Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh, Scotland

Happy almost Halloween my ghouls! I thought the last spooky location I should take y’all through should be really creepy, but also awesome. So, today I bring you Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, Scotland!

When planning our trip to Scotland I did a lot of research on things to do/see. Edinburgh was a little bit harder than other places because we wanted to see a ton of stuff. It is an incredible historic city, and we wanted to hit the highlights! One place that we kept seeing over and over (for different reasons) was Greyfriars Kirkyard. So, we added it to the list!

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 Greyfriars Kirkyard, like many places in Edinburgh, is tucked behind some old buildings and you would absolutely miss it if you weren’t paying attention. The easiest way I suggest finding it, is to find Greyfriars Bobby’s Pub. First of all, the outside is adorable and you can see a statue of Bobby, the sky terrier who supposedly guarded his owners grave until his own death 14 years later. (You can find Bobby’s headstone right in the entrance of Greyfriars Kirkyard.) Once you find Greyfriars Bobby, look to your immediate left and go down the dark spooky alley and you will walk straight into Greyfriars Kirkyard.

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This cemetery has been around since the 1560s. Yes, you read that correctly, 1560. Many Scots have been buried in Greyfriars throughout the ages, but one has been said to still be hanging around after his death. George Mackenzie was a persecutor of the Presbyterian church back in the 17th century, and his ghost is supposedly haunting the kirkyard to this day. The Mackenzie Poltergeist is said to be pretty aggressive because people have been scratched, bruised, and pushed often in the kirkyard at night.

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It’s kind of incredible just to see all the old headstones and mausoleums. Even during the day it’s a little creepy. If you’re looking for a really creepy time, try going in the kirkyard at night! As far as I know, it stays open all the time, so you can go in anytime of the day or night! Jackson and I found the kirkyard for the first time at around 11pm and we wandered around in the dark for awhile. Not going to lie, you are going to want someone to hold onto.

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Ok, where are all my Potterheads? I have something exciting to tell you! Did you know that J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter in Edinburgh (more on that in another post) and more specifically, found some of her character’s names in Greyfriars Cemetery?!? Buried in the cemetery is a man named Tom Riddle. There is also a Scottish poet with the last name McGonagall. I’m not going to tell you where they are because honestly finding them is half the fun! I will tell you they are closer to the back, but that’s it!

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Greyfriars Kirkyard is an unbelievable place in one of the most beautifully magical cities in the world. If you are ever in Scotland, you must visit Greyfriars Kirkyard and Edinburgh. Say hello to Bobby for me and make sure to be on your guard!

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❤ Abbie

WW: Two hours in Savannah, Ga

Let me start this whole thing by saying that two hours in such an incredible and historic city is just not enough. Seriously. A whole day wouldn’t have been enough to explore Savannah. That being said, this is just going to be a brief post about the things we discovered just walking around for two hours. Now, you might be asking why we only spent two hours in Savannah. To be honest, we just didn’t have time. We were driving back home from Myrtle Beach and just happened to be passing near Savannah. You should know that Savannah has always been on my list of places to visit in the U.S. I’ve heard of it’s beauty and historical significance almost my whole life. So to drive by it without stopping (if only for two hours) was absolutely unthinkable! Let me tell you, I am so glad we stopped. In just the short amount of time we walked around we saw a lot of really beautiful things. Hopefully in the near future we will be going back to spend a long weekend there (you know my birthday is coming up… hint, hint). So until I can do a full-fledged Wandering Wednesday I’m just going to leave this little beautiful snippet right here.

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I mainly wanted to focus on the historic district, of course, so we parked on the east side of the beautiful Forsyth Park. Sometimes when you have such a short amount of time in a location the best thing to do is just wander. I find that most of the time just wandering around can lead you to some beautiful things. I’m not necessarily the type to always have everything planned out which is always interesting. So, we walked.

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Savannah is full of beautiful and huge churches. It is always incredible to see the pure size of these places! Some churches will even let you tour the inside!

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One of my favorite parts was just walking around and seeing all the beautiful historic homes. They are beautiful and they are everywhere. Some of these mansions date back to the 1800s! You know you’re in a cool place when they have a Victorian District.

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The day we went to Savannah was just a measly 98 degrees and humid as all get out, so as you can imagine we started to get pretty thirsty. We just happened to be passing by this cute little cafe called Art’s and noticed that there was a double-decker bus inside, so we stopped. The cafe is across the street from the Savannah College of Art and Design, which is housed in an incredible building itself! Definitely stop in for a drink at Art’s, it’s a neat experience!

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There are so many adorable little shops hidden in basements and second floors of these historic buildings! If you have the time, stop in a few of them! I highly recommend stopping in The Book Lady. This adorable little bookshop and cafe is located in the lowest level of an old building, and is easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention. When you walk in you feel transported to something that would be in Harry Potter. Books line the old brick walls, and a worn leather couch surrounds an old fireplace. I imagine in the winter it would be the perfect little hideaway. Come dream with me. You’re lounging on the comfy couch, sipping on hot apple cider while the crackling fire lulls you into relaxation as you read a book. Yeah, this place is dreamy.

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After you’ve awakened from the dream that is The Book Lady (and you step outside into the humidity, really feeling that non-Christmas vibe) we highly suggest walking down to Forsyth Park. It’s a beautiful little area! I love parks in the middle of big cities. A little bit of a nature sanctuary is always needed!

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I hope this has inspired you to spend some time in Savannah. I am planning a second, more thorough post and will hopefully get that to y’all before the year is out! I hope y’all have a killer Wednesday! Go wander!

Abbie

Wandering Wednesday: Brooklyn, NY

Happy Wandering Wednesday y’all! I’m excited to be sharing part two of our honeymoon trip to New York today. I shared part one awhile back and I’m finally getting around to the second half! Today we will be wandering around Brooklyn and Coney Island!

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When we went to NY I really wanted to venture over to Brooklyn. I had heard of a lot of things about the Brooklyn Flea, Smorgasburg, and Williamsburg so we made it a point on our to-do list! Also, what would be a New York trip without seeing the Brooklyn Bridge? So first thing we are going to visit is the Brooklyn Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge Park!

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And all I can say is ‘What a view!’ We honestly could have sat at the park all day and just watched the city from across the river. So beautiful!

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Next stop is Smorgasburg in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. Williamsburg is basically hipster central. And Smorgasburg is a huge food truck and food stand festival that happens on Saturdays. It is so stinking cool. There are tons of vendor set up in the park and you can get everything from fish and chips, to crazy Mexican dishes! I got the Cemita and it was phenomenal! Smorgasburg is a definite must-do if you go to Brooklyn!

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While you’re there check out all the awesome street art! It’s everywhere! You could make a day out of walking around and finding cool murals and paintings! The above were some of our favorites!

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Next, we went on over to Coney Island! It’s one of those places that you have to see just because it’s so historical! It’s incredible to walk on the boardwalk by all the rides and think about when it was booming in it’s heyday! You almost expect it to be like it was back in the 1920s, but I assure you it’s not the same any longer. Times have changed, but it’s important to remember the historical significance to places like this!

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And you have to check out the original Nathan’s Hot Dogs while you’re there; it’s another classic! Well, this is it for our trip to Brooklyn and Coney Island! Maybe someday you can make the trip! I’m going to leave you with my favorite mural in Brooklyn!

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❤ Abbie and Audrey

Wandering Wednesday: Memphis, TN

Hello my wanderers! Hope your Wednesday is going swimmingly! Today we are going to take a trip to the south and visit good ‘ole Memphis, TN. I actually grew up in a suburb of Memphis, so it’s always a pleasure to talk about a place I once called home. Today we are going to focus on classic and historical locations in downtown Memphis. Let’s get wandering!

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The first place you have to see is the Peabody Hotel. Not only is this place famous for being incredibly beautiful, but it also has some fun quirks that make it totally unforgettable!

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For example, have you ever seen ducks treated like royalty? If you go to the Peabody, you will! Every day at 11am and 5pm the Peabody ducks march their way from the elevator onto a red carpet and into the lobby fountain to swim around for a bit. Yes, you read that correctly. The Peabody duck march has been a tradition for over 90 years! If you’re lucky enough you can even take part in the duck march ceremony! It’s a Memphis tradition and a must-see event!

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Another classic Memphis hot-spot is The Arcade Restaurant. It is Memphis’ oldest cafe and has been around since 1919! I highly suggest getting there for breakfast because it is phenomenal!

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Next, hop on one of the many trolleys and take a riding tour around the city! The trolleys are something that really makes Memphis it’s own and they travel all around downtown!

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You might pass by the Orpheum Theater on the trolley. If you do, try to stop and take a peek inside. The Orpheum was built in 1890 and was called the classiest theater of it’s time (outside of New York, of course). If you ever get the opportunity to see a show or a concert in the Orpheum don’t miss out! The beauty of the theater alone is enough to make it worth it!

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The last place I’ll talk about today is Dyer’s Burgers. This diner is absolutely adorable and did I mention delicious! Their burgers are incredible and, like any good diner, their milkshakes and root beer floats are where it’s at. It’s located on the world famous Beale St. so you can’t miss it!

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Memphis is a really fun city and it’s growing rapidly. The art and foodie communities are really starting to make an impact in the midtown area, but that is a topic for another Wandering Wednesday!! So keep posted and go enjoy some classic Memphis locations!

❤ Abbie

Wandering Wednesday: Hot Springs, AR

As you all know I was on vacation last week and I got to travel up to the lovely Hot Springs, Arkansas! I adore this little town! Walking around Hot Springs is like stepping back in time. The architecture and beautiful sculptures are reminiscent of a bygone era. So let me take you back in time today as we tour the charming town of Hot Springs!

The town gets it’s name from the thermal springs that flow from the ground. The water averages at about 143 degrees year round. There are places around town that you can feel the water as it flows from the ground!

Back in the 1800s people from all over the country would flock here to relax in the thermal springs. Because of this the town started to build bathhouses for people to enjoy a more spa-like experience. Today as you walk down the main street of Hot Springs you can’t help but notice the incredible Bathhouse Row which is made up of 6 beautiful historic buildings.

Each building housed their own thermal spring baths. Many of the hotels also have their own baths for you to unwind in! You should definitely visit the Fordyce Bathhouse which has been turned into the Hot Springs Visitors center! It shows what it was like back in the old days to visit a bathhouse in the town!

Starting in the late 1800s to the 1930s Hot Springs became a popular site for gangsters. Al Capone and Lucky Luciano were said to frequent the town. The Gangster Museum in Hot Springs can give you lots of  information about the notorious gangster town. They will also let you try on some sweet fedoras!

Nowadays the town has slowed down and there are many adorable shops lining the streets just waiting for your arrival. One of my favorite shops is called Bathhouse Soapery. This cute little shop has lots of different handmade soaps, perfumes, and lotions that are sure to put you in a relaxing mood.

Their foaming body scrub is amazing!  I suggest Mud and Minerals or the Oatmeal Creme scrub, both smell amazing and make your skin incredibly soft! Bathhouse Soapery should be a definite stop on your next trip!

If you’re craving something sweet you have to check out Fat Bottomed Girls Cupcake Shoppe! They were featured on Cupcake Wars and the Food Network.

This place has your classic cupcakes like Chocolate on Chocolate or Red Velvet (my personal favorite) but they also have some that are a little out there like Salted Caramel (Jackson’s favorite) and Lemon Lavender. Whatever you get it is sure to be delicious!

The last shop I encourage you to visit is an antique store called Tillman’s. From the outside you can look in the window and see a lot of really exquisite antiques.

When you step inside the whole shop shimmers! Pearls the size of a quarter and gold encrusted clocks are waiting to be seen behind glass cases. If you’re lucky, a man named Davis will be in. If he is there let him tell you about some of his historical pieces!

They have everything from crown jewels that belonged to Russian Royals to a staff from a Moroccan Sheik!

Davis’ stories are absolutely fascinating and you will not want to miss a chance speaking with him!

As you walk around you will no doubt see a large grand hotel. This hotel is called the Arlington and it was built in 1924. The building is so beautiful and the inside is just as grand!

As I mentioned before there are many different bathhouses on Bathhouse Row. There are several of them that are still in operation today. Since you are in Hot Springs I recommend wholeheartedly to take a bath in the springs. Some of the bathhouses have public bathing areas, but I enjoy a more private setting. The Buckstaff Bath House is fantastic.

Men and women are separated and each person is given their own private bathtub. I have done the Whirlpool Mineral Bath. You start by getting in your designated tub filled with the hot spring water. There is a little jet in the tub so it feels somewhat like a hot tub. They give you cool towels to place on your neck and arms so your body doesn’t overheat. You relax in there for a bit. When you get out they lay you down and put hot towels on your arms and legs and give you cold water to drink. At this point you’re about ready to die of happiness and relaxation. After that you enjoy a Sitz bath and a vapor cabinet. And finally you end with a needle shower (which is not as terrible as it sounds, it’s basically a massage shower). After your spa day you will never want to leave and you understand why so many people came to enjoy the springs!

If you want to venture a little outside the town there are lakes and mountains to explore! There is a large observatory that looks out onto the town below and the mountains surrounding! The lakes are beautiful and make for a fun afternoon of swimming!

Hot Springs is a charming place filled with beauty and history! I encourage you to step back in time and enjoy the simple things in life! Happy Wandering Wednesday everyone!