Tag Archives: happiness

All Smiles With This Guy

My boyfriend, Juan, and I have been in each other’s lives since 2012. We have traveled to foreign countries together, as well as a few states in the US. He’s truly my best friend.

We first met in 2012 during my first semester of college. The rest is history…

Juan and I have been able to enjoy many family events together, like my brother’s high school graduation and family Christmases at my grandma’s house.

Juan and I drove to South Bend, Indiana so I could meet his mom and aunt for the first time!

We also visited Juan’s hometown, York, Nebraska to celebrate his college graduation in 2013. And I thought I grew up in a small town…

Juan and I traveled in France, Italy, and the Netherlands together in 2014 (after my two-month study abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France).

France

Italy

Netherlands (Amsterdam only)

We’ve been to Chicago a couple times since 2012, one time being my 21st birthday!

The list goes on and on! 😊

I can’t wait for our next adventures in 2018!

Adventures in Edinburgh, Scotland

Once Johanna and I parted ways with our friend Taylor in Dublin, we ventured off to Edinburgh!

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The above photo is our view from the hostel we stayed at!  Who else could say that they slept across the street from something as beautiful as this?!

Johanna and I are both of Scottish heritage, so being in an area of such rich history and culture meant the world to us.

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Being able to casually and conveniently stroll within the castle walls was one of my favorite parts of the trip; this is something that is extra special as an American!  Our country is so new that castles are alien to us, thus why it is on many of our bucket lists to visit them in Europe.  The Edinburgh Castle is one of my personal favorites not only because of its size, but because of its deep-rooted history with England and so on.

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Mary Queen of Scots is one of my ancestors; being in the location where she and her family lived years ago is something I will never take for granted. I am truly proud of my Scottish and French heritage on my mom’s side!

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The following day, the two of us went on a free walking tour recommended by our hostel staff.  I wasn’t surprised to see two stereotypical things about Scotland on our tour: whisky and scotch signs, as well as cashmere scarves!  I had to try some and buy some…

Although I saw what I imagined in Edinburgh, it was refreshing to see things that I didn’t anticipate, such as colorful, bright buildings.

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Our tour guide was so knowledgeable (Sheldon Cooper status) and was extremely passionate about J.K. Rowling’s influence on Edinburgh, and vice versa.  He showed our group the places in which Rowling received her inspiration(s) while creating her infamous Harry Potter characters; she took character names from this here cemetery!

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Of course we had to visit where Rowling sent her sons to school (aka: Hogwarts’ inspiration)!

This little puppy statue is lucky, only if you rub his nose though!

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The above photo was taken as Johanna and I had tea in the cafe in which Rowling penned her ideas for Harry Potter: Elephant and Castle.  The bathroom was filled with what I’ll call “Potter Postings” from fans; her brother-in-law who owns the cafe tried covering them up at first, but fans are “too” passionate for Potter!

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The two of us also climbed (part of, a VERY small part of) Arthur’s Seat.  We were ratchet and didn’t feel like climbing the entire thing; all the rich and sweet food we ate must have had us out of shape!  From what we did see, it was as incredible as expected!

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Simply wandering around Edinburgh was enough to make Johanna and me happy; the contrast between the day and night in the city is parallel to Edinburgh’s light and dark sides (of history, culture, etc.).

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And obviously, the food was solid in Scotland.  If only this macaron place was in my hometown…

The Luck of the Irish

Almost one month ago, I left Sweden for Dublin, Ireland.  I had never had an impulse interest to visit Dublin, although I have always wanted to see the rolling, green hills of Ireland!  I was pleasantly surprised by Dublin, as well as Ireland as a whole!

The first thing I did with my friends, Johanna and Taylor, was visit the Cliffs of Moher, which meant renting a car.  Taylor and I have never driven a stick before, so it was all up to Johanna!  Fortunately, she was a pro at driving manual.  Unfortunately, she didn’t consider that the stick would be on the left of her (given that she was in the right, front seat this time)!  Needless to say, depth perceptions were distorted, a rear view mirror was knocked off, and her left shoulder was extremely sore!

Being scared of hitting something else (including other cars on the narrow, winding roads of Ireland) and the reattachment of the mirror (twice) was by far worth the views we experienced at the Cliffs of Moher.

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Leave it to the Americans to hold the flag incorrectly! (Taylor, Johanna, me).

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The Cliffs of Moher provided me with the most breathtaking sights of my life.  I can’t say that I have ever seen such vibrant green and teal blue-colored water.

Words really don’t do it justice, nor do photographs.

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Once returning the car and having a relaxing night at some great pubs, we visited the Guinness brewery that is infamous to Dublin!  Now that I can’t have gluten, it was devastating being surrounded by great beer and not being able to have any; my friends loved it because I was able to share my free Guinness with them in the process.

Having a relaxing last day in the town was just what we all needed after nights of pub crawls, driving along the coast of Ireland, and drinking some of the best beverages we’ve ever had!  The accidental traditional Irish dance performance was the ideal commencement of our adventures; we were truly lucky in Ireland!