New year.. the adventure begins ! 

Just a few of us having a selfie at Martin’s

What a brilliant New Years Eve was had by our family.   It’s our tradition to go to my brother Martin’s house to see in the new year.  He cooks ..very well I will add….lots of little dishes..all home made….chorizo in fancy dressings…prawns in garlic…asparagus in Parma ham in delicious chilli and garlic ..are just a few of the delights that await us on arrival.  Then there is a chilli bubbling away and also a home made turkey and ham pie which is absolutely gorgeous…lots of other dishes too numerous to mention but you just have to try a little of everything.  He has his music mix playing which will run right through to the new year and is timed to perfection.  He likes it all to be perfect and at midnight he sets off almost 30 minutes of fireworks that dance with the music… we drink champagne to welcome the new year and have an absolutely lovely time.. just eating, drinking, dancing…and being together.

I think this New Years Eve was special to me as it’s likely to be my last spent here for a while.  I have absolutely no idea what we will be doing this time next year.  I’m sure we will be with our lovely friends Carol and Barry who we will be staying with when we first arrive in California.  I’m pretty sure we will spend Christmas and new year with their family..we have met most of them on previous visits and they are all lovely and I’m sure will be very welcoming.  But I know I’ll miss New Years Eve at Martins with my family.

Was so very sad to hear of George Michael dying on Christmas Day.  My favourite all time artist is George and all of his songs have meant something to me at sometime or other during my life.  I loved Wham but didn’t really take much notice of the music until George went on his own and in my opinion produced some of the best written and performed music of all time.   I have been lucky to see him in concert and most recently at the Royal Albert Hall a couple of years ago ..was magical… he will be sadly missed


One of my Christmas presents from my hubby Randy is a book ‘The Rough Guide to California’. It’s fantastic !   I haven’t had a chance to read much of it yet but it picks lots of different places to go to once we are there.  Not really tourist places but interesting and  off the beaten track.  I have travelled through California by car up to San Francisco and it’s a fantastic trip.  Our plan is to find places that we haven’t been to before in California,  maybe not popular with visitors but just totally different to what we are used to.  This book lists some of those places and I really can’t wait to explore.

I will be taking the Christmas decorations down in the next few days.  This time they won’t be packed into boxes and stored in the loft.  This time they will be packed into their new storage bags, the delicate items bubble wrapped and stored ready to be shipped to America.  I’m laughing as I’m thinking about this.. I don’t usually like the job of taking down the decorations and can’t wait to close the loft door on it all..  I’m laughing that I have to wrap each delicate item individually …  Alex has the job of packing the tree decorations.  She will not throw anything away so every one will be carefully wrapped and packed by her. Good luck with that Alex

I love it when the decorations are taken down. A really good clean and it feels clear and fresh again.  I don’t think that feeling will last long this year as we are starting clearing and packing now.   I still haven’t received my visa from the Embassy yet, although it has been granted.  Those of you that know me will know I won’t do anything really until that visa is in my hands..

I haven’t seen The Pings at all over the holidays and I’ve missed them. A lovelier group of people you could not find and I’m privileged to be a part of this group.  Can’t wait to catch up with them in the next few days hopefully.

The wonderful Pings on New Years Eve


Not Ping related but I have two very special friends with birthdays on New Years Day.  Happy birthday to Christa and to Jacqueline. Sending you both lots of love and best wishes.

I would  like to wish you all a very happy 2017.  I hope you will continue to read my blog as we start the  preparations for our move.  So much to think about but I’m really enjoying writing this as I go through the move.   Please follow me on here.  You will need to give your email address and this will ensure you’re notified when I do a new post..nothing else.  So far I have had over 3000 views on my blogs but not many followers, so I don’t really know what people think.  Followers let’s me know that people like reading my blogs so please think about following me and even leaving comments.  I really would love that.  Leave your name too..  i delete anonymous comments..
Until the next time ..


15 Comments Add yours

  1. Joanne Colyer says:

    Really touched that you have included a picture of the pings. We are going to miss you but know we will keep in touch.
    Good luck with the packing! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Avril Newton says:

    Love love love reading your blogs…..hope to catch up soon Me Julie….keep on pinging 😝😘

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christa Emberson says:

    Totally love reading your blog Julie. You must continue when you move so we all know what you are up to! I always feel as if you are actually sitting next to me as I read it and really sense your emotions each week. Sending you all warmest wishes for a wonderful 2017. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lhourdesmercadero says:

    I love reading your post Julie. Finished reading 2 of your blog post and I’m starting to enjoy it.
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliereid01 says:

      Thank you so much.. happy new year to you too xx


  5. Teresa cooper says:

    Great blog Julie😊 I’ll miss you when you leave but Nick who hasn’t been on holiday with us for the last 2 years is hinting that when we visit can we take him as well😄
    Teresa x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sushmita Thakare Jain says:

    Like reading the post dear!
    It’s good to know the gift from your hubby was a book.
    I would be interested in the review of the book 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ladybug165 says:

    I enjoy your blog posts. I have started my own blog called Reflections of Love which is about faith, unemployment and the journey I have with my mom who has Alzheimer’s disease. You can check it out at http://www.alwaysamomcom.word 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mart says:

    I think your brothers food is exceptional… and his Firework display is amazing… On top of that I think his physical attraction is awesome and he should also be the new James Bond. He really is fantastic


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Janice Wald says:

    I am in California. It is not so rough where I am.
    Congratulations on being Danny Ray’s featured blogger. I was just featured blogger too. Maybe you can check out my blog if you need a blogging tip or two. That’s what I write about.
    I brought you the link to my about page, so you can more about my blog and. Also, my avatar takes you to the wrong site.
    Like Danny, I have many blog parties each month. Happy new year.


    1. juliereid01 says:

      I didn’t know I was a featured blogger ? Where is that ?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Janice Wald says:

        Hi Julie,
        I don’t know if I saved the email. However, if you check your dashboard you should see the link since I clicked it to get to your site.


  10. realmofvibes says:

    I love your blog. New reader and follower into the US.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Julie,
    I came across your blog on the FB blogging 101 group page and I am really enjoying it. I am so excited for your journey to the US and living in the SF area. I lived there briefly within the past couple of years and really enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more about your adventure & picking up the book your hubby bought for you.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliereid01 says:

      Thank you so much Tracey. I’m really pleased you’re enjoying it


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