Happy New Year to you. 2016 is over bring on 2017.
What a shame that 2017 started with such an awful shooting in Turkey. I guess we'd be naive to think new year, new world.
For us 2016 was a pretty good year. While there were no major milestone events for us personally we managed to tick off a few bucket list items with our travels.
So here's a quick review of our 2016, thanks for joining our journey.....
January got of to a bright start with a visit to London to check out Lumiere light festival. It was a free event that involved light installations around key parts of London. To check out the full post click here. The event was a one off with no plans to bring it back but a smaller local event in Birmingham meant we saw lights at the end of year too at Magic Lantern Festival.
Laura managed to add a few new recipes to her repertoire, partly helped by our foray in to Veganism and Vegetarianism. While we understand the benefits of both diets - health and socially responsibility wise - we have agreed that it's not for us 100% of the time. Life is for living after all and we might as well enjoy it. For 2017 we plan to go vegan and/or vegetarian for a few months and we hope to start yoga shortly.
We passed our seven year anniversary of getting together in March, it was a good chance to reflect on the 7 years and for Laura to list her favourite 7 things about me :) The post is here.
With the weather improving in April we started to venture out and that included a trip to Wollaton Hall - a sight any Batman fans will recognise as Wayne Manor. It had beautiful grounds with wild deer and a great museum.
We also saw Adele in Birmingham and her performance was amazing! We were lucky with the seats we got but to be honest wherever you were in the venue you were treated to a wonderful evening or great music by a superb artist.
May was a busy month from a blogger perspective, we joined Brum Bloggers and attended a host of local events which helped us get to know the area we live in. As you may know by now we LOVE where we live and moving here has proved to be a great decision, the blogging group just helped solidify that. From the Stable restaurant that sources and produces locally flavoured pizzas to the Digbeth Dining Club that brings together local food vans you will never go hungry here. The choice of bars is also impressive - we have more cocktail bars than we realised, including the Alchemist that produces science experiments that just happen to taste delicious. The Island Bar that does a huge range of delicious cocktails and a host of others.
A quick glance yesterday showed our social media stats as:
On the blog: 320,500 viewsInstagram: 1,607 followers
Twitter: 1,500 followers
Youtube: 687 subscribers + 210,000 video views
Facebook: 337 likes
A fair improvement on May's stats.
As summer approached we headed to Paris to celebrate Laura's Mum's 60th birthday. We stayed in a gorgeous French apartment in the Sacré-Cœur area allowing us easy access to plenty of tourist attractions and the week was filled with discovery new parts of Paris and revisiting previous highlights.
June also saw the Orlando night club shooting, an event that made the Pride celebrations of 2016 even more poignant. It is easy to forget those that are still victimised for who they love when there seems to have been progress made in so other ways.
Our 2nd year wedding anniversary happened on the 28th of June. We celebrated in Santorini. It is still one of our most talked about 2016 highlights. The location was beautiful, the weather glorious and the chance to relax together with a whole 7 days to ourselves was bliss. We haven't posted much on the blog about it but our Instagram was filled with pictures. We did a post on where we would recommend staying if you plan to head that way, check it out here.
Smith catch up 1: Santorini, Laura's parents visit, a whole lot of travel planning including Euro Disney and Niagara Falls!
Smith catch up 2: Erm we seemed to have missed this one - sorry
Smith catch up 3: Windsor Races, Reading Football Club celebration for my Dad's 60th, VFestival
Smith catch up 4: Manchester Pride and hunting (wildish) elephants in Sheffield
Smith catch up 5: A year of netball and a weekend in Barcelona
In October we headed to the USA via Canada and visited Niagara Falls (Canada side) with two of the best tour guides we could have asked for. We had known Victoria and Emily over social media for a number of years and they welcomed us to Toronto and made the two days we spent there really memorable. Then on to Boise for a wedding and back again just under a week later.
Having only used a weeks holiday for our stateside trip we had annual leave available to enjoy a quick trip to Euro Disney with our friends Sara and Sam. We timed it so the Christmas decorations were up and it was a perfect pre-Christmas festive break. I'm yet to post about this on the blog but it was a definite highlight!
As America went mad and voted in an orange buffoon to be their next president- as if England voting to leave the EU wasn't bad enough - we continued to try and focus on the positives. While the deaths of house hold names left us upset, the appearance of Christmas lights filled us with the joy of the season. December was jam packed and full of fun, family and amazing memories.
We wish you a very happy new year!