Arriving in Edinburgh

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Scotland

At Ian and my wedding reception chatter about a trip to Scotland took place. I had yet to visit Edinburgh and meet the rest of Ian’s family, so to say I was excited about booking plane tickets would be an understatement. Ian and I went back and forth debating if we could afford a trip to the UK, but after a family friend offered up their home to us we were sold.

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Scotland

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Scotland

After a hectic traveling day (our original flight got canceled) we landed in Glasgow. Ian’s dad and brother picked us up from the airport and drove us back to Edinburgh. In order to fight our jet lag, we hit the streets! We were staying near the Meadows so it was an easy walk to the Grassmarket.

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Scotland

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Scotland

In true #foodie fashion, I researched the café/restaurant scene in Edinburgh. I kept stumbling upon articles and instagram photos of Mary’s Milk Bar hot chocolate floats. As fate would have it, their store was located in the Grassmarket so it was easy to convince Ian to stop by as we strolled around the shops on Victoria Street.

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Scotland

By this time Ian and I were fighting to keep our eyes open, but we powered through lunch with his family. Meeting a few members of his family for the first time was enough excitement to keep me going for the rest of the night. In true granny fashion, I was proud I stayed awake until 8pm. Sleep came quickly, but I knew I had to savor it since we had our alarm set for 5:30 am in order to get up and catch our train to London!

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Scotland

Tonner-Travels-Edinburgh-Scotland

Stay tuned to see our photos from our excursion to London!

 

Botanical Garden Festival of Lights

Botanical Garden Festival of Lights | Beauty & Blooms

When I heard the botanical gardens was putting on a festival of lights I cleared my schedule and pre-ordered tickets. Thankfully they were selling spiked hot chocolate so it was rather easy to convince Ian to come along.

Botanical Garden Festival of Lights | Beauty & Blooms

Now, here is a little back story: A week before we attend the festival of lights Ian and I were driving down to Madison for the weekend and passed by the Waunakee rotary lights. I love a good light show, so I begged him to drive through the park. When we entered we realized we only had a $20 bill for the donation box, so our five-minute drive cost us a pretty penny. The rest of the weekend I was making jokes every time we drove by a decorate house – “Oh look Ian! Christmas lights! Do you want to leave $20 in their mailbox?” Jokes aside, the Waunakee rotary lights were gorgeous and we knew our donation would be put toward good use.

Botanical Garden Festival of Lights | Beauty & Blooms

Anyways, I digress! Ian and I wanted to make sure we got the most our of our money this time and spent a whole 45 minutes walking through the botanical garden. With a piping cup of hot chocolate in hand, the whole experience was quite magical.

Botanical Garden Festival of Lights | Beauty & Blooms

My favorite exhibit was full of wildflowers. They were streaming music so it was only natural that I asked Ian to dance with me. He was a bit shy to dance in public, but he was sweet and agreed none-the-less.

Botanical Garden Festival of Lights | Beauty & Blooms

I am not sure where life will lead us in the year to come, but if we are still in the area I will make sure we attend the festival of lights again!

Botanical Garden Festival of Lights | Beauty & Blooms

Holiday Shopping in Paoli

Christmas Shopping | Beauty & Blooms

When I was back home we decided to forgo the busy shopping mall and head out to Paoli, WI. The small town was brimming with Christmas spirit and we enjoyed the wide range of gift options. Within a mile radius you could pop into an antique store, sample cheese and browse carefully curated art galleries. It made Christmas shopping into an experience rather than a chore. If you are ever in the Madison area I would recommend taking a detour and visiting this little town for yourself!

Christmas Shopping | Beauty & Blooms{This shop combined two of my favorite things: Christmas décor & a café)

Christmas Shopping | Beauty & Blooms{A quaint cheese shop}

Christmas Shopping | Beauty & Blooms{Eating ice cream in winter – that’s how much I love Babcock ice cream!}