If you have been following us in the past, or have looked in on us a few times, you will have noticed a distinct lack of progress on this blog. Despite my best intentions, I never managed to get it going again after stalling in the USA.
As we are just setting out on a new trip, it seems like a good time to get started. I have no chance of catching up with the old stuff first, so have decided to get going with the new trip and post some of the older bits as and when I get the chance.
To catch you up, I'll start with a quick summary of what we have been up to since the last posting, where we left you in Montgomery, Alabama. From there we went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, staying for a month. Then we had a quick romp through Texas, taking in Houston, Austin and Dallas, an even briefer stay in Memphis, Tennessee, where we visited Graceland and Sun Studios, and finished in Chicago.
We then had six months in Canada, taking it slowly and easily. We did a long stint in Edmonton, house sitting with a lovely cat called Abby, before moving on to the somewhat warmer and more colourful Vancouver, where we took a side trip up to Whistler to see the black bears. We found more wildlife, in the form of Orcas, whilst staying in Victoria on Vancouver Island. We then found wines in Kelowna, where we enjoyed the Canada Day celebrations, and then took a trip to Banff and the rather beautiful Lake Louise. Next stop was Calgary where we enjoyed not only the Stampede, but also the Bullshooters Stampede breakfast. Then we were back to a bit of housesitting, this time for a lovely Rottweiler called Jess in Winnipeg, where we also got to see a proper First Nations Pow Wow. Our final stop in North America was Montreal, which we have been to before, so we were able to focus on enjoying the music and atmosphere of this vibrant city.
Back in the UK, we made ourselves busy with selling our central London property and downsizing to one a bit further out, which enabled us to boost our travel fund a bit. We found a new build in the less central, but still well located Greenwich, and decided to move in for a while, taking the opportunity to see a bit more of our family and friends, and have a Christmas at home. The flat is now rented out, so we won't be living there again for many years, but it was a nice interlude.
We did manage a couple of trips during our downtime though. We spent January and February in Andalusia, mostly in great Airbnb places. We visited Malaga, Granada, Ronda, Antequera, Seville, Cadiz and Cordoba and Jerez. In the latter in particular, we thoroughly enjoyed the delights of Spanish wines - or sherries.
In August, we treated ourselves to a trip to circumnavigate the island of Spitsbergen, Svalbard, on board the MS Expedition. We were lucky enough to see a good number of polar bears, and had one especially close encounter with a bear on the sea ice coming right up to the ship.
So that is what we have been doing, which we will hopefully post on with photos in due course, but for now, we'll move on to what we are doing next.