McVagabonds are moving on!

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It’s official! The time has come for me to unveil the brand new http://www.mcvagabonds.com!! Which means I’ll no longer be posting at this website. The new site is cleaner, brighter and all mine, which is pretty kickass. It’ll keep growing, so I hope you’re going to join on on this crazy adventure!

Head on over to the new blog to keep up with our adventures around Scotland, and later more of Europe. It’s going to be a good time. See you there!

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A Charming Surprise in the Heart of Edinburgh

It’s a new week! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend – did you do anything fun? We had quite a few adventures and met some friends, both old and new. We even competed in a pub quiz night and didn’t come in last which was pretty amazing, especially since our team name was “And In Last Place…”. But we made a new friend in an older Scottish gentleman who agreed to let us team up with him next week. I think it could mean a victory.

But I digress. One of the things I promised myself was that while we were in Edinburgh we would try to do interesting, off the beaten path things. I do want to take Ryan to the super touristy spots, because they’re so popular for a reason, but I’d also like to discover new bits and pieces of the city as well. With the Fringe coming up, I’m trying to get us out and about as much as possible, since I have a feeling we’ll be quite busy with shows come the start of the festival.

We had quite a few gorgeous days over the last week. While I’m not one to shy away from going out in the rain, whenever I see the sun shining outside my window I want to get outside as quickly as possible. One such afternoon provided us with a neat adventure that I discovered through a bit of random Internet searching. It was a quick bus ride from our flat, but it felt worlds away.

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A McVagabond Bucket List

A McVagabond Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? I seem to always have some sort of list going at any given time, sometimes even more than one (and don’t get me started on all of the other lists that are floating around our flat). I have a list of restaurants back home that I’m waiting to try. I have a dream list of places I want to see before I die. I have lists full of adventures, new cities to visit and one or two full of books and movies that I want to enjoy one day.

I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to have a bucket list for Europe. I’m talking about a list full of experiences, not just merely places to check off. It’s easy to head to Google and find “The Top 10 Places You Must Visit in Germany Before You Die” or “25 FREE Things to Do in Vienna This Summer”. But I want to get as much out of this experience as possible to carry me through until we get our next trip planned and under way. These memories will also be a wonderful gift to take home; I can look at photos and remember this time in vivid detail.

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#tbt 04/52: Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

#tbt 04/52: Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Happy Throwback Travel Thursday, everyone!

I hope you’ll join me every Thursday for a #tbt, or Throw Back Travel, post. This is my way to give a nod to past travel experiences that won’t necessarily make it on to the blog in their entirety. We’ve been to some really cool places over the last few years, and some of my favorite memories can be traced back to previous trips. I don’t really have a set formula to these posts; some will focus only on pictures and some will include stories. There could be a post with just one single picture, and others with an entire gallery.

So this week, we’re talking VOLCANOES! I had the chance to traverse an extinct volcano earlier in the week, but that wasn’t my first up close and personal encounter with them. Last year while we were in Hawai’i, we had the chance to spend the day at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, and today I want to share photos of an active volcano, as a direct (and I hope interesting) contrast to the extinct volcano we hiked last week.

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A Morning Stroll Up Arthur’s Seat

A Morning Stroll Up Arthur’s Seat

“A hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

When you’ve walked all the way down the Royal Mile you reach Holyrood Park, a 640 acre park adjacent to Holyrood Palace. That’s one of the things I love the most about Edinburgh: you can go from immersing yourself in centuries of history to enjoying nature in a matter of minutes. You could spend more than one afternoon exploring the beauty of the park; I’ve been there multiple times and still find something new each time I go. What make Holyrood Park so special is that a group of hills lies within its borders, the most famous being Arthur’s Seat.

There are plenty of cities that are known for a distinguishing landmark. New York and the Statue of Liberty. London has Big Ben. You can’t think of Paris without the Eiffel Tower. Sydney with their Opera House. I would argue that while Edinburgh clearly has a well-known landmark in the Edinburgh Castle, the first thing I think about when I think of the city is Arthur’s Seat. The hill that adds a new dimension to the city skyline and makes Edinburgh feel a little more wild.

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First Snapshots of Edinburgh

First Snapshots of Edinburgh

It’s the weekend!! I hope everyone has a lot of fun plans in store for the next two days. It’s supposed to rain here tomorrow and Sunday, but we aren’t going to let that stop us. We have a couple of walks planned, some markets to visit and maybe a trip to the cinema if it gets too gross out. But speaking of weekends, it’s past time for me to share our pretty greats walk from Sunday with you!

After a lazy Saturday, we felt like we had to have an active Sunday. We had slept over sixteen hours when we first landed, and I was itching to get out and show Ryan Edinburgh. This was the city I fell in love with while in college, and I want him to love it too. It’s been over seven years since I’ve stepped foot in the city, but after this adventure it feels like I never left.

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, so you can imagine how many interesting places there are to see and how many fun things we need to do. I’ve been planning so much for the rest of our trip I haven’t really taken the time to put together a game plan for our time here. The best way to get started in my mind is to just go for it, which is what we did.

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#tbt 03/52: Mt. Rushmore

#tbt 03/52: Mt. Rushmore

Happy Throwback Travel Thursday, everyone!

I hope you’ll join me every Thursday for a #tbt, or Throw Back Travel, post. This is my way to give a nod to past travel experiences that won’t necessarily make it on to the blog in their entirety. We’ve been to some really cool places over the last few years, and some of my favorite memories can be traced back to previous trips. I don’t really have a set formula to these posts; some will focus only on pictures and some will include stories. There could be a post with just one single picture, and others with an entire gallery.

Today’s post takes us to South Dakota. South Dakota, y’all! I know how excited you must be. Join me as I take you on a short trip to an American Wonder of the World, Theodore Roosevelt’s head Mt. Rushmore!

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