‘Tis the Season to Spend Time with Family…

‘Tis the Season to Spend Time with Family…

Christmas is a time to enjoy with all the family. It’s the one main reason why Tom and I decided to come back home to Bournemouth for Christmas and New Year.

I love this time of year and it’s even better when you can spend it with loved ones and catch up with friends.

On 18th December we decided to take a flight home to see everyone. If you’ve read my previous post on fighting the fear of flying then you’d know what a massive leap this was for Tom. In fact, it’s the first flight that he’s been on in 20 years! However, he was very determined that he would go through with it and it was this determination that won through.

As you could expect, it wasn’t all sunshine and daisies the days and hours leading up to the flight but it doesn’t matter. That day, Tom faced his most terrifying fear and I couldn’t imagine the thoughts and feelings he went through. If you placed me in a room full of spiders, or have them crawl all over me, I honestly don’t think I’d be able to cope!

So anyway, he was my hero that day and we soon arrived in Bournemouth to enjoy the festive period!

 

The First Couple of Days…

So our first 48 hours back home were quite uneventful, to be honest. I think we just needed time to recover from the trip. It was also nice to take the time to just relax in the comfort of being home. It’s no surprise we were spoilt and pampered by our parents!

There were a few things we wanted to do (and eat) once we were back that we couldn’t do back in Spain. I think food played a big part here! I mean it’s not because we couldn’t get it in Spain but I swear getting around and ordering our favourite take away was just much easier in the UK than in the small town of Denia.

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to pop into the centre of Bournemouth on the second day. I used this time to explore the Christmas set up in the town. Before heading back we heard a lot about Bournemouth’s Christmas Tree Wonderland. Whilst it was probably best visiting at night, I couldn’t resist having a little peek.

Christmas-Bournemouth-SquareAlpine-Bar-BournemouthChristmas-Tree-Selfie

Mini Spa Day

After that little trip, I took a bus back home to enjoy another afternoon of relaxation. Another reason for going back home was to do my nails. A few years ago now I started having shellac nails and it’s true when they say once you go gel you never go back. As a result, I cheekily bought myself my own LED lamp so that I could do it myself at home (rather than pay out the extortionate amount at the salons each time). Okay, it’s not as good as an expert would do it, but they still last a good week or more. As I didn’t have the space to take the lamp with me to Spain, one of the first things I wanted to do was do my nails. It may sound sad but I don’t care and hey, you have to have Christmas nails for the holiday party season!

 

Friday Night Out

One of the first big nights out we had was the first Friday when Tom and I went out with my family, their friends and my best friend. We had planned this a couple of weeks before coming home. We thought it best to book early considering it was the last Friday before Christmas.

We decided to go the Bournemouth’s Dancing Moose bar. Tom and I had been there before and discovered their amazing chicken wings and fully loaded fries so we were looking forward to trying out their chicken and waffles!

One thing we did forget was that it would be crazy loud being the last Friday before Christmas! So it probably wasn’t the best of atmospheres. Unfortunately, as everywhere else was also likely to be fully booked we went with the flow and stayed on.

I still love the Dancing Moose. It has awesome food and, with the right crowd, it has a great atmosphere. I think we just chose the wrong time and the wrong people to come out with (I mean taking your parents to a loud ‘American’ bar isn’t probably going to be the best of ideas!). Plus, it didn’t help that Tom wasn’t feeling very well either. Isn’t it typical that we come home and one of us gets ill?!

On a side note though – chicken and waffles (with maple syrup sauce) were surprisingly delicious! Whoever thought that those ingredients would go together is a genius!

 

Baking on Christmas Eve

Don’t you find that there’s something about Christmas that gets everyone baking? I am definitely one of those people (and I think Tom is too). As soon I got back home I was looking at my favourite Christmas recipes to make something. Tom and I had already made some mince pies back in Spain but that also didn’t stop him from creating another batch for his family.

For me, whilst I was torn between chocolate honeycomb or even just concocting a festive beverage, I just had to bake my traditional Christmas sausage rolls. It’s something that I do almost every year either with my mum or now with Tom and they are so good! (Not bragging I promise). It’s a recipe that nearly everyone can do and I don’t do anything special. In fact, I make it with ready rolled puff pastry so believe me it’s no brag.

If you want to make the sausage rolls for yourself, check out the festive sausage roll recipe I made on Christmas Eve!

 

Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland

Christmas Eve was probably one of my favourite days this holiday and I find I feel like this most Christmases. I guess it’s when that Christmas feel is most heightened. I don’t know… maybe it’s just me!

Anyway, I didn’t even do anything that interesting that day. In fact, I was writing posts for Simply Europe – definitely not what you probably think of as a fun Christmas Eve! But there was something nice about just sitting in the living room typing away and watching musicals all day! Not to forget making my famous sausage rolls as mentioned above!

That evening, my parents and I also took a trip to the Bournemouth Christmas Tree Wonderland that I mentioned visiting when I first arrived in the day. I had heard all about how lovely these were at night so, of course, I had to check it out for myself. The trees and ornaments themselves are scattered around Bournemouth town centre but the biggest display was in the Bournemouth gardens where there were loads of lights and tree decorations. Bournemouth definitely went all out this year. And, as with every year, they still erected their famous outside ice skating rink. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a go although I don’t particularly like being watched as I fall over hundreds of times ha!

Christmas-Lights-and-Tree-WonderlandMum-and-Me-Christmas-BackdropBournemouth-Wheel-with-Tree

 

Christmas Day

Christmas Day arrived in a flash! I honestly couldn’t believe it was Christmas Day already. Since being with Tom we made the decision to spend one year with one family and then the next at the other. As Tom spent Christmas at my house last year, I said that I would spend the morning with my family and then spend the rest of the day with his.

So Christmas morning was like every other when I was a child. I even woke up a little bit earlier than normal! I want to say it was because I was excited that Santa came and I could open presents but if I’m honest I think it’s just my body clock now! It’s so different being an adult at Christmas!

I had a lovely relaxed morning and was spoilt by the presents I did receive from my family and friends. But, as always, my favourite part of Christmas is eating the dinner and spending time with Tom so I was excited to get to Tom’s house.

Probably like most people’s Christmas, I didn’t get up to much. We ate a lot, drank a lot, played games, nearly passed out from my food baby – you know, the usual! And then, before you know it Christmas had come and gone for another year.

 

Coming Down with a Cold

We were both fully expecting to get some kind of cold or illness coming back to Bournemouth and, as expected, that happened on Boxing Day for me. I considered this a lucky outcome compared to last year where it knocked me for six on Christmas Day. At least this time, I was able to enjoy Christmas! However, it totally wiped me out for the next four days or so. I guess I could consider it lucky because there’s always those days in between Christmas and New Year where you’re wondering what to do with myself. However, I did feel like I wasted a lot of my time back home because of it. The next thing I knew, it was New Years…

 

New Year’s Celebrations

It was a bit of a struggle to find something to do for New Years this year. It’s funny but I just don’t think about planning what to do. It seems that Christmas takes over for me. Whilst one year I would like to see the fireworks in London or in another big city, most new years I either want to spend it somewhere easy like a house party or even just a pub (which I still have yet to do as well). But almost always I like to welcome in the new year alongside friends.

This year, after some confusion over which house party to go to, we ended up going to a friends’ house not too far away. As you can imagine the evening was spent with lots of alcohol, dancing and laughing around. Although we did have a great time, I did feel that I would have like to have played some games. We even missed watching the fireworks on the TV because of a slight technical issue! But it was still good fun even though the party didn’t really kick off until after midnight!

And it’s no surprise that I felt it all day the next day!

 

Our Last Few Days and Going Home

And so, we’re into our last few days before heading back to sunny Spain. If we’re perfectly honest we’re ready to go back. It’s been lovely seeing everyone again, going shopping and even just walking around old haunts.

We still have a few days left where I’ve already planned to meet up with friends one last time as well as go to the cinema. I’m trying to squeeze in as much as possible before going back (especially as I felt I wasted those few days when I was ill). But even if my plans don’t work out I’d be happy to just chill before heading back home to Spain. In fact, both Tom and I feel ready to go back now.

We’ve had a great three weeks or so, but we must say goodbye to the magic of Christmas and move onto the future.  Because there’s something about Christmas, isn’t there, that we just put aside all our worries and just enjoy the time we have. No matter what year we move into, it always feels like going back to ‘reality’ at the start of January.

It will also be nice to head back to Spain and actually focus on the future and start making headway on our New Year Resolutions!