Missing Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day

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A little reminiscing in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. I thought you might like a visual tour. Pour yourself a pint and enjoy the views. If you get the chance to visit Ireland, take it. Thanks for following Tales From the Empty Nest. Sláinte! Continue reading

30 things I learned while traveling abroad

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We learned that, given enough alcohol, we will eat haggis.

We learned that, given enough alcohol, we will eat haggis.

Our trip to Ireland and Scotland was very educational. I learned some things about myself. Scott and I learned some things about each other. And I definitely learned some things about traveling in these countries. Here are 30 things I picked up, in no particular order.

  1. We are not good with maps. We got lost. A lot.
  2. The Irish are quite possibly the friendliest people on Earth, until they get behind the wheel of a car. Then they’re crazy.
  3. Even after touring the beautiful Blair Athol Distillery in Pitlochry, Scotland, and seeing all of the care and skill that goes into making some of the finest Scotch in the world, I still don’t like it.
  4. Given enough alcohol, we will eat haggis. Continue reading

14 beds in 36 days

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The Newton Hotel in Nairn, Ireland.

The Newton Hotel in Nairn, Scotland.

I’m not sure why it works out this way, but it seems that our travel plans are always feast or famine. This fall was definitely a feast. Here’s how we slept in 14 beds in 36 days:

View from the Newton Hotel in Nairn.

View from the Newton Hotel in Nairn.

1. Glasgow, Scotland — We kicked off our two-week dream vacation at the Glasgow Thistle Hotel. The first day was a little hazy with jet lag, but we found our way to the West Coast Harley-Davidson Dealership, walked along Sauchiehall Street and enjoyed fish ‘n chips and a pint at Molly Malones. Okay, two pints. The Thistle is very nice and an easy walk from Buchanan Street, which is easily one of the best shopping venues I’ve ever seen.

2. Nairn, Scotland — Heading to the Scottish Highlands via Loch Lomond and Loch Ness along the same route James Bond drove in Skyfall, what was already an incredible day got even better when we arrived at the Newton Hotel. Once frequented by Charlie Chaplin and his family, this 56-suite hotel was originally built as a family home in the 17th century and is set in 21 acres of parkland and gardens. Our suite was very large, comfortable and beautifully appointed with views of the back gardens. It’s just a short drive to the historic Culloden Battlefield, which was our first stop the next morning. Continue reading