Noelle’s Monthly Recap: October 2017

October was one of my busiest travel months ever. After heading west to California for a work trip, I made it back home just in time to drive a few hours south to celebrate Markell’s birthday at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia. A week later, I journeyed across the pond for a quick jaunt to Italy’s Tuscany region, followed by visiting friends in England and attending a wedding in Wales. I’ve spent the better part of this month jet lagged, but had a fabulous time visiting so many new places!

Gold mining ghost town, Randsburg, California

Destinations visited:

Tintern, Monmouth, and Abergavenny, Wales

Cheltenham and Winchcombe, England

Pisa, Florence, and Tuscany, Italy

Los Angeles, Venice Beach, and Randsburg, California

Williamsburg and New Kent, Virginia

Desert landscapes in Randsburg, California

Favorite destinations:

Winchcombe, England – Winchcombe is a small Cotswold town with a high street decked with limestone cottages and quaint shops to browse. A stroll through the town is always a pleasure.

Tintern, Wales – Tintern Abbey and the village of Tintern, along with the backdrop of the Wye Village and adjacent Wye River, make for a great day out. I enjoyed visiting the Abbey followed by a scrumptious pub lunch of Welsh cakes and a Welsh lamb pie in the village.

Venice Beach, California – The O.C. was my favorite show as a teen, and Los Angeles’ Venice Beach reminded me so much of it (cue nostalgia!). I spent an afternoon walking along the boardwalk, exploring the Venice Canals, and perusing the shops and restaurants on Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

Tintern Abbey, Wales


(Starting to) master driving like the Brits – After my fourth time renting a car to drive in England this year, I’m really starting to feel more natural with driving on the left!

Return visits to previous destinations – Even though I had been to California and Wales before, its always a pleasure to see more of a state or country and get a better feel for what they’re all about.

A very warm October – Minus a few days on my trip to England, the weather in Virginia, Italy, and California was so warm and pleasant this month. I’m not sure if I’m ready for winter…

So many birthdays! – Markell, his dad, my best friend, my cousin, and my uncle all had birthdays this month. There must be something about October!

Venice Beach, California


Jet lag struggles – To be expected in a month where I traveled to California and to Europe, I have spent the better part of the month jet lagged. This will likely continue as I travel to California again in November.

Leg pain returns – If you followed me earlier this year, I’ve been struggling with a hamstring strain putting pressure on my sciatic nerve. After recovering quite a bit by August, some of the pain has started to come back. I’ve been working through physical therapy exercises to hopefully get back on track. It’s been a bit more difficult to fly with leg pain, as I have to change positions to feel comfortable frequently.


Tintern Abbey, Wales


Who is Noelle Across The Pond? Q&A – A background about my travel history along with a Q&A.

Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire, Wales – A visit to Tintern Abbey, an abbey dating back to the year 1131, and its history since then.

Tips on Surviving Your First Year Abroad – Reflections and tips on how to survive living abroad in the most challenging first year.

A Stay at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia – Water parks and family activities galore; a review of Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Exploring Venice Beach, California – Highlights of one of Los Angeles’ funkiest and coolest neighborhoods.

A Living Ghost Town: Randsburg, California – Exploring a 1890s California gold rush “living” ghost town.

Wye River bridge crossing in Tintern, Wales

Coming up in November 2017:

November is going to be another busy month! In early November, I’ll be heading west to Monterey, California for a work trip. I’ve added on some personal time to the trip so I can explore Big Little Lies filming locations (the show was filmed in Monterey!) and fit in a few wine tastings in the Carmel Valley wine region nearby. After a few days home to celebrate my grandma’s birthday with family, I’ll be returning to California’s San Joaquin Valley for another work trip. Then, it’s time for Thanksgiving – and I’ve partnered with The Hackett Hotel in Marietta, Ohio for a visit over Thanksgiving weekend (blog post to come next month!).

How was your October? What are your Thanksgiving travel plans?



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