Recent Travels

Recently for Spring Break, I went to England and Scotland! Most people travel to hot and sunny places for their vacations and come back bronzed or sunburned, but not me for this trip. I went to chilly and cloudy places! I think I actually came back paler than when I left! 🙂

Anyhow, I have an old high-school friend who now lives in England, my pen-pal since about 1990 lives in England (and I’ve adopted her mother as my own British “mum”), and I have a long-lost cousin who moved to Scotland with her husband over 15 years ago. Therefore, cold and rainy weather aside, the obvious destination choice was Europe!

I’ve been to England before with my husband, a friend, and her husband two years ago, and we also went to France. I was 7 months pregnant with my son at the time, but did just fine. It was such a great trip! We got to be a part of my friend Suzanne’s beautiful wedding. Fast forward to now, and Suzanne and her husband have an adorable baby girl for us to visit!

For this trip, my cousin Jen joined us, but my husband did not. Jen had never been to Europe before, so her enthusiasm was contagious! She’s also super-organized, which helped make planning a piece of cake.

Rather than write out a long, boring post about it, I’m going to highlight some of the more awesome parts of the trip and include some photos. I recommend reading this blog on a desktop computer so the photos are easier to see. I’m also including some links if you feel so inclined as to want to get more information about some of the places I visited. Happy travels!

Rosetta Stone

One of the oldest and most amazing things I saw in England is the Rosetta Stone. It’s housed at the British Museum.

grizzly bear

Over in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, I found this native Californian, the grizzly bear.

Sunday roast

I’m all about food, so I had to document some of the things I ate. Here is a typical Sunday roast that we had on Easter: roast beef with brown gravy, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, mashed potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding.

Portobella Market street

This is part of the famous Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill, London. It had so many cool shops! There were antiques, cafés, touristy junk, clothing boutiques, handmade jewelry… We didn’t even get to see all of it, there was just so much!

Hogwarts Castle

We got to tour the studio/sets where much of the Harry Potter movies were filmed! It was beyond awesome! So many props, sets, scale models, costumes… I geeked out thinking about how the actors had been there!

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And now for Scotland! Here are my cousins, Toni and Jen, with me in the red. We’re on top of Calton Hill, with the gorgeous view of some of Edinburgh behind us. Toni and her husband, Dave, showed us around to many incredible places, some well-known and some a little off the beaten path.

St. Giles' Cathedral

This is St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s truly beautiful and magnificent, both inside and out.

Royal Mile

Here I am, backpacking my way around Edinburgh! Okay, so I only had the backpack on for maybe 20 minutes. I’m standing on the Royal Mile. There are so many neat shops, restaurants, and points of historical interest along here.

Portobella Beach

This is Portobello Beach and Promenade. I went for a run here! I’ve made it a personal goal of mine to go jogging in every country I’ve ever been. Scotland now makes 5 countries.

Holyrood Abbey

Here we have a portion of the wall at Holyrood Abbey. I love finding things like this to photograph. There’s something haunting and sad about how it’s in ruins, yet the structure itself is pretty impressive and awe-inspiring to still be standing there after all of these centuries.

I took over 200 photographs, so you can imagine how difficult it was to be able to condense my trip down to these ten. It truly was a blessing to be in such beautiful cities as Oxford, London, and Edinburgh! Their histories date so much farther back than ours here in the U.S.  There’s something fantastic about being around all of the history and buildings and people and food and culture…

And in case you were wondering, yes, I tried haggis while I was in Scotland. It wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t say it was great, either. I also tried whisky (they don’t spell it with the e) and ate the most amazing Scottish shortbread. Shout-out to Pinnies and Poppy Seeds for being so kind as to hold onto my backpack for me so I could go sight-see comfortably, and shout-out to Toni for taking us there to enjoy the delicious shortbread! In England, I tried guinea fowl, and it tasted like chicken but also like turkey. I also got to sample a variety of English cheeses that were delicious!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Please click the “Like” button below or leave me some love in the comments. Thanks!

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