Last December, Adam and I went to New York for Christmas. You know that quote that goes around Pinterest, that says “expectations are disappointments in the making”, or something similar, and for me, that can definitely be true sometimes. I build up a picture in my mind of how things are going to be. And with New York, it’s somewhere that I’ve wanted to go ever since I watched my first episode of Friends 18 years ago. Add to that stories of other people who have been, and blogs from people who live there, and instagram… My expectations were sky high. Fortunately for me, this holiday did not disappoint. it was every bit as perfect and magical as I could have ever hoped it would be. Adam and I have been fortunate enough to travel to a lot of places (I think we’re around the 30 country mark now) and we have seen and done some amazing, once-in-a-lifetime type things. But this was the best holiday I have ever had.
We walked the Brooklyn Bridge, saw the statue of liberty, visited the 911 memorial, did a walking tour to see the Friends apartments. We stopped at the Lotte hotel, and it was like the set of a Christmas film. We went to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, and I absolutely loved it, especially the nativity at the end. We did a little shopping. We walked up to Levain bakery and the cookies were just as good as I’d imagined. We stopped for lunch one day in the most stereotypically New York little sandwich shop. We walked around Central Park on Christmas Day and then had a burger and fries as our Christmas dinner. It was perfect. I didn’t take anywhere near as many photos as I would have liked, and most of what I did take were on my phone. But isn’t that just how it is sometimes? I already can’t wait to go back one day!
Some iphone photos below:
It’s been a little over 8 months since we got the keys to our new house, and sadly, we are not moved in yet! As I mentioned in my previous post, the house needed completely gutting, everything taking out and then putting back in again from scratch. It means we will have a wonderful, beautiful home when it’s done but it is a lot of work. To keep costs down, we are doing as much of the work ourselves as we can. Adam is very skilled when it comes to pretty much anything he can do with his hands, and is an electrician by trade, so that works out very nicely for me!
Of course, as soon as you start doing work to a property like this, then you also discover a whole host of other ailments that the house has that were hidden underneath the plaster, or floors. In our case, we realised that all the walls were lath and plaster, and we spent about 10 days in total pulling them off, pulling the leftover nails out of the wooden frames, and carrying buckets full of the resulting rubble and waste out to the skip. Luckily, my mum and brother in law and other family members chipped in to help us. We also thought we might be able to salvage a few things, but we couldn’t salvage anything at all, unfortunately.
I’ve included some comparison photos of before we started any work too. As you can see, it’s all a bit of a mess at the moment but we keep working at it. One of my favourite sayings is – “nothing lasts forever” and I repeat it to myself often during hard times. It feels like a long way off now but there will be a time where I am drinking coffee in my new kitchen and all the hard work will feel far behind me. Still feeling very grateful and very lucky that we get to do this!
So an amazing thing happened… We finally bought a new house! And I am so in love with it. I keep wandering around with a big grin on my face and saying things like “I can’t believe this is ours!” and “how did I get so lucky”.
It was built in the 1920’s and has only had two owners before us, so there hasn’t been a lot of things done to it. It’s in a very bad condition, but luckily, my husband and I like a project, and wanted something that we could put our own stamp on. It needs a full renovation (which we are currently working on, and I will post an update about soon as we actually got the keys in February – hence the snowdrop photos).
We did already have a house, and luckily we can stay living here until the new house is ready to move in. I think I’m still struggling to believe that it really is ours because we had a few problems at the very start. For some reason the estate agents weren’t keen on us and convinced the sellers not to take our offer but we put a letter through the door and luckily the sellers phoned me and realised that we are nice people, and sold it to us. We’d also been looking for a new house for two years, and came close to buying others but for one reason or another they didn’t work out. But with hindsight I am so happy about this as I love this house so much.
I think something that will remain a favourite memory of mine for as long as I live will be the feeling of picking up the keys with my husband, driving straight to the house and going in for the first time. Wandering around and taking in every detail and feeling giddy with excitement and potential.
I wanted to share a few photos of the inside (and some of the garden, too) and plan on making a few updates about our progress. I can’t wait to do before and after photos at some point as well (probably a long time from now!)