On this post, the second part of our Edinburgh stop, what I packed for our UK trip of 10 days, a charming remodel with alpine flair in Tahoe’s Sugar Bowl, and Christmas jewelry bling.
It’s time for the weekend meander with Elizabeth and Juliet! I hope you have had a good week. I feel like I am still recovering a little from Thanksgiving. I haven’t gotten any Christmas decor started and hope to get on it this weekend.
We have to remind ourselves it’s not a race, and we will do it when we do it, and less can be more! As I get older, I am trying to find the moments that spark joy, not the perfect tree or gifts.
This is the last bit of our UK trip post… Thanks for hanging on while I dragged you all through this! Back to the usual next week. One thing I do have to say is I had some real anxiety before this trip as I hadn’t done one of these long trips since before the pandemic. I was worried about the plane, the driving, the unknown…you name it.
When I got onto the plane I almost turned around and left. I wasn’t sure I could hack the 9 hour plane trip. I calmed myself and started looking at my phone and distracted myself. I did that every time I was spiraling on this trip and it helped. I got through and at the end, I was so happy I did it and felt like I can do anything! It just had been so long, and frankly too much time to think about it.. So if you have worries about travel, just go, get out there and do it! The more you travel, the less anxiety you will have.
Edinburgh Part 2
After a lovely morning at the Palace of Holyrood, we walked back up Prince’s Street and turned toward Calton Hill. It was a sunny and cold day in the 40’s, so I had my warmest sweater and jeans with gloves and my trench which was just right with all the walking.
To get to Calton Hill which has a panoramic view over the city, you can walk through a historic cemetery called the New Calton Burial Ground which has headstones from the 18th century and is a stairway to the Burn’s Monument and the hill. This is a well kept cemetery with beautiful headstones and a sweeping view over Arthur’s Seat and the city.
It was a spooky day in later October and the cemetery was full of jagged vines and crunchy red leaves. It was all quite beautiful and like something out of a Mary Shelley novel. This cemetery even has a watch tower as grave robbers were an issue back in the 19th century! A family lived there full time until the 1950’s. I can’t even imagine growing up in a graveyard. Definitely worth doing the walk through this.
At the top you see the Robert Burns Monument. Sadly, I never learned about Robert Burns in my years of schooling, but he was a poet and lyricist and is considered a national treasure in Scotland. There are even Burn’s Night Suppers held on his birthday, January 25th, that end in singing “Auld Lang Syne” which he wrote. More here about his fascinating life as a poor son of a farmer to a Scottish legend .
Calton Hill is another climb and a must. If you can’t manage the Arthur’s Seat, this is a nice option and just up a steep stairway. There are many monuments up here and you can see all the way to the castle and out over The Firth of Forth, where North Sea meets the River Forth. It’s technically a Fjord formed by an historic glacier.
It reminded me very much of Berkeley overlooking San Francisco Bay. It’s beautiful and windy and you can spend some time walking about here. Max had to join a lot of others and hop up on this monument which is dedicated to Scottish soldiers who perished in the Napoleonic wars.
From here we headed down toward the city center and as we were getting hungry headed toward a popular spot called The Dome. It’s in a lovely landmark building and we were able to secure a table in the bar and have a cozy lunch. If you don’t have reservations, a drink at the bar is another option. The building is stunning and they have it all decked out for Christmas with its Corinthian columns all wrapped. Many groups were having champagne and scones and afternoon tea.
Since the next day had rain, we decided to keep going and head up to Edinburgh Castle… The walk is winding and has pretty homes and more views..
We were late in the day, and tickets to the castle were sold out, but we got to see the top of the Royal Mile and the panoramic views. Up here there are some shops with tartan and a popular place called The Witchery, which you can eat or stay at. I took a photo of their beautiful pumpkins. As it was Halloween weekend, there were many people dressed up as witches wandering the city which made it a lively time to be there!
One of the most iconic views is down the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile is the historic path between the two castles Edinburgh and Holyrood. It’s a cobblestone street and it’s the same route monarchs walk for processions. The last was when Prince Charles and family walked the length of it when the Queen passed away.
It has closes off of it, which are narrow alleyways usually with tall buildings on both sides. There are so many in Edinburgh there is a list of them all to see. They are very photogenic!
It was getting dark and cold by the end of the day, so we stopped in one of the tons of wool and cashmere shops that line the mile to buy a cashmere knit beanie. There are so many shops along here with cashmere and wool scarves and tartan. It’s a great place to buy a good cashmere scarf or hat. You can even get a bespoke kilt.
I bought my dad a green Harris Tweed flat cap for his morning walks. Harris Tweed comes from the Outer Hebrides where it is made in weaver’s homes and finished in mills and is a tough fabric that withstands wind and wet weather. You can find so much made with it in Scotland- and it’s a great souvenir to bring back in a hat, jacket or handbag. It’s trademarked and a fascinating old-school process and tradition that you can read more about here.
The next day, our last full day in Edinburgh, in was very wet. We had afternoon tea reservations at the the hotel’s pretty Palm Court. This was a full afternoon tea, with a tiered stand of finger sandwiches, tarts, scones and afterwards, desserts. I have to say it was one of the best afternoon teas I have ever had. Everything was delicious! It was the perfect thing to do on a rainy day.
Max trying the haggis tart…
We had the whole afternoon left so we decided to get on the rain gear and walk to the National Museum of Scotland. This place is amazing. Truly. The building was incredible, from the 1866, it was built to let in natural light and had ventilations so they could have gas lights, so people could visit the museum in the evenings.
Being Scottish, I wanted to see more about my heritage, but there is so much here, it is almost a sort of Smithsonian if you will. If you’re into it, it’s here. I liked the decorative arts and fashion and Mary Queen of Scot’s casket and jewelry. Max loved the industrial revolution stuff. There is a huge interactive area that kids and families were going bonkers at and a cafe.
The next day, we had just enough time to go to the Prince Street Mall across from the Balmoral, which is new and open air and quite beautiful. I hit a few shops we don’t have here, like COS where I bought a cardigan and cashmere scarf, and Harrod’s Beauty Store..
We flew from Edinburgh to London and stayed the night in an airport hotel before flying out around lunchtime to San Francisco! Going back the flight seems much longer as you don’t sleep much. I would very much like to go back and see more of Scotland. I adored it and every spot we went to on this trip!
If you missed it, part one of Edinburgh, then my trip to Chatsworth House and York here and for the other parts of the trip, find London here, and Oxford to the Cotswolds here, and Stratford-Upon-Avon here.
Thanks for all the kind comments and I loved hearing your tips too!
What I packed for a 10 day fall trip to the UK
Reporting back about my carry-on.. I did choose to go with the Nik bag from MZ Wallace and it was great. It had so many convenient pockets and an outside water bottle spot as well. It was light and I fit my laptop, book, magazines, a change of clothing, my toiletries, and makeup bag, and rolled up raincoat and scarf and umbrella in it. Love the trolley sleeve for the top of my suitcase.
My clothing list. I mixed and matched keeping it in black and tan tones with some cream.
- Two pairs of full length jeans these by Rails and this soft relaxed jean.
- black full length pull on slacks
- one pair khaki pants
- track pant for the airplane
- pull on pleated tan skirt
- Jenni Kayne cotton slip dress ( worn layered with a sweater over)
- cream cashmere crewneck sweater
- black soft wool blazer
- tan and black stripe cardigan also here
- black turtleneck sweater
- tan trench coat
- long lightweight quilted jacket (similar to mine .)
- waterproof raincoat
- black booties (These are waterproof.)
- DV cream sneakers ( I went up a size.)
- Madewell black lug sole loafers
- Small black crossbody envelope bag. (This is cute.)
- Sling bag love this and this in black or tan.
- Underwear( loving these now), and these socks and these.
- 4 thin layering t-shirts ( I love this brand at The Rack.)
- knit hat
- 2 scarves
Show Us Your Bling is Back!
Last December I asked people to take out their pretty holiday pins and brooches and share them on Instagram. We had so much fun seeing people’s treasures. Elizabeth asked Juliet and I to do it again this year with her. I made a video showing my own brooches inherited from my mom and grandma. If you missed it, Julia, Elizabeth and I all did posts on it this week showing how to style them and where to buy a good vintage one.
Just tag myself, Julia or Elizabeth and #showusyourbling or #christmaspin and we will reshare them on our stories.
As in previous years, I have shared something I really love.. my grandmother’s jewelry tree. It’s one of the things I most treasure. It is from the 1960’s and I remember as a small magpie, it being one of my favorite things visiting her at Christmas. I am the lucky caretaker of it and hang it somewhere different every year. I patched it up last year a bit with her button collection.
When I shared it on Instagram many others also shared their ownjewelry trees! This was a thing many people made in the 60’s and 70’s. I loved seeing them and some were quite elaborate. One person shared that her mother-in-law, had made one for each child in a large family! Elizabeth also has one and will share hers to
I would love to hear if any of you have these. You can buy vintage ones or make your own with jewelry collected. I was meaning to make one with my friend E this year..maybe next year. We need to start early collecting our jewelry to use early in the year, Vintage ones to buy here and here.
A Pretty Tahoe House
This Tahoe Home in the historic area of Sugar Bowl is a pretty mix of California ski chalet with colorful alpine accents. It is the home of designer Lauren Weiss and it is inspiring how she mixed the wallpaper, and charming accents in More here on Frederic.
This area of Sugar Bowl is a snow bound village in the winter and so most of the renovation had to be done in the summer months. She has two young girls and what a magical place to vacation at.
I like the fish mix of colors and whimsical patterns feels very Swiss to me. Her use of layered rugs is so cozy. I want to try this too. More beautiful room on the article!
Please pop over to Elizabeth and Juliet’s blogs!
I’ll be back Tuesday with Cindy for holiday dressing and later in he week for a virtual Christmas cookie exchange !!
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