Wow, have I ever let things slide!  I have been afflicted by a weird sort of inertia which I blame on a combination of a new computer, Christmas holidays, and general laziness.  So, in the spirit of the New Year I am trying to get things back on track and do all of the website additions that I intended on doing before my old laptop took that unfortunate fall to the floor.  We have started planning the generalities of this summer's trip which is motivating me to get moving on documenting all the details from Italy last summer.  The daily blog was full of a lot of information, but it's the information on the hotels we stayed in and a lot of budget information that I think will be very useful for anyone planning a trip in the near future that I need/want to get finished.  Otherwise what was the point of all the notes I took while we were there?  The photo gallery needs a lot of work too...  I will be a busy bee!

162xAs for a completely non-European related travel topic, we just returned from a week in the Dominican Republic.  The beach was gorgeous and had the softest sand that was perfect for sandcastle building.  We encountered some less than ideal weather for the last few days (absolutely torrential downpours!) but we were a group of 15 family members and had a great time anyway just playing games and hanging out.  We're fortunate to actually enjoy hanging out with the extended family - when else does a 17 year old boy get into a crazy UNO tournament with his 9 year old cousin?  As anyone knows who followed the blog throughout Italy - I love food.  Really good food.  I can talk about it and take pictures of it until people roll their eyes with boredom, but as Popeye would say, "I y'am who I y'am".  So, with that in mind, the food in the Dominican Republic left a little to be desired... but when it's all inclusive and they have such delicious beverages available its easy to find alternative sources of calories.  I persevered.

Now looking forward we realized that we needed to lock in a location for this summer.  We finalized our dates for Holland and tried to coordinate them with the rest of the family that will be there at the same time for the giant soiree for my in-laws.  We found a great house close to both the beach and to the village where most of our family lives and the price is excellent!  I guess the next step is actually getting plane tickets... which explains why I currently have 9 tabs open at the top of my FireFox browser.  KLM, British Airways, Air Transat, Homeaway, Friendly Rentals, Google Maps, Hotmail, Takethemalong, and Facebook for good measure.  I just hope that my computer doesn't spontaneously close things down or I'll have to start all over again!

Onwards I go, and I think you'll be seeing a lot more of me than before.  Happy New Year!


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