I’m pretty lucky. I have a rich history of Christmas gatherings with my family. And my grandpa – well, he was basically Jimmy Stewart. Every Christmas the massive tree would be perfectly shaped and glittering from the window, luminaries would dot the sidewalk, a star in the attic would shine out, green pine and a fresh wreath would be on the porch and the red door would welcome visitors. When you entered the house from the bitter cold, you’d get the biggest, most sincere hugs from him amidst the warm, scratchy sounds of Lawrence Welk and The Ames Brothers’ Christmas albums coming from the record player. As you strolled further inside, the pine garland wrapped up the stairs and the dinner table decked out with the famous Christmas punch, honey-baked ham, cheese ball, sugar cookies, homemade cinnamon roll and dinner rolls, cheesy potatoes and more surrounded by glimmering candles.
This post is a slight detour from my normal travel and expat-based posts – more of those to follow after this post! But as this did happen abroad, I thought it was worth mentioning and it’s peppered with expat, mindset and skincare tips.
So if you follow me on Instagram, you know that during September, I looked like Frankenstein. I mean I do love me some Halloween, but it wasn’t because I was really eager for some pumpkin spice lattes that I was sporting stitches and scabby gashes. After celebrating the last night of the Edinburgh Fringe (the world’s biggest art festival) with friends, we went to a club and bar off the Royal Mile where towards the end of the night when I was contemplating leaving for my warm bed, I was accidentally smacked in the head with a thick tumbler glass. I turned to my friends complaining that it hurt and that’s when I saw their shocked faces while I tasted iron. Yep. That’s right guys – I had a head wound and in typical head wound fashion – it was a gusher. Read More
I’ve celebrated 8 spooky Halloweens in Scotland. While its celebrations are less flamboyant than what I’m used to in the States (and I love me some over the top events – especially of the scary variety), there’s something to be said for Scotland’s understated acknowledgement of the holiday it invented. Read More
“We are torn between nostalgia for familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. We are homesick most for the places we have never known.”
– Carson McCullers
It’s no secret that the UK is a rainier and less sunny island than those lush tropical ones down south. But I must confess, 22 year old me really wasn’t prepared for the amount of cold, rain and darkness that shrouded Edinburgh – even during its summers. Read More
The two things you’ll miss as a traveller/expat are – family and food. And while you’ll meet amazing people and expand your palette, sometimes you just want the tastes and sounds of home. Although I spent the first 22 years of my life 1,000 miles away from New Orleans as a Midwesterner, now that I’m in Edinburgh, I miss being able to easily find mixed cajun spice and roulade sauce in supermarkets to give a kick to a meal. So when I heard that there was a pop up jazz and julep bar with American food up from London, my interest was piqued. Were the juleps going to be sweet and sassy enough? The food going to be spicy enough?
This is the second post in an Edinburgh café series highlighting top cafes in Edinburgh’s various boroughs. It’s a collaboration between Yankee Doodles and Edinburgh photographer Martin Vrzal of @Pascalpics. All photos in this post are taken by Martin and you can check out his amazing views of the city on his Instagram.
Today the world’s biggest art festival hits Edinburgh’s gardens and closes for three weeks! The city’s population doubles in size as people from all over the world flock to the streets and the various festival venues. The streets are filled with performances and exhibitions, actors arrive at bars in their outfits post performance and bars and clubs are open late – 3 am and 5 am.
This is the first post in an Edinburgh café series highlighting top cafes in Edinburgh’s various boroughs. It’s a collaboration between Yankee Doodles and local photographer Martin Vrzal of @Pascalpics. All photos are taken by Martin and you can check out his amazing views of the city on his Instagram. Read More
I’ve been spoilt with six Edinburgh Fringe Festivals on my doorstep and I’ve seen my share of comedies, dramas, performance art and acrobatic acts. Most have been entertaining, some moments have been impressive but very rarely has a show left such an impact that the feeling follows you through the following days, leaving you on edge, mulling through certain aspects of the performance. Read More