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Published: December 16th 2012
Oh how plans change...
As we said in our last blog our plans to return to life on the road have changed, changed and changed again since we returned back to the UK in February 2010. After a slightly longer stopover than we'd initially planned we are now just days (well tens of days) away from our next trip so what have we been doing in the 3 years we've been back home..
Well the most major thing was getting married back in February 2011 and we are looking forward to celebrating our 2nd anniversary in the country where it all came about.. The Philippines. This place will always be special to us as it was the place Dale got down on one knee and asked Sophie to be his wife and we feel sure that many more exciting and memorable times are in store for our upcoming months in this underrated country. Vegas Baby
2011 was the year of 3 weddings in our closest group of friends and one of those weddings took us to a place Sophie had been itching to visit for years and a wedding was the perfect excuse.. Las Vegas!
spent 9 exhausting days there soaking up everything this crazy city could throw at us and came back having had the most amazing time and Sophie already dreaming of when she can return. We all agreed that the next time will probably just be a few days as 9 days really takes it out of you when days blur into nights and every day is a party!
Of course we did a bit of gambling and found that it's so much easier to keep feeding the machines with $$'s rather than ££'s as it just doesn't seem like you are spending real money! The Sex & The City Machine was a huge hit and we were both glad that this machine doesn't exist in the UK as we probably wouldn't be heading out travelling again in January!
This city really is appreciated best when you are in a group of those closest to you and we were glad we got to experience it this way and to see two of them get married made it that bit more special. We had respective hen and stag dos out there with the stags admittedly making the most of this city
of sin and rolling in at a very disrespectful 9am the next day! As they say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas so their adventures cannot be reported here!
It was most people’s first trip to Nevada so we took the opportunity to hire a people carrier for a road trip out to the Grand Canyon. We left with mixed expectations on what it would be like, sometimes you build these things up so much in your head only to be let down but the Canyon didn't disappoint and it really was awe inspiring. The colours were just beautiful and incredible that you can literally stand right on the edge and look down... well Dale did anyway! We also marvelled at the size of the Hoover damn as we both walked and drove over the bridges across it, this is also very spectacular in it's own right and we'd recommend anyone in this part of the world to go and check them both out.. you will not be disappointed!
Of course the rest of Vegas was spent squeezing in all the things it could throw at us and we left having experienced pretty much everything there was
to do, taste, smell and see. That's not to say we won't be back though.. one day! Viva España
As some may know Sophie's parents are lucky enough to spend half their lives in Spain, this means that we are also fortunate to have the opportunity for cheap & cheerful holidays out there when funds are low. They live 10 minutes outside of Benidorm so whilst their small town is a million miles away from the bright lights and high rise buildings you are only a bus ride away if you want to immerse yourself in this familiar cultural experience!?
Having visited at many times of the year we went in October 2011 to celebrate Sophie’s dad’s 60th birthday and found that it really can rain in Spain! Thankfully we missed the flash floods that had hit just the week before but sightseeing in the mountains at Guadalest was not a huge amount of fun but we did it anyway! We also had to take our annual trip up to Altea which is a town we immediately fell in love with the first time we visited. We will never tire of walking up and down the narrow
cobbled streets of this old town with it’s whitewashed houses at either side. Best of all you are treated to panoramic views when you get to the top and we always treat ourselves with a well deserved San Miguel!
For 2012 we decided on a 2 centre holiday… with Sophie going in one direction and Dale in the other finally meeting at the parents for a week in the sunshine! Sophie opted for a girlie few days in Ibiza where she attempted to party like a 20 year old and danced the night away in a top club. She and her friends soon realized that they aren’t 20 and that 2 days of partying til 5am is more than enough, especially when you feel obliged to get up at 10am for the included breakfast (we did pay for it after all!). This was her first time on the white isle and we had a great time but it's certainly not for the faint hearted... not only for the craziness that is around this island but also for the bank balance. We'd heard it was expensive but when you pay 80€ to get in a place you cannot afford many
drinks.. especially when a small bottle of beer is 12€! We had a great time nonetheless and spent the next evening in the much more wallet friendly West End where you can enjoy 2 for 1 cocktails until you are rolling yourself home!
While Sophie caught the ferry to mainland Spain, Dale was checking out the surf scene in San Sebastian. While he was there he decided to check out the local eating establishments and sampled Pinto which is the incredibly tasty local speciality (Tapas but Basque style). At one point he thought he'd had his first taste of horse until a plate of Foie Gras turned up and he realised he'd got the translation totally wrong. The vibe of San Sebastian was something he immediatly connected with. The food here is on another level from anywhere he has been before and with flights from the UK (to the French border just 30 minutes away) as low as £10 there is no excuse not to return to this place with Sophie in tow to experience more of what it has to offer. The Motherland
To fill the days between our holidays we have taken some side trips
to various parts of the UK. One of our favourite destinations is Dorset, namely Swanage and we decided to take our new tent for a spin on one of the first sunny weekends of 2012. We could only squeeze in one night but were determined that we’d put up the tent despite it being a 4 man tent which took the best part of 2 hours to erect the first time! On the Sunday we drove down to Durdle Door (or Dumble Door as Sophie renamed it) and although it was super busy we had a lovely day enjoying the sunshine and crystal clear waters in front of us. This area of the UK is so underrated and although you still get the crowds it’s no where near as busy as other seaside resorts so we’d highly recommend it if anyone fancies a weekend getaway.
Another weekend consisted of a trip to Croyde to indulge Dale and a couple of our other friends (Dee and Holly
) in their new sport obsession of surfing. Although it rained for most of the weekend we still managed to have a great long August bank holiday weekend including some beach time, BBQ time and of
course the obligatory pub time!
So we’ve kept ourselves busy while always striving to save up enough money for this upcoming trip. We have been working towards our January goal since March 2011 when Sophie started her current temporary role so there was never any doubt that we had to go once the contract ended. Dale has been busy setting up his own business and it has worked out really well and now is a good time to go for both of us.
So the date is set for January 2nd
… we have a few people joining us for the first couple of weeks in the way of Sophie’s parents and sister so it’s all planned out until the time they leave us on January 18th
… it’ll be Bangkok for 5 days followed by 2 months in the Philippines and who knows from there ..
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