Earlier last month the hubs and I took what will probably be our last trip out of France before we move back to the states: a short vacation in Scotland to celebrate my 30th birthday.
For years I have said I wanted to spend this particular birthday somewhere special. Before we moved here, my thoughts were Spain, or Greece, or maybe India, or Morocco, or somewhere else exciting and exotic. However, shortly after arriving in Paris, these ideas were quickly crushed as I realized we’d actually be leaving Europe just weeks before my birthday. I accepted the fact then that an early celebration would just have to do…
As fate would have it though, we’re still here, and I got to celebrate in Europe after all. Though I originally wanted to leave town the week of to celebrate, timing just didn’t line up, and I ended up enjoying an unforgettable Parisian celebration instead.
Overall, it was a pretty low-key day, but thanks to my thoughtful hubs and family, everything was perfect. The celebration started with my favorite pastries and champagne for breakfast, continued with a picnic lunch along the Seine with Heidi, and kept going that night with fantastic views of the city from the top of Tour Montparnasse and a delectable classic French meal at Chez la Vielle. We ended the party at home with chocolate cake and the rest of that morning’s champagne, alongside 30 beautiful long stem roses that were sent from my parents and sister earlier that day, and crashed before midnight. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to welcome a new decade, and we weren’t done celebrating.
The following week, we hopped a plane to Scotland where we enjoyed my parent’s gift to me: one night in Edinburgh at an incredible Harry Potter themed apartment, and then four nights in the beautiful Scottish Highlands.
When I hiked in Scotland earlier this summer, I felt something that I hadn’t in quite some time. Since our trip to Colorado last summer, to be exact. As much as I love life in the city, there’s a part of me that loves the mountains, if not even just a little bit more. I feel at home in Paris in so many ways, but when I am in the mountains, things just click there as well. With that said, having spent my actual birth day in Paris, I knew it was in the mountains where I wanted to continue the celebration.
Scotland was everything. We fished for trout and salmon, enjoyed Indian tapas in Edinburgh with an old friend, did some Harry Potter sightseeing, drank whiskey and ate haggis in cozy pubs, enjoyed afternoon tea times with freshly baked scones, ate “chippies” and local shellfish, and hiked one of the most mentally challenging hikes I have ever done. It was the perfect, last European vacation, one last hurrah before moving back to the states.
Now, two months have passed, multiple visitors have come, we welcome more next week and again later in November, and then, at the end of the month, we will head back to Austin. I am grateful for this incredible year+ we’ve had abroad, and couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my 20s. Here’s to 30 and all the adventures this decade is sure to bring!
Until next time!