Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

This weekend I went to Newport, Rhode Island, home to the famous Gilded Age mansions overlooking the sea. The mansions get decorated for Christmas every year and it’s a major tourist attraction. I took a tour of The Breakers, the opulent summer house of the Vanderbilt family and the biggest mansion of them all. Continue reading “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”

Being Thankful

Thanksgiving was traditionally a harvest festival and most people in the US celebrate it by spending time with relatives. As I play no role in food production (although I’m pretty good at the consumption part) and my family are over 3000 miles away what could it possibly mean to me apart from a nice day off? Like many people I have my ups and downs mentally and sometimes it’s easier to complain about what’s going wrong than celebrate the good parts. I’ve decided to use the holiday to reflect on the good things in my life and why I should be thankful for them.

The last few weeks have been a lot of fun almost without me realising it at the time. I managed to see Johnny Marr (formerly of the Smiths) live in Boston last week and he was amazing. On Saturday my wife and I went ice skating outdoors on the first day of the season at Boston Common and had a lot of fun. Although my skating style would best be described as “constipated penguin” I managed to skate for an hour without injuring myself or anyone else which has to be regarded as a major success. I also got to watch my wife be tripped up by an eight year old and fall over; this was definitely not the highlight of her trip. We’ve also had some really great days out together, my favourite so far being a drive up to New Hampshire.

Look I'm not on my ass!
Look I’m not on my ass!

Lately I’ve found myself becoming more comfortable about being in the US. When I first arrived I was finding it hard to adjust and almost avoiding social situations. In the past few weeks I’ve been to a house party and also hung out with some of Kat’s friends and it’s been really fun. I’m also enjoying work at the moment and getting on well with my co-workers and being a hermit forever seems less attractive by the day. That is until it gets really cold and I refuse to get out of bed until its spring! With every day that passes I realise how lucky I’ve been to have Kat’s support as I get used to living in the US. She has been amazing and having her as a wife is what I am thankful for more than anything.

We've had some really nice days out.
We’ve had some really nice days out.

So I guess that Thanksgiving does have a point for me, it has helped me to realise that although I’ve had a lot of changes in my life lately, I have a lot to be grateful for and that can only be good for my mental health. I would recommend other people try this approach, even if like me you are not American and more of a pessimist than an optimist at times! Thanksgiving is not a part of my tradition but I’m prepared to embrace it, happy in the knowledge that it involves spending time with Kat’s family and no doubt eating some great food. I’m excited for my first one and I’ll be sure to share how it goes!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, what are you thankful for this year?