Thursday, February 24, 2011

And our final destination is.....


We're so excited to be sharing the news that James has finally landed a job! He was offered a position with Amanda Levete Architects ( and he starts on Monday!

Needless to say, we've gone from not having a whole lot to do to being sent into a frenzy of packing and planning! Thankfully, we have amazing friends in the city who are letting us take over their couch while we find an apartment, apply for my residency, open a bank account, apply for our national insurance numbers, etc, etc, etc!

Stay tuned as we take on London and blog all about it! With a royal wedding, the 2012 Olympics and a great big city to explore we'll have lots to write about!

And as soon as hotel Dixier is open for business we insist you come and visit us!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dear 20's, we're almost through!

A million thank yous to everyone who helped me ring in the final year of my twenties last week, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect birthday! All of the phone calls, emails, Facebook messages, flowers and presents made me feel warm and loved even though I'm far from home and the people I usually celebrate with.

The festival of Sarah started on the Saturday before my birthday when James and I headed to London to celebrate with some friends. Huge thank yous to Katee and Tymon who hosted us once again by giving us a place to rest our heads and filling our bellies with yummy food and drinks.

We celebrated that night with Katee, Tymon, Michelle and Sean with dinner at Mestizo, a great little Mexican restaurant near Camden Town and it was delish! I hadn't had tacos el pastor since leaving Toronto and they did not dissapoint. When we arrived at the restaurant someone at the table made a point of making it known that it was my birthday so I was appropriately ambushed with a giant sombrero, a shot of tequila and a yummy dessert at the end of the meal. I was also spoiled with a Pret a Manger gift card (clearly my friends know me well) and a great pair of gloves from Glove Love.

Feliz cumpleanos to me!
After dinner we wandered into Camden Town and headed to the Lock Tavern for drinks and to meet up with an old work friend, Michelle, who was in town for her graduation. We rounded out the night with a late night visit to a jewish bakery that was still open at 1 in the morning and walked out with three bags full of blintzes, challah bread, croissants and other delicious baked goods which we promptly scarfed down.

Michelle, me, Sean and Tymon at the Lock Tavern

Me and Katee
I have the best husband ever!
Michelle and I - yay for reunions!
Sunday, started earlier than our bodies would have liked when our alarm went off at 6:30 in the morning, but it was necessary for the next part of our week-end which was spent at Herstmonceux Castle, my favorite place in the world and the place where James and I met. We hadn't been back since the spring term we both spent there and being that it's only a few hours by train from London, we couldn't resist making the trip and it didn't dissapoint.

We spent the afternoon wandering around the grounds, which weren't as colorful as they were when we were there in the springtime but they still managed to take my breath away. And thankfully I had received a shiny new pair of Hunter wellies which made walking around all the more fun! To make the nostalgic castle experience complete we finished our afternoon visit with lunch in the cafeteria, which was just the same as we remembered it - we'll leave it at that. I feel so lucky to have been a student at the castle and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect birthday present than to go back to this place which means so much to me and is place that is such an important part of mine and James' relationship.

The grounds are normally closed to visitors this time of year so huge thank yous go to the castle staff who accomodated our request to visit and made us feel so welcome!

You can also see the rest of our pics from the castle here:
Wearing my new wellies and ready to go back to the castle

The back view of the castle frome the gardens

The front of the castle
James and I in spring 2004 when we first met

It still takes my breath away
That evening it just so happened that there was a concert being put on in the ballroom of the castle so James and I got prettied up to attend. The performance was by a German pianist named Michael Rische who played a tribute to Haydn. It was the perfect way to end a perfect day.

The day of my actual birthday I was suprised with beautiful flowers from two of the most wonderful friends and great presents from Irene and Matthew including a new change purse, earrings, a throw blanket and a cookbook!

I have the best girlfriends ever - thanks Rachel and Leah!
My birthday celebrations were rounded out with dinner with James, Irene and Matthew at a lovely vegetarian restaurant in Didsbury called Greens, which is so far my favorite restaurant meal I've had since I've been here and a divine chocolate orange cake made by my lovely husband.
Irene and Matthew post dinner

James and I post dinner

Making my birthday wish

The delicious chocolate orange cake baked by the best husband in the world!
I think 29 is going to be a great year!