Monday, March 2, 2015

Living the Life

So, usually our life here in London is pretty 'normal'. For reals. Yes, its London, but our average week looks a lot like it did when we lived in middle Indiana. We clean, cook, go grocery shopping, have church friends over, get Chinese take-away and a film for a special date night-- yep, we're pretty crazy people.

Then there are those seasons when life is anything but 'normal', and I almost have to slap myself silly! The last two months have been one of those seasons. Its no indication of any great achievement on our part, nor is it full of the things really most important in life, but the last 6-8 weeks have brought a whirlwind of 'slap me silly' events.
1. I was able to go with two girlfriends for a 'day out' in Paris. A one night stay in an Airbnb flat, amazing French cuisine, pastries and tarts at Angeline, window shopping through Le Marais ... it was such a fun frivolous adventure- and I loved it! I only came back with a vintage 'granny' sweater, and some sweets for the hubs, but it was still just incredible!
2. Aaron and I were given tickets to see Ian McDianmid play Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. I really only knew him as the emperor (Senator Palpatine) in Star Wars, and am ashamed to admit in a handful of lines, that's all I saw, and expected him to finish his lines with "my young apprentice." But it was really amazing to be able to see it at The Almeida Theatre.
3. Stellen Skarsgard (Avengers, Mama Mia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) filmed for several days just outside of our flat. Apparently (according to the notice we were given, explaining the hubbub and traffic disruptions), he'll play a conflicted detective in (yet another) crime drama miniseries called River. *Note: this is just the facts, not a public endorsement of any said dramas.*  (By the way, did you know that famous actors get their own 'coat valet', who stand just off camera with a parka in January, to cover him up in between takes?)

Like I said- nothing earth shaking, or of eternal consequence, but fun to think about in that silly, trivial sense. I look at where we are and think, "Really? That's happening, to me, right here?" It's so fun!

And then, to top it off, my hubby took me for a quick getaway/birthday gift/babymoon to Portugal! A friend's parents live in Cascais, about 40 min outside Lisbon, and were such amazing gracious hosts! A lovely couple who have lived in half a dozen countries over several decades, they were full of amazing stories and tales as they drove us around the countryside, sharing with us a peek of their life. It was amazing!

On the flight there, we flew over some amazing mountains! (Iberian, Pyrenees?)

Arriving in Lisbon, we landed in rain, but the clouds parted just in time for sunset! And we were able to spend another day just walking around, seeing a bit of the city. Lisbon is gorgeous-- reminding me so much of San Francisco. From it's bridge (looking just like the Golden Gate) to it's hilly streets lined with colourful homes... it was so charming and so fun to share with the hubs, who's never been to California!

We stopped in at the Livraria Bertrand.... arguably the oldest bookstore in the world!

We drove out to Cabo da Roca, the most western point in Continental Europe, which was really fun for the hubby, as he's been to the eastern edge of the continent in Romania and Moldova.

We saw the Boca da Inferno....

And we spent quite a bit of time just wandering the beaches and streets of Cascais. It's a tiny little town relying heavily on tourism, but it was just lovely and we enjoyed all of the time we could get there!

Friends recommended the Jeronimos Monastery... built right around 1500 AD. It was a lovely exhibit of Portuguese architecture.

We loved our time in Portugal, and hope we can return again someday. The people were charming, our hosts were wonderful, and we are longing for those sandy beaches already!

So I look at what 2015 has already held... art, theatre, culture, frivolity.... it's been an amazing couple months already. Maybe it's been especially fun as everyone keeps telling us "Enjoy it now, because once the baby comes, life will never be the same." And I think I get that. We are so blessed to be enjoying this phase of life, with its dull normal weeks, and it's weeks of crazy romantic travels and celebrity sightings. We are so blessed to be where we are today, and I don't want to miss a moment. 

But I am so looking forward to this summer, when we get to meet our little girl, to having family visit, and watching our parents turn into grandparents, to establishing new routines as a family, to growing with my husband as parents. Life's seasons are ever changing, and I'm loving the one we are in now, and excited about the next!

Thanks for joining us on our journey. I hope you're enjoying it as much as we are!

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