Saturday, June 25, 2016

How Edinburgh can keep you from boredom

Edinburgh collage Jun 2016
Edinburgh. We always look forward to going on the train a ways to Edinburgh. This year we went for Steve's birthday in lieu of the first birthday he spend with me 8 years ago.
After traveling to Newcastle, it was my first proper tourist trip in the UK as well. I remember being speechless (which isn't a feat easily obtained for me) at it all. The age, the museums, the gardens, the red phone booths. It was amazing for a little country girl who'd only been to some American museums a few times in her life.
This time, for a change of pace, we stayed at The George Hotel which was in an excellent location - near Princes Street and Rose Street. We did the usual walking around, taking in the view, and wandering around the pubs thing. The new thing we did was visit the Edinburgh Zoo to see the panda. That was the coolest part of the trip without a doubt.
It was nice to be across from the Hard Rock Cafe, I can't deny. Rarely do we get to just hang out late at night having a drink and walk back "home." We nosed around Rose Street and did some mini pub crawls too. We even stopped off at The Guildford Arms on the way back from Carlton Hill.
Again, it's a change out of the ordinary commute-work-commute routine. It all gets quite dull when everything is a-okay and same ol' same ol' every day.
Granted, this trip was at the beginning of the month, a few weeks before the EU Referendum came through, so even if Scotland decides to leave the U.K., we'll still love to visit.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

How Bamburgh Castle and The Bowes Museum saved my weekend

Barnard Castle collage2

A few weeks ago, Steve and I went on another little trip to explore England. Northern England to be exact because, hey, why not start the adventures in your own back yard? We took a trip an hour south from us into County Durham and into Barnard Castle. (A place I'm told is quite posh and from the pictures, I have to agree.)

We stayed at Jersey Farm Hotel which was right down the road from town. There we saw Shetland ponies (even newborn ponies), deer, and alpacas. We even had a nice view of the animals from our window, which made for a nice stay in the countryside.

After a lovely evening of relaxing with a whirlpool bath and the windows open so the fresh air could lull me to sleep as I drank Caribbean Twist and watched The Hollow Crown, I was ready for a Sunday of site seeing.

First we went to town to see the castle, which was super cool, especially with the views over the rolling hills (what you imagine England to look like all the time). Then we went to Bowes Museum for the Silver Swan and the art. The grounds there are so neat and that house is way impressive. I'm so glad we decided to scurry down there for a little weekend break.

I was disappointed that we didn't get to see the Shoes exhibit. There were tons of signs around town advertising it, but when we went, the exhibition was still being set up, which meant we couldn't see any of the Fashion displays.

Also, we did pass on Raby Castle. There is a deer park there, that we drove by on our way home. From the brochure, it seems like a canny way to spend the afternoon as well, so we'll definitely be back.