Summer's end... sounds a bit melodramatic don't you think?

So this week is apparently the week of anticipation and excitement for me! I have officially finished working for the summer! (my marathon shift yesterday was enough for me to swear of physical labour for the duration of my life!) I start school on Monday! (ok... so thats not that exciting...) and the US Open is coming to a very entertaining and climatic finish! What more is there to ask for really?!?!?! (Perhaps besides a Federer victory?!?!)

But also with the close of the summer there are a couple of let downs... coming back from Scotland minus a sibling (one who gets to continue to live there and travel) is a major disappointment! And looking forward to the beginning of the new school year (in which I may have bitten off a little more then I can chew) I feel a little overwhelmed and envious of others... But nevertheless with less then 5 days left of my summer left I have nothing really to complain about! Life is officially good!


Working blues!

My friend posted this site on her blog (thoughtpicnic.blogspot.com)... and obviously I checked it out and found this!!!
Doesn't this just sum up work? Check out www.savagechickens.com ... its a hoot!

Oh yeah, I know Goya and Renoir.... Who doesn't?

I'm feeling a tab bit sophisticated at the moment! I spent the duration of my morning and part of the afternoon among such greats as Titians, Claude Monet and William McTaggart at the National Galleries of Scotland! It was truly a great day to escape inside but I still managed to capture the Scottish weather with some pre-rain shots of Princes Street Garden and the Scott Monument!


The Palace of Holyroodhouse

This past week I was able to adventure down to the Queen's official residence whilst in Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyroodhouse! It was truly unique from other royal residences that I have visited, such as Windsor Castle, for the structure's history was coupled not only with the English crown but the lineage of the Scottish crown (with such personages as Mary Queen of Scots gracing the halls). The ways in which the two histories (which for the majority were at war against each other) intertwined was unsurpassably interesting!

So here are some photos from the palace! I will admit the majority of the photos are actually of the abbey that collapsed and was then ruined in the 18th century. Due to the palace being an historical site photography within the interior was prohibited! Nevertheless I was most excited about the abbey because I'm awesome like that!

Magical Mystery Tour

So today Jacquie and I adventured out into East Edinburgh in search of the elusive Tyne Castle Stadium, the home of the Hearts Football club! To tell you the truth I was less then thrilled to be dragging my butt out into the middle of no where to see a stadium without actually going to see a match... but nevertheless I trekked along and there were a couple of things that I learned in my trekkage (if thats a word)...

1. Jacquie is useless with directions... if she didn't already know her way to and from class I would be seriously reconsidering leaving her here! I attempted to let her navigate our way there (because at the beginning she was doing very well) but soon enough I was busting out the map and using my skills at direction... and without divulging to much detail
s.... we made it there! But I must hand it to her, Edinburgh is an impossibly complicated city when attempting to navigate strictly by street name! Knowing your beginning spot and finishing spot on a map is far easier then taking street by street instructions!

2. The east end of Edinburgh is unlike Old and New town! Its dodgy and odd!
Its not like the end of the world, but going from the beautiful landscapes of Edinburgh Castle, the Flodden Wall, and cobblestone streets to high rises, western like convenience stores and highways its a tad bit of a readjustment! And to be honest, traveling by car parks (parking lots) and suburban homes in overcast weather just makes it extremely unappealing!

3. Your not the only tourists around! This fact was reaffirmed by the appearance of two girls with maps out looking terribly lost! As Jacquie and I sat on a bench taking a breather (yes we act like old people time to time) these two girls walked by once then quickly walked by again with looks of determination that they were certain (if of nothing else) that that was not the way in which they wished to be traveling!

4. Now number four is something that I should have known before but it was merely reaffirmed in the "trek." Scottish weather is MESSED up! It is unpredictable, and even if you think that you might be cold and so you bring a coat it doesn't mean that you will actually need it! The only things that you can be entirely sure of is rain and wind!

All in all, I'm glad that we adventured out that far. It was a good experience seeing other parts of the city and also the exercise couldn't have done me any harm! But you better believe me when I say that my pint of Carlsberg that I drank upon arriving back at home was well deserved!

What is on the menu today? Dark and Dreary? or Bright and Cheery?

Rain Rain Rain.... Random Sun.... Cloud Cloud Rain.... SUN!!!!

So today the BBC weather broadcast (showcased in the little pictures of course) detailed todays weather as being treacherous heavy rain with absolutely nooooo chance of sun (understood by there being no sun in the picture!) But as I'm writing this the sun is peaking through the intermittent clouds!!!

Schitzo weather has me all baffled! It can not make up its mind which makes for difficult clothing choices! If my life gets anymore difficult I honestly do not know what I will do... lol

Scottish tib bit! Do you know that the first person who
raised an umbrella in Edinburgh was chased out of the city then Stoned!!!! Well perhaps not! But it has become apparent that most Scots don't waste their time on umbrellas or even rain jackets! They simply trudge on, horrible hair and damp clothes and all! Its wond
erful! So if you truly wish to experience Scotland as the Scots do simply run about in the rain a bit as if it doesn't even bother you! Believe me its a tad bit liberating... and honestly you can always solve this little rain problem with a good hat and solid jacket!


Holyrood Park aka Arthur's Seat Photos!

Must See blog!

If you need a chuckle or a shock of reality with a quirky twist check out www.melindaboyce.com!

Brilliant Sunshine

Amazingly enough it is a fantastically sunny day in Edinburgh! And to top this already spectacular news, this is now the second day in a row that the sun has been out shinning! I know that this probably sounds over dramatic, but for having the first 5 days of your stay in the charming nation of Scotland plagued by rain and treacherous clouds its quite refreshing and really nice!

So to take full advantage of this rare day I made my way up to the Edinburgh International Book Festival. After combing around there for a bit and purchasing some awesome finds I stopped at a starbucks and made my way to the Prince's Street gardens. I ended up just plopping myself down on a bench that was facing this beautiful water fountain and the impressive cliff that is topped by Edinburgh Castle. After drinking my tall non-fat (non sugar syrup) vanilla latte, taking a few snap shots and having a pleasant conversation with the lady beside me I headed back here (here being home) to grab some lunch! Even though it is barely 2:30 in the afternoon I feel pleasantl
y fulfilled! There is something about Edinburgh... perhaps its her laid back populace, her charming atmosphere or her historical architecture but where ever you go she seems to fill you up with a sense of purpose. Perhaps I'm just blinded by the European ambience (the old buildings, charming accents and double decker buses) but I really seem to love it here!

Side note... who ever labelled Chicago the windy city probably never made it out to Edinburgh! Billowing skirts= bad!


When shit hit the fan... I was fearless!

Arthur's seat kicked my little butt! I managed to get to the summit, climb up treacherous makeshift paths, and scale cliff sides without injury and with quite a bit of "natural grace" I might add... but right at the last second of my (otherwise perfect decent) I hit the floor butt first with only my right hand managing to break my fall.... thank goodness no one was at that particular spot at that exact moment because I managed to bust out quite the embarrassing shriek of surprise... and through this experience I have discovered (rather painfully) that my little wrist was not designed to manage my entire body mass!!! and consequently has puffed up like a balloon and feels like when you jam your finger on a basketball...

Regardless of this little episode of complete stupidity... Holyrood Park (in which Arthur's Seat is situated) was a most fulfilling and beautiful experience! No where in the world did i think that i would be able to find such seclusion and breath taking scenery right amidst a bustling city! The hight of which the former volcanic complex reaches enables you to rise above the city and view it from a perspective entirely absent in most landscapes! It will be an experience that I will never forget for countless reasons!

Hopefully soon I'll post some photos of Holyrood!!


Arthur's Seat... my new obsession!

I WILL climb this tomorrow... weather pending!
I'll admit that I have been attempting to write detailed accounts of each adventure that I have undertaken in Edinburgh thus far but I have not been able to get past the first sentence in a number of attempts... therefore I have concluded to showcase my trip in photos (and perhaps with a little bit of context!)

I hope that you enjoy!


Traveling to Edinburgh

As depressing as this may sound, this photo may have been the only highlight of my travel to Edinburgh! What can I say? We had a night flight! I had asked for a window seat but managed to get the only "window" seat that was not at a window! (and I would like to say that I looked directly opposite of my seat and the person on 7A had a window! Go figure!) We had a monstrous stop over in Exeter which consisted of a disconcerting security check and a two hour lounge stay in a questionable building! And during all this I was extremely agitated by a group of families traveling together who only wanted to talk about how much duty free alcohol they could amass!

Although on the brighter side of things, during this horrible flight I managed to discover that Scottish people are extremely friendly and helpful! Take offs can still excite even when you feel ill and only want to sleep... and not all plane food is horrible! Furthermore I got to see the farm land and hills around the Exeter Airport and arriving in Edinburgh over the Firth of Forth was breathtaking (even on a miserable day!)

Even with the 10 hour odyssey behind us we managed to get to where we were going and arrive in one piece! YAY go us!



SCOTT!!! Little inside joke!

Anywho... this is my sister preparing to board our flight to Edinburgh! You can tell she is over joyed at the fact that I'm catching her in this moment!


Airport lounges seem to be the most dull and least invigorating places in which travel can land you.

Internet has to be paid for
Washrooms are dirty
Its noisy… perhaps a little bit smelly

But honestly there is more happening in these lounges then these abysmal realities. People are seemingly deep in conversation, anticipation of upcoming adventures are ripe within the air… and a little kid is insisting that he and his little posy of hooligans bounce their ball dangerously close to your laptop and hard earned and desperately needed caffeinated beverage! With their shouts of “you never catch the freaking ball” and “shut up or I’m going to tell mom” in my ear I become aware of the sickening fact that I still have 2 hours until boarding time and if these kids mother doesn’t call them back soon I’m going to have a minor freakout! Furthermore, as I sit here, unable to stop snickering (and perhaps growling) a little at the poor boy who hasn’t grasped the concept of catch, my sister is displaying her extremely annoying ability to zone out anything around her! But never the less! I’m super excited!!! Edinburgh in 8 and ½ hours!!! YAY!!!!


The holy terrors with their bouncy ball of doom have now been recalled to their base!

Moment of Terror!

There are two flights up on the board at the moment! Exeter and Port of Spain… That means that there is a 1 in 2 chance that the hooligans might be on my plane…. Help!

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Pearson International Airport

My dad had a freak out… it was scary… the end!

Airport + My Dad = BAD!!!


Anticipation Overload

So my uncle is officially the most awesome person in the world! Why you might ask... well this is simple! He is letting me take his Nikon D70 to Scotland! Perhaps this might not seem like a big deal... but trust me! IT IS!! And honestly I could not be happier then I am right now!

So get ready for an enormous amount of photos from yours truly from beautiful Edinburgh!
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August Haze

I can't believe that I only have a day and a half until I will be in Edinburgh! And to be honest, this trip could not have come at a better time! The past few days in Ontario have been the hottest of the entire summer and I (being a cold weather person) can not be happier to be escaping! I'm so excited for the cold weather that in my typically stubborn nature, I went to starbucks (in 30+ degree weather) and insisted on ordering my typical "grande non fat vanilla latte!" Even with the barista attempting to dissuade me I persisted on with my decision! And you know what!?! I enjoyed that latte in my cool air conditioned car regardless of the relentless heat! HA!

Any way, all I can say is that it best be cooler in Edinburgh or I am going to be severely disappointed!! Well not really! I honestly can not wait! I'm practically jumping off my seat writing this!

Oh, and another thing that I learned yesterday is that if you have a starbucks card you can register it online and save something around 50 to 70 cents on each purchase! I was dually informed that if I had had my card registered I could have gotten the vanilla in my "grande non fat vanilla latte" free! And that it works out to a free drink every five purchases! So don't be like me and not register you card!
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Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson - Relator @ Yahoo! Video

I hate to say this but I was extremely sceptical when I heard that Scarlett Johansson was launching a music career. I thought that it was going to be an utter disaster... but I stand corrected! Its quirky and catchy, and some how resembles the rustic sounds of Nora Jones or Amy Winehouse... well almost!

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Coffee Love

Woke up... needed coffee...


Take Me Away!

I was watching Departures (a fantastic Canadian show by the way), and all of a sudden the yearning to travel creeped up on me! And unfortunately this yearning has turned into a dull ache the past few days!!! All I can say is that its a good thing that I only have 6 days until Scotland!


Current Reads

Shakespeare, Ondaatje, Butcher, Yeats and Blake

Recently I have found myself to be lost in the plot of a spectacular amalgamation of novels, plays and poetry. From the trials of Ondaatje's protagonist to the twisting ideals and desires of Shakespeare's youthful ensembles, I have come to realize that there will never be enough time to truly appreciate the vat of wealth that literature has afforded the world! But for now, I'm perfectly contented to remain lost in the words of authors, playwrights, and poets that both move and capture my heart!

Two Gentlemen of Verona, Anil's Ghost, Captain's Fury, After Long Silence, Songs of Innocence and of Experience
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I recently went and saw Coldplay when they were in Toronto last week! Needless to say it was AMAZING!!! But ever since I went I have been obsessed with one of their opening bands, Elbow! So, seeing that I'm completely in love, I thought I would share this Manchester band's sound with everyone!!!

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Lost in the Garden

Ah, Sunflower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller's journey is done;

Where the Youth pined away with desire
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves and aspire
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.
-William Blake

The fruits of determination on a sunny summer afternoon!
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13 Days

There is something about impending travel that always gets m

[Princess  (i.e. Princes) Street and Calton Hi...Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

e nervous and excited! Perhaps it is the potential unknown adventure of entering a place that is entirely alien to you or, on the other hand, it may be due to the unavoidable trips through customs isles and interactions with persons who glare down upon you as if you are a suspicious specimen doomed to reak havoc through international airspace... I have no real inkling as to the real explaination but being 13 days off of my long anticipated trip to Edinburgh just has me practically bouncing off walls!
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