a feeling it's going to be a year full of adventure and excitement - all will be revealed soon! I intend to live in the present, spend time with family and friends, embrace mindfulness and look after my health and maybe take on some home improvements.

I'm looking forward to sharing more with you over the coming months through this space on my blog, which I started as a hobby and now feel incredibly attached to. I want to develop it further and make it better, so let me know what you've enjoyed and would like to see more of in the future.

Don't be a stranger and leave me a comment from time to time. I love to hear what you've been up to and always welcome new blog links. 

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