December 2, 2011

WTH December?!

Well, I am still alive in kicking in (non-snowy!) Finland! I don't know about ya'll, but I cannot believe that December is already here. Every year just seems to slip by quicker and quicker, and this year was no exception.

I know there is still 29 days left until New Year's, but I am already reflecting on what a wonderful year 2011. I am so very lucky and blessed that I am somehow happier and happier each year. I never take this for granted, and truly appreciate what it means in my life.

2011 was a year of really fun hockey (remember this?!), and of vacations ranging from France to Austria to Latvia (and one more fun one coming up I have to tell you about in a sec). Yes, I realize all those sound like luxurious trips, but those countries are closer to us than some Texas towns are when we are back at home! Also, I realize I am kind of spoiled ;)

It was also a year of new beginnings as we packed up our home in Germany and headed north to Finland. We both had no idea what to expect in Finland, and now I know neither of us can imagine our lives without the fun Finnish adventures we've had thus far.

It has been an amazing year 'meeting' all of you. I really can't stress this enough. I wasn't even blogging this time last year (or technically, hadn't re-started up my blog from 3 years ago). I don't know what 2011 would have been like without all the amazing people I have grown to know and really enjoy in bloggyland. I know, I'm a blogging nerd, but I am proud of it.

And lastly, it was a year of realizations that our home will always be where we make it. While our life doesn't always sound like the easiest to manage, it is what the hubs and I know together. It is ALL we know together.  I honestly can't imagine not living in three countries a year. I think I would get bored! lol. Each new location brings new experiences, new friends and always fun new times.

While the hockey season will always have its ups and downs, we always have each other and a great new country to live in. I am so very thankful for it all.

AND I am very thankful for the kick ass Finnish hockey season schedule. Most other leagues in the world capitalize on the holidays and have games surrounding Christmas Day. It was not unusual in Germany to have a game on December 23rd and then the 26th.  Games at home are often played right on Christmas. The team here has a 18 flippin' day break from games from December 9th to the 27th. While the hubs will still have practice, there are a few consecutive days off right around Christmas. Because of this, we will be having a FELIZ NAVIDAD in BARCELONA!!! EEEE! I am so excited. I'm excited because we have not been to Spain yet. I am excited that we are taking advantage of the break and getting out of town. I'm excited because the weather will be much nicer in Spain than it will be here by that time. AND I might be just a tad excited for wine and tapas :)

Yes please! (source)

Anyone every been to Barcelona? Any tips or suggestions? I'm all ears!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and a smooth ride into December. I'm pretty sure that if I were to have eaten one more bite of Green Bean Casserole, I would have turned into one. Our make-shift American Thanksgiving last weekend was perfect. Even if they non-Americans were wondering why the Sweet Potato Casserole was on the dinner table and not the dessert. They didn't get the whole marshmallows on top thing, haha.

I haven't been great with blogging lately, but I promise to stick around a bit longer. Hope every has a nice start to the weekend, and relax it up a bit!
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  1. You had me at "wine and tapas". I've heard Barcelona is spectacular - take lots of pictures!!!

  2. I would love to go to Barca (and I'm sure one day I will!). I'd love to see the Gaudi Cathedral!

    Christmas here in Florida always seems slightly odd to me as a Brit, people putting reindeers and snowmen decorations in their gardens without the least hope of any genuine coldness or snow! :-)

  3. I have no advice for Barcelona. Never been there. But have a great weekend!!

  4. Sweet potatoes and marshmallows? I'm with the Finns on that.

  5. @Leigh Anne - haha, then you are a girl after my own heart :) I will do!
    @Paul - that is BIG on my list! Haha, seriously weird. But not too much different from Texas, lol
    @Joshua - haha, thanks anyways. You too!
    @Tony - aw man, you haven't lived until you've tried it!

  6. Sweet potato casserole is more dessert-y but super tasty :) Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving. Barcelona, eh? I am muy celosa!! Have a fabulous time!

  7. Barcelona is easy! Get on one of those Hop on and Hop off buses and just see everything!

    It is a wonderful city...we went there before and after a Mediterranean cruise and still didn't get to see everything.

    Of course go to La Sagrada Familia (famous cathedral) and all the other buildings/parks done by Gaudi. I recommend the audio tour.

  8. It's good to reflect; it makes you realize what a great year it was and how much you really did do.

    Barcelona is great! You are going to have so much fun. There are the regular tourist things of course, but just get off of Las Ramblas from time to time and enjoy the little side streets and the AWESOME tapas! I went to the Picasso museum -- it was great. Also the Gaudi stuff is all pretty weird and different, if you are into that.

  9. Just spent our first break in Barcelona!! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! Make sure you go to Opium night club by the beach, and make sure you go to the beach! Las Ramblas is great too, like Kyria said. This video was shot on Las Ramblas:
    Oh man, we spent 2 nights there but could have been there for sooo much longer. You're going to have so much fun. Can't wait to read about it!! :o)

  10. Oh my goodness you are so spoiled. No kidding. I have been to as many places but just not the ones you are visiting so you are spoiling me these great posts. I don't follow many blogs as I am always too busy making new memories in the real world but it is a great pleasure having you as a bloggy buddy. Barcelona is on my to do list so I can't wait to hear your unique take on the place.

  11. OMIGOD! Is it DECEMBER already?!?!?! You're right - it IS scary, but never too early to reflect ...

    Barcelona at Xmas? You'll have NO excuse for not taking some fine RED pix to feature in my RedAlert series then, will you?!?!?!

  12. Green bean casserole is my second favorite Thanksgiving food. Number one spot has to go to stuffing. Yum!

  13. Thanks for the tips, ya'll! I am loving them.
    @TriGirl - hmmm, I think I know what celosa means. Need to brush up! Hope you had a good Tgiving too!
    @Anon - awesome! Thanks so much for the tips, I will keep them all in mind!
    @Kyria - well thank you, I was feeling reflectful :) Nice! Thanks for the info, I will have to check out Las Rambas ;)
    @Erin - Awesome! I remember you saying ya'll went there for the break. I might have to pick your brain a bit more about the city. But will keep in mind that spot. Sounds I gotta watch the video.
    @SFlaGuy - I know, we are. I like to look at it more like I am taking advantage of the proximity to everything over here, but fully aware that I am kinda spoiled :) I will let you know how it all is!
    @Red - where did it come from?!?! Um, yes. I would say there is tons of red (wine) to be had there. I will keep you in mind when photographing!
    @Vapid - ohh, i love stuffing. It always hard to just pick one!

  14. @Erin - Haha, I didn't realize it was THAT video. I sing that all the time already. One, because the hubs hates it. Two, because it will be really annoying to sing when walking around there, lol. Is that song only big in Europe?

  15. Now I am super jealous. I have been in DK 3 1/2 years and STILL Have not made it to Barcelona! Enjoy!!!

  16. OK Ltl Tex - here goes. When I was studying Nursing in London, England, I spent a lot of time in SPAIN. I loved Barcelona, and if you get to Barcelona, please go to Sitges, short distance from Barcelona. My very first trip to Sitges was a weekend away from London and as you know its like "Not TOO FAR AWAY". We went into Barcelona frequently for night life and tourist stuff, however, spent most of our time in Sitges, teaching Spanish Children to speak english (very well paid), and this paid for our holiday while there. Sitges beaches and history are the BEST, although it has grown over the years and the beaches I strolled on are now owned by the rich and famous. Remember, I was there first, so its really all mine - I declared those Beaches to be the prime property of Saucy. You may have the explicit permission from your dear Blogging Friend to explore all of them. Our first trip to Barcelona was to a Bull Fight - bloody, however interesting. Even more interesting, when the Matador cut off the bull's ear and gave it to a damsel in the crowd - NO, it wasn't me.
    You will love Barcelona - kiss a nice spainaird hullo for me :) lol

  17. I think it's great how you manage to pick up house and move so often and can do so cheerfully and enjoy as much as you can! And glad we get to learn about places with you and here your adventures =)

  18. Barcelona is amazing. We went with 3 little kids, about 9 years ago when we lived in Germany. The gothic quarter and the cathedral are amazing. But at the end of the day all that mattered where the wine and tapas! Feliz navidad indeed.

  19. That sounds awesome!!!and maybe there will be a little bit sunshine too:)))totally jealous;)

  20. Sounds like you have had quite an amazing year! How exciting that you get to go to Spain for Christmas! I'm sure you will find all kinds of things to do over the time spent there. Just one more adventure in a life filled with adventure!

  21. You must try and catch a game at the Nou Camp while in Barca, it's amazing. Hope your 2012 is will be as good as 2011.

  22. What a great summation of your year already!! I too had not started blogging this time last year and I can't imagine NOT blogging now!! I've made great friends. Also, you trpi sounds amazing- what a great Christmas schedule! Barcelona is fabulous. You will have a fabulous time! x

  23. super jealous of your Christmas plans! Barcelona is gorgeous and such a fun city to visit, I have been meaning to make it back to Spain for a few years now, but somehow it just hasn't happened- hopefully in 2012! I wish I had some good tips, but just walking the streets always is my favorite way to explore a city. sagrada familia is incredible so make sure to fit that in, and enjoy some tapas and spanish red wine for me!

  24. Makeshift Thanksgiving. I have a new tradition now. Thanks. ;)

  25. I'm so jealous! When I was living in Madrid my best friend was in Barcelona and I went to visit her there. My favorite place was Parc Guell, but also this bar called the Pop Bar, with a great jukebox and casual bench/lounge seating. See if you can find it!

  26. I am so happy for you that your hubby has that long of a break- how fun! And I am so very JEALOUS of all your adventures. It is crazy to think that you can travel to different countries faster than within your own state!

  27. My fiancee lived in Madrid for a few years and I'm looking forward to going one day soon in the future. Good for you guys! Hope you have fun!

  28. So essentially for all of 2011 i was jealous of everything you and hubs did. And what's the deal with no snow in Finland? Isn't that where papa noel comes from?

  29. I had a great trip to Barca a few years back went to the César Pastor for dinner - bit pricey but great Catalan food

  30. Oh man, Christmas in Barcelona, I bet that's going to be AMAZING.

  31. Ya'll are awesome. I turn away for 2 days, and there are a ton of great comments. Made me smile!
    @Kelli - sorry! Want to join us?!? :)
    @Saucy - hi Lilly! You are amazing, thank you so much for all the tips. I will have to write them down and research ASAP! You are awesome, thanks for making my day. Hope you are doing great!
    @Rida - well, thank you. I mean, if this is our life, might as well be happy about it, right!? :)
    @Marie - Very cool! I have heard nothing but great things, and just keep hearing more. Wine and tapas though, gotta keep those central, haha.
    @Mrs K - I am banking on the sunshine. Hopefully you will get to see your hubs over Christmas, right??!
    @Ross - I have, I am very blessed. I am really excited, and looking forward to all the decorations. Thank you so much for being so kind!
    @Ryan - Sounds like a plan, thanks for the insight. You too!
    @Missy - it has been ridiculous, right?? It is so weird thinking back on it! Thanks girl.
    @Ashley - I will hope you get to go in 2012 then! I will definitely enjoy those for you :) Thanks for stopping by!
    @Mollie - haha, it is the best that way, right??
    @Meri - Perfect, thanks Meri. I am going to look it up right now. I always like a little insight from people who have been there
    @Shalyn - well thanks my dear, I know you have had a really nice 2011 as well :) It is ridiculous to think about it that way. America is just too big (or at least Texas!)
    @A Beer - Nice, I would totally take advantage of that and get the insiders view from her. Hopefully ya'll will get to go soon!
    @Copyboy - haha, I didn't mean for it to come out that way. If it makes you feel any better, I have had to pack up our whole life 3 times this year. That really isn't all that fun. So weird that there has been no snow....until today
    @G - Awesome, thanks for the tip! I have lots of researching to do now ;)
    @Iris - I only hope so. I'll be sure to take lots of great photos like you always do!

  32. Ah Barcelona - don't forget your Sangria and Paella. And for bars, you must go to Chupitos (over 200 crazy cool shots) and Dow Jones (prices change on drink demand and if Tatiana the Mexican bartender is there, she's incredible!) I know I should have suggestions beyond bars, but Barcelona is too fun to go out in :)

    Of course go see the FCB stadium, the beach, La Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas and all that too :)


Whoomp, there it is!