September 25, 2017


As soon as our car came in and our household goods were delivered, we headed out for a vacation before school started.  We decided to head down to Devon, along the southern coast of England.

We stayed in Torquay, within walking distance of both the beach and the center of town.  The weather was perfect the entire time we were there so we got to do a lot of fun things.

We spent one day exploring Dartmoor National Park.  There are a lot of narrow roads and the horses, cows, and sheep roam freely around the park.  We did some hiking and climbing on the tors and even saw a small stone circle.

The next day we did a "round robin" tour of the area for the whole day.  We took a bus (open top) from Paignton to Totnes, a river boat from Totnes to Dartmouth, a ferry from Dartmouth to Kingswear, and a train from Kingswear back to Paignton.  We had quite a bit of time in both Totnes and Dartmouth to explore, visit some castles, eat good food, and we even saw a (very loud) stunt flying demonstration.

We spent the bulk of the next two days at the beach since the weather was so nice.  It was a rock beach and the water was very cold but we had a lot of fun and the boys spent some time finding sea glass.

On our last day, after we checked out of our holiday apartment, we headed over to Kents Cavern.  It's an old cave with guided tours that had a lot of excavation done back in the Victorian times.  We didn't take many pictures here since flash photography wasn't allowed but it was a pretty cool thing to see.

We came back to a house full of boxes waiting to be unpacked but it was a really good trip to take before the school term started.

*More details and more photos on the Kimblers Abroad blog.

August 10, 2017

Gloucester Cathedral

We went to Gloucester Cathedral on one of our first weekends here in England and it was a great daytrip.  (For a more detailed post about the trip and more pictures check out this link HERE.)

It started out with a bus ride to Gloucester and then a short walk to the Cathedral.  We had lots of time to walk around and explore.  We saw some Harry Potter filming spots (and a couple of fun pigs) before we headed down into the crypt (Sherlock filming location).  Apparently there's a Doctor Who filming location here too but I need to figure out exactly where that one is.

We finished off the trip with some Cornish Pasties and then a bus ride home.

July 10, 2017

We Made It!

Well, here we are!  I've been majorly neglecting this blog as the last few months have been a crazy blur of preparing to move!  But here's a summary of what we've been up to:
  • I went on a diet.  I made a big change and did a Ketogenic diet for two months.  It was hard but it was so good too.  I kicked the sugar habit and lost a decent amount of weight but then moving stuff really kicked into high gear and the stress of moving plus eating out more means I've likely gained most of it back.
  • We went to Awesome Con.  I may write a separate post about this but the most important thing to know about that day is that I MET DAVID TENNANT and got his autograph.
  • We got ready to move.  This was (obviously) a big part of what we've been doing.  This involved finishing work on the house and yard, getting rid of a bunch of stuff (clothes that no longer fit, furniture we didn't want anymore, etc.), packing our luggage, and separating the rest of our belongings into either storage, quick shipment, or regular household goods shipment.  This was no small task and we spent months working on all of this.
  • We had a few days of last minute fun.  After the last of our stuff was packed out, we were able to take about a week and a half to visit my sister in Richmond, play for a few days at Great Wolf Lodge, hang out with some friends (and say goodbye) back in Odenton, and visit my parents.  It was a little rough living out of suitcases and sharing a hotel room with the kids but we also had a lot of fun and got to see some people before we left.
  • Flying out! Our flight left on Thursday night and arrived in England on Friday morning.  The kids slept for quite a while on the flight (Andrew fell asleep around 11:15pm and Brandon finally fell asleep around 12:30am, Maryland time) but Aaron and I didn't really sleep more than 3 hours between the two of us.  We arrived at Heathrow by 10:30am local time and then had to go through immigration and baggage claim before driving to our new town.  We arrived at our temporary apartment in Cheltenham around 2:30pm.
We're still getting adjusted but things have generally been going well.  Aaron started work today and we are hoping to start house hunting later this week.  It's been quite a whirlwind so far!

March 22, 2017

It's Official: We're Moving!

We have had this big change in the works for over eight months but now today Aaron and I finally went in and got our moving orders!  It came in a huge binder with tons of information we'll need to navigate this big move and forms we'll have to fill out, and I'm anxious to dig in!  We've been at a standstill  for a while since most of our "to do" items couldn't be done until we got this massive bundle of information overload, so now it's finally time to get to work again!

Here's what you need to know!

Who: our family
What: moving!
When: July 2017-2020

We are so excited about this new opportunity!  It should be three great years, full of exploration and adventure!  Both Andrew and Brandon will be starting school out there, in a private school complete with cute little uniforms, and I expect they will pick up an adorable accent too.  Meanwhile I've got pinterest boards full of things to do and places I want to see while we're in the UK and have such easy access to Europe.

This is going to be a massive change for us- wish us luck!

February 26, 2017

Brandon is Two!

Our little guy is getting so big! He is always trying to keep up with his big brother, and often succeeds.  It's been so fun to watch him grow from baby to toddler, and a real playmate to Andrew.

Brandon's vocabulary is really starting to grow.  He's started to put two- and three-word sentences together and it's really exciting to have some more communication with him.  He can identify nearly all of his uppercase and lowercase letters and can count to "tooteen" (haha, that's thirteen, by the way), which are both super impressive for his age.  His favorite songs to sing are "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I Caught a Fish Alive."

He is a very determined little kid.  Brandon (much like his brother) has a tendency to decide that it's time to do a certain thing or clean up the toys, whether everyone else is ready or not.  He knows where something "should" go and will get quite upset if you try to put it somewhere else.  Likewise, he believes he has sole ownership over many things in our house (nearly all are not actually his alone) and it's not pretty when Andrew (or anyone else) wants to use it too.  But his determination is also so cute and has helped him become really good at puzzles and figuring out how to get things that are just out of reach.

We also moved Brandon out of his crib just a couple of days before his birthday.  He's done pretty well so far, though we regularly find him sleeping on the floor next to his bed when we check on him before we go to bed.  Once he's gotten the hang of the big boy bed it will be time to work on eliminating the pacifier!

We sure love this little guy and are really excited to see him keep growing!