I’M BAAAAAAAACK. Three(ish) weeks away, and it honestly felt like a lifetime. Sometimes, it feels to me that the longer I am away at something, the harder it is for me to start back up again. Have you ever experienced this? Oddly, I am the most guilty of this with things I enjoy doing. Go figure. Glutton for punishment, I suppose?
Rambling aside, I owe you lovely lot explanation of where the heck I’ve been these last few weeks. WELL. You know how, in every person’s life, they will have milestones — moments of celebration, of excitement, of change and of memory? And for most people, these milestones will happen throughout their life, a few select occasions that they will have to recall on forever?
Yeah. I’ve managed to fit a bunch of these big life moments into a week-and-a-half period. And then move to another city, in another country. Because stress is FUN.
— Life Update 1: Wolf & Stag are Finally Engaged —
October, October, where do we begin? In the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside seems a good place to start. The first Sunday in October — amid packing-and-planning stress galore — Stag and I managed to escape for a retreat in the countryside. A most welcome break, considering we were staying at the Artist Residence, a bucket-list hotel for me and a long-time favourite boutique hotel group of mine (their Brighton hotel was one of my faves!).
Desperate to get away from London (and our stress), we arrived to the Artist Residence in Oxfordshire a few hours too early for check-in. One of the many lovely people at the hotel suggested we take a river stroll down the Thames (the Thames is THAT long, people; mind blown). Considering the warm, dappled-sunlight weather we were having, like picturesque Autumn, we decided this was an amazing idea, jumped right back into our car, and made our way to the beginning of the walk.
Little did I know that — along the wooded, riverside trail, empty of all except for the two of us, the sun ahead and the ruffling wind — this is where Stag would turn to me and ask me to be his wife. There was the initial shock — it’s finally happened — and some tears, and a lot of hugs, and then, of course, some photos.
In total bliss, we meandered our way back down the trail, stopped for a delicious pub lunch in the sun, and then finally checked into the hotel. To our surprise, they upgraded us to the nicest suite in the place — the first time that has ever happened to me (and, if you can believe it, it was before we had told them about our engagement!). It was, quite literally, one of the best days of my life.
Okay, yes, I realise we are already married (you can read the whooooole story of our wrong-order life here), but as I’ve written about before, our engagement has always been on the cards. This was important for both of us, to have an engagement on our terms.
Now onto what is obviously the most important part of this story: THE RING. I’ve written all about my engagement-ring-shopping-woes — so you’ll know I was desperately unsure what style I actually wanted. Luckily for me — and what many would say, riskily — Stag decided to design me a ring himself.
Needless to say, I was a tad bit worried about what this ring would look like. But wow; just look at this thing. It’s a rose-gold thin band with an oval shape diamond (clearly I haven’t learned anything about diamond terminology, whoops) and decorative leaf-style shoulders. It’s the ring of my dreams, and I couldn’t have designed something so beautiful myself.
Stag, my beautiful fiance-band: you’ve done good.
— Life Update 2: Welcome, Thirty —
About a week after post-engagement bliss (and 4 days before international-move hell) crept up quite an important day: my thirtieth birthday.
We had spent the weekend saying goodbye so most of our closest friends and family, which in many ways turned into my impromptu birthday party. However, on the actual day — with half of our stuff sold, in bins, in boxes, being swept up in moving chaos — I oddly felt, well, odd. Depressed, even. It also happened to be the Day of Orange Skies in London (thanks to some hurricane action and sands from the Sahara), so it felt slightly like my name-day was a bringer of some foretold Apocolypse.
So, yeah. I don’t have much to say about turning 30 except that it happened, and I feel mostly like I should have my shit a lot more together than it is. You know, the usual feels.
One day soon, I may put together one of those ’10 Lessons I’ve learned by 30′ or ‘Have your Shit Together by 30! Here’s how!’ blog posts. But hey, I may be 60 when that happens. STAY TUNED.
— Life Update 3: We Moved to San Francisco! —
A whopping 4 days after my big milestone birthday, with 5 small suitcases between us, we moved to America. I say ‘America’ and not ‘San Francisco,’ because we had a couple of transition periods in between — somewhat disorienting, and somewhat helpful.
First, we stopped off in the woods of Connecticut for a wedding and a little R&R. Having grown up in rural New Jersey, I assumed Connecticut would be — well, rather dull. WRONG. I loved Connecticut so much: the weather, the leaves, the charm, and yes, maybe a bit because Gilmore Girls. It would have made the most excellent blog content, had I not been so very overwhelmed with moving and with life.
We stayed at The Riverwind Inn, the most adorable country-style B&B with quite possibly some of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had. A tall, tall order coming from food-obsessed me. While I may not be doing a blog post or Travel Guide for our time in Connecticut, I’m happy to share the knowledge. Just send me an email with any questions or tip advice!
After our long weekend stay in Connecticut, we made our way to California to stay with Stag’s brother and sister-in-law in Scotts Valley, CA, a 1-2 hour drive down windy mountain highways from San Francisco. Most of the past month has been there, setting up a makeshift home in their spare room, commuting into the city most days to find an apartment, BUYING ALL OF OUR FURNITURE, and trying to work in-between.
Finally, finally, as of 6 days ago, we moved into our new apartment in San Francisco and now call this place home. We still have almost no furniture, no routine, no friends, but hey, we have an apartment and a local pub — that’s a start, right?
There are so, so many things I learned from this international move, quite different to what I experienced during my first international move to London. I’ll keep it brief here, as I’ll share some tips and a ‘Do’s & Don’t’s’ list in a future blog post.
However, I will sum up our experience by saying this: you may be prepared for all the hassle of moving ‘stuff’. At least, you think you will. But you will underestimate the sheer amount of quick, important decisions you must make on a daily basis in rapid succession. Exhausting, distracting, overwhelming, and powerful, indeed.
All this combined is why I’ve been so absent from blogging, from working, from engaging and from social and from life. I am not always the best at change, and I tend to obsess over researching things, like finding an affordable marble-top coffee table (HELP). Which means my brain is somewhere else far, far away from blogging.
I’m coming back, though. Slowly, and surely. I’m excited to put out some Christmas guides, some posts from Bruges (waaaaay back from September, whoops), and for sharing my new life with you as I figure it out myself. Slowly, and surely.