Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Places we have been Part II

We started this blog to document and be able to look back on our journey together, both past and present. We always wanted it to be a permanent record of our lives together as we move towards being Mrs & Mrs. In view of this, I wanted to post about some of the places we have been together.

Although we both have a love of travelling the world together, we haven't had a huge amount of holidays. In the seven years we have been together we spent four years of it as students. Then, once in 'proper' jobs we began saving for a house, then engagement rings, and then a wedding! After we are married we plan to take a break from all this saving, and spend a year or so enjoying spending our hard earned money on whatever we please, before our money is eaten up by having babies! Having always wanted to travel to different places, it seems the perfect opportunity to enjoy being Mrs & Mrs, and see a bit more of the world together.  We have started to think about where we would love to go...New Zealand, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Morrocco have all made the maybe list so far. It's so exciting to think that we can go anywhere we like!

However, for now I wanted to document some of the places we've already been to, and the memories they hold for us. Part One of this can be found here.

We visited Cardigan Bay for a few days in the summer of 2005, just before L began her midwifery training and we knew our time together would become much more limited. We wanted to go away somewhere, but were quite poor at the time, so packed up our beloved Mini and drove to the Welsh coast (I can't believe the ancient Mini got us there!). We stayed at a beautiful little vegetarian guesthouse in the middle of nowhere. We spent the days walking along the coast, watching the seals in the sea, relaxing in the sun, and loving each other's company. We hardly saw any other people the whole time - complete perfection.

Look at this room - it really was a tranquil piece of heaven!

We have been to Malta many times (currently about 7-10 - we can't remember!) as L's family live out there. The first time we visited in 2005 we did lots of tourist type excursions, but its great that when we go out there now, we can revisit tourist attractions or just relax taking long walks along the seafront, going to our favourite places for food and spending time with L's family, who are always ridiculously excited to see us, and who are wonderfully accepting of us both.

We would definitely recommend visiting Mdina - the 'silent city' - set on a hill, the city walls do not let any traffic through, so you enter into a tranquil, beautiful city that really is silent, plus it offers amazing views across Malta. There is also an amazing cake shop there!
Valletta is the capital city, steeped full of amazing history, particularly as Malta was heavily involved in the second world war, we have spent many days filling our geek requirements here learning all about this amazing city. Plus it has views like this..
Upper Barraca Gardens, Valletta

Marsaxlokk is a tiny fishing village in which you can wander through maltese markets, see fishermen at work, eat amazing food (they cater surprisingly well for vegetarians!), and take in yet more amazing views.
The Blue Grotto -  you are taken on a tiny boat to a small collection of caves where the sea is strikingly blue and crystal clear.
The Blue Grotto

One of our favourite places in the world! We first visited Brighton in 2009 aswe had planned to meet up with some friends (who missed it as their car broke down!) and go to Pride. Although the weather wasn't great we had an amazing time wandering in the lanes and going to Food For Friends for dinner.
We loved Brighton so much we returned to get engaged there, and revisited Food For Friends. 
We adore how Brighton is fun, bohemian, quirky, unique, gay friendly and a great destination for food loving vegetarians!

London is probably joint with Malta for somewhere that we visit a lot. We have done touristy things such as the London Eye, London Aquarium, the river boats etc, but we usually go for a specific reason. We saw Phantom of The Opera in the west end for Lauren's 21st in 2007, have been to numerous gigs in Brixton, Shepards Bush and the 02, went for afternoon tea at the Berkeley for our 6th anniversary, and bought our wedding rings in Old Bond Street. We recently visited Megan from What Wegan Did Next, and very much enjoyed being shown even more bits of London. Its a fab city and like Brighton, is somewhere we would consider living if it weren't for family and our jobs! We love the shops, and the fact there is always something going on!

We saw an AMAZING wildlife photography exhibition here last year!

Christmas in Oxford St
Not the most impressive of destinations but it will always hold a place in our hearts due to it being the place where we first lived together. When we met in summer 2004, Lauren was about to move to Leeds for University. I spent so much time visiting her that I virtually lived in her halls for her first year, and even went to a couple of her lectures with her! She then changed courses and spent another year in a student house, then for the second year of her new course, we rented a flat together on the outskirts of Leeds, with me finding a full time job nearby. We loved that flat, even though it was tiny and home to some of the hugest spiders I have ever seen in my life (we shared a bathroom with a boy who lived in the other flat, and I used to leave him notes asking him to please remove the spider, with a diagram showing how big it was!) we decorated it with flower and rainbow colours themed pretty things, and made it our own. We learned how to live together in Leeds, and its one of the things that strengthened our relationship. We also have very fond memories of late nights out together in Leeds City Centre, shopping, going for afternoon tea at Bettys in Harrogate, wandering in Chapel Allerton, and dates in a little quirky vegetarian cafes.

Again, it may not be the most impressive place, but we love it! After being given each others phone numbers, and swapping messages for a while, it was next to the Bullring Bull that we first met up!
Before Lauren went to uni we spent hours in Birmingham sitting in Starbucks chatting, which remains one of our favourite things to do! We always knew we would return to the midlands after Lauren graduated, and in 2009 we moved back in with our parents for a year to save for our house deposit. This was hard work, but in May 2010 we bought our first house, in south Birmingham.
Canon Hill Park
We love Birmingham's shops (second only to London in our opinion!) the mix of cultures which means fun events and amazing restaurants, and the way there is something for everyone - whether its modern shops and restaurants in the Bullring and Mailbox, beautiful parks like Canon Hill or cute canal side bars at Brindley Place, Birmingham is our home and we adore it!
Brindley Place (image link)

There will be a final travelling post about the plans we are making for future travel plans, Lauren is a bit of a planning enthusiast so can happily spend hours researching places, modes of transport to get us there etc. I'm sure to a lot of people reading, this post won't be very interesting at all, but in these places contain so many beautiful memories, so much love and happiness was found there, it would be a shame not to post about it :)


  1. very beautiful and interesting blog.
    you have visited so many beautiful places.

    would you like to follow each other? let me know.


    The chic and cheap blog

  2. Aww I loved this and reading about all the memories it holds for you!! Ooh I don't know your family is in Malta Lauren?! How lovely!! Would love to go there one day. Aw at your flat in Leeds! We should all go for a weekend in Brighton one day and go to Food for Friends? :) YUM!

    M xx


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