I spent the last week with my parents and my brother travelling around Scotland. It was SO nice to have them here- you never know how much you missed someone until you see them. It was really great to be able to show them around Edinburgh and have them understand what my life is like here. They stayed at the lovely Hilton Caledonian which is apparently one of the oldest hotels in Edinburgh. I don't think any of them really loved the Scottish food (who does?) but my brother tried Haggis, my mom had fish and chips, and my dad had steak pie. Sadly, I didn't get either of the boys in kilts (they refused) but it will happen eventually. The weather was pretty horrible while they were here (there was some sort of rain every day!) but the three of them carried their umbrellas everywhere and my parents bundled up in their winter coats. You would never know that it was "summer" here.
Within Edinburgh I got to walk through the meadows with my brother, visit Hollyrood House Palace where the Queen lives when she is in Scotland, and climb up and down Arthur's Seat with my Dad and brother. On Arthur's Seat we had a near death experience but both of the claimed it was one of the highlights of their trip. We also got to eat at some really nice restaurants- my favorite was The Dome which had gorgeous pink lighting and giant bunches of lillies.
On Tuesday we took a day trip to Loch Lochmond (what a name!) and Stirling Castle- both of which were really nice. Everyone was surprised by the massive amounts of sheep everywhere and loved the Highland cows. Wednesday we took the train to St. Andrews and walked around the town. Even though it was my second time there I was struck once again by how quaint the town is and spent my time there dreaming about William and Kate meeting by the water. We also got beautiful weather in St. Andrews making it so much nicer. Friday we took the bus to see the mysterious Rosslyn Chapel with its intricate carvings and hidden meanings. Finally, on Saturday we took a day trip to Northern England and the incredible Alnwick Castle. Although it was absolutely frigid we all loved the picturesque grounds, the smell of donuts in the air, and the many, many flowers. The scene from Harry Potter where they were taught how to ride broomsticks was supposedly shot there but it really just looks like a field of grass.
I was sad to see my family go last night but I am really looking forward to my upcoming trips for the next two weeks. I know it will be filled with funny stories, good food, and incredibly touristy pictures. xx