UK Trip: Days 7 - 10, Glasgow, Luss, Sheffield, & End Of Our Trip
On Monday morning my mom woke up with pains in her side, radiating towards her back. We asked her a few times if she'd like us to take her to the emergency room, but she kept telling us that she'd be fine (stubborn, as usual). Luke and I ran out for breakfast, and when we came back to pack our stuff and leave, she was in severe pain. We had a tight schedule - our train to Glasgow was leaving in an hour, and once we arrived we would have to meet our Airbnb host as she was also on a tight deadline. We asked her once again about the emergency room, but she said no. We quickly packed and caught the train for the hour ride to Glasgow, and that's when she finally decided that she needed to see a doctor. As soon as we arrived in Glasgow, we took a cab straight to the emergency room and got her checked in and settled before rushing off to meet our Airbnb host on time. I felt a little bad leaving her there, but she had many chances to visit the ER in Edinburgh! After a little while, and after we got settled into our Glasgow flat, my mom took a cab to where we were staying and announced that she had a kidney/bladder infection. She was all set with antibiotics and cranberry juice, and was feeling a little bit better, though still felt out of sorts the rest of the trip.
Our Glasgow Airbnb flat was super cute! I loved how our host decorated the place, she had welcomed us with fresh flowers, chocolates, juice, and other necessities for our stay. It was definitely a nice touch, and a nice welcome to Glasgow. The shower was a bit strange - you had to turn it on by a switch and then let the water in the sink run, click the button to turn on the shower, and then turn the tap off. A bit tricky - but it worked well until our last night when it decided it didn't want to work anymore. The flat had these lovely window seats that were comfortable to sit in and take in the views (which were mainly of a construction site and seagulls, but hey, I didn't mind). A big highlight of this flat was the rooftop terrace - it was so cozy, with colorful lights lighting up the wall at night time. Our flat owner loved plants, they were displayed all over the terrace. If it was warmer, I know we would have spent a lot of time out there!
Glasgow reminds me of New York City - a mix of new and old buildings. We didn't spend much time there, but the shopping scene looked good. There were a lot more people in Glasgow than in Edinburgh, but at night it seemed like a ghost town! Monday night we met up to have drinks with Pete and Ayden from Little Blog of Horrors. Pete and I have been friends since 2009 when we met on Tumblr - my list of Tumblr meet ups has grown a lot over the past 7 years! It's strange having online friends that you've known for so long, it seems like you know them already, so when you finally meet them in person it doesn't feel like something new? Just like you're meeting with an old friend you've seen a thousand times before. We walked to Brew Dog first and had a couple of drinks while we chatted. After that we went to a tiki bar with a £111 drink!! It was dark in there, and aside from us there was only one other person in there. I guess many people don't go out on weekdays. Our last stop was another place where we had a couple of drinks and then some food before heading back to our flat for the night.
By Tuesday, I was so exhausted from the past week of constant traveling that I was struggling to stay awake. Pete and Ayden picked us up in the early afternoon and we headed to Loch Lomond and visited Luss again. This time we had extra time to explore, and we walked along the Loch with the ducks. The pier was SO windy and cold! I imagine it's absolutely beautiful in the summer though. For lunch we stopped at the Drovers Inn, a 310 year old haunted inn used by Highland drovers who used to drive their cattle down the side of Loch Lomond to the markets. It was super dark inside with dark wood all throughout. A stuffed grizzly bear, among many other old taxidermy, greeted us as soon as we walked in! I really loved the whole place - creepy taxidermy and all. The staff wore kilts, it was the first time I had seen one over there. The building gave off an energy - you could actually feel how old it was. After a filling lunch and a drive back to Glasgow, they dropped us off and were so kind to give us gifts of Scotch for Luke, and another drink for me. I've been working on a little thank you package that I'll be sending their way soon! We said our goodbyes, and then relaxed and packed the rest of the night.
Wednesday was Luke & I's 6 year anniversary. It feels more like SIXTY years, and I couldn't be happier to have him by my side. We woke up early and made our way to Sheffield by train to visit Naomi, Eric, and Ollie. I've been friends with Naomi for over 10 years. We met online back in the "zine world" community days where we would make online magazines through email & send them out to subscribers. From there we joined RTA's ("reply to all" email groups - some themed, some random) and became close friends. Back in 2008, as my graduation/birthday/didn't go to prom present, my family sent me to visit her in England all by myself! I know it really freaked everyone out, but I came back alive two weeks later and I had finally met my best friend in person. Fast forward to 2012, Luke and I went to London to stay with her and Ollie for two weeks, and now 4 years later, we got to visit them again! This time was a bit different since Naomi and Ollie have a baby now - Eric! He's absolutely the cutest, happiest baby I've ever seen.
We met up with Naomi and Eric (Ollie was working) at the train station, and quickly dropped off our bags at her flat before catching a bus to the Peak District. Poor Eric had the chicken pox, but he was a serious trooper and hardly ever cried the whole time we were there. We decided to visit Chatsworth House, which is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Chatsworth house was built in the 16th century and it sits on a 35,000 acre estate. The grounds are absolutely beautiful - rolling hills, water, free roaming sheep and their babies. The "house" itself has 126 rooms - 100 of which are closed to visitors. Even though most of the house is private, we spent a few hours exploring the inside alone, I can't imagine how long it would take to explore the whole thing! It was definitely the most pricey entrance fee we encountered at £25 per person to get in - but I can imagine why they charge visitors so much, 35,000 acres to take care of!? It's a wonder how they've kept it running for so long. Upon arrival, we grabbed some food at the buffet inside. Luke held a baby for the first time ever! It was so funny, Nai kind of just handed Eric to him and he didn't know how to hold him. Luke is the baby whisperer though, and all babies love him so all was good. Guess who "lived" here? You got it - Mary's back at it again being in every building in the UK. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in Chatsworth House by her hater cousin, Elizabeth I. The guest wing of Chatsworth House is decorated how it would have been hundreds of years ago, and many of them still feature hand painted Chinese wallpapers. The ceiling and stairs in the Painted Room were so ornate and detailed (pictured below), and the doors and doorways were absolutely huge!
We meant to catch a bus to Bakewell and explore the town, but we ended up on a bus back to Sheffield. In the end it worked out because my mom wasn't feeling well again, so when we got back in the city we checked her into our hotel (the Leopold Hotel, which is an old boys school) and went to Starbucks where we were meeting Ollie when he finished with work. The 4 of us + Eric went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant right behind our hotel, where we talked and ate for a while. After finishing up we walked back to their flat, took some pictures, and then grabbed our suitcases before heading back to the Leopold. Ollie was kind enough to walk us back, otherwise we would have gotten lost for sure! We said our goodbyes to him there since he had work early the next morning and we wouldn't see him again.
The next morning we got breakfast with Naomi and Eric before setting off to the train station to head back to London. We all hugged goodbye, and then the three of us traveled by train, plane, cab, train again, and car before arriving home late Thursday night. We were greeted by two very cuddly cats who I know missed us SO much - and boy did I miss them!
This trip was amazing. Aside from my mom not feeling well towards the end, it went just as planned and I couldn't have asked for a better vacation. While it was quite expensive due to the fact that we traveled to different cities, it was 100% worth it. I know my mom had an amazing time, and it was so nice being able to take her somewhere she's always wanted to go. Edinburgh is my new favorite city, Luke and I have decided that we're going to become sheep farmers and move over there right away. While England is amazing and I'll always love it, Scotland definitely stole my heart. It's the most beautiful place, and I can't recommend it enough. If you get a chance - please go, you will not regret it.
UK Trip Posts
* All photos are my own unless otherwise stated.