White Cliffs of Dover

This past weekend we were supposed to travel to Bruges with some friends, but at the very last minute had to cancel crossing to the mainland.  Since we were in Folkstone and we didn’t want to waste the beautiful summer day England was gracing us with we decided to go 20 minutes further to see the White Cliffs of Dover.  For the past two years I have really wanted to see these English landmarks, but every time we travel on the Eurotunnel we are either rushing to make our train or eager to get home so we never took this side trip.

As we approached the coast I became SO excited and then the first view of the cliffs had me positively giddy!  They are truly breath taking. Having not expected our day to take us to Dover I had done no research so was pleasantly surprised when I saw the extensive castle complex on the cliff.  Of course we just had to go exploring!

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The view to the right of the drive was of the beautiful blue water of the English Channel.  The drive in itself was lovely and made you feel all the centuries of history that had happened on this site starting in the Iron Age.

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Once we were parked and had our tickets we enjoyed a rather good lunch at the NAAFI Restuarant, which is housed in the 1868 Regimental Institute.  As we enjoyed our lunch we noticed that there was  land train so we hoped on to get to the highest point.  As I have mentioned Dover Castle is quite a complex so this transportation helped save us time.  We passed by the medieval and WWI tunnels on our way to the top. At our final stop we were surrounded by several structures ranging from the Roman Pharos (the oldest lighthouse in England and one of the oldest in the world), the Anglo-Saxon church of St Mary in Castro, and the Great Tower.20150821_145311

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It was so fun walking around and through these structures.  When we were halfway through the Great Tower David and I commented that this was one of the best castles we have ever visited! There were SO many rooms to explore and the English Heritage has done a fabulous job allowing visitors to step back in time.

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Truly a beautiful day at a beautiful site!  We absolutely recommend visiting Dover Castle and suggest spending at least half the day if not the whole one as there is SO much to explore.

Just as we were heading back to the car we went to the old signals platform to enjoy the cliffs a bit more before heading home. Wow!  The white contrasting the clear blue waters is just incredible.  If we ever come back to this location I definitely want to go out on a boat to see this view from the water.

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If you ever get the chance definitely add Dover, Dover Castle, and the White Cliffs to your to see list!

xoxo,

Victoria

Dover Castle  Castle Hill, Dover, Kent CT16 1HU, United Kingdom | Free for English Heritage members | Not open every day of the year so check before arriving

Bubbles in Oxford

Last week my love and I had an impromptu date night in Oxford. It was a perfect English summer night so we enjoyed just strolling through the the beautiful streets.

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About halfway through our walk David pulled me into the cutest shop for some bubble tea.

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After years of friends saying how yummy these are I can now agree.  What I loved, besides the taste, was how fun it was to drink!  The tapioca balls were fun to fish through the straw and surprisingly filling.   With such an extensive menu and loyalty cards I can’t wait to go back and try lots of flavours.  I think the next ones will be lychee juice and banana milk tea ^-^

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If you find yourself in Oxford and get a chance to try Coba Bubble Tea please share what deliciousness you enjoyed.

xoxo,

Victoria

Coba Bubble Tea 9, Golden Cross Walk, Cornmarket St, Oxford OX1 3EU, United Kingdom

DIY Memories

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So many times on trips we feel compelled to buy souvenirs to remember the occasion, but this can take time away from sight seeing, cost money that could be used for something else on the trip, and lastly take up room in our suitcases.  Over the years I have substituted my want to buy souvenirs with pictures.  With all these amazing companies like Shutterfly and Winkflash you can turn your pictures in canvases, photo books, postcards, calendars, etc.   Now of course once in awhile there is an item that I flash on and it just has to come home with me!

Recently, there was a space in our entry way that needed something more so I thought let’s add pictures from our favorite places.  So the first task was picking the places we wanted to showcase (in my opinion the hardest task).  After picking the locations I sifted through hundreds of pictures and was overwhelmed with picking only four.  Still wanting something that would represent our travels I decided on getting small canvases and painting our favorite places on them.  Thankfully the project turned out well and didn’t break the bank. Now every time we pass them the memories in those places flood us and bring a smile to our faces.

DIY Canvas Memories

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  1. Items you will need:
    • Any size canvas you want to use. I used 6″ x 6″ white canvases bought from Amazon
    • Paint – whatever color you want to use.  I used enamel paint as I had it on hand, but oil or acrylic would work
    • Paintbrush – smaller the better depending on how detailed you want it
    • Painters tape to create lines
    • D ring – I bought them in black from Amazon
    • 1.5″ grosgrain ribbon – Bought in black from Michael’s 
    • Needle
    • Thread – same color as ribbon
    • Hot glue gun
    • Nails
    • Hammer
  2. Tape off the areas you want. I just did the whole width of the tape on the top and bottom so the center was free for the writing
  3. Choose a font
  4. Paint whatever city, country, or whatever you want it to say in the font you chose
  5. Pull off painter’s tape and finish up the painting
  6. Measure the hanging space
  7. Cut the ribbon
  8. Sew the ribbon onto the D ring and sew up the bottom of the ribbon
  9. Measure where you want to place the canvas on the ribbon
  10. Use glue gun to attach canvases to ribbons
  11. Put the nail where you want it
  12. Hang

Reason behind each location we chose:

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St. Augustine, FL, U.S.A.: During our three years of dating St. Augustine was our halfway point so when we could afford to see one another, which was about once a month, we would meet there.  We SO enjoyed exploring this amazing historic town and just enjoying the beauty of Florida.

Paris, FRANCE: Our wedding took place in my family’s home in Normandy, France.  As many of our guests had come in from out of country my love and I decided to stay to enjoy our time with our guests who could stay longer, plus we were about to embark on a four year honeymoon to Japan!  So after Normandy we all went to Paris and enjoyed the incredible city.

Misawa, JAPAN:  Our first home. This wonderful town is were we made it on our own and became a family.

Kyoto, JAPAN: Our absolute favorite city in the world!!!  A perfect meld of country for my love and city for me.

What places would you pick?

xoxo,

Victoria

 

Up, Up and Away!

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Recently I experienced my first flying lesson and wow!  After years of nervousness as my husband would ask me to get my pilot’s license along with him I finally grabbed the control column and went up for my first flight.  I seriously loved it and now can’t wait to get my pilot’s license!  No worries I won’t be going near the controls of a commercial airliner ;)

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This new found attitude of challenging myself to try new things has led to the creation of Gidgette’s Passport.  For years I have dreamed of starting this, but kept putting it off.  I look forward to sharing my adventures with you and hopefully share some useful tidbits for your future adventures!

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Flying over Northamptonshire, England

xoxo