August 15, 2018

Five Reasons To Go On A Babymoon

Babymoon. The expectant parent version of a honeymoon. My husband and I enjoyed ours on the big island of Hawaii. I think a babymoon is somewhat a new thing, but I highly recommend it. Here is why:
Being Pregnant Is Hectic
Growing a human takes a lot out of us. Pregnancy can be downright exhausting at least at the start and the end if not the entire thing. While you are growing this tiny human, you are also continuing on with everything else that you need to do as part of your everyday life, such as work, socializing, and home life. Add to that the extra preparations that may be going on, such as decorating a nursery, planning for the baby’s arrival and making frequent trips to medical appointments to ensure all is going well. Yep, it’s hectic. A chance to take a bit of a break from all of this is important.

You May Not Get Another Vacation For A While
This is not always the case. Some families pack up their baby and travel. However for many others, finances are not in favor of vacations and the thought of travelling with a baby can be daunting. So go somewhere and unwind. Travelling will never be this easy again.

Bond With Your Spouse
New babies take up a lot of our time and as such and it is a tired and trying time being a new parent. A babymoon is a great way to strengthen your couple bond before the arrival of your child.

Extra Sleep
Everyone warns you about the lack of sleep when a baby arrives. So taking some time away to sleep in and relax cannot be bad!

Because You Deserve It
One of the final reasons to take a babymoon is because you deserve it. Becoming a parent is a life changing experience and the fact that you are growing this tiny human inside of your body is downright amazing. Take a babymoon because you deserve to treat yourself and have a little bit of fun.

So go take that babymoon! Whether it is a fancy trip or a night away at a local hotel, it is still a babymoon. It doesn’t need to be fancy. You just should take the time to getaway.


What do you think of babymoons?

July 21, 2018

The Final Checklist

I can't even believe I just typed the words the final checklist. It really seems like yesterday that I was patiently awaiting a baby bump. Now I am ready to be without it!

Now, fully bumped out, I am saying, there's only 4 weeks left!! I'm officially 36 weeks pregnant (as of yesterday) and starting the final preparations for the baby's arrival. 

I love lists and so I have kept one for baby preparations and I figured I'd share it with all of you fellow expectant mamas! I started the list about 2 weeks ago, so 6 weeks out:
The Final Baby Checklist

Pack The Hospital Bag
The hospital bag needs to be packed. Haven't even started but I plan to get it done this weekend.

Ensure Knowledge
We could have taken a class, but I just went ahead since I know how was teach Kevin how to give adult and infant CPR. 

Find a Pediatrician
There were really only three pediatricians we were considering, and so we should pick one soon! Very important to find (and soon!).

Clean all the Baby Stuff
There is a little pile that had built up. Another plan this weekend is to clean everything and put it where it belongs!

Stock the House
I don't want to go to finally take a shower and be out of shampoo! I ensured I stocked up on doubles of everything: toilet paper, paper towels, body wash, etc. I even made sure my makeup (even though I doubt I will be putting much of that on in the beginning) is stocked.

Install the Car Seat
Time to start practicing! We will practice doing it over and over so we are confident once the baby is here!

Prep the Freezer
I am going to start stocking the freezer with some of our favorite meals so Kevin can help reheat those dishes for dinner. My family will come and visit and hopefully stock our freezer before they leave! But before that, there are definitely a few essentials I want to have in there, like my favorite soups, my enchiladas, and a bunch of veggies.


Am I missing anything? What are you doing to prepare for the baby?
We can't wait to meet you baby boy! Love Mom and Dad.

July 7, 2018

Life Lately

Life has been a whirlwind but I wouldn't have it any other way. I feel like I am living my best life right now. Here are some life updates for ya'll.

Baby Updates and Prep No. 101
There are a lot of things we have been doing. I feel bad for my husband since I can't do a lot of the heavy lifting. He has been super awesome in helping prep! We recently deep cleaned and stretched all of our carpets and I did some shopping to help update and prepare our guest bedroom and baby room. Also I have been working on organizing the house so that it is more baby friendly!

As for updates we had a growth scan and everything looked great (see below). I also have had some back pain and have tried kinesio tape. I went here to learn how to best wrap myself. It helped, but the tape did burn my skin. So still working through that.

I just can't wait to see little man's face!

Baby Shower No. 1
I have a great friend Ashley who threw me a small, cute baby shower with some of my great friends. It was a very fun day.
me with the beautiful host!

Baby Shower No. 2
My work threw me a baby shower and I just felt incredibly spoiled. So much fun!
me with one of the beautiful hosts.

July No. 4
I also worked the 4th of July, but afterwards I spent a romantic night of watching fireworks and dinner made by my hubby.

Birthday No. 29
I worked my birthday and followed the next day with a growth scan of my little man. Seeing my little guy growing and advancing well, then a great weekend where my husband spoiled me rotten was perfect! My little guy is measuring up not so little, but nothing alarming at this time. My husband made me dinner after setting me up to go get a massage. The next day he took me to a movie, shopping, and to a fancy dinner. Am I lucky or what?!


Have a great weekend everyone!

July 2, 2018

Why I Am Lucky I Married My High School Sweetheart

I think I am pretty dang lucky. I met my husband when we were in High School. We met 15 years ago. We started dating 13 years ago. We got married 6 years ago. Now we are going to have our first child. I know it seems crazy to some of you, since most people look back at the person they dated in high school and cannot imagine being with them now, but me? I wouldn’t change a thing. I married the most amazing guy and was lucky to meet him in high school.
I look at some of my friends who are navigating the dating world. I never had to do that, back when you were a teenager, things were so simple. There was no online dating or hoping to meet someone at a bar. We had it easy (minus the curfew).

I look at how much we were able to change and therefore we were able to grow and learn with each other. We have been there for the big important milestones and the small daily moments to celebrate. From high school graduation, buying our first car, navigating college, good and bad roommates, buying a house, you name it. I know that I am with someone who will stick by me when things get tough. And one of the very best parts is that we know each other really well, inside and out.

We have had lots of time to spend together to build our lives and experience the world together before having children. We spent over 10 years growing up, exploring hobbies, investing in our future and traveling the world together. Most people do these things before they meet their spouse, we did it together and grew closer together through those years. Now the time has come for us to start a family and we know that our relationship is strong. We have so much history together and this will help us in the future to raise our kids.
So yep, I am pretty dang lucky to have been dating the love of my life for 13 years ago today.
I wouldn't have it any other way.

June 28, 2018

29th Birthday

Today is my 29th birthday! If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be pregnant and homemaker, all while working at 29 years old I may have laughed in your face while I poured your drink from behind the bar.
Every step of my life has lead me to be exactly where I’m supposed to be, just like you. Right now you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. Keep reaching for your goals, love and live every day to the fullest, follow your heart, and have faith.

Thank you for all of the love, support, kindness, and friendship. This is just the beginning for me and I love having you on my journey through life.

June 18, 2018

Five Ways Pregnancy Has Changed Me

Back on Mother's Day, someone told me Happy Mother's Day! It took me back for a second because I have no physical children on this earth, but am pregnant with my first. Does that make me a mom already? I was leaning towards no. But I have had something on my mind recently ever since Mother’s Day and I wanted to share it with you. It feels like such a long time since I found out I was pregnant, but it has changed me. Here are the ways I feel like I’ve changed since finding out I was pregnant.
I Have A New Respect For Mothers
This one is definitely number one for a reason. I have a totally new outlook on not only my own mother but all mothers out there. It’s crazy what mamas go through and I haven’t even gotten to the giving birth/raising a newborn part yet. I cannot even imagine the respect I will have for them then. I guess you just can’t really understand until you’ve been there and I didn’t completely feel like a mom until I found out I was having a boy and he had a name. I grew more attached. Mamas are amazing and strong and I respect all of you!

I Have A New Respect For My Body
It is crazy what our bodies can do! I am seriously in disbelief at how hard my body is working right now to grow this little munchkin. Sure I am getting stretch marks and gaining weight and having more and more trouble doing some things, but I am going to respect and be proud of my body for creating a human life.

I Am Less Selfish
This is a big one. I have definitely seen a change in myself in this area in a lot of ways. Obviously when you are pregnant a lot of things change. No more alcohol, no more hot tubs, no travelling to places with risk of Zika. I would love to have a glass of wine with some raw fish on my sushi, but my son is priority numero uno to me, so no thank you!

But Also, I Am More Selfish
I think more about what will feel good or be good for me to do. Sure it is selfish, but all he has is me to carry him safely into this world and I do not want to mess that up. On a non selfish note, I am spending my time reading about things babies need instead of researching vacations.

I Am More Tired
Pregnancy hormones got me tired all day and up all night. And I am sure once my son is born, the tiredness is going to be a million times worse. But also 100% completely worth it. I never thought pregnancy was a walk in the park, but I wrongly thought, oh if young girls can do it, so can I. Boy, pregnancy is tough on your body so sleep is a hard thing to come by. But I will live with all the pregnancy brain, kicks, and middle of the night cramps for a happy and healthy baby!


I truly can’t wait to see where life takes us from here. 
Everything has changed, but I feel more myself than ever.

June 5, 2018

Using Greenery to Improve Your Space

I cannot believe that the next time I have Christmas I will have a little one. This means I have to prepare to make my home as comfy and cozy as possible.

Christmas, Lauren, really?! Thinking far enough ahead? Yep, I have dreams of sugarplums dancing in my head. Must be the hormones of being pregnant! 

I always remember as a kid having a real tree and my mom having decked our halls. Now as someone who loves the cozy look of greenery, but can't keep anything alive, that can be a problem.

Enter in artificial greenery. I love my collection and recently acquired some beautiful boxwood wreaths to add to my collection. They are going to look beautiful at Christmas on my living room windows.
Now that I have them, I am also thinking of my backyard. Most people utilize their backyards in the summer, but here in Arizona, fall and winter are prime backyard season.

I absolutely want to make my patio an area of cute and comfortable. In Arizona, my dream of grass makes my water bill uncomfortable so I am thinking of some fake palm trees and other plants.

Hopefully I can set up the perfect landscape outside as I do inside! Wish me luck!
And just for you guys here is a code to shop here BLOGGER10. Good for 10% off some artificial plants!

I was compensated to give my honest opinion of a service. All opinions are my own.

June 1, 2018

Venice

Venice was such a romantic dream. Venice is a place where just strolling around and enjoying the view is enough, and most of all, it is free! The food is where I loved spending my money. It was so worth it and amazing.

We stayed in the heart of Venice, but still quiet because it was located on a small street. It was cozy and great. Our Airbnb there was in the Dorsoduro neighborhood which is where the Academia is located. It was a perfectly central neighborhood but also gave us the feeling of escaping from the hustle and bustle.

My favorite thing to do in Venice was to get lost. There is an endless confusing maze of back streets and I felt safe the entire time. Do not be scared, go in there! Get lost and enjoy the experience! And go now, sadly, Venice is sinking. Venice is built over 100 small islands. You can island hop by boat. We chose not to, because my husband and I just love to walk as much as possible.

Lauren's List of Things to do in Venice:

Getting Lost
Like I said, walking is one of the best thins to do in Venice. It is really nice to put away Google Maps and just walk down beautiful little streets and get lost. It is truly like a maze. The city is built upon a no-road system and the bridges and piazzas connect neighborhood to neighborhood. No worries, maps will be there when you are done and ready to find your way, but getting lost and walking around Venice is truly a magical experience.
 
 
Rialto Bridge
Over populated, but I can say I saw it! It crosses over the Grand Canal. It is the most photographed bridge in Venice. I don't know why. My favorite was the Ponte Dell'Accademia (see below).
The Grand Canal and Bridges
This is the waterway around the city. All of the buildings were built in the 13th and 18th centuries by wealthy Venetian families. I loved visiting the Santa Maria Del Rosario right on the canal. There are four bridges across the canal: the aforementioned Rialto, Ponte Degli Scalzi (right next to the train station as you arrive in Venice), Ponte Dell'Accademia (not as crowded as Rialto and offers great views), and the Calatrava Bridge. The later bridge is kind of a controversy because it is way modern and does not match the Venetian style. I will say with a suitcase it was my favorite bridge to cross in all of Venice!
St. Mark's Basilica
My favorite place to go with all the rich history. It is located on Piazza San Marco which always seems to be teeming with life. It is amazing Byzantine architecture. It sits next to Doge's Palace which we did not visit. I recommend going to the piazza that St. Mark's is located in during the day and night. At night, you can listen to all the music from the restaurants. It brings a remarkable beauty. During the day, there are many tourists and tons of people watching if that is your thing. Otherwise, the Basilica is a must do. We downloaded Rick Steves guide to the Basillica and walked around listening to it. Rick Steves was our Italian lifeline. We followed his recommendation for bag storage and shorter lines into the Basillica and I highly recommend doing the same!
Dining in Venice
We ended up just wandering down a little alley way and picking a restaurant based on the view or how hidden away from crowds it was. We got decently lucky and all the food was great!

Muro: Some good pizza. Who doesn't love some good Italian pizza!
Pane Vino: We were up early coming to Venice and were very hungry early so we went to a restaurant that was open. Most restaurants open for dinner late by American Standards.
La Bitta: Small but good menu!
L'Archivio: Great little place to stop after walking and enjoy a panini and glass of wine!
Farini: We stopped here for lunch. Super modern, clean, and beautiful.


Venice, you were great! I think we packed in the perfect amount of fun in the 48 hours we had with you. Arrivederci (good-bye)!

May 28, 2018

Six Year Anniversary

Six years ago, Kevin and I were married. We were lucky to grow up with each other and then marry each other. From the second I sat next to the tall guy with braces and a good smile, I was full of excitement and anxiety. We fell in love with each other and I learned how incredibly intelligent and kind he is. I knew I wanted to wake up in his arms every single day for the rest of my life.

Six years later all of those things still remain true. There were things I would never have imagined we would go through together, but turns out they made me stronger and I love him more.

So Kevin, here are six things we have been through that made us stronger together:

We tested the "in sickness and in health" part of our vows. We immediately grieved the loss of my grandmother and your grandfather. I tore my ACL and you carried me in and out of the shower, you sorted and made sure I took my medications, and ran the household. Those times I was so thankful to be doing everything in life with you by my side.

We built a home together. It was a total team effort and we continue to run a beautiful home together. I could not be more proud and happy in our home.

Date nights may not be as often as they were before marriage, but I know we love each other even more fiercely. We work around each other's schedules to optimize our time. Both of us are strong and career focused at this point in our lives. I love seeing how your co-workers respect you so much. You work so hard and it shows.

We have explored together. We have and continue to travel to see different parts of the world. As we continue this adventure together regardless of what is going on, I will always love you. I am grateful for you and love completing life with you.

We found out we are having a baby together and I am ready and excited for this new chapter in our life!

Lastly, we have always put our love and respect of each other above all and therefore we have grown stronger together.

So here is to the next six years being a little more settled, but still full of new kinds of fun and adventure. I know they will be! I am so lucky to be married to someone so right for me. I can’t believe I have someone who loves me, puts up with me, makes me laugh, sleeps next to me, wakes next to me, rubs my back, zips up my dresses, tells me he loves me, compliments me, eats with me, listens to me, adventures with me, and creates a life with me. I know that there is no one in this world better suited for me. I hope I can be half the spouse and support to him that he is to me.

Happy Anniversary to truly the most handsome, hard-working, selfless, thoughtful man I know! I am so proud to call you mine and that I am yours!

Cheers to six years!

May 23, 2018

Marriage is Amazing

When we got back from our babymoon, I didn't think it was possible to love Kevin anymore. During the babymoon, I asked him: "do you still feel as excited to be with me as you did on our honeymoon?" We both agreed, yes, and even more so! Even though a babymoon isn't as emotionally exhilarating as coming off a wedding (with far less alcohol for me), it is special in its own way, because it is the start of a new chapter together.

I still feel like we are newlyweds, so when we got back and I realized our anniversary was in a couple of weeks, we couldn't believe it! I love my husband more than I did when we first got married. I am sure there are some married couples reading this and rolling their eyes. But I think when it is right, it is right! Every day is different and special. and what is great about blogging is that I can look back on all of this and learn from it!

In celebration of our six year anniversary, here are some of the things that have made our marriage successful (aside from the obvious good communication):
We Don't Go To Bed Angry
During my bridal shower, the ladies wrote in a tip book where they gave us some marriage advice. One of the best pieces of advice was "never go to bed angry". We always go to bed with a kiss goodnight and an I love you. It gives us both a peaceful nice sleep. 

We Keep Laughing
Kevin makes me laugh harder than anyone has ever made me laugh. We find the same type of humor funny, which is helpful, but regardless, we always try to find light in situations and get a laugh out of it. 

We Don't Keep Score
If you feel like you are putting in 80% and your spouse is putting in 20% most of the time, then maybe, yes, there is an issue. but as long as it evens out to around 50-50, it's all good in the end. We do have some defined rolls through and I love that. He pays the bills and I clean the home. We know where we stand!

We Don't Sweat The Small Stuff
He leaves the bathroom cabinet open and his socks and shoes around the house. I feel the need to organize and reorganize everything. Little things like that should not make or break your relationship. You just need to learn to live with it! Sometimes we give each other gentle reminders, and who knows, maybe one day he will close the cabinet!

We Give Meaningful Compliments
You can literally make someone's day by giving them a compliment. Sometimes, it is hard to think of compliments when you live with someone 24/7, but if you make the effort and say, "you look handsome today" it will make their day. Doesn't it make your day when someone tells you "you're beautiful?"

We Are A Family
From the moment you and your spouse are wed, you are a family! Family is #1, above all else - so prioritize your relationship and your time together. schedule it if you need to!

We Let Each Other Know That They're Needed, Wanted, and Important
I think this is one of the most important parts of marriage. let the person know you want them, need them and that they're important in your life and you couldn't live without them. If you can live without them, then why are you married? I'm not afraid to let Kevin know that I can't live without him. When he takes out the trash or irons shirts (my two least favorite chores) I let him know that I don't know what I would do without him.

We Respect Each Other
I think the second you lose respect for someone, the relationship is over. I respect Kevin so much and I am proud to be his wife. I will always trust and respect him and no one will ever see any different. Privately, you can build each other up and use that respect to make each other better people. If your spouse does something that is not honorable, speak up and tell them that doesn't fly. Tell them when you are disappointed in their actions. Then learn your lesson and become a better person because of it. It is amazing to be in a relationship where you learn from one another and become a better person.

We Have Fun
Travel, experience new things, dine at new restaurants, get out and do things TOGETHER. Fun keeps everything together!


That's it!
What are your biggest pieces of marriage advice?
 

April 5, 2018

Exploring Nature

Every year, my husband and I take a trip to Vail. We recently went and it was a Vail trip where I was not skiing. Some of his family comes together and it is a really great time. Generally while travelling, I am the kind of person who likes to see new things and not continue to go to the same places. Vail though, keeps bringing me back. I love going and gaining new insights of myself, unwinding, and coming back to focus.
I am a control freak. Which makes skiing an interesting way for me to unwind. When I stand on a slope, it always seems steeper than it is. My technique has been hard and long learned, but it goes straight out the window when I don't feel in control. Backwards I am (as Yoda would say). But hear me out, I use my legs to really dig into those turns. I don't feel in control when I am going to fast. I fear falling and hurting myself again. Technically I can be a good skiier if I feel in control down less steep slopes.
But I like being in control of my whole body. That is why I never do drugs or get wasted on alcohol. I want to be in full control. But if I am not in control at all, I am peaceful too. Being in a chair lift, calming. There is nothing I can do about that.

I continue to ski because despite the fear at times, it is a passion.
Similarly, I am not a good hiker, but I continue because it is a passion.

Hiking has taught me that I am not as sporty as I think. I do enjoy it. But looking at me hiking up a moderate hiking path, you would think that I never work out and that I hate hiking. Whereas people my age are around me shiny, healthy, and happy. Despite not being as sporty, I do know that I want an active lifestyle. If that means torturing myself to climb a mountain, then I do it. It is worth it at the top. I am seduced with the plains, majestic mountain tips, and beautiful conifers. It is like being in a postcard.

I need nature to clear my head. Sure, city living is nice, but I love clearing my head and just getting out into the beauty of the natural world. It is a place where you can let go of technology and stress. While on a beautiful hike or skiing--all your worries just disappear.

March 21, 2018

Did You Miss Me?

If you guys saw my Instagram, you know that there is some pretty big news around these parts: I am pregnant! I am so excited to document my pregnancy on this blog! I have always wanted to be a mother, and I am really looking forward to being pregnant and growing a healthy baby.

This hopefully explains my absence on here lately. One, I haven't been feeling all that great. And two, it was so hard to come up with things to write about when all I wanted to do was spill the beans. I loved keeping the secret between just my husband and I, but I have loved being able to share it with family and friends!

I will be posting occasional pregnancy recaps, so here it goes...

At first, I felt great. It almost didn't feel real that I was pregnant. We went to our first doctors appointment and my doctor said I was not out of the clear yet for symptoms.

And boy was she right. Morning sickness (which came in waves during the day, but was constant at night) and extreme fatigue (literally I am the girl that never naps and there were days I could not get off the couch) got me good. I also had the stuffy, clogged nose from the increase in blood volume. Ugh it has been a miserable first trimester.

I knew I didn't want to tell many people in the first trimester as the miscarriage rates are high, but I knew I wanted our families to know, plus, I was sick as a dog! We told them over Christmas and they were thrilled!

Now, as a nurse, I know some things, but women's care/OBGYN is not my thing. I know even less about children. So naturally, like any other millennial, I am trying to become a Ph.D in Google University. I have not even had the energy to get onto my computer, so I am begging all you moms out there to send me info!

First Trimester Recap:

How far along are you?
I’m almost 19 weeks.

When are you due?
August.

Did you get sick?
Very much so. I had such bad morning sickness and vomiting. The only thing that is okay is carbs. Sometimes some proteins are still making me sick.

What symptoms did you have?
My boobs grew almost immediately! Ugh. And they are so sore. As a larger chested lady (I was a 34DD before pregnancy), I was dreading even bigger boobs. I am already spilling out my bras and will need to get some new ones.

Fatigue. Not the 3pm slump-in-the-workday fatigue, this was different. This was full body fatigue and the type of exhaustion that keeps you from doing anything but sleeping. From about week 7-13, I took naps. As someone who had never napped before, this was so frustrating, because I couldn’t get my work done. However, I knew it was temporary, and I knew it was necessary for my body to rest for a healthy pregnancy. So, I gave into the naps. I still take them occasionally!

Breakouts. This didn't start until second trimester. I am hoping it improves as my pregnancy hormones regulate a bit.

Carb and sugar cravings. I just really craved carb-a-licious foods but not so much dessert. But luckily, I was working out consistently so it helped balance things out.

Dizziness. My blood pressure is on the lower end (not unhealthy low or anything) and if I get up too quickly or sometimes don't drink a TON of water, I can find myself to be pretty dizzy.

Congestion and bleeding. Picture this, I got my husband a steamer a couple years back for his shirts so he can quickly do them before work. Now I use it to help relieve some of the congestion I am experiencing. I also do have some mild bleeding occurrences.

Did you work out?
Yes! As someone who works out consistently I couldn’t imagine just stopping working out, especially when I felt up for it. I didn't work out as much and I shifted my workouts to be more cardio/body weight oriented instead of lifting.

Are you drinking alcohol?
While I am going to miss the glass of savignon blanc all summer long, no I am not drinking.

Are you going to find out the gender?
Yes! 

When did you start to show?
While my belly has definitely grown little by little. At first it just looked like I indulged in too much pizza. I didn’t truly look pregnant until I was 15-16 weeks. I woke up and Kevin noticed that my belly was much rounder than usual. It was like something had clicked! I went to put my jeans on and I couldn’t button them!

Are you going to post bumpdates?
Nope. And you are welcome. :-)


Did I cover everything? Any lingering questions?
If you have ANY suggestions of things I need and things I need to know, let me know! 
#firstkidalert

January 8, 2018

Guide to Edinburgh

Scotland. One of my favorite countries that I have visited. It is just mind-numbingly beautiful. To get Scotland started off right, we took a visit to Edinburgh.
At first, Edinburgh worried me. Parts come across as a touristy major city. But we found some perfect pockets that made Edinburgh the perfect place to start out my Scotland/England Trip. And yes, these pockets were very touristy, but those touristy attractions were worth it!
I did not have an itinerary in Edinburgh. And you really don't need one. Just get lost and enjoy the city that is full of character and history.
Edinburgh is built atop two extinct volcanoes. The best views of the city and my favorite place to go was Arthur's Seat. Arthur's Seat has the most incredible views of the city and was a fun little hike. 
For breathtaking views with an easier hike, Calton Hill should be at the top of your list. With panoramic city views and a couple of monuments on the top, it is a must visit!
We also did the Scotch Whisky Experience. It is the perfect place to get tastings of whisky from different regions of Scotland (so you can learn what regions you prefer) and so you can learn about how the Scots perfect their whisky. It is also insane to see the largest collection of Whisky in the world!
We of course, ate at the Elephant House which is where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. Good food, service, and atmosphere! Speaking of Harry Potter (my favorite books of all time) we strolled through Victoria Street which is the inspiration for Diagon Alley.
Edinburgh is very proud of their literary history and especially of Sir Walter Scott. He has a beautiful Victorian Gothic monument in Edinburgh. It just so happens also to be the largest monument to a writer in the world.
Europe is well known for their graveyards everywhere, and we loved visiting Greyfriars Kirkyard. We saw many graves of names that J.K Rowling used for inspiration for Harry Potter (Tom Riddle, McGonagall, etc..) and also saw Hogwarts! Yes, it is a real school! I also never knew about Greyfriars Bobby, but saw and learned about him. He is the only dog buried in the graveyard and you can rub the nose of a statue of him for good luck. This was a terrier who became famous for guarding his owners grave until he died. I later found this story out to not be real, but it is a really cute story.
While wandering around Edinburgh, it is hard to miss St. Giles Cathedral. It is beautiful!
As for touristy things we didn't do, that would be Edinburgh Castle. The price just seemed really steep to go in. However, it is a beautiful castle to look at with a lot of history.

As for where we stayed, we stayed at an Airbnb! We flew into London and took a train to Edinburgh. In my opinion, you do not need to rent a car. Edinburgh isn't all that big and you can absolutely view it on foot.

The best part of the trip is that we got to explore Edinburgh with friends. So what are you waiting for? Go explore!
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