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Lots of pics!

It is the first month where Tom is not travelling so much and we enjoy the time that we can spend together.

For the first bank holiday weekend we fly to Venice; earlier this year I won two free nights accommodation with an exclusive hotel group and I book us into the Hotel Monaco on the Grand Canal which is an elegant former 17th Century palace just a few steps away from St. Mark's Square. It's our first visit for both of us and we savour every moment in this romantic city. The weather is warm and sunny and it's not too overcrowded yet with tourists so we take lots of leisurely strolls through charming alley ways and across numerous small bridges. Do we go on a gondola ride? Of course. We decide to wait until the evening and it is a balmy and starry night as we glide through the quiet canals, holding hands and feeling incredibly happy.

Ok, enough of the smoochie stuff although I must admit that it's difficult not to be smoochie as I am more and more falling in love with Tom. We've been together for eight months and our relationship grows stronger and closer with every moment that we share. Meeting Tom has given my life a wonderful sense of balance and happiness; he is a very genuine and special man and I consider myself very lucky.

My friends don't disagree. He meets a lot of them at two gatherings in London: Wiebke's birthday party and Dagmar's birthday coffee & cake (Kaffee & Kuchen!) afternoon - all in one weekend. Everyone really likes Tom and I don't think that I've ever had such positive feedback about a boyfriend.

Last but not least - Tom gets to see my favourite Abbey. We drive out there on a Sunday morning and return late in the afternoon; the weather is good and Tom loves the Black Mountains area, despite the narrow roads that he doesn't understand why we don't just widen them! (I keep telling him that we have very old roads in Europe which were not built for cars, but what can you say ... he is an American!)

Flying Ryanair to Venice

Venice in the afternoon

Blue gondolas!

The pensive German cruising on the Grand Canal

On the way to Llanthony Abbey