With the holidays being over and Christmas a long way off, January can feel a bit bleak. To cheer you up and warm your hearts, we—along with Raymond the reindeer—prepared a little something special for you…
A free 2015 desktop calendar for you to download! With this image as your desktop background, every time you are on your computer, you’ll be greeted by Raymond’s adorable face.
So far this year I’ve told you about Raymond’s and my adventures bustling about NYC, relaxing in the Blue Ridge Mountains, hoofing around London so Raymond could take in even more sights, and soaking up some history in Rome. Raymond and I travelled to one other city during our downtime this year… Savannah, Georgia!
We made our way down to Savannah to visit a friend of mine who was travelling around the Southeastern United States on her bicycle. This friend put so many miles on her bicycle that you would think it’s Santa’s sleigh!
All of us enjoyed Savannah’s Southern charm with its historic buildings and tree-lined streets. Raymond was especially intrigued by the Spanish moss that grows hanging from tree branches all over the city.
Enjoying a muggy day in Savannah
Silly reindeer having fun in the Spanish moss
During our trip, walking was our main source of transportation, so we were able to enjoy quite a number of Savannah’s squares and green spaces. We had a delicious brunch near Forsyth Park, which was rather lovely. Not only are there several statues in the park, but the beautiful azaleas were also in bloom.
Reading the inscription on the Spanish-American War Memorial in Forsyth Park
Hammin’ it up near some azaleas
Before we journeyed back to the North Pole, Raymond and I went down to River Street to check out the Savannah River one more time, as well as pick up some gophers for the trip home. Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Gophers!? Huh?” Gophers are a Savannah treat made by pouring caramel over a bed of Georgia pecans and topping all that with chocolate. They were so yummy that we ate them all before we could get a photo!
Tummy full of gophers near the Savannah River
Raymond and I had a fabulous time in Savannah. Where should Raymond visit next year? Let us know in the comments!
After travelling to London, New York City and the Blue Ridge Mountains this year, Raymond and I thought it would be interesting to visit another city where we could soak up a lot of history. Raymond was particularly interested in checking out old ruins and historic buildings, so we decided to make our way down to Rome, Italy!
It was incredibly hot while we were in Rome—possibly even hotter than when we went to South Korea last year. Let me tell you, when you live at the North Pole, you aren’t used to heat and humidity! In between surveying the sites, Raymond and I ducked into the shade and made sure to drink plenty of water.
For our first stop, Raymond and I visited the Pantheon, which was built nearly 2,000 years ago. Used as a Roman Catholic church since the 7th century, the Pantheon is beautiful and incredibly well-preserved.
Raymond in the hot sun outside the Pantheon
Admiring the coffered concrete dome and oculus inside the Pantheon
Tempted to hop into the water of the Fontana del Pantheon to cool off in Piazza della Rotonda
Next we decided to stop for some lunch. As you may remember, Raymond and I are both vegetarians, and thankfully there is a plethora of vegetarian Italian dishes. Some days we couldn’t decide… Pasta? Pizza? Salad? Gelato? All of the above?
About to chow down on a caprese salad. Yum!
Raymond and I could eat Italian cuisine all day, but we had other sights to see, so we ventured forth in the Roman sun. We came across a large building that turned out to be Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II. Built in the early 1900s, this monument was erected in honour of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of unified Italy.
In front of Altare della Patria, also known as Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II
With the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the background
From Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, we passed the Roman Forum on our way to the Colosseum. Raymond was fascinated by the ruins, as some of them date back nearly 3,000 years!
Enjoying a visual history lesson
A trip to Rome would be incomplete without a visit to the Colosseum. Completed almost 2,000 years ago, the Colosseum is the largest amplitheatre in the world. Raymond and I both loved the Colosseum in its beautiful ruined state.
Excited to check out the Colosseum
Some estimates say the Colosseum could hold between 50,000–80,000 spectators—yowza!
Raymond and I had a blast in Italy, taking in the historical sites and tasty cuisine. Where else do you think Raymond went this year? Stay tuned to find out!
During our elfy downtime this year, Raymond and I have enjoyed our travels together. So far we’ve told you about our adventures in New York City and the Blue Ridge Mountains, but we also journeyed to other spots in the world outside of the United States. Any guesses? Here’s a hint: We went back to a place we visited in 2012 during the Olympics…
London is one of my absolute favourite cities, and Raymond had a blast when we went there a couple years ago, so we decided to go back so that Raymond could explore some more.
One evening we headed over to Knightsbridge to pick up some biscuits and chocolates at the Food Halls at Harrods. What can I say—Raymond and I both have a sweet tooth.
Hey, double-decker bus, you’re in the way!
Excited to visit the amazing Food Halls at Harrods
The next day we went for a walk along the River Thames so that Raymond could take in even more sights, both historical and fun.
Scoping out the London Eye
Pausing on Westminster Bridge for a quick photo
Checking the time on Big Ben
Raymond liked riding on the subway in NYC so much that I knew he would really love riding the Tube, which we took to get all over London.
Raymond heeding the warning
London Underground train approaching on the Circle line
Hopping on the Tube
After traipsing around the city, Raymond and I were parched, so we popped into a shop for a cold drink. Raymond was so excited to see his friends’ names on the Coke bottles!
But where’s the ‘Raymond’ bottle!?
I think Raymond might love London almost as much as I do, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the two of us visit there again! In the meantime, where else do you think Raymond went this year? Stay tuned to find out!
A couple months after we visited NYC, Raymond and I went out of town again to celebrate another birthday. This time we went to the Blue Ridge Mountains outside Asheville, NC for my best friend’s birthday. All of us enjoyed relaxing while surrounded by nature, as it’s very peaceful in the mountains. While there, Raymond pointed out that the crisp mountain air was almost as refreshing as the air at the North Pole.
Enjoying the sunshine and blue skies
Taking a big whiff of the fresh mountain air
Raymond loved the gorgeous sunsets from atop the mountain
One happy reindeer
Where else do you think Raymond went this year? Stay tuned to find out!
Over the past few years, Raymond and I have had a lot of fun travelling together during the elfy downtime. We’ve been all over the world to places like San Francisco, South Korea, and Brussels. And lucky for us, we were able to travel together again this year.
This past winter I was heading down to New York City for the birthday of one of my best friends, and I invited Raymond along since you know it’s simply not a birthday party without Raymond there!
Raymond had never visited the Big Apple before, but he loved it, especially all the different modes of transportation that we took. Plus, it was rather cold while we were there, so Raymond felt right at home.
Excited for his first ride on the New York City Subway
Emerging from the subway station
Going for a brisk walk on the High Line
Enjoying the view from above the busy streets
Raymond hailed a cab like a pro
Raymond telling the cab driver where he wanted to go
Where else in the world do you think Raymond went this year? Stayed tuned to find out!