Since I lasted posted 8 months ago, we’ve done [more than] our fair share of traveling, but for some reason, I just haven’t had the motivation to write about any of it. Any other bloggers out there ever just get in a slump? I feel like whenever I sit down to write a blog, I have to have some sort of motivation, something in my head of the direction I want to go, the angle I want to tell my story from, the feeling I want the blog to have. I want to be able to describe our travels and our experiences in a way that makes it a shared experience, but I just haven’t had the inspiration recently. As Jared and I were talking recently, I think part of it is just because it feels like this is life now. Sure travelling is amazing and perfect and something I never want to take for granted, but living in Scotland is just life. We’ve been here for THREE school years. That is just crazy to me. It doesn’t feel so much like a stepping stone right now, it just feels like life. We live, we work, we study, we eat, we drink, we pay the bills, we spend time with our friends, we just live. We were discussing the other day how we don’t feel much of an urgency to know what’s next, when people ask what are plans are, I often just shrug, saying “We have no idea”. Sometimes, I feel like that should be a problem, like we don’t have enough drive or motivation to make big plans. But as I’ve thought about it more, I think I like the place we are it. We are living the life we want to live. We are working, we are part of a community, we serving in a church, loving people day in and day out. In the long run, we just want to live and love people for Jesus, and that is what we are doing here in Scotland. It probably won’t look like this forever, but its okay to not know what’s next. Its ok to be content in today, and for this to be our every day life. That’s my rambling thoughts on why I haven’t felt the need to blog, because who care’s to hear about someone’s every day life?? But as for the days that have been more special, here’s a recap 🙂
In September, we visited our friends who had recently moved to London. They are some of the best friends we’ve made in St Andrews, and it was so special to see their new home and spend some time together. We also took a day trip to Bath! In typical Michelson fashion, Jared tried to convince me that we didn’t actually need to pay to go into the baths, but for once, I put my foot down and insisted, and we were glad we went in!
In December we took a Christmas vacation to visit our friends Kim and Moritz and baby Anton. We spent a few days exploring their new town and some of the local towns and sights. We ate a traditional afternoon snack consisting of different breads and a waffle with rice pudding and a special coffee! It was bread overload and so good. We also spent some time in Dusseldorf and visited all 8 Christmas markets in Cologne! We spent our evenings trying Alt beer and Kolsh, the local specialties. It was a sweet time to spend some of the holiday season with our dear friends, and so fun to see Anton, who we hadn’t seen since he was weeks old!
In February we took a trip to the Lake District in England with our friend Rebekah. I spent the time recovering from influenza, while Jared and Rebekah enjoyed the beauty and hikes. I recovered to enjoy the Cartmel cheese shop, where we first tried the Isle of Mull Cheddar (to be featured in a later story!!)
In March, Hannah came to visit us, and we embarked on a French adventure. We rented a car and drove through Normandy and Brittany, eating as many pastries as we could manage, and stuffing down some crepes as well. We visited Mont St Michel (a dream of Jared’s), and St Malo (after all reading All the Light We Cannot See prior to the trip). Jared enjoyed some oysters fresh from the sea, less than 50 a piece. It was a beautiful part of France, and confirmation that we love everything French. After Normandy, we spent a few days in Paris, seeing the sights and enjoying the French life, eating and drinking our way through the days. Cheese, bread, fruit, wine, beautiful churches, the Louvre, crepes, pastries, Belgian beer and fries, coffee, and more cheese. One night we were in Montmartre, one of our favorite parts of Paris, and we had decided to go out to a nice dinner that night. We had found a nice place in this area the last time we were in France, and I was hoping we would find something similar. We wandered the streets for over an hour, and I just wasn’t satisfied with anything we looked at. Finally, we walked up a cobbled street, and before me, I saw what had to be the perfect restaurant. We looked at the menu and decided it was the place to go. We went inside, and I looked at Jared, “This is the same place we came 2 years ago, isn’t it?” He assured me it was, and that our wanderings made sense, all I wanted was the same experience we had before, and here it was. It didn’t disappoint. Beef Bourguignon, Tartiflette (cheesy bacon potatoes), and a cheese covered steak, we passed our plates and shared three of the most perfect meals. Each day we found delicious food and wonderful people, and each night we stumbled sleepily back to our 5 story walk up, and wondered why everyone doesn’t live like the French.
Finally, last week, our friend Rachel from California came to visit! She spent a few days with us in St Andrews, adjusting to the jet lag, and then we all set off for the Isle of Mull and Iona. We have wanted to go to Iona since coming to Scotland, and this was a great opportunity. Iona Abbey has been a big part of the history and spread of Christianity to Scotland, and is a powerful place to visit. It is situated on a tiny island just off the coast of Mull, and we enjoyed a few hours of wandering the grounds and buildings of the Abbey. My highlight of the trip, however, was the Isle of Mull Cheese Farm. As is probably evident in this post, I love cheese, as does Jared. When we were planning our visit to Mull, I remembered how much we had loved the Isle of Mull Cheddar while we were in the Lake District, so I looked them up to see if we could buy some on the island, and it turned out that they have a cafe on their farm, and you can tour the dairy and cheese factory! We drove up for lunch, and were all in awe. The cafe is in a refurbished barn, made entirely of glass. It sits atop a hill looking out over the grassy farm and garden. We shared a cheese plate and had a hard time deciding on our favorite cheese. We took some home to enjoy later, and its nearly finished less than a week later. I would go back to Mull just to visit that place again!
Next week we are taking off for Copenhagen on a quick weekend trip that I booked for Jared’s birthday. Then in a couple of weeks our besties, Jeff and Hayley, are coming to Scotland and we are taking a joint jaunt over to Dublin, where we will depart for California for Cari and Timmy’s wedding!! Its going to be a busy few months, but I promise to try to be better at blogging for the 5 people who are interested! Thanks for reading my ramblings!