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2017 was a little different for us travel-wise. In previous years, we travelled at least once a month on city breaks – long weekends in different European destinations. Our objectives in 2017 were to do fewer trips, but to make them longer and road-trip as much as possible with our dog, Moose; as well as to spend more time at our newly purchased house in France. So, without further ado, here’s 2017: My Travel Year in Review.
We took a sponsored trip down to our favourite dog-friendly hotel in the Scottish Borders, and had a lovely weekend of wandering the ruins of Melrose Abbey. You can read more about our Weekend in the Scottish Borders here.
Our first big road trip of the year was a multi-stop trip: To Hadrian’s Wall first, a sponsored stop in Cumbria, and a chance to catch up with my Mom, who was finishing up a 3-month tour in Europe. We attempted to walk a portion of Hadrian’s Wall, but were hindered by gale-force winds; so the cosy hotel and some delicious food sure helped! You can read more about our jaunt with Hadrian here.
Our next stop on this April trip, was a stop at The Somme in France. My 1st cousin 3x removed – Anselm Jerome Beehan, died on the Somme only 3 months before the end of WWI. We found his memorial at the British / NZ cemetery in Grévillers. It was such a moving experience, to see where so many young men lost their lives.
We were due to stay the night near the Somme, but we found the memorial early in the day, so decided to drive to Rouen for the night. Rouen was a revelation, and I can’t wait to visit again – such a beautiful city, and a glorious cathedral. We then spent 10 days at our french house – lots of DIY and building a terrace so that we could enjoy the lovely hot weather! You can read more about our adventures here.
We didn’t have any further holiday plans until June, but decided to take a last minute trip up to Aberdeenshire in Scotland. We were lucky to get a sponsored stay at a lovely dog-friendly hotel near Balmedie Beach, north of Aberdeen. We love dog-friendly hotels, where we can also enjoy great food and drink with our dog in tow, so this weekend was perfect. Read more here.
June saw us take another big road trip down through France, but we also decided to visit Mont Saint-Michel, La Rochelle, and St Malo! Half-way through this 2-week break, we also drove over to Switzerland to attend the annual Absinthe Festival! In between all these excursions, we also laid a new floor in our bedroom! We also played the Fête de la Musique in our little town – which was such a highlight. The trip was madness, pure madness – and led me to write this post about when a holiday is too busy!
My husband’s birthday falls in July, and this year was a special birthday (I’m sworn to secrecy on how special), so I surprised him with a trip to New York! It was the only city on his bucket list, so it was amazing to be able to show it to him. I had visited before, back in 2006, but I will never get enough of this incredible city. Check out some highlights here – Coney Island, and a summary post on his Birthday Trip!
After such a busy year of pretty large and epic trips, we decided that our August holiday would be pure sloth. We drove back down to our french house and did almost nothing the entire 10 days we were there – except sitting on our terrace, reading and enjoying the sunshine! Sometimes you just need a proper rest! We did manage a day-trip to Brantôme in the Dordogne, but that was about the only trip outside our village!
Our October road trip took us to Ireland for the TBEX Travel Bloggers conference in Killarney. We decided to visit Northern Ireland too, as well as some family history sites. Again, Moose came along with us, although Ireland isn’t particularly dog-friendly, so it was a bit of a struggle. I wasn’t prepared for how utterly beautiful Ireland was to be honest – it was like something out of a movie! Read more about my search for my ancestors here, and Moose’s take on Ireland here.
Our only other non-dog holiday (other than NYC), was a quick weekend away in Prague for our wedding anniversary (any excuse for a holiday, eh?). Prague has lovely Christmas markets, and the architecture totally blew my mind. Read about my Architectural Tour of Prague here.
We then headed back to France for our first Christmas in the french house. In France they celebrate Réveillon on Christmas Eve, so we had a lovely dinner party with friends to bring good luck and prosperity! We ate yule log (or bûche de Noël as they say here), and I introduced my french friends to ‘Funeral Potatoes’, a specialty from Utah (a hash brown casserole with sour cream, cheese, and Campbell’s chicken soup!). I love these cross-cultural inter-minglings!
2017 has been all about France and road-tripping with our wee dog, Moose. It has also been about revving up for our epic plans for 2018, which include quitting my job (OMG!!!), and a huge 2-month trip around North America! More on that later…
I hope you have all had wonderful 2017s, and that your 2018 will be even more wonderful. Thank you so much for following my adventures this year, I am truly thankful for your readership. Bonnes Vacances et Bons Voyages!
All photos & content © Hannah Henderson and may not be used without permission (sharing this blog post is fine, though!). Images shot with a Canon DSLR T3i Rebel; and an iPhone6s.