Arriving Home After A Long Journey

Traveling is a wonderful experience but the time comes when you pack your bags for the last time, check your room for any forgotten items, head to the airport, return the rental car and fly back home. Even though you may be exhausted from an entire day of traveling,  there is nothing like walking into your home after a long journey to see that your home is just the way you left it…safe and sound, warm and welcoming.

But reality sets in fast as you set your bags down, tired and a little hungry after hours on a plane. You open the fridge and it is almost empty…being purged of perishables before leaving home. What are you going to eat?

A Cheese Platter With Dried Apricots And Fig Jam

One of my favorite options is a cheese platter and a nice bottle of red wine. Not only is it quick and easy to put together, it reminds me of all the wonderful cheese I had at the hotels on our trip. I love cheese and had it daily, either eaten at breakfast with a crusty seeded whole grain roll or before dessert was served…sometimes both.

The Cheese Selection From The Jagdhof Hotel In Neustift, Austria

I keep a wheel of boxed brie and wedges of cheese in my refrigerator for just such an occasion. I also have homemade crostini in the freezer that just need to be taken out and warmed in the oven for a couple of minutes while I get crackers, some dried fruits, and fig jam or a chutney out of the pantry. All that needs doing is just putting everything together on a small platter and opening a bottle of red wine and I have a quick and easy bite to eat. It may not be considered dinner but it is a nice way to end a long journey.

After a memorable trip to Germany and Austria, it is now back to the real world. There is  always the dreaded unpacking, laundry, heading to the cleaners and the grocery to restock the kitchen, and of course cleaning the cobwebs that seem to always appear.

Most years I do this slowly over a few days as I adjust to the difference in the time zones. While doing errands, I usually enjoy the fall foliage that we have at this time of the year. I also spend time outside in the cool weather on my tractor mulching the fallen leaves on the ground. The leaves are always there waiting for you no matter how long it takes to get to them.

The Japanese Maple In Fall Color

Exactly one year from the above photo, this is what it looks like today in the photo below.

No Fall Foliage This Year

This year mother nature blew away our beautiful leaves during Hurricane Sandy and has now covered the ground with snow from a Nor’easter. No matter the circumstances, I always think there is no place like home, sweet, home.

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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145 Responses to Arriving Home After A Long Journey

  1. What a difference a year makes! Hope you settle back home quickly … I really enjoyed sharing some of your holiday through your blog.

  2. hotlyspiced says:

    Welcome home! I love the colour of that maple tree. And how things have changed! Your house is so pretty. I love the colour of the weatherboards. And I can eat cheese and drink red wine most of the time too! xx

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Charlie…it was a lovely trip and now it is nice to be home. I love the color of the maple tree in fall against the color of our house. The color on the house is an original color from the 1700’s that we find when we were doing restoration work.

  3. Norma Chang says:

    Welcome home!!!!! Glad all is the way you left it. Yes, there is no place like home. For me, that cheese platter is dinner. Only thing missing is fresh fruits. How cool if you still had apples on your trees, go out to the orchard and pick a few to add to the platter.

  4. Karen Harris says:

    What a wonderful light meal to come home to after a long trip. I love a fun trip but love arriving home safe and sound just as much.

  5. sybaritica says:

    Wow … seems only yesyerday you were leaving. Welcome Home :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi John, I can’t believe the time passed so quickly. It doesn’t seem so long ago that I was planning the trip. It is nice to be home…thank you.

  6. ddonabella says:

    Karen I have so enjoyed your trip and am sad to see it end. But there is no place like home. We missed the storms luckily but there will always be more. I love the idea of cheese platters and yours has made me hungry.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Donna, I’m glad that you enjoyed following along on our trip. I’m always sorry to see a trip end but once I’m home that feels good as well. We were lucky with the storm, only lost a few large branches.

  7. Larry says:

    I agree with how nice it is to get home and sleep in my own bed. You guys obviously had a magnificent trip, staying in first class accomodations, eating great food, and seeing some beautiful places and scenery.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Larry, I have to say that our trip was perfect in every way. Being back in your own bed the first night you get home is so good. The only problem is that my body thinks it is 6 hours later…waking in the middle of the night and thinking it is time to get up.

  8. Lea Ann says:

    I’ve never seen a Japanese Maple that big. Here in Colorado our altitude and climate must dwarf them. I have three in my yard that after 20 years finds them only about 3 ft. tall. Welcome home.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Lea Ann, it is nice to be home. Japanese Maples do grow very large here. Ours has been trimmed twice because it it close to our house. There are lots of dwarf varieties of Japanese Maples…maybe that is what yours are.

  9. Monique says:

    Isn’t it just so nice to come home and linger on the wonderful memories of a trip?
    Like Dorothy said so well..there is no place like home..and yours is lovely under that dusting..and with the leaves.

    • Karen says:

      It is nice to come home, Monique. Our house does look pretty with a little snow around it. We are just not quite ready for it…the snowplow isn’t on the truck and the snowblower isn’t on the little tractor. Good thing the sun just came out to melt it.

  10. What a trip, Karen! It was fantastic traveling with you through your pictures. It’s so sad that the storm has affected so many areas in USA. Good luck with the laundry.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rita, We really did have a wonderful trip. I’m glad that you enjoyed following along through the posts and photos…thank you for your nice comment. We are so lucky that we didn’t have much effect from the storm. I feel so bad for everyone who has lost their homes.

  11. What a lovely way to celebrate arriving home! I was taken aback for a moment, I thought the Jagdhof Hotel was your kitchen, lol! And I thought, oh, my her husband is so, so lucky! Only Karen could lay out a cheese party like that after arriving home. Yeh, I’m clearly not operating on all cylinders this morning:) Although I’m still impressed that you were able to have anything at all set aside for after your arrival home. I’m going to plan to do the same. How long will a nice cheese keep in the fridge? It’s incredible what those winds did.. I’m glad your home is safe and sound! xx

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Barbara, for your nice comment. I just wish I had the Jagdhof’s selection of cheeses…they were wonderful. I find that most of the cheese that I buy, especially the ones that are vacuum sealed, will last between 3 to 4 weeks, some much longer. We were very lucky that we only lost a couple of large branches on our trees while so many have lost their homes…really terrible.

  12. lulu says:

    You are absolutely right. No matter how great a trip you have, it’s always good to return home. I know what you mean about bare pantries. Having only been back 4 days, mine is still sadly lacking.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lulu, It is always good to get home although I hate the day when I know that a trip is over…t goes by so quickly. I know that you and I will be spending a lot of time at the grocery store over the next few days.

  13. What a beautiful “non-dinner” for your first evening back home Karen, welcome back and thrilled that everything is as you left it, all safe and sound.
    Mother nature has been bellowing quite strongly around the world of late.
    Enjoy your first weekend back home. :-) Mandy xo

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Mandy, for your nice compliment. Actually, a cheese platte is one of my favorite non dinners…I am a real cheese lover. I wish mother nature would be a little kinder and gentler instead of everyone having to deal with her fury.

  14. Welcome home, Karen.
    I am a fan of cheese too, sometimes had them way too much.
    Beautiful Japanese maple tree…unfortunately this year snow arrives so early and the tree looks sad without beautiful fall foliage.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Angie, it is nice to be home. I wish I could have enjoyed our beautiful fall color for a little while…everything is so bare. Too much cheese…is there really such a thing. LOL.

  15. So glad you are home safe and sound and that the mean Sandy left your possessions intack. I so enjoyed your travels and beautiful photographs. Welcome home. We are currently in PA visiting friends and enjoying the cooler weather.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Emil, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed following along on our trip. It is nice to be home and know that our home was safe and sound. Enjoy the cool weather on your visit with friends.

  16. nia says:

    welcome home dear Karen, wonderful photographs as always… Thank you, have a nice weekend, love, nia

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Nia, for your lovely welcome and compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. It is good to be home and I’m looking forward to the weekend. I hope yours is great as well.

  17. Welcome home! You’re so right, there’s no place like home, your own bed, your own pillow, your own kitchen and on and on……. Hope you have a great time catching up with home! Oh, and you’ve made me want to pull out some cheese and crackers ………….. for breakfast!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Chris, for your nice welcome…it is nice to be home. There is something about your own bed and pillow on the first night back after a long trip. I started each and everyday on our trip with a wedge or two of cheese and a nice crusty roll. The cheese in Europe is just so good.

  18. I’l love to return home after travelling and find those cheeses and a nice bottle of red waiting. Lovely.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Victoria, Cheese is a nice thing to keep in the refrigerator. A little cheese, bread and wine is perfect for when you first get back from a trip and are too tired to cook…especially when the fridge has been cleaned of all perishables. Thank you for your compliment.

  19. bulldogsturf says:

    It is always nice to get home… the fridge often holds titbits one forgot about… but I do love the look of that cheese platter…

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Bulldog, I’m glad that you liked the look of the cheese platter. It is perfect when you are too tired to cook. And you are right…it is always good to return home.

  20. kitchenriffs says:

    Welcome home! Your trip was terrific, and I enjoyed every post about it. But fun as travel is, I agree there’s something special about coming home. We love to have cheese and bread or crackers for dinner (with wine, of course) — it’s a simple but extremely satisfying meal. Great idea to have some in the refrigerator before you leave so it’ll be waiting for you when you get home. Thanks again for sharing your vacation with us — I had a wonderful time.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you John, It is nice to be home. I appreciate your kind words and am happy that you enjoyed following along on our trip. Cheese is a nice item to have in the refrigerator for when you come home. A little bread, a little cheese and a glass of wine makes me happy.

  21. I had to pin your photos of the cheese. That is honestly the most beautiful cheese spread I have ever seen.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shannon, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photo of the cheese platter enough to pin it…I appreciate that.

  22. A_Boleyn says:

    Glad you’re home safe and sound.

    As to a cheese platter, keep me away from it or I’ll devour the whole thing. Especially the cheese board at the hotel in Austria. Though I’d prefer the fresh and dried fruits to the chutneys or jams. No blue please. :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Boleyn, for your nice comment…it is good to be home. It sounds like you and I are both cheese lovers…I’ll take the blue that you don’t care for. The cheese selection at the Jagdhof was wonderful. You would be surprised how good a little fig jam goes with cheese. Fresh fruit always goes well with cheese when it is available.

  23. Eva Taylor says:

    I know that feeling well, Karen. Just as lovely as it is to return home, that sinking feeling that you had wished the holiday lasted just a bit longer creeps up! It’s too bad your gorgeous maple lost all it’s colourful leaves, but it’s very good that Sandy didn’t cause any damage where you are. We haven’t had snow at all … yet, but I have a feeling it’s coming and when it does, it will be bad; it was just too mild last year to allow us to get away with it this year.
    Welcome back! That cheese plate a perfect way to come back to reality…with the wine and perhaps a fire in the fireplace…you’ve got it covered!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eva, Thank you for your welcome and the concern you had while we were traveling about the storm…thankfully we were OK. It takes a traveler like yourself to understand the feeling. You plan so long for a trip, enjoy the beautiful sights and traditions of another country and don’t want the trip to ever end. But once back, you are happy to be in your lovely home. I agree with you…last winter was so easy that we will probably be hit hard this year. The cheese platter reminded me of the trip but also the reality of being home and the need restock the refrigerator for meals.

  24. Amira says:

    Home sweet home :) . I feel I’ve enjoyed your trip as much as you did!!! Thanks for sharing and bringing joy to my heart.

  25. viveka says:

    Love your cheese board … just as I would have served – but I would also have marinated walnuts. You marinate them in 50/50 balsamic vinegar and honey. You will love it.
    Glad I didn’t find butter on your board and no fresh grapes, well done! Fig jam my favorite too and I love fresh figs with my cheese. That Austrian cheese table is to die for.
    Have you already had your first snow this season ????
    Have you been in Germany and Austria now ????? I thought it was photos from previous trips – have I lost my marbles now completely.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Viveka, Thank you for your nice compliment about the cheese board. I will definitely make the walnuts…they sound terrific. The Jagdhof’s cheese table was wonderful. I can’t stop giggling though. I don’t know, you may have to start searching for a few of your marbles. LOL. Yes, all of the posts were from Germany and Austria over the last few weeks and we just returned home. We did just have our first snow of the season…better than last year when it was in October.

  26. Just have to tell you how much I enjoyed the posts of your travels. You made everything look so vivid and beautiful. It sure is hard coming home after eating outstanding meals every day to try to think of something to tickle the tastebuds but that is one awesome cheese platter. I think we all lucked out on this latest storm though so at least you could get in your driveway – that’s always a nice thing.
    I have to tell you though that island from The Jagdhof Hotel caught my eye.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Diane, for your lovely compliment…I really do appreciate it. It is nice to know that you enjoyed all the posts on our travels through Germany and Austria. You are totally right about coming back to the real world of meal planning and cooking after all the great food we had on our trip. The Jogdhof’s cheese selection was wonderful and I did my share of eating them during our stay there. We were lucky that the Nor’easter didn’t dump lots of snow on us as the plow isn’t on the truck and the snowblower isn’t on the little tractor.

  27. Sophie33 says:

    You describe the feeing I have, after travelling & coming home too, that way. You seem to have a lovely wooden house: yellow & white: lovely too! You don’t see wooden houses over here in Belgium :) A cheese paltter sounds very good!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sophie, Thank you for your nice compliment. It is nice to know that I captured the feeling of many travelers upon returning home…you feel sad to leave the beautiful place you are visiting but it always feels good to be back in your home. I’m glad you enjoyed the photo of our home. You are right about not seeing wooden homes in Belgium. I was surprised how most every building is of brick or stone…at least where I have visited.

  28. Welcome home my friend, it must feel fantastic :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  29. Sue says:

    Welcome home, Karen. I bet it feels wonderful to get back and settle in for the winter.
    Your place is still stunning-even without the leaves. Enjoy home! :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Sue, for the welcome. It is nice to be back before winter but I was looking forward to enjoying the beautiful fall foliage for a little while. It felt and looked a little more like winter but the sun has come out now and is melting most of the snow as I write this.

  30. It is great to get back home but oh, that unpacking and washing is a killer when you are jetlagged. Your tree was glorious last year. Here in the North Island of New Zealand we seldom get anywhere near those colours in Autumn because we don’t have the contrast of temperatrures that is necessary for it to happen. Also, many of our trees are evergreen.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Suzanne, Yes…I have the dreaded pile of clothes in the laundry and a pile heading to the dry cleaners. The Japanese Maple by our front door is such a beautiful tree during the fall…I’m sorry we didn’t get to enjoy it in its glory this year but I have the photo from last year. Our climate in New Hampshire is perfect of the bright colors we get most years.

  31. Welcome home! Rest up for the holidays – THEN where are we going ? :) Hahahaha!

    • Karen says:

      It is hard to stop laughing but thank you for the welcome, Kelli. Ah, you know me so well. Of course there will be a trip to Florida to visit family and friends when the snow is hard to see over on the sidewalk path that has been shoveled this winter. Before we left for Europe, I mentioned it might be fun to go to Quebec at Christmas time for a few days since it is right across our northern border. I know that I’m a hopeless traveler. LOL.

      • Since Mr. Picky eater is afraid to fly, it limits where we can go so I really enjoyed going on your trip with you!

      • Karen says:

        That definitely limits your choices of where you can travel. It really makes me feel good to know that you enjoy traveling virtually with me on my journeys. I always enjoy your upbeat way of thinking…it makes me smile.

      • Why thank you and I really like your yellow house! I meant to tell you that earlier – it’s a very cheery looking home.

      • Karen says:

        I love our yellow house…especially on a grey day. It just makes you smile, I think. I’m glad that you like it as well.

  32. Clanmother says:

    Welcome home!! Thank you for sharing your adventures – life just keeps on getting better and better!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Clanmother, for your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed our adventure in Austria and Germany…I appreciated you following along.

  33. Hi Karen, welcome back home. I can relate to “there’s no place like home” from my very personal experience after being on the road, in hotels, in different cities for about three weeks. And yet you are absolutely right: there’s no place like home… I love the light yellow color of your home, very cheerful… :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marina, As much as we all enjoy the pleasures from traveling, there is something special about returning home. I’m so lucky to have such a unique and historic house. Each time I come home, I love its warm and welcoming feeling. No matter where you live, I think we all feel that there is no place like home.

  34. Susan says:

    At least your home and property was undamaged by the storms which is great! Welcome home and I could have dinner like that once a week. I love a beautiful tray of cheese and crackers with fruit.

    • Karen says:

      We are so grateful that our area was spared just got 60mph winds…we were so lucky. My heart goes out to all those who have lost so much as I can totally relate because we lived in Key Largo when Hurricane Andrew hit Florida. I agree…I could have this meal at least once a week as well.

  35. Welcome home! I agree with you, traveling is so much fun, but there’s great comfort to coming home to your own place, your own bed, your own creation! And that cheese spread at the hotel in Austria looked to-die-for!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ducky, You are so right…as much as we all love traveling, home is the best. Your own bed is definitely one of the things we all treasure. The cheese selection at the Jagdhof was wonderful. I enjoyed their wonderful cheese every morning with a crusty roll. Sometimes I enjoyed them before the dessert if there was an incredibly ripe cheese that was calling my name.

  36. Quite right – I almost never want to leave wherever I had travelled to, but coming home is such a singular feeling. I usually manage to sneak some cheese in my luggage so this is right on the mark haha.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ksenia, I’m glad that your agree about coming home after a lovely trip. As much as you enjoy your travels, home is always waiting with open arms. A little cheese brought back home and that makes it through customs is a wonderful thing.

  37. twbarritt says:

    Glad you had a nice trip. I could make a meal out of cheese and wine any time. It was so great that you got such a beautiful photo of those leaves last year. I, too, try to capture photos of trees “on fire” because each one is unique to the season.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you T.W., for your nice comment. I’m glad I have the photo from last year. I didn’t realize when I left on our trip that I wouldn’t have the same colors to come home to this year. What I can’t believe is that it was one year to the day from my lalst photo. A little bread, cheese and wine makes me happy anytime of the year as well.

  38. Eha says:

    Can’t quite believe the lovely journey avec photos has come to an end. Incorrectly thought you would go further east and west! Perchance next year :) ! Thank you for which you showed and described – it was a remembrance and a joy!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eha, I can’t thank you enough for your kind comments during our trip. It was so nice to know that I brought back nice remembrances of your times spent where we were visiting. I’m like you in that I can’t believe our trip is over…it was so wonderful. Hopefully we will have a chance to return to one of our favorite areas in Europe…sooner than later. Thank you for following along on our journey.

  39. ChgoJohn says:

    Welcome home, Karen! The trip home after a holiday is such a mixed bag of emotions. Happy to be coming home, sorry to be leaving, in this case, Austria, and, for me above all, surprise that it had ended seemingly so quickly. Still, crossing the threshold is a wonderful moment. Your idea of having cheese and crostini available for a light supper is a very good one. I must remember this.
    So glad to hear that Sandy left your property unscathed. That must have been a relief!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you John, It is nice to be home. Our house is a couple hundred years old and it has weathered a lot of storms…with only 60mph it did just fine, thankfully. You are so right about a mixed bag of emotions when heading home…the time flew by so fast and I enjoy traveling so much. I always keep crostini in the freezer for when I have an impromptu get together…and cheese keeps so well. The cheese platter made a pair of tired travelers very happy.

  40. Tandy says:

    Nothing beats your own bed! Great idea to have some cheese waiting in the fridge for your return. Glad to see only the leaves of your tree where damaged by Sandy :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tandy, Sleeping in your own bed with the perfect pillow does feel so good. We were lucky that we didn’t have the high winds that others suffered through…there is always next year to enjoy the fall foliage. I always keep cheese in the refrigerator for just such occasions.

  41. Joanne says:

    Whoa! A good wine and cheese feast definitely seems like the perfect thing to come home to!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Joanne, for your nice comment. When I’m tired and don’t have the energy to prepare a meal…cheese, bread and wine make me happy. I’m glad you agree.

  42. Mad Dog says:

    Welcome home – you’ve had a fantastic trip :-)

  43. wow! what a wonderful set for your cheese platter! welcome back home Karen! and I agree, there’s no place like home!!! and it’s cozy to indulge in some good cheese when outside it’s cold and snowy, isn’t it?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbara, Thank you for the welcome home. Good cheese and a bottle of wine is a wonderful way to end the day. As to the set for the cheese platter, that photo was from the Jagdhof Hotel in Neustift, Austria where we stayed on this trip. The cheese assortment was outstanding and their buffet is beautiful.

  44. Your post today is indeed a testament to change—each season, each year has its distinct look and feeling, which makes us appreciate the moment.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nancy, We can sometimes take for granted that fall or any season will be much the same each year but in New England you always have to expect the unexpected. You are right…you really do have to appreciate the moment. Thank you for your comment.

  45. Welcome home! I’ve been dealing with jet lag myself this week – this cheese platter looks perfect and not much brian power is required for assembly :).

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laura, Welcome home as well…we are both facing jet lag and laundry together. It takes awhile to get back on a normal routine. When you are tired and your body is telling you that you should have been sleeping long before, you need something simple to put together. Cheese and wine always makes me happy. Thank you for your compliment.

  46. Jerry says:

    Returning home after a vacation is always bittersweet for me . . . there is so much to do with cleaning, laundry, unpacking and the dreaded return to work ARGH It is wonderful to return to your ‘comfort space’ but the joy is fleeting as life takes over. I’ve enjoyed following along on your adventure – thanks for all the work that you did to blog as you went!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Jerry, for your nice compliment. It is nice to know that you enjoyed following our adventure as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with everyone. I have to agree that going back to our normal life after a trip is a little hard.

  47. rsmacaalay says:

    I love those cheeses, Now I feel like having some wine

  48. I love to travel and would do it every chance I got but there’s something about coming “home” and all that word has come to mean for me. Bread, cheese and wine – who needs more?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maureen, I’m like you…I’ll pack my bags in a heartbeat to go on a trip. What makes it nice is that we know our lovely home will be waiting when we return. Bread, cheese and wine…it makes a lovely light meal.

  49. Ah, home sweet home – you are right no matter how great your travels have been, home is home !
    And yes to a cheese board, always a winner!
    and interesting to see the differences in the years Karen. Good to see you back home safe and sound :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Claire, We had a fabulous trip but it is always nice to come back to our waiting home. And what a difference between one fall to the next..but that is New England for you.

  50. A quick wine and cheese? I’m up for that anytime!

  51. Kristy says:

    Welcome home Karen! I certainly enjoyed your travels. I hope that you spend the next several days enjoying the memories of a great trip and the comforts of home. :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Kristy, It is nice to be back home. I’m glad that you enjoyed following along on our travels. We had a lot of fun and will always remember this trip…it was great.

  52. That cheese spread looks fabulous! Your maple tree is also beautiful. I don’t like this time of year much with all the cold weather, but the changing color of the leaves is always so pretty.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laura, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. This is one of my favorite seasons. I love cool weather, fall leaves and sweaters…but I wasn’t really expecting the snow.

  53. dhphotosite says:

    I have to say I enjoyed traveling with you. Your photos are fantastic…how many light sources did you bring with you? Your photos are always perfectly exposed and perfectly lit. The cheese plate has made me hungry…well it is close to dinnertime. We do the same thing from time to time. We call it snack night. Yummm. Oh…and go John Deere!!! LOL

    • Karen says:

      Thank you David, for your wonderful compliment on my photos. I only travel with my camera and nothing else. Do you take lighting when you travel? I’m glad you like my little John Deere. I use it for mowing the orchard, mulching leaves and snow blowing. We have a big one which I don’t use.

  54. Welcome home. A little wine and cheese is a great way to re-acclimatize. Love that you are always prepared for such an occasion!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barb, Thank you for the welcome home. Having cheese in the refrigerator when it is otherwise bare because of traveling works for me. It gives me one meal before I have to rush off to the store for major food shopping.

  55. mjskit says:

    Welcome home! So glad you are home safe and sound and that your home didn’t suffer from the horrible weather! That Japanese maple IS beautiful in it’s full red! I had to smile because cheese, crackers and wine are our standby dinner when we get home from a trip. Three items that are always in the house! Thank you again for sharing your wonderful trip and taking us places we’ve never been!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you MJ, It is nice to be home. I’m glad that you enjoyed the posts and photos of our trip to Germany and Austria. Nice to know that you are like me and keep cheese in the refrigerator for when you get home from a trip…it keeps so well. The Japanese maple tree is the brightest tree on our property each fall…beautiful when it glows in the sun.

  56. Karen, nice to read that you made it home safe and sound! I am so glad that you and your husband enjoyed travelling in Europe and spent a wonderful vacation there! Your blog posts were wonderful and full of terrific information and absolutely stunning photography! Thanks for taking us along for the trip! But I must say that I am now also looking forawrd to your up-coming posts from your home!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Andrea, It was a long trip home but we arrived safe and sound…thank you. It is nice to know that someone like yourself who lives in Europe enjoyed my posts and photos. I appreciate you lovely compliment. I hope that you will enjoy the upcoming posts from our New England home.

  57. And don’t forget the pile of mail. Ugh. I love the idea of the cheese plate as a meal right after you get home. I hope your larder is full now and you are getting into the groove of home life.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary, I’ve started to restock the pantry and refrigerator. Getting back into your normal routine is kind of forced on you when you return home…and yes, taking care of the huge pile of mail is on the list.

  58. Misky says:

    I know this predicament well; long flight home – what to eat. I have bags on homemade soup in the freezer that I can just chuck into a pot and slowly defrost over low heat. And the freezer always has sliced homemade bread. A quick, light meal is just minutes away.

    And I love the colour of your house. :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Misky, I like your idea of having bags of homemade soup waiting in the freezer. With slices of your homemade bread, it does sound like a warming meal. I’m glad that you like the color of our house, it was an original color that we found during the restoration of our 1730’s home.

  59. dhphotosite says:

    I was kidding about the lighting equipment…imagine traveling with light stands and strobes and reflectors and …one would never have any fun! I asked because your interior shots are always so evenly and well illuminated. lit I like to travel light also and only use a speedlight or the built-in flash. Besides, I don’t own all the other stuff for lighting LOL I love my Deere. There is a place called Deere Country in Adamstown(about 15 mins from here) that has ALL kinds of cool equipment for the homeowner or farmer. Fun place!

    • Karen says:

      You can’t believe the camera equipment that I saw people carrying while traveling. I’m like you about traveling light…just my point and shot which seems to work well in the low light of restaurants. I try to be as inconspicuous as possible. My interior shots when I’m home are taken at night right before the food goes on the dinner table. I use a floor lamp with two 5000K bulbs for added light in my historic kitchen which is darker than most homes. It isn’t a great solution but works pretty well…especially when it is dark before 6PM. Your Deere Country sounds like a fun place to visit.

  60. I always keep a casserole or big thing of soup in my freezer for after trips or a bad week or to bring to a friend in need. Glad you are back from the trip:)

  61. Welcome home, Karen. By now you are probably in full swing to the regular rhythms of life. How wonderful that you had such a beautiful vacation. I wondered about your house with storms and hoped that you didn’t suffer any real damage, so thank you for showing the photo of the tree! Lots and lots of wind, I guess! :-) And I love the idea of a nice cheeseboard dinner! I need to remember that…it sounds so perfect for us on some of our evenings when we really don’t feel like a full meal. Although I can eat a FULL meal of good cheese! LOL!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Debra, for the welcome home. We were fortunate that the area only had 60MPH winds. Do keep some lovely cheese in the refrigerator…especially the cryovac ones, as they will keep weeks. There are many weekends when we have a large meal at lunch and a cheeseboard makes a nice meal in the evening when you only want a little to eat.

  62. Ruth says:

    Welcome home, Karen! Looks like you won’t have any yard work until spring time again :). And I wish there were more cheese “bars” stateside like the ones you showed us from your trip(s). The closest I’ve seen are the little sample tupperwares at Whole Foods, lol!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruth, You would think that I wouldn’t have to do anymore yard work but would you believe today it got to 66 degrees. That is New Hampshire weather for you. The cheese selection was part of the dessert buffet at the Jagdhof Hotel in Neustift, Austria. You can see when we keep returning.

  63. Pat says:

    I’m glad you ae home, safe and sound, Karen, and did not have damage from the hurricane! We were also very fortunate, even though we live close to water. So many were bot so lucky–it has been sad seeing all the devastation.

    A cheese platter is always a welcome repast at my house–we love all kinds of cheese!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Pat, for the welcome home. We were very lucky that the winds only got to about 60mph in our area and there were only a couple of large branches that come down. The destruction in your area was horrible…thank goodness your home escaped the damage. Don’t you just love a cheese platter for a light meal.

  64. It’s always a good feeling to return home after a long and enjoyable trip. Of course having nothing in the frig is never fun, but cheese and a bottle of wine never fails (what was the red?).

    Love that cheese selection from the Jagdhof Hotel!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jed, The Cheese selection at the Jagdhof was wonderful. A bottle of wine and some lovely cheese always makes me happy. We had a bottle of 7 Deadly Zins with the cheese. I thought the zinfandel worked well with the cheese.

  65. Cathy says:

    Karen, I have enjoyed reading about your tour of Austria and Germany so much! Some of the places are familiar, but some in Austria are still be to be explored. Thanks for sharing!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Cathy, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you have enjoyed following along on our trip through Germany and Austria…both countries are so beautiful. I hope you get a chance to visit some of the places in Austria that you haven’t been to…I can recommend them all as we have been to them more than once.

  66. What a beautiful selection of cheese—welcome home! (in the best way, huh)? =)

  67. Karen, what a beautiful home you have! I can just imagine how lovely it would have been to come home to it, although like you, I dread the laundry and unpacking chores as well. I’m glad your home was ok despite the big storm..

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Celia, for your lovely compliment. We do love our home and think it is special…almost 300 years old. As they say, they don’t make them like that anymore. I always dread the unpacking and laundry…I still have the ironing to do.

  68. Welcome home Karen…what a long trip! It is always nice to come home….to home! Happy Holidays.

  69. lvaletutto says:

    I’m glad you’re home. And enjoying a cheese platter no less! I hope the hurricane didn’t do too much damage in your area. I know my family got lucky this time around and no major damage occurred where they live, thankfully.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Laura, for your welcome. Our area only got 60mph winds, thank goodness, so there was just some large limbs that came down. Glad that your parents area didn’t have major damage either.

  70. cabinet stew says:

    I am sad your trip has come to an end ( I didn’t see that coming as I was happily doing my catch up blog reading!) but is always nice to get in one’s own bed and what a nice cheese spread at the hotel ( I LOVE cheese) and the one you put together too! ( we just usually and lazily order pizza upon returning home!)
    well I am off to your next post!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carol, I’m glad you enjoyed following along on our trip. I always hate to see it come to an end but it does feel good when you arrive back home. Thank you for your comment.

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