Sunday, July 29, 2012


It has been 55 days....

We have been on 9 different planes....
We have toured 16 different places....
We have been to 5 different countries....
We have riden on 7 National Railways....
We have riden on the tube over one hundred times....
We have lived in 1 London flat....
We have stayed in 8 different hotels....
We have visited 5 Castles/Palaces....
We have learned many new things....
We have loved many new places....

It has been the best Honeymoon ever....
It has been a journey of a lifetime....
It has been the best adventure we could have ever asked for....

We are sad to leave....
We are happy to see our family and friends....
We are ready to spend the rest of our lives together....

A few things we have learned...
I don't know where London got the bad reputation of having bad food.... it's amazing!
We LOVE trying and eating international and different cultural foods!
People who think government healthcare is a good thing are crazy! We have experienced it first hand!
I thought that my travel 'ich' would be gone after this summer... but it just makes me want to go back for more!
We are so fortunate in America to have the little things we may take for granted... like dryers!!
We love seeing new cultures, people watching, and doing just what the locals do.

So now... After yesterday's 24 hours of straight traveling back to Orlando...I have just done 8 loads of laundry, put all of our wedding gifts away, and we are settling back into reality.  The olympics are on T.V. and every time I see views of London I get teary-eyed.  Every time I think about how amazing this summer was... I get teary-eyed.  I see some London withdrawals in my future!

It was bittersweet coming home... but we are back!

Can we go back already?... or... at least plan another trip!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Windy, WIndy City

We got up early, after our late night, checked our luggage at the train station, and headed to Edinburgh Castle.  We love castles, so we could not leave Edinburgh without touring one of them! When we got inside, we headed straight for one of the free tour guides and followed along.  Hair blowing every which way, we managed to see and learn all about the beautiful protected castle on the top on the hill.

Edinburgh Castle was the most protected fortress back in the day.  Since it was up on a hill, there was only one entrance where others could enter.  However, this entrance had 6 gates and a moat that one would have to get through.  When the kings and queens wanted to be protected, they went to this castle, when they wanted to live and get away from the terrible wind, they went down the Royal Mile and hill and stayed at the Holyrodhouse Palace.  That is where the Queen stays now when she visits Scotland.

After touring Edinburgh Castle and seeing Scotland's Crown Jewels, we headed back down the hill and decided to go to "The Mussel Inn' for lunch.  I have been craving mussels all summer, and one of the people we met at our hotel mentioned to go eat here.  It was a perfect decision, as it was delicious! And now, I am probably craving them even more! There was a festival going on while we walked around, so we were able to walk around to bag pipes, and lots of music and people! It was a great touch!

After eating, we went back up to the Royal Mile, walked around in and out of a few shops, and managed to work our way down to see Holyrodhouse Palace.  By the time we got there, we had to turn around and start heading back to the train station to get our luggage, and jump on the bus to the airport.

Although we were only in Scotland a short while, we LOVED it! The people were incredibly friendly, the food was great (even though I guess we did not get any 'real' Scottish food while we were there because all of the locals said that Scottish food is gross and fried), the castles were beautiful, the city was beautiful, it was just overall wonderful! I would definitely love to make the trip back to Scotland and tour more of the area, and maybe add Ireland on the way!

 Pretty views on our way up to the Royal Mile

 In front of the Olympic Rings

 Pretty views
 In the distance, we could see the water
 Overlooking the city
 Very old church in the middle of the city
 Braveheart looking guy
 Edinburgh Castle
 Coat of Arms
 Windy hair in front of one of the statues entering the castle
 Walking up the hill inside the castle to the top
 Pretty Royal war memorial building
 back of the building
 The place where the crown jewels were held
 Another coat of arms
 Overlooking the city

 The city of Edinburgh
 T in front of one of the many cannons...Queen Victoria had 'fake' cannons moved to the top of the castle because she thought that it did not look like a castle without cannons
 A view behind the castle.  This is an Olympic Venue for some event, and the beautiful scenery in the background
 Flying away in the wind
 Inside the state apartments
 Inside the prison 

 T loved these hats, so I had to get a picture!
 At the 'Mussel Inn"....delicious Mussels
 Toasting to a wonderful vacation with great friends!
 Bagpipe in the city!
 Edinburgh Castle
 Holyrodhouse Palace
 The view around the Palace... at the top it is called King Arthur's chair. You can hike to the top and the views are supposed to be beautiful... we did not have enough time.
 Holyrodhouse Palace
 In front of the Palace... I have officially seen all of the Palaces in Great Britain!

This was the Scottish house of Parliament... strange and unique building

Spooky, Old Edinburgh

We left St. Andrews around 5 and arrived at our beautiful, Marriott, hotel in Edinburgh.  We stayed at a old golf and country club that the Marriott converted into a hotel.  It was on a beautiful piece of land with goats, sheep, and horses in the fields.  It was a little outside of Edinburgh, but after a short taxi ride, we were right into the heart of the city.

We had been researching what we should do in Edinburgh, as it is many people's favorite city in the world.  We found a ghost tour to go on, and immediately purchased our tickets.  We have always gone on ghost tours in Savannah, GA, and loved it! So we thought, since Edinburgh is one of the oldest cities, why not hear a spooky ghost story while were at it!

We went underground the city to hear the spooky stories.  While T and Erika were fine, I was definitely a little spooked and had to hold on tight to one of them! After looking back, it really wasn't that scary, but we actually did learn a lot of good history about Edinburgh!

After the ghost tour, we walked around a little longer, and then found a pub to go into.  We found the cheapest bottle of wine on the menu... 8 pounds! We liked Scotland, and the great prices! Anyways, we drank our bottle of wine, and then decided to take a taxi back to the hotel.  When we got to the hotel, we went to the hotel bar.  A wedding was taking place at our hotel, and the guests were moving into the bar area.  A few of the guests were also coming back from the Madonna concert.  Needless to say, we met a lot of super friendly Scottish people and talked to them until 3:30 in the morning! We had such a fun night in Edinburgh! Here are some pictures of our first night in Edinburgh!

 In front of the field near our hotel
 Cute little pony
 First views of Edinburgh
 National Gallery
 Pretty building 
 Looking high up on the hill
 The famous Royal Mile
 The building where we met the ghost tour...St. Giles
 Our ghost guide
 Walking in the streets of Edinburgh

 In front of the huge Olympic rings
Our new friend that we met from the wedding, James... we were very excited to take a picture of someone in a kilt!