Then I checked my Facebook and read that the day we left Spring Lake had a storm and a pine tree in our front yard fell onto our house. AND halt plans.
Miraculously, it did not cause much damage and we had it all fixed before even getting home. Our neighbors were incredibly helpful as was USAA. So, after hours of talking with USAA back and forth via Skype, we only had a little bit of time left, so we took the tube and headed to The London Bridge. On the way we happened upon an outdoor food market called The Borough Market, which now sits at the top of my “Places I Love in London” list. They have absolutely everything you could think of, all made fresh in front of you. I’m talking kegs of different kinds of olive oil, freshly caught fish, skillets the size of dining room tables filled with Indian and Thai food, fruit water, freshly made cider, all the chocolate you could dream of, beautiful fruits and veggies, and freshly butchered meat. We ate lunch there and I had a seared Halloumi cheese baguette (let’s be honest, it was a hoagie), which was amazing, paired with some fresh sangria. Yup, heaven!
We then spent the next few hours rockin’ out with Jimmy Eat World. Everyone was singing along to every song. It was at a small venue and we sat in the balcony, which turned out to work out great because we were far enough away from the crowd surfing. It was so good to go to a concert again. It had been way too long.
We ate at a little restaurant in town then headed to Stratford Upon-Avon, which was only supposed to take about an hour and a half, but turned out to be more like 3 because a car caught on fire on the road and backed up traffic for a good solid hour.
We headed to Shakespeare’s birthplace, a museum in the main part of town. It was pretty neat to be there (even if they aren’t 100% positive it was where he was born).
LOCH LOMOND, SCOTLAND
After the cruise we went to lunch at The Boat House on the marina, which also belongs to Cameron House. Oh my gosh, that place was amazing! We got a 3 course LUNCH for about 20 bucks. And they did not skimp on ANYTHING. The inside of their restaurant looked like a spread in Pottery Barn magazine.
STIRLING AND EDINBURGH
So my hubs is seriously the best vacation planner out there. He has this ability to find unique things for us to do beyond the normal fanny-pack-wearing touristy stuff. All that’s great, but if you look hard enough you might find something to do that will make your trip a bit more memorable, and that’s exactly what he did. If you haven’t noticed, our family LOVES ethnic food, specifically Indian and Thai. If I could eat that kind of food every day I would. We have Thai about once a week from a local restaurant near us and Indian once every two and it usually comes out of a jar. The core of all Indian food is spice, but I had no idea even where to begin with picking them out. Anyway, my hubs found Renuka Patel, a stay at home mom slash entrepreneur that started Ren’s Kitchen, a training kitchen facility in her backyard. She offers classes to up to six people and will try and show you how to cook whatever you’d like. We had the best time learning how to cook some amazing dishes, including a very basic but flexible masala sauce that we can tweak to our own liking. She even gives you a folder with all of the recipes inside to take home. She and her mother helped in our class, and they were both incredibly nice and patient. (Ren even drove us to the train station afterward, then drove back home because hubs thought he left his sunglasses there, and then drove back to the train station! And she was so gracious about it!) I’m so thankful we had this experience! Can’t wait to get cooking!
Well, as you can see we were BEYOND spoiled on this trip. It really was the trip of a lifetime, and I am so grateful we were able to go. I will never forget it! Can’t wait to get back to Scotland and England one day!