Tuesday, 13 October 2009


One of the best parts about Bath was going to the fashion museum and trying on corsets and hoop skirts. They had clothing from the 17th century right up until today, but most of our time was spent in the dress up room. I'm sure we didn't have our corsets as tight as they are supposed to be, but even so I had trouble breathing in mine. It was difficult to sit down and bend over. I can't imagine wearing a corset everyday with all the other layers of heavy clothing the women wore back then.

Check out that skirt!

We also went on a tour of the Roman Baths. This place was huge and there are still areas of it that haven't been uncovered or were destroyed over the years. At the end of the tour you can sample the mineral water that everyone believes is so good for you. It was very warm and VERY mineral-y. Lacey and I had a sip but we dared Amy to drink a whole glass of it, which she did. I'm pretty sure she almost threw up.

Just so you know, the Romans didn't bathe in water that colour. It turned green from the rain and air mixing with the minerals... or something like that.

Bath is about 45 minutes from Stonehenge and even though it was getting dark and we knew it would be closed already, we decided to head there anyways. It was so cold that all we did was take a few pictures and get back in the car, but I'm glad I can say I've seen it.

Overall, the trip was amazing. In the end, it doesn't matter how much money you spend, what matters is that you have fun and make memories to last a lifetime. I think I can safely say for the three of us that we won't forget this trip anytime soon.

Thursday, 1 October 2009


Sunday morning we took the Eurostar train (which is super fast and goes under the Channel) from Paris to London. After barely making the train, it only took us an hour and a half to get there. Like I said before, we didn't have a hotel booked before we got to London. We searched the web for hours but could never agree on a hotel or the price. We ended up going to a hotel booking place at the train station and got a beautiful four star hotel room for a great price (still more than I wanted to spend, but at that point I didn't care anymore). Even though it worked out fine I don't recommend doing this on your next vacation! Our hotel was a five minute walk from Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace so we headed there first.

Westminster Abbey

Parliament Buildings

Big Ben!

We then headed to Piccadilly Circus which is the Times Square of London. This area was my favourite part of London. It was so busy and had a ton cool shops and theaters. They even had a Cinnabon, which after more than a year of not smelling that delicious, cinnamony smell, I had to get some... twice!

A trip to London wouldn't be complete without seeing the changing of the guards. We got there early to make sure we got a prime spot. We watched the guards get ready near their barracks and then followed behind them on the road to the palace. It was cool to see the guards all dressed up, but it wasn't really that exciting. It was long, not a lot went on and it was so crowded that for a lot of it you couldn't even see anything. I'm still glad we went, though.

We also went to the Tower of London, where Anne Boleyn (among others) was imprisoned and executed. One of the coolest things about the towers was seeing the carvings on the walls done by the prisoners. They were so beautiful but so sad at the same time.

We rented a car and drove to the nearby city of Bath and visited Stonehenge, but I'll leave those for a separate post.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


sorry this took so long...

We spent the next three days in the beautiful city of Paris. The first day we did a lot of walking and saw the Louvre, Arc de Triomph and Notre Dame Cathedral. Out of those three my favourite would have to be the Louvre. We didn't go inside since its humongous and would take hours to go through, and the fact that none of us are really into museums or art. The only thing in there that I know of is the Mona Lisa, which I've heard is disappointing to see in person anyways because its really small. So we just enjoyed taking pictures of the outside and had a little break by one of the many fountains surrounding the building.

Arc de Triomphe

The Louvre

Notre Dame Cathedral

Our second day was spent at Disneyland Paris. Our family didn't go to Disneyland when we were younger so we were all pretty excited to unleash our inner child. The excitement wore off after we realized there weren't many adult rides. I think in total we went on five rides all day and only one of those was a roller coaster. We stood in line for a while to get Cinderella and Prince Charming autographs for Lacey's girls. We also got a recording of them saying hi to all of my nieces, which was worth the wait! I'm glad we went to Disneyland but I would never go back unless I had kids with me.

Saturday was our last day in Paris and we started the day by going to see Moulin Rouge. It is in the beautiful Montmarte area of Paris, which is built on a hill. Once you get to the top you have a gorgeous view of the city. The streets in this area are very cute and Parisian looking. They are lined with cafes, bakeries and souvenir shops. We used our last day as our shopping day (we can't go to a city without shopping!) and spent a few hours at various clothing stores. We also got some nice souvenirs at booths set up along the River Seine.

Our last stop before dinner was the Eiffel Tower. We didn't go up the tower but spent an hour or so walking around the base of it and trying to get a picture of the three of us with as much of the tower as possible. Not very easy! I basically had to lay on the ground to get the first shot, but it was worth it. We had dinner at a nearby pizzeria then walked back to the tower to see it at night with the lights on. After eating the most delicious Nutella and banana crepe ever, we got back on the underground to go to our flat. We were leaving early the next morning so had to pack that night, as well as try and find a hotel for our four nights in London (yes, the night before we were to leave we still didn't have a hotel, but more about that later).

Paris is gorgeous. I would have enjoyed it more if I could speak more than five words of French (it's very stressful not knowing the language) but it's definitely a city I want to spend more time in.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

A Little Busy...

I'm sorry I haven't posted about the rest of our trip. I promise I will but I've been a little sidetracked with packing and trying to make the most of the last couple of weeks. Hopefully in the next few days I can find some time to write about it.

Just so you know, today is our last day here. We leave early tomorrow morning. SCARY!!!!

Monday, 7 September 2009


The first three days of our trip were spent in Normandy, France. We flew into Paris, rented a car and drove to the coast. Our first stop was Mont St. Michel, a rocky tidal island with a small town (population: 50) and a monastary. As we were driving up to it Lacey informed us that it is the number one tourist attraction in France and by the amount of people there, I believe her. Everything about the island was beautiful and we spent several hours checking out the 1000 year old monastary as well as the gift shops. We had to have our car out of the parking lot by 9:30 because of the incoming tide. We wanted to stick around to see the tide come in but we ended up driving straight to our hotel (we were all pretty tired from getting no sleep the night before).
We spent the next day around the D-Day beaches of WWII. The first place we went to was a museum with information about all the countries involved in the battle of Normandy. There was also a war memorial there. We then went to Juno beach, which is the beach the Canadians landed on. There is a museum there that is specific to the Canadian battles and what life would have been like during that time. The museum was interesting, but Amy and I spent most of our time walking along the beach. We had a long drive to our next hotel so after a quick stop for pizza, we headed towards Paris.
The next day was all about Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and the Palace of Versailles. The palace was HUGE, especially the gardens. Inside, we got to see several rooms, including the hall of mirrors and the king and queens beds. You weren't allowed to use flash inside so a lot of my pictures didn't turn out but I did get a few good ones. There were several other buildings on the property, including two smaller (although they were still pretty big) palaces. Marie Antoinette also had a country home, which was a 10 minute walk from the main palace, where she would go to get away from everything.
The first three days were a lot of fun but we were all excited to get to Paris.

Versailles gardens with the palace in the background


view of the gardens from inside

hall of mirrors


Juno Beach

WWII war memorial

Mont St. Michel street

Mont St. Michel

Thursday, 3 September 2009

I'm Back.............

After 11 long, exhausting, amazing, exciting days I am finally back in Edinburgh. The train ride from London took nine hours when its only supposed to take four (tree branch on the line or something like that), but I'm back and ready to sleep in tomorrow! I'll try and write several posts over the next few days to tell you all about our exciting adventures. We all had an amazing time, despite now being deep in debt. I won't say much about it now except that I think Paris might be my favourite city ever. Its just so... beautiful. I've got more than 500 pictures and tons of stories to share so get ready!!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

vaca update

Yesterday was my last shift at the bar/restaurant. I didn't feel too sad because I know I'll see everyone for a few more weeks at least. I know when I leave the building for the last time I'll have a hard time holding back the tears. But thats not what this post is about. I just realized that I haven't really posted about my two week vacation thats coming up. So here is a little preview of what we will be doing.

My oldest sister, Lacey, and her husband are leaving tonight and arriving tomorrow morning. They are renting a car and going straight to the highlands for a little romantic road-trip. They will be in Edinburgh either Friday night or Saturday morning. We'll have two days in the city to show them around. Lacey really wants to see where Amy and I work so we might fit in a quick game of bingo before heading over to Cameo for dinner and to do the pub quiz. *Side note* The pub quiz is so much fun! Every Sunday night there is a quiz with four rounds of 10 questions. There are usually 15-20 teams and the winner of each round gets some chocolate, with the overall prize being a £30 bar tab. If its not too busy the bar staff try and get a team in there too, which is why I always loved working Sunday nights.
Sunday night the plan is (for me anyways) to not go to sleep. Weird plan, right? But we have to catch a bus in the city at 3:15 Monday morning. That means we would have to get up at about 1:30 for all of us to start having showers and make sure our room is spic and span. *another side note* Amy and I have to have our room completely packed up and clean before we leave on Monday. We won't be back until September, so to save us having to pay rent for two more weeks we are going to technically be out of the room. Then its up to Neil whether or not he finds someone to take the room. We'll still be staying here for the two weeks after our trip, but we'll just be on the couch (or if no one is in the room yet I'm sure we'll sleep in our old beds).
So, since Lacey and Duane only have two days in the city, I figure they'll want to enjoy it and not go to bed at 7:30 in order to get a decent nights sleep. The bus ride to the airport (we have to go to Glasgow) will take about two hours and the flight to Paris is about an hour and a half. Not a lot of sleep but I'm hoping our excitment for being in France will make us forget about the lack of sleep.
Here is a quick summary of our trip:
Monday morning: fly to Paris, get rental car and drive to beaches of Normandy. We have Monday and Tuesday to do the beaches, Mont St. Michel and visit any cute French towns along the way.
Wednesday: Tour of the Palace of Versailles. Wednesday evening will be spent in Paris.
Thursday: Duane flies home in the morning. Us girls will spend the rest of the day touring Paris
Friday: Disneyland Paris!!!
Saturday: Last day in Paris
Sunday: We have an early train ride to London. We are taking the Eurostar train, which is the super fast train that goes through a tunnel under the English Channel. We'll have most of Sunday for London
Monday: London
Tuesday: day trip from London... maybe to Stonehenge and Bath.
Wednesday: Last day in London
Thursday: Lacey flies home, Amy and I fly to Edinburgh.

It's going to be an amazing, long, expensive trip! I've been so busy with work the past few weeks that I haven't really had time to think about the fact that in a few days I'm going to see so many amazing things... and my sister and BIL, who I haven't seen since February. I can't wait!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Not much time left now...

One week of work left.

Two weeks of holidays.

Two weeks back in Edinburgh to say goodbye.

And on September 17th I am moving back to Canada.


Thursday, 30 July 2009

tattoo number two

A week ago today I got my second tattoo. Before Amy and I moved here we talked about getting a thistle tattoo as a lifelong souvenir of our year in Scotland. We looked online a lot trying to find a design that we liked but they were all too 'real' looking, and if you know what a thistle looks like you know they aren't really the most beautiful, girly weeds! I got my eyebrow pierced at a tattoo shop and while we were waiting we looked through some of the design books they had. We found a page with several different thistle designs, including the one I chose. It's pretty and girly and very... me. I love it!

The first two pictures were taken the day I got it done and the last was taken today.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Tales from Northern Ireland

Well, Amy and I got back from Northern Ireland on Saturday and I'm just now finding the time to sit down and tell you all about it! Work has been busy and I've been trying to spend as much time with friends as possible these last few weeks we're here. We were over there for four days and packed a lot in so this post may be a little picture heavy. Here we go...

We flew in to Belfast on Wednesday and were met at the airport by our flatmate Neil and one of his friends. They took us to Carrickfergus Castle but we didn't have time to go inside. To be honest, it didn't really look all that thrilling anyways. We did have fun taking some pictures with a good looking knight though.

After the castle we went back to Belfast to take a guided tour of the city. We saw some pretty amazing buildings, the dockyard where Titanic was built (so cool!) and a lot of murals on both the Protestant and Catholic sides of the city. It was pretty crazy to hear about all the unrest that went on in the city.

After the tour we went out for dinner and then headed to Tobermore, the small town that Neil is from. The next day we started off at the rope bridge I wrote about before. Amy and I were excited to go across but everyone else we were with were a little scared. We all managed to walk... or in some cases more like run... across to get some amazing views of the Irish coast.

We then headed over to Bushmills whiskey distillery, which, at 400 years, is one of the oldest in the world. We went on a tour of the distillery but unfortunately they were shut down for repairs that day so we didn't actually get to see any whiskey being made. At the end of the tour we were offered a free dram to try. The guide said there was one that tasted like chocolate and caramel, so I decided to go for that one. Lets just say it did NOT taste anything like chocolate OR caramel and I barely got one sip down. Whiskey is not my friend.

We then headed to Giants Causeway. The best words to describe it are: amazing, beauitful, weird and crazy. It's just so weird that all of the rocks are about the same size and shape. There are two different versions of why the rocks are there. The first has to do with lava many millions of years ago and the second is about the giant Finn McCool. I'll let you decide which one you believe.

After a delicious dinner and some fun and games at an indoor theme park, we headed back to Tobermore. The next day we went on a tour of Londonderry. It is another city that was really affected by the troubles between the Catholics and Protestents. Londonderry was a really pretty walled city. We went on a walking tour of the walls and got some history of the troubles that went on there. After a few hours we headed to a place called Musseden Temple. I don't know much about this place but it sure was beautiful. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Amy and I had a ton of fun here snapping lots of pictures. It was definitely one of our favourite places on the trip. Overall we had a great time in Northern Ireland and packed a lot in to the four days we were there. Theres still lots of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland that we want to see, though!