Twelve days, four countries

There is a downside to my husband’s job and that is that he has to travel approximately half the year.  It’s  not ideal but it has been the status quo for our household for eight years now.  A benefit to all that traveling is lots of sky miles and my husband’s were set to expire in June.  We decided that we could either have the points transferred to William Sonoma and purchased some pretty sweet kitchen accessories or book a trip overseas before our oldest goes off to college.  It was a no brainer but because of my husband’s crazy travel schedule we literally had one night free on the schedule in March to figure out the logistics and book this trip.  There were a couple of places that we wanted to visit to see friends that we’d been meaning to visit for years now and other places that we thought would be fun for the kids.  Our first stop was Dubai, UAE to visit with some of our friends there and also so our kids could see where my husband frequently works when overseas.  The weather couldn’t have been more satisfying for me at 105 degrees fahrenheit, as long as I was near water with a cocktail in hand that is.

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Night swimming

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Souk Madinat Jumeirah

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This was taken from the Burj Khalifa on the 124th floor. It is the world’s tallest building with 160+ floors.

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A view of the WORLD. The beginning stages of a man made island representing the shape of the world map.

Next stop was Paris, France on an overnight flight.  We toured the Palace of Versailles on nearly zero sleep but was so glad to fit it in.

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Palace of Versailles was incredible and this photo doesn’t do it justice.

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House of mirrors in Palace of Versailles.

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A huge tree root at Marie Antoinette’s Estate that the kids loved climbing on.

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Enjoying the grass between her toes and picking wild flowers.

The next day we did the touristy thing by taking an open bus tour of the city.  It’s a really great way to see everything in one day and learn a bit of history that you otherwise wouldn’t hear.  We were so tired that it was a perfect fit for us.  You can get off at any stop, tour the sites and then hop back on the next bus.  I highly recommend it.

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The iconic Eiffel Tower in classic black and white.

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We hit the big things at the Louvre Museum but I think we could have spent an entire week there and still not seen everything.

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Please don’t judge my photography skills on this photo because I’m posting it for fun. We had visited the Eiffel Tower during the day but our oldest had been sick in the hotel all day so we went back at night when he was feeling better. Because my camera does not have a built in flash and I did not bring one we decided to get creative by using cell phones to light up the scene and document our existence there together. Totally not my best work but hey look it’s my family at the Eiffel Tower!

Two days in Paris and then off to Edinburgh, Scotland to visit friends there.  We stayed at the most quaint hotel, Castle View Guest House, which was the birthplace of Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows.  When you step outside the hotel and look right you have the most magnificent view of Edinburgh Castle.

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Edinburgh Castle.

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Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

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It was sunny and springy the entire time we were in Edinburgh and we were told by everyone that we lucked out with the weather because it’s hardly ever sunny.

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Sites along the way to Edinburgh Castle.

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Ramsay Garden

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At the castle our good friend Duncan was kind enough to take this picture of us.

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Getting a tour of the castle on a beautiful sunny day.

Scottish heritage....I loved the stag on this bottle of scotch as it resembled my logo but unfortunately I couldn't afford to take home this bottle.

Scottish heritage….I loved the stag on this bottle of scotch as it resembled my logo but unfortunately I couldn’t afford to take this bottle home.

More scenes from Scotland.

More scenes from Scotland.

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Lunch at Oink. Delicious!

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The girls loved Camera Obscura.

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Street selfie with this guy.

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Standing at the castle and looking at Arthur’s Seat situated on Calton Hill. Little did I know that our fantastic friend and tour guide would walk us all the way there to the top from where we were standing at the castle. It was over a 7 mile walk and our kids didn’t complain at all. You’ll see why in the following pictures. It was a gorgeous walk.

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Love my boots that I got right before the trip at Agatha’s but they weren’t the best boots for walking 7 miles in.

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Ice cream break before we start the summit.

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My four and our friend Duncan.

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Looking back.

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All five of us at the top.

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Coming down.

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She wanted to take a different path down so she did.

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The girls are the two little specs on the left as they decided they’d run down.

I loved Scotland and wish we had more time to go to the Highlands.  We’ll just have to do it on another trip because we needed to head to London, England for the final leg of our trip.

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The London Eye in full spring blooms.

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Mind The Gap

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Hamley’s Toy Store, the oldest toy store in the world, and we made it out with only purchasing magic markers. Honestly, I think they were overwhelmed.

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Upset because you have to be fourteen to rent one and she had her heart set on it.

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If I could capture spring in one frame this would be it.

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Bus stop.

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Changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.

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All three smiling outside Buckingham Palace

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Thank goodness they write on the street “look right” or “look left” for the rest of the world that drives on the right side of the road instead of the left. We were constantly looking the wrong way out of habit.

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Good night London

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