Erin in Florence

Hi! I'm Erin.

Welcome to my site! Here you'll find photos and stories from my adventures living in England and traveling Europe. I share my love for beautiful sprawling landscapes, rich history, diverse and delicious cuisine, and endless opportunities for adventure. 

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Edinburgh - Thanksgiving Road Trip Part II

Edinburgh - Thanksgiving Road Trip Part II

On our first full day in Edinburgh we hiked up Arthur's Seat, stared in wonder at the view, and explored Holyrood Park. I tried haggis for dinner that night and I think I'll give it one more shot at a nicer restaurant before I write it off. The boys conducted their own city-wide pub crawl over the next few days, and I did my best to see as much as I could before I joined them around 5pm each day. The only pub I remember is called the Jolly Judge; teeny tiny with a fireplace and so cute. In my usual style, I tackled the city on foot and covered a good amount of ground.

Hiking Arthur's Seat

Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat

Holyrood

Palace of Holyrood

I was amazed at the number of shops devoted to tweed and wool! By some crazy miracle I limited my purchases to under 5 items. I rather regret that I didn't buy a wool blanked for every room in the house and for every person in my family. And the tweed coats! Swoon. You cannot find these things in America. 100% UK wool, made in Scotland, etc. etc. etc.

Victoria Street - full of beautiful shops and colorful facades

I tore myself away from the shops and spent some time at St. Mary's Cathedral where I took entirely too many photos. The architecture is absolutely stunning.

St. Mary's Cathedral
St. Mary's Cathedral

Connor and I toured Edinburgh Castle and saw the Royal Crown Jewels, old prison cells, the great hall where Mary Queen of Scots would entertain... I could have spent another hour or two exploring the castle, but after we watched the sunset over the city we had to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle
St. Margaret's Chapel - Edinburgh Castle
American Flag - Prison Door Graffiti

Drum rollll: we had surf and turf for Thanksgiving Dinner! The fresh Scottish mussels were to die for! Probably the best mussels I've ever tasted. The rest of the meal was so-so, but luckily I gorged myself on mussels and came away happy. We went out in search of some folk music after dinner and ended up bumping into 8 or so American troops. How's that for a Thanksgiving surprise?! We gave them our thanks for their service, naturally, and discovered they are all from Michigan (!?? my hometown!!) and stationed in Italy. We chatted with them for the rest of the evening and did eventually find some music.

Oh look, this place says they have "live music." Let's go see.

No music playing inside. To girl behind the bar: Hello! Do you have live music tonight? Who will be playing?

Girl: Simon.

... not helpful. Do we look or sound like we would know Simon? Simon turned out to be a non-folk guitarist who has never celebrated Christmas. Unclear as to why that would be. I think he was lying. And with that, we ended our time in Edinburgh and drove back to Birmingham the next morning.

Hiking up Arthur's Seat is a must-do while in Edinburgh. Residents are lucky to have such a great hiking area right in their backyard! The Castle is gorgeous and should also be on your list, and walking down the Royal Mile with the wool shops, bagpipers, and beautiful buildings is a great introduction to the city. You may recognize Victoria Street as one of the most Instagrammed spots in Edinburgh, and right around the corner from there is the coffee shop where J.K. Rowling began writing the Harry Potter series. 

Christmas Market Ride and Scott Monument. Tommy and I paid for the ride in a moment  lacking judgment.

The University of Edinburgh
Cafe Royal Bar
The English Rivieraย 

The English Rivieraย 

Lake Windermere - Thanksgiving Road Trip Part I

Lake Windermere - Thanksgiving Road Trip Part I