1. Harbour Festival
I do my best to plan my visits to Bristol around my favourite festival, the Bristol Harbour Festival. I'm in love with how, for a full weekend, the floating harbour is heaving with ships and boats of all varieties, all-day entertainment, and markets as far as the eye can see. I always come back with something from a local independent creative and this time it was some lovely earrings from Amy at Ameow Designs. I picked up some pretty drop earrings made with Delphiniums and gold leaf, as well as a sweet pair of studs made with Gypsophilia.
2. Gromit Unleashed 2 Trail
So far I've been lucky enough to be able to make it to all of the Grand Appeal's trails (Gromit Unleashed 2013, Shaun in the City 2015, and Gromit Unleashed 2 2018). This year's trail was so much fun because it included Wallace, Gromit, and Feathers! I downloaded the app and was able to check off 40 of the 67 sculptures this summer. I also made a quick and easy donation at the main office but, this year, there were handy-dandy contactless (aka tap) stations all around the trail which made helping the Grand Appeal that much easier. I had so much fun this year exploring many new-to-me areas of Bristol thanks to the trail.
2012 was the first time I had ever heard of Tyntesfield and I've been meaning to visit it ever since. I was finally able to get there this year and, thanks to my National Trust for Canada membership, I was able to get in for free! The Gibbs family home (for 4 generations) is, obviously stunning, and knowing that the house is still furnished with all their possessions makes the visit that much more humbling. From the light fixtures and libraries, to the paintings and parlours, Tyntesfield is a must-visit. The most stunning feature though is actually the gardens which are lovingly maintained by 7 staff members. They've definitely had a challenge this year considering how hot it's been in Bristol!
4. Bristol Lido
I've been to the Bristol Lido (Lee-doh/Lie-doh?) before and had an amazing time so this visit I decided to treat myself to a full spa-aahhhhhhhhh day. What a relaxing, glorious day that was! I had a much-needed de-stressing neck, back, and arm massage, followed by a cozy tea in the relaxation room. Then I moved onto my two-course meal from their restaurant. After that I went for nice swim in the pool, followed by some calming time in the sauna. Just what the doctor ordered.
5. Re-Affirmed My Love For Bristol
Spending months at a time away from Bristol, I inevitably start to question whether or not I should keep going back to visit and if I should make other plans for my life instead. Getting to Bristol every year from my region of Canada is not cheap. Also, the hope I have for one day moving there permanently can seem like an impossible dream. There are so many roadblocks in my way to making that happen. This trip I took some time to really reflect on my love for Bristol and to make some tough decisions. Although I now have a plan B (Toronto), moving to Bristol within the next 2 years is absolutely my plan A. This city means WAY TOO MUCH to me. Every single time I visit, I actually become happier and I seem to grow as a person. This place does things to me emotionally that no place has ever done. I feel like the best me I can be and I feel at home in Bristol. I love this city and I'm so grateful for every single experience I've ever had here, from 2011 to today. ♥