Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Guess Who's Coming to the Burg?

Ladies and Gentleman, boys and girls, children of ages it is with great excitement that I announce to you that in 48 hours my mom, Mrs. Mary Margaret Thorne (MMT), will be boarding a plane and heading to the Burg for her first trip to Scotland. And let me tell you, it's about time! We haven't seen each other for over 7 months, and I am so excited to show her new life here in Edinburgh. My mom is my rock, and has always supported me in all of my adventures. I don't know what I did in a previous life to deserve an amazing mother like her, but I am truly blessed to have her in my life! And to boot, this Sunday is mother's day in Scotland. I can't wait to show her a fabulous time in my new city for a few days, and then we are off to Portugal and Spain to celebrate our birthday's. This isn't our first rodeo together, and I know it definitely won't be our last. 

I remember when I was a little girl I always use to look up to my mom and think, I hope one day I can be as amazing her. MMT has always lead by example, and continues to support me in my endeavours as I progress through this little thing called life. Whenever I need advice or support, I turn to her first and she always knows exactly what to say.  There are so many amazing things about my mother, and they say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree which is probably why we love so many of the same things; like.....

Music: My mom and I both have a deep appreciation for music. We have been to see the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Jimmy Buffett, and the Doobie Brothers in concert together, to name a few. When I am at home, we love turning on our jukebox in the kitchen and just dancing it out. My mom always said, when in doubt, dance it out! The picture below is of me and my mom in Charles de Gaulle trying to make it through our 24 hour journey to Thailand by listening to my ipod. And if those of you who know me think I have dance moves, you should see MMT hit the dance floor. That lady's got rhythm!  

The Beach: Is there anything better than soaking up some sun on the beach? Yes- doing it with MMT. She, like myself, is a sun goddess and we often compete on who can get the darkest tan. As you can see from the photo below taken on the Western Caribbean Island of St. Maarten, I clearly won that tanning competition that day. I wonder who will be darker when we get back from Portugal?

Here we are celebrating my 25th Birthday at the beach in the OBX! 26th was spent together at Ocean City and now my 27th in Portugal. Who knows where 28th will be?

Adventure: My mom and I share a sense of adventure. Weather it's enjoying a cuban cigar in Las Vegas, hopping the boarder to Burma, riding elephants in Thailand, or hitting Tijuana to enjoy margaritas for the day we are always in it to win it! This is one gene I am sure glad I inherited from her side of the family! 

Wanderlust: MMT and I have both been born with wanderlust without a doubt. When I was just 14 she took me to see Europe, and since then I have been trying to travel around the world as much as possible. We have taken many mother daughter trips in the past to places that include: Germany, Switzerland, France, Thailand, Austria, San Diego, and New York to name a few. 

 Sleigh Ride in Germany 2006
Bridge over the river Kawai

Boat ride in Thailand

Thanks to the great writers of Hallmark, I found something sums things how I feel about MMT: 

Mother's Day brings to mind the thousands of things you did for me that helped make me happier, stronger, and wiser because I had you as a role model. I'm grateful for all the times you healed my hurts and calmed my fears, so that I could face the world feeling safe and secure. I'm thankful for all you showed me about how to love and give-lessons that now bring so many blessings to me each and every day. Your sacrifices and unselfishness did not go unnoticed, Mom.  I admire you, I respect you, I love you. 

And I'm so glad you're my mother! 

Let the good times roll! See you soon mom. 
Until next time, I will see you on the internet. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Exploring Portobello Beach

Do you have a place where you can go to and feel totally at peace? The beach has always been a place I can clear my head and feel totally relaxed.  I was so excited to find out that there is a beach just three miles outside of the centre of Edinburgh. I have been waiting to visit the shore until the weather improved, and today my friend Anna and I, along with her daughter Emma, decided to explore Portobello beach. I have been living in Edinburgh for 7 months now, and I am keep getting pleasantly surprised by all of the fun things the city has to offer. Anna had been to the beach before to play in a beach volleyball tournament, so hopefully this summer I will be able to get involved in some beach play. 

The beach had a sea walk, which reminded me a bit of the boardwalk back home in Ocean City. Families were out with their kids, people were walking dogs, and runners were out enjoying the long awaited sunshine the winter had been keeping from us. 

Emma enjoyed cheesing for the camera...

And I enjoyed the ocean views of the North Sea

The buildings that bordered the sea walk were so unique. This building housed the public swimming pool. 

We must have seen over 50 different types of dogs today. They were running free on the beach and may off the leash. I especially liked the chocolate lab at the local cafe'. Made me miss my lab Ozzy back in VA. 

Their was even an arcade on the sea walk. The smell of boardwalk fries was in the air and started getting me excited for my trip to Ocean City in June! 

We decided to stop at a local cafe' for a drink. We stumbled upon this little gem called "The Beach House"

Not only did they sell organic hot chocolate, coffee, teas, and sandwiches, but they had home-aid chocolate. 

And if you feel like overindulging check out these cakes and pastries....


I took my organic hot chocolate to go. We wanted to enjoy the sunshine. I also loved that the cafe used vegware take away products which are 100% compostable. Two thumbs up for sustainability! 

Spending my morning at the beach may become my new Sunday tradition! 

Anna and Me

Emma and Anna

Group Shot...we were having such a fun time just enjoying the sea breeze! 

Anna and I are planning on checking out some other beaches in Scotland this summer. Having the ability to hop on a bus and have the beach right around my corner is so amazing! I love living in Edinburgh. Until next time, I will see you on the internet.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Flashback Friday: We're Jammin'

The weather has been amazing in Edinburgh the last few days, and I am so excited because 1 week from today my mom and our friend Carla will be arriving for a visit. It's a yearly tradition of mine that I spend my birthday at the beach. The three of us will be heading to Portugal and Spain to keep the tradition going, and I can't wait! Thinking so much about the beach lately reminded me of a trip that me and my best friend from College, Adrian, took back in 2007. All through our time at Virginia Tech Adrian I had talked about visiting the island of Jamaica together. We both love reggae music, beaches, the ocean, and spent our spring breaks on the beaches in Florida. Once we had "real jobs" we decided to book an all inclusive package to the island for a week in June. Adrian had visited Jamaica with friends a few years before, and I had always hoped we could travel there someday together.

When we got to our resort we were pleasantly surprised by our accommodation.  This was one of my first "adult" vacations where I didn't have to stay in a cheap hotel or hostel, so it was nice to splurge! Check out our bungalow in the picture below: 

Our all inclusive package included all food and drinks for the week. The bar/restaurant was right next to the pool and the beach which made things very convenient. 

There are a lot of locals who try and sell souvenirs on the beach to tourists. Since we were at a resort, our beach had a sectioned off area that only residents were permitted in. 

Every morning we got to enjoy our breakfast outside by the water. I wish I could start every day off with a meal on the beach in paradise. 

After breakfast Adrian and I would hit our private beach to catch some rays. We jammed out to some Bob Marley and soaked up the sun! 

While in Jamaica we decided to book a few excursions. You know me, always looking for an adventure. Before we left my mom told me I had to check out a local spot that she and her friend went to back in the day. The only way to get there was by boat, so we went by catamaran to Rick's Cafe for some cliff jumping...  

can you spot me flying?

We also went to visit YS Falls where we rented tubes to float down the YS river. It was such a beautiful national park. 

Adrian at YS Falls

I am so looking forward to getting my tan back! 

Another day we took a ride down the Black River to check out some alligator's. 

Can you believe locals actually fish in this river? I think this guy needs a bigger boat!  

When we found out there was a distillery on the island we had to make a trip to the Appleton Rum Estate. We had a great time learning the history of Appleton Rum on the island of Jamaica. 

To end our nights we would go out to the beach and watch the sunset. Absolutely breathtaking!

Pictures truly can't captivate the beauty of Jamaica. The island has something for everyone and I hope one day I can go back to enjoy all Jamaica has to offer. The people are welcoming, the reggae music flows, and the atmosphere is irie.  

I will leave you this Friday with a quote from the great Bob Marley who once said, "Open your eyes, and look within. Are you satisfied, with the life your living?" 

 Until next time, I will see you on the internet.