Friday, August 30, 2013

London (and Paris), baby!

I'm jet-setting to London to see two of my besties. Kasey's flying in from DFW and Debbie lives there, duh! Kasey and I will be taking on the London sites before heading to Paris to drink lots of wine and eat lots of pastries hopefully on the lawn of the Eiffel Tower!

Kasey just moved back to Funky Town and she wanted to come back across the pond to see me before starting her new job. Since she did Scotland last year, we figured we would take over other parts of the UK and Europe this time around.

I'll have a full trip recap upon my return but you can find me on Instagram Instagram in the mean time!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mom and Dad's Trip Recap: Seaton Park and Trump's Course

We didn't have much planned for Mom and Dad's last day. They were taking the 6am flight the next morning so I knew we would probably lay low and take it easy especially considering how jam packed our days had been.

Because Ryan and I don't live in Aberdeen (just outside) it's not unusual that our guests don't even get to see the city of Aberdeen (not a whole to see). Mom was needing to get a few more souvenirs and it was a beautiful day so we headed to town. We made a few stops along Union Street before having lunch at Union Square Mall. I then took them to my favorite part of Aberdeen, Old Aberdeen specifically St. Machar's Cathedral and Seaton Park.

We did the loop around Seaton Park and when heading back to the car a lady asked us if we saw the secret garden. We said no and she explained to us how to get there. She insured us that it would be worth it, that there should be lilies and all in bloom. Of course Dad insisted we go so, we were back on the path. Remind you this was supposed to be a 'take it easy day' so none of us wore appropriate shoes (not to mention, it was hot!) and unfortunately, the secret garden wasn't anything special especially considering the not-so-secret garden is stunning.

Secret Garden, all the flowers had already died. Such a bummer.

After our 'hike' around Seaton Park we headed north to drive through the Trump International Golf Links estate to see what the hype is all about. It is a beautiful property and once everything is complete it will definitely be something!

Whew....and that's a wrap! I think I've covered just about everything we did during Mom and Dad's 7 day trip to Scotland. We made lots of lasting memories and I am so blessed they made the long trek across the pond to come see me us. I hope this was the first of many 'holidays' together! Love you, Mom and Dad, thank you for everything!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mom and Dad's Trip Recap: St. Andrews

We stopped in St. Andrews on our way back to Aberdeen from Edinburgh. St. Andrews remains my favorite town in Scotland and I think my parents were pretty keen on it as well. We made the loop, stopping at the cathedral, Mom and Dad making a quick stop at the British Golf Museum and then making our way to the 18th hole and Swilcan Bridge. We stopped for a pint and nachos at the Dunvegan Hotel before calling it a day and making our way back to Aberdeen.

Love this picture of Dad being silly!
He still prefers American beer. Silly man :)

St. Andrews was a perfect ending to our little road trip!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mom and Dad's Trip Recap: Edinburgh-Holyrood Palace, Out of the Blue, Pubs and Tattoo

Day 2 in Edinburgh was busy! We started with a tour of Holyrood Palace and this was my first time going on this tour and I will have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The Royal properties, especially the ones still in use, are often a let down because you pay a price and you only get to see a limited area. The Holyrood Palace tour is an accompanying personal audio system which gives you a ton of history. After the tour my interest of Mary Queen of Scots was definitely peaked and I would like to read more into her life.

After touring the palace we made our way UP the Royal Mile stopping in a few shops for suveniors along the way. We made detour to Grassmarket (my favorite area) for a beer before making our way to George Square where we scheduled to see a show, Out of the Blue, that was part of the Fringe Festival. Remember I saw them last year with Kasey and it was so much fun! Mom and Dad enjoyed it and I wish our time Edinburgh had allowed for seeing a few more shows but when you only have limited time you have to squeeze in everything.

We spent the rest of the day walking around Edinburgh, stopping in a pub here and there, before heading to Fisher's in the City for dinner. We went to Fisher's in Leith with Mere and Ryan and it was delicious and I wanted Mom and Dad to experience the delicious Scottish seafood. If you are a seafood lover, this is a must when you're in Edinburgh!

Dinner was pretty early because we had the big event, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, to get to. Ryan, Kasey, Kristin and I went last year and loved it so I was looking forward to it again this year. I couldn't believe how different it was from last year which has me looking forward to next year already! This year military bands from Mongolia, Korea, Mexico and New Zealand were definitely highlights of the show but the Scottish Pipe Bands and the Lone Piper are still my favorite. You get chills when thousands of people are silent as the Lone Piper plays in tribute to those that have fought in the wars. And I know you're probably thinking Tattoo? That's a weird word to describe this event. Well, the word 'tattoo' comes from the closing-time cry in the inns in the Low Countries during the 17th and 18th centuries-Doe den tap toe (turn off the taps). (

If you're debating what time of year to visit Scotland, I have to say August is best time for Military Tattoo alone. Fringe Festival is an awesome bonus and the fact that the weather is usually pretty good takes the cake. I'm so glad my parents were able to experience this and I highly recommend that you some how figure out a way to as well :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mom and Dad's Trip Recap: Glamis Castle and Pub Hopping in Edinburgh

After a fun weekend road trip to Isle of Skye, Mom, Dad and I were back on the road on Monday morning, this time to Edinburgh. We left about mid morning and stopped at Glamis Castle along the way. I am very disappointed I did not know how amazing this castle was until now. I feel I really shorted our other visitors not showing them the 'free ranging' Highland Coos, magnificent drive and the beautiful castle of Glamis.

Glamis Castle is the childhood home of the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth, the mother of the current Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II. I was all sorts of confused before going on the tour as to who the Queen Mother was because the mother and daughter share the same name. I think it's clearer than it was but I still find my self question who is who when talking about the royal family.

We enjoyed the tour and had we had more time would have loved walking around the grounds. The highland cows (did not get a picture, what is wrong with me?) are not guarded by a fence but by a low barrier so it looks like they are free range.

We continued on to Edinburgh where Dad and I (and Mom too) started our pub crawl of Edinburgh. We didn't really do a pub crawl but we tried to pop in for a beer in as many as we could. Ryan and I have some favorites (Dirty Dicks, The Last Drop) and Dad and I discovered some new favorites (Queens Arms and The Abbottsford) over the 2 days we were there.

After a couple of pubs and pub dinner, we climbed Calton Hill to get an amazing sunset view of the city before calling it day. I like Edinburgh more and more each time I go.