Happy New Year! Also, London!

Happy 2018! I hope 2017 was a year of success and traveling adventures for all of you! I had a pretty good year of traveling, focused mainly on my “standard” travels, featuring Doctor Who conventions, relaxation on the Gulf Shore, a visit to my favorite city, and even a trip down memory lane. With Scott still in grad school (though done in about two months – hooray!), we haven’t had the opportunity to take any long international trips as we have in previous years, but a year with any travel is a good year in my book.

To wrap the year up, I had a bit of typical holiday travel. After hosting Christmas for Scott’s family last year, we traveled to Wisconsin for Christmas hosted by his parents. We had a great time! His sister and her family were also there – we had fun playing games, enjoying good food, and opening gifts. After traveling back to MN on Christmas Day, it was back on the road for me on the 26th, this time to Omaha to have Christmas with my family. With three brothers, two of whom are married and don’t live in Omaha (where my parents and third brother live), it’s difficult to coordinate schedules to allow us to all be home at the same time, so more than one Christmas has passed where we couldn’t make it happen. I’m happy to report this wasn’t one of those years, so we were all home at the same time for about 36 hours. Unfortunately, a wicked cold was making its way through the family at the same time, but most of us managed to avoid it (sorry, Chris!) and we still had lots of fun.

On top of family time, I hooked up with three of my friends I’ve known from pretty much the day I moved to Omaha with my family 25 years ago! I met all of them in elementary school and we continued in school together through graduation, saw each other periodically after that, and have kept in touch via Facebook (except for John – he just joined Facebook a few months ago!), but we haven’t all been together in probably 18 years. We didn’t actually plan anything ahead of time, but it worked out that we could all together one night and I’m so glad we did! It was a lot of fun to catch up with all of them and hear what’s been going on in their lives. I’m hoping we don’t wait another 18 years to get together again!

I don’t usually take a ton of pictures around the holidays (I took none in Wisconsin!), but I did get some in Omaha. Enjoy!

My brother Danny unwrapping a gift.

My parents watching on as my nephew Ethan and niece Jaci open gifts.

Panorama of the Christmas festivities!

Highlighting Danny’s present-wrapping skills.

It’s been a tradition in our family for many years that Chris dons a Santa hat and hands out all the gifts. The tradition continues!

Ethan loves books!

Danny surprised Chris with an Xbox 360.

Nice shirt, Bob!

Aftermath of opening gifts. Lots of wrapping paper!

Godzilla (one of Ethan’s gifts) making himself at home on a side table.

My oldest brother Brian got these ornaments for my parents several years ago and they always amuse me. 🙂

With my friends! Clockwise from left – Kinesha, Courtney, John, and me.

John was my best friend after we moved to Omaha. So good to see him again!

I reminded Kinesha that she was the first person to talk to me in my new school in Omaha. I was a shy, middle-of-the-year kid who knew literally no one and she made me feel welcome on my first day. I’ll always love her for that!

Selfie with Courtney and Kinesha after John had to leave.

I had a great 2017 and a fun holiday season! But now that it’s 2018, it’s time to time to look ahead to my first trip of the year, which just happens to be a few days away. Unless you’re reading this after the trip, in which case it’s already happened. Yes, that’s right, I’ll soon be off to…


Not a surprise, I realize (especially since I announced it a few months ago), but I’m always excited to visit my favorite city! Do you have any ideas on what I should do on this trip? I’ve seen and done lots in London, but there are plenty of things I’ve never gotten around to. Share your ideas in the comments! The only thing I’ve booked thus far is a ticket to My Gay Best Friend, a show written by and starring two friends who just happen to be performing it in London (at the Hope Theatre) while I’m visiting. I’ve seen the show a couple of times before, but I’m looking forward to seeing it again.

Check back often over the next couple of weeks to follow along on my latest London adventure!

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About thejeffelston

Based in St. Paul, MN and love to blog about travel. Comment, follow, and join me on my journey!