We both love travelling - sometimes together, sometimes with our respective families, and sometimes with other friends, so for the New Year we have just had a little planning get together to see where 2019 will take us. 

But first, we thought it would be a great idea to have a look at where we went last year - some of which were on our respective bucket lists - which means we can now cross them off and move on! And we have already identified where we would like to travel to next.

First up Anne C visited Iceland in January with her daughter Louise, whose birthday she celebrated in Reykjavik while they were there.  It was on Anne's bucket list to see the Northern Lights, though sadly despite going out on four occasions, they didn't appear - a huge disappointment for her.

Having said that, they had a fabulous time, visiting the stunning waterfalls at Gullfoss, taking a dip in the geothermal springs of the Blue Lagoon, whale watching, appreciating the beautiful yet simplistic and oddly shaped church of Hallgrimskirkja, and seeing the boiling geysers at Blaskogabuggo. To note from the photo that specialist clothing was required because it was so cold!

For anyone interested in learning more about that trip, more details can be found here and here.

And to the other side of the world and a completely different eco-system, Anne H flew to Costa Rica in Central America with another long-term friend. Their escorted touring holiday took them through stunning rainforests, across amazing countryside, to beautiful hotels with golden beaches, up volcanoes and alongside lakes and eco-systems.  

It was a country of real contrasts, from the flora and fauna, the animals and the terrain, through from Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast, into the cloud forest of Monteverde to the beautiful beaches on the Pacific coast .Truly a holiday of a lifetime! More details about this trip here and here. And of course Anne had her own specialist clothing - but of a different kind!

Our first joint trip of 2018 was to celebrate Anne H's birthday with a visit to Bruges in Belgium - a beautiful city which Anne C had already visited - which certainly helps since you know the best parts to see.  This time we took an overnight ferry with P&O from Hull - part of the experience as that was such a leisurely journey - to Zeebrugge and then finished our journey with a short coach ride.

Of course Belgium is famous for its delicious chocolate, which we enjoyed at every opportunity, but the buildings are also stunning.  We stayed overnight in the fabulous Academie Hotel, and spent our two days visiting museums - the Diamond Museum and St John's Hospital Museum, to name a couple (but there are loads more) and generally walking around the picturesque streets.  We did avoid the Belfry of Bruges Tower, from the famous scene in the movie "In Bruges" starring the rather gorgeous Colin Farrell, because we are both scared of heights, and believe me the stairs to the top of the tower are very scary!

Anne C went off again with her daughter in April, this time to the Big Apple in the US.  There's quite a story behind this visit, which she will talk about later in the year, but suffice to say that it was rather more of a business visit than a holiday.  However, when in New York, you can't just sit in the hotel, so she managed to take in the very moving 9/11 Museum, a wander around ChinaTown and Times Square, and a trip up the Rockefella Centre (less scary because you go up in a lift and can't hang out through the windows!

Anne C is a bit of a sun-worshipper, which necessitates frequent trips to Greece.  Her first visit of 2018 was to the island of Thassos with hubby Peter and two friends, although the weather was a disappointment (unusually for June - floods and torrential rain). She also holidayed there the previous year, and information on that trip can be found here and here.  Her second Greek holiday was back to the stunning island of Santorini, where she and her family have been holidaying for almost 20 years, which she has written about extensively here and here.

Meanwhile Anne H returns year after year to Tropea in Italy, where she has family.  Incidentally, both of us have previously visited the other's regular holiday destinations - Anne C has been to Tropea and Anne H has been to Santorini).

Last year, Anne H took her daughter and other family members for a girly holiday and a bigger family reunion.  See here and here for more information about Tropea from previous visits.

Then Anne H was off again - this time with her blogger daughter Lizzy to Club Med La Plantation d'Albion on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.  This was an opportunity to enjoy an all-inclusive break, take in the stunning scenery and marvel at the colonial plantation houses.  But for them it was an opportunity to catch up, unwind and chill, so their most strenuous activities involved reading and visiting the hotel spa!

But we don't just hop on a plane every time we go away.  We have a beautiful country of our own, and probably as we get older we may well ditch overseas holidays and opt for staycations in the UK.  This year we managed a couple of mini getaways together, to Liverpool and London, while Anne H went to Bristol with an old schoolfriend.

Both of us have previously done business in Liverpool during our working lives, but we wanted to experience a different side of the city, and the touring exhibition of the Terracotta Army from China gave us the excuse for a couple of days there.

We also took in a visit to The Cavern Club made famous by The Beatles, took pictures of us with the statues of John Lennon and Cilla Black, and climbed aboard the Ferry Across the Mersey - that of Gerry and the Pacemakers' famous footballing anthem.

In August, for Anne C's birthday, we headed for London for a more relaxing visit to Anne H's blogger daughter Lizzy (who is also Anne C's god-daughter) in Notting Hill, where we mooched around the shops and headed up west for lunch and another mooch around Covent Garden.

Our final trip of 2018 was our annual Christmas outing - not actually a holiday - which was to the beautiful Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.

Phew! Until writing it all down we hadn't realised how many trips we had taken between us, but it hasn't deterred us from planning our 2019 trips.  Anne C is  flying off to Budapest in the Spring - which was a Christmas gift from her daughter, and will be returning to Santorini with hubby again later in the summer.

Anne H is heading north of the border to Scotland with her Costa Rica friend for a touring holiday taking in the stunning Highlands and some of the cities within our own shores. She will also be making her annual visits to family in Tropea as usual.

So what of our joint trips this year?  We haven't got anything booked yet but have been looking at a riverboat cruise in Venice and another big trip in 2020 - hopefully a cruise to Hawaii no less!

* All our trips are self-funded, but if any travel companies would like to collaborate, please let us know!

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