eilean donan castle

Eilean Donan Castle is situated on a tiny island where three lochs come together. The castle was founded in the thirteenth century and has been restored a couple of times after Highland clashes. It was one of our favorite castles to visit because of the view of surrounding mountains, and the added footbridge looks beautiful in photographs. It’s such a dramatic castle! We visited twice while driving up to the Isle of Skye for weekend stays, and each time we had a blast. There’s plenty of parking in a separate lot which makes the visit convenient, and a gift shop offers traditional Scottish souvenirs, snacks, and tea. Eilean Donan Castle has even won Scotland Magazine’s Icons of Scotland award, and why wouldn’t it have? Some people think it’s the most beautiful castle in Scotland and I happen to agree! Have you ever been?

       
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Filed Under: Scotland, Travel33 Comments

the expat diaries | snapshots of aberdeen, scotland

Thank you for linking up with The Expat Diaries. Add your expat and travel posts below and be sure to visit other blogs! The next link-up will take place on August 1st. This post is going to be short and sweet because I’d like the photos to do all the talking. I was planning to write-up another post full of tips and tricks regarding expat life and travel, but then I realized… I haven’t even talked about Aberdeen yet! For those of you who might not be familiar with this blog, my husband and I lived abroad in Scotland for a year. The experience was wonderful and difficult at the same time, and most definitely the best decision we’ve ever made as a couple. We had the opportunity to explore the Scottish countryside and travel all over Europe, and of course, we enjoyed our little Aberdeen. Our little townhouse with the […]

       
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Filed Under: Aberdeen, Expat, Scotland, Travel17 Comments

scone palace and the stone of scone | perth, scotland

Scone Palace was once the crowning site of the Scots so there’s a lot of history there. You can choose to go inside the palace and learn more about the Stone of Scone and previous Kings of Scotland since the palace has plenty of on-site guides in each room, or you can just enjoy the outdoors. On a nice day, You’ll see plenty of peacocks, including an albino one, and highland cattle munching on grass. The landscaping is immaculate and there’s also a big garden maze to make your visit enjoyable — especially if you have kids. We decided to spend time exploring the outdoors first so we could snap plenty of photos of the hairy cows, and then we ventured inside. I was surprised to find such gorgeous rooms. The palace was still furnished and had beautiful tapestries, paintings, and trinkets. After our tour inside the palace, which included an […]

       
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Filed Under: Scotland, Travel22 Comments

a night in a castle | stirling castle and airth castle

I totally miss castles. And the fact that every time we drove around Scotland to go sightseeing, it felt as if I was living in a storybook. Childhood dreams of being a princess? Sort of complete. B wouldn’t let me walk around wearing my Pretty Pretty Princess crown, though. Don’t get me wrong. Florida is great because the beaches are fun, the water is a beautiful shade of blue and the area is all naturey and stuff, but seeing a massive CVS or Walgreens on the corner of a busy intersection doesn’t make me want to pull out my camera and start snapping away. Stirling castle makes me want to snap away. On this particular weekend, we drove from Aberdeen to Stirling to visit the large castle on the hill. I remember the entrance fee being a little steep, but there was a lot to do and see unlike many […]

       
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Filed Under: Scotland, Travel21 Comments

bennachie scotland | hiking

I took a day off from blogging because I had two doctor’s appointments yesterday. A fun day away from the computer, right? No. Not at all. I guess I could have blogged last night but B and I have been doing the Insanity workout in the evenings. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this type of regimen, it involves a lot of cardio, suicide drills and weird push-ups, hence the name “Insanity”. Shaun T is the good man behind this workout plan and the reason why I cannot walk today. Keeping with the fitness theme of this post (because I’m so fit and all), I thought I’d share some hiking photos from Scotland. Hiking is the part I miss most about our time abroad because it was a fun way to get in shape. Aside from the rain, the weather in the UK is perfect for this type of […]

       
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Filed Under: Aberdeen, Scotland, Travel24 Comments

the expat diaries | the initial move

Welcome to the first installment of The Expat Diaries. I’m very grateful for all of the positive feedback Chelsea and I received last week regarding the series, and I cannot wait to read about everyone’s experiences abroad! This link-up is for past, present and future expats, and anyone who’s interested in traveling the world. You can write about travel tips, your favorite vacation spot, the country you’re currently residing in, or your experiences with moving abroad. Please add your posts below and visit other bloggers. And if you would like, you can grab our button or link back to us, too! Today I’ll be discussing the initial move to the UK and how we prepared. My husband and I decided to move abroad while we were both working and living in Washington, DC. A few months before our August 2011 wedding, B was offered a 6 month field assignment in […]

       
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Filed Under: Aberdeen, Expat, Scotland26 Comments

st andrews, scotland

I was submitting answers to questions Lisette sent over for her blog sponsor spotlight at the end of last week, and I got stumped. One of the questions asked why people would enjoy reading my blog and what makes it unique. I couldn’t think of anything because sometimes I honestly don’t think I’m that unique (I mean, look at all of the awesome travel and lifestyle blogs floating around the Internet) so I put, “because my readers will never know where I am.” You know, because we move so often. But I quickly realized that that answer was slightly really creepy and it made me laugh. Anyway, this is what you’re getting yourself into if you read my blog. You’ll never find meeeee. And now for St Andrews! Whenever we had family members visit us in Scotland, we took them to St Andrews for a little weekend exploring. Because my dad, brother […]

       
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Filed Under: Scotland, Travel17 Comments

loch lomond, scotland

One fine weekend, B and I decided to camp on Loch Lomond and hike up Ben Lomond. Now, I’ve never been too outdoorsy, but when you’re husband becomes so obsessed with becoming a “wilderness couple” that it’s slightly cute, you say yes. Plus it wasn’t like we were camping on some tiny lake in the States. It was freakin’ Scotland and I figured it would be nice. I quickly realized that even though we were in the beautiful United Kingdom, sleeping in a sweatbox, listening to Malcolm bark all night, not being able to bathe (hello, acne) and getting attacked by swarms of Midges wasn’t so fun after all. After struggling to put up our small tent while swatting at devil insects, we were hungry. We drove to the only store we could find to pick up some hot dogs to grill. In case you’re wondering, hot dogs come in […]

       
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Filed Under: Scotland, Travel16 Comments

cruden bay, scotland | slains castle

Dear readers, if you ever have the chance to visit or move to Scotland, do it. Don’t think about it; just pack a bag and leave (I know, I’m so realistic). I think the part I miss most is the beauty of everything. I was trying to think of something to post today when I came across these gorgeous pictures in our travel collection. I remember exploring this area like it was yesterday. We were supposed to go camping outside of Glasgow that weekend but since the weather was gorgeous which is sometimes a rarity, every single campsite in that vicinity was booked. Instead, we decided to stay in Aberdeen and explore. I had wanted to visit Bullers of Buchan, which is a collapsed cave surrounded by huge cliffs, but we got distracted a little South of that and stopped at Cruden Bay where Malcolm got peed on by an […]

       
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Filed Under: Scotland, Travel24 Comments

glasgow and kirk yetholm, scotland

We booked our hotel in Glasgow solely based on the fact that it had a huge swimming pool and jacuzzi, and the one night we were there, it was closed for maintenance. To make up for the lack of swimming/relaxing that took place this weekend, we found a chocolate factory down the street. My iced mocha was delicious {chocolatey heaven, really} and because of the experience, I firmly believe that all coffee drinks should have thick chocolate syrup floating in them.  We also did some sightseeing around the city that didn’t involve chocolate, of course. We walked around the Glasgow School of Art, took a tour of the Tenement House and enjoyed the architecture. There’s something about the old-world charm and intricate details. Every time we’re exploring a new European city, I fall in love with all of the old buildings. After our stay in Glasgow, we headed South to […]

       
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Filed Under: Scotland, Travel6 Comments

isle of skye | fairy pools of scotland

If you’re traveling to Scotland, you must go up North to the Isle of Skye and spend a few days exploring every corner of the island. The landscape is breathtaking because there are mountains in every direction, and the bright blue water makes it look almost Mediterranean. Plus, cute sheep will pass right in front of your vehicle. We spent our time visiting a couple of castles with unique placements on the water, having a traditional Scottish lunch of cullen skink in the city of Portree, and hiking to the Fairy Pools in Glen Brittle. I discovered the Fairy Pools on Pinterest (Pinterest knows everything) and talked Brandon into finding the network of small to medium streams, waterfalls, and tranquil pools of clear water. It did not disappoint. Fairy Pools of Scotland: We spent hours following the streams and waterfalls, and could have spent even more time exploring if we had wanted to […]

       
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Filed Under: Scotland, Travel10 Comments