After living in NYC for months, I finally got to meet the famous Barefoot Blonde! Amber is just as sweet and stunning in real life as she is on her blog; it’s always so nice when someone famous lives up to your expectations and is truly a really nice person 🙂
I’m pretty sure fall is my favorite season. I love the crisp air, throwing on jacket, and the sound of leaves crunching under my boots. I know spring is usually referred to as a “beginning” in a way, but I also see fall as opportunity for a fresh start. Personally, I’m going to use the change of season to change the direction of my blog. In the beginning, I loved the idea of having a space of my own similar to some of my favorite fashion bloggers. However, after a few months the idea of taking outfit photos and writing about my clothes seemed like a burden that only grew heavier as my friends and family would constantly check-in to see if I was “still doing my blog.” I felt this weird pressure to gain more readers and found myself commenting on other blogs with the hopes of redirecting traffic and following lots and lots of people on Instagram; the silly part of it all was I was putting this pressure on myself! The problem with my blog wasn’t the photographs or the writing, both of which I very much enjoy, but this restrictive boundary I had drawn for myself in terms of content and style. This blog is my own, so it should reflect me, not my take on what others out there have already shared. Therefore, I want to make this space a bit more casual. I want to be able to write about the silly mundane day to day things, like how excited I am about the pumpkin candle I just bought :), in addition to share unedited, un-posed, fun pictures that I just happen to like. With all that being said, I couldn’t resist sharing some pictures that I should have shared months ago from my most favorite place: Paris. Perhaps later on I will elaborate on all the amazing things Isaac and I did while visiting the city of love, but for now I’m happy to just say that this is a new beginning for this blog and I am very happy about it.
It’s crazy to think about how long it’s taken me to sit down and write this post about a trip Isaac and I took over a month ago! But I suppose better late than never, right?
London was one of the places on our 4 city trip that I was most excited to go to. On our first day, we took the Tube (which is fascinatingly cleaner and quieter than the subway I am used to) to Westminster because Westminster Abbey was first on the to-do list. Since I didn’t do quite as much planning ahead as I had originally planned, to my surprise the first thing we saw when we emerged from underground was Big Ben! And may I just say that Big Ben is much more ornate and beautiful than pictures let on. After trying to take a picture that didn’t get one of the many many tourists also in the area caught in the background (I thought that since we were traveling in February there wouldn’t be that many tourists–I was very wrong), we headed over to the giant line at Westminster Abbey and popped open our umbrella to greet our first London rain shower. Just like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey was so much more beautiful than I had imagined, and so much bigger!
Day 2 in London was Valentine’s Day, and also the celebration of the Chinese New Year! We perused a couple of museums, explored the local festivals for the new year (and I proceeded to buy a very over-priced but totally worth it banana Nutella crepe), and headed back to our Airbnb before our very romantic dinner. Since I wasn’t really familiar with the area, I foolishly left our Valentine’s dinner reservation to a couple of nights before the actual day. However, we ended up going to a wonderful restaurant called The Delaunay at 10:00PM. Now I had no problem with a late dinner, however, being from New York we had never considered that the metro might actually close for the night. To our surprise, when we arrived at the Covent Gardens station the entryway was barred shut! Although this was a downer, there really was a bright side because we got to ride in one of those classic black London taxis and it was pretty cool.
We spent most of day 3 at the British Museum, where I proceeded to take lots of pictures of the Rosetta Stone. I also took this opportunity to break in my brand new pair of Doc Martens that I had purchased 2 days prior. I’ve had my eye on a pair of classic black Doc Martens for a while, but I figured since they are an English brand why not buy them in England?
I totally packed our last day in London full of the typical touristy things that I of course had been dying to do since day 1. We took a ride on the London Eye (the individual pods are SO much bigger than I had realized!), visited Buckingham Palace, walked over Tower Bridge, and I took a picture in a red phone booth. 🙂 My biggest surprise of that day was finding multiple giant white pelicans in the park near the palace; I was so confused yet pleasantly surprised after reading a sign that said “please don’t feed the pelicans.” I don’t know about you but I thought they were strictly a tropical bird!
The next morning we left to catch our train to Paris. I wanted to get a quick picture at Platform 9 3/4 to satisfy my inner Harry Potter obsession, but again with the tourists (silly of me to complain since I am in fact a tourist myself 🙂 )! The line for a photo at 8AM was 45 minutes long!!!! Unfortunately, we didn’t have that much time to spare, so I will one day have to return to King’s Cross to get that photo!
On our last day in Edinburgh Isaac and I hiked to Arthur’s Seat. The forecast from the previous day had predicted clear skies and lots of sun, so I thought climbing up to such a beautiful spot would be the perfect way to end our stay in Scotland. As you can probably tell, that is definitely NOT the weather we got! Towards the beginning of our hike it was just very overcast and grey, and a little on the cold side. Fast forward 30 minutes and it began to start raining. Fast forward another 15 minutes close to the top of the hill and the rain turned to massive snowflakes! This was not normal snow. The snow flakes were so big that if felt like they were pelting us!
The pictures really don’t do justice to how difficult this “path” is to climb, especially when it’s wet and slippery. Towards the beginning things were pretty great because the start of the path we chose was paved, and then it turned to a clearly defined gravel path. But close to the top the path got very steep and slippery, and it was less of a path and more of a “find your own way” by climbing up clusters of rocks. Not surprisingly, by the time we actually reached Arthur’s Seat we were sweating from the climb and our jackets were actually soaked from the rain and snow. We probably stayed up there for 15 mins before we began to freeze and decide that we better start navigating our way back down. By the time we finished, my coat was soaked, and so was my shirt and undershirt under that! We ended up going to a cafe so I could get some tea to warm up (and steal Isaac’s sweatshirt that somehow managed to stay completely dry 🙂 ). I must say, one of my favorite things about the UK in general is that there is just an endless number of cafes that sell amazing tea and scones. Scones are officially my new favorite baked good.
You might have noticed that I chose to climb a muddy mountain in stark white sneakers. No, this was not the plan. I was originally planning to pack my Nike running shoes for this exact purpose, but the struggle of packing a suitcase for 3 weeks in the winter (hello bulky sweaters) meant that it was my sneakers or my pretty white shoes. You can see where my priorities lie. 🙂 I did get a couple of comments from other hikers about my footwear choice (all with smiles), but I think I did a pretty good job of keeping them clean, and I managed not to fall even once (though I did come VERY close several times, quite scary)!
Visiting Arthur’s Seat was really the perfect way to end this portion of our trip. The views are indescribable. I felt like I was on top of the world. Edinburgh is such a beautiful city (Isaac’s favorite of all we visited!), and seeing the city from this view was totally breathtaking.
Today Isaac and I explored the royal side of Edinburgh. We started at Holyrood Palace and made our way along the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle. Visiting the palace was especially fun for me because I’m a huge fan of the tv show Reign (it’s about Mary Queen of Scott’s story). We got to see Queen Mary’s original chambers from the 16th century, lots of old artwork and tapestries, and the beautiful ruins of the abbey.
Along the Royal Mile to the castle, I caved and splurged on a tartan cashmere scarf (made in Scotland, of course) because who doesn’t love super soft scarves with a meaning behind them? One thing that’s kind of confusing to me is the difference between the castle and the palace. The castle, which is literally on a cliff, seems like the type of place I imagined kings and queens living in. But it’s actually the palace at the foot of the hill where the royalty live. The castle was pretty awesome, but the views alone were worth the visit. You can see everything, and it’s absolutely breathtaking. We really lucked out because this morning there was not a single cloud in the sky and nothing obscured our view. I had to break out my hand warmers today though because it got super windy up there, and winter wind plus poor circulation = frozen hands. 🙁
Isaac’s brother actually recently visited Edinburgh, so we took his advice and went to The Witchery for dinner. The food was pretty delicious, but it was one of those fancy restaurants that’s almost too fancy because you feel bad if you don’t cut your food just so or if you accidentally use the wrong fork, haha. What’s pretty awesome about this city though is that after only 2 days we were able to walk all the way back to our Airbnb in the dark without a map of directions. There are so many landmarks here that finding your way is pretty simple (though I’m not sure Isaac agrees 🙂 ).