A Visit Home – Pumpkins, Birthdays, Family & Friends

This past week was a trip back to the U.S. It felt a bit strange going back to the U.S. as I hadn’t been for almost 5 months – my longest time ever from home. After being in England so long now I am able to appreciate what I missed in the U.S. (pumpkin EVERYTHING and driving), but also what I like about England (getting around easily without a car and the effortless 10,000 steps I manage to walk everyday).

After a long travel day Saturday, my arrival was marked by a welcome home gift basket of all things pumpkin from my mom. I had told her that it was hard to find pumpkin flavored goods in England, so I was really happy to get the gift basket. Sunday morning we made pumpkin pancakes while I sipped on my pumpkin coffee, and later in the week was pumpkin sauce pasta and pumpkin bagels.

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Pumpkin gift basket!

My week started off by hosting a party for Markie’s friends to celebrate his 10th birthday. The party went really well, and as I had been feeling crafty earlier in the day I even made s’more goody bags for the kids which seemed to be a hit.

I also made sure to do the very important task of voting this year – I’m glad that I got my absentee ballot in time to send it in for free in the U.S. I’m not one to get too political on here, but I’m pretty sure as a feminist you all can guess which my direction my vote went.

Midweek was catching up with friends – I had a coffee date with my friend Rasha, and caught up with a few friends for drinks and dinner. It’s amazing how much can change in five months – new relationships, new jobs, new homes, and so much more! My parents also bought a fire pit recently so we enjoyed sitting outside and making s’mores one night.

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My parent’s fire pit

No visit home is complete without a winery visit, so I made a trip out to my favorite winery, Fabbioli, with Lauren and Matt. There we shared a bottle of wine, cheese, some laughs, and I bought a bottle to take back to England.

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Wine tasting with food pairings at Fabbioli Cellars

On Markie’s actual birthday, I made him pumpkin pancakes and the whole family went out to dinner that night. He claims that 10 feels no different than 9. I’m just happy he still hasn’t decided he’s too cool for me (I’m looking at you, pre-teen years).

The next day Markie and I headed to an AirBnB RV I had rented for the night in West Virginia. The RV was decked out with a comfy bed, patio eating area, fire pit and hot tub! After spending the afternoon in the hot tub, we headed to the nearby town of Shepherdstown which was really quaint. We ate dinner outside at a nice restaurant that had a stream running through it! After dinner we bought supplies for s’mores and spent the evening by the fire and then relaxing in the RV.

My trip ended with the best things – family, friends, and football. Saturday my family and I watched Virginia Tech beat North Carolina, which put Tech’s college football ranking at #17 in the country, the highest its been in a few years. Saturday night a group of my friends and I went out for drinks in Clarendon, and had a really nice time dancing and enjoying rooftop views of Arlington. Sunday was also great – the Redskins beat the Ravens, and my family and I enjoyed a sunny day with dinner outside.

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Views from Lake Anne Plaza

I’m so glad I came home just as fall was starting, as it’s my favorite time in the year. Sadly I’ll miss the rest of fall at home, but will be back just in time for Christmas festivities, another favorite time of year of mine!

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What’s Next?

This weekend I will be heading the Lake District, a national park in north west England. The Lake District is known for its beautiful mountain and lake scenery, so I’ll be doing a bit of hiking and taking the view in.

Till next time all!

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