Sunday, November 17, 2013

the month of october, part 2

i still feel like i should be getting ready for halloween and people are already putting up christmas lights! 

we started the month off with a visit from my family and then hopped on a plane to the uk. after 4 days in london (living my dream!) we took the train north to edinburgh, scotland, where we met up with joel's parents. 

scotland was a total gear shift from london. whereas in london, i was marking things off my bucket list and trying to do as much in each day that i could, in scotland, we were able to kind of relax. 

on our first day, we walked around edinburgh for a bit, taking it all in. joel's parents had been there a couple of days already and were able to act as our guides, showing us what they had already found. 

one thing that i found kind of fascinating were the thrift stores in edinburgh. each one was named for a different charity, and profits from the shop went to that charity. but this wasn't your goodwill or salvation army. they were pretty fancy. some even carried designers and higher end stuff. if i had known, i would have totally brought an empty suitcase. 

on our second day, we took the car we rented up the coast to aberdeen to see some beautiful countryside. 

first stop was loch leven. it wasn't ness, but it was absolutely gorgeous. we got there shortly after sun rise and there was fog hanging around the shoreline. 

we weren't able to get across the loch to the castle where mary, queen of scots was held, because we were there on a sunday. somehow we haven't learned that sunday is not a good travel day in europe.....

cemetery on loch leven
next, we headed further north to scone palace. this one wasn't planned, but as we were driving along, we saw a turn off and went with it. i'm super glad we did, because it was a pretty awesome stop. there were peacocks wandering all over the grounds and horses and bulls, and there was, of course, tons of cool history. 

"Alexander II and Alexander III, both crowned at Scone, ruled from 1214 to 1286. For centuries the greatest treasure at Scone was the Stone of Scone upon which the early Kings of Scotland were crowned. When Edward I of England carried off the Stone of Scone to Westminster Abbey in 1296, the Coronation Chair that still stands in the abbey was specially made to fit over it. Robert the Bruce was crowned at Scone in 1306 and the last coronation was of Charles II, when he accepted the Scottish crown in 1651. The Stone of Scone is now in Edinburgh Castle (Historic Scotland) along with the Scottish regalia."

our next stop was glamis castle, but we didn't really spend any substantial amount of time  there. because we were working our way to.....

this place. 

dunnottar castle. 

ruins, actually. this was what i wanted to see while we were in scotland. ruins on cliffs and the ocean. oh the ocean. 

i felt like we could have left at this point. i was so happy. 

we spent a few hours walking around and just breathing the sea air. it was incredible.

day 3, we decided, there wasn't much that could top the previous day. so we decided to take it easy, and we headed to the town of portabello. which is by the sea. ooooh the sea....

yes, bella. i agree.

the rest of the day was spent doing the tourist thing-we checked out edinburgh castle, shopped at some shops, ate some good food and took some pictures.

and then we ran against this:

the cafe where j.k. rowling wrote the first harry potter. yeah. it was no diagon alley, but it was still pretty cool. 

day 4, we took a car, to a train, to a train, to a plane, to a train, to a train, to a car to our home sweet bed. it was an amazing 9 days of travel. 

joel's family came back with us to spend the next 4 days hanging out and loving on my babies. it all went too fast. 

finally, we hit halloween, and only just got to experience it!  

cora was a precious little sully wazowski. no, i am not confused. i got this random monster costume at the exchange, and all the dads around the neighborhood were like, "what an awesome monster. monster, inc. right?" 

yep. sully wazowski. 

and then there was bella. this year marks the second year where bella has had a costume and at the 11th hour, i made her something completely different. this year, i was worried she would freeze to death in the little cat costume we picked out. especially considering the fur was falling off and it wasn't even out of the package yet.

so she became the (warmest) cutest little lady bug i could whip up in 2 hours the night before halloween. 

scary little babies.

happy october. merry christmas. 

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