What You Should Know About Visiting Edinburgh Castle with Kids

What You Should Know About Visiting Edinburgh Castle with Kids

Edinburgh Castle, one of Scotland’s most famous castles, is positioned strategically to rise above Scotland’s capital city. For decades this castle was home to royalty and has been at the center of wars, sieges and controversy. Actually, it seems like the Scottish and English have always been fighting over this castle. However, it is now the world that is fighting to get in! Today, Edinburgh Castle is a major tourist attraction.  Although this castle and city attract a ton of people, we had a relatively smooth day. I did my…

Ultimate Guide to The Queen Mary Scots Festival with Kids

Ultimate Guide to The Queen Mary Scots Festival with Kids

The Highland Games is the Scottish tradition of friendly rivalry between clans that goes back centuries. Bagpipes, drumming, dancing, kilts and heavy athletic events are all up for competition, making the events quite a celebration of Celtic culture. Although originally held solely in the actual Scottish Highlands, the Highland Games have spread all over the world, especially in the USA. The annual Scots Festival held at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California is the event our family has made a point of attending for a few years now. Yes,…

Ultimate Guide to Visiting Stirling Castle With Kids

Ultimate Guide to Visiting Stirling Castle With Kids

Stirling Castle doesn’t get as much attention as Edinburgh Castle, but after visiting both, I have to say that I really enjoyed my visit to Stirling Castle more. First off all, it is one of the largest castles in Scotland with a very colorful history, but without the touristy crowds of Edinburgh Castle. In fact, Mary Queen of Scots was crowned at Stirling Castle in 1542. It is also the site of the 1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge, where William Wallace took back Stirling Castle from King Edward in a…

Ultimate Guide to Glasgow with Kids

Ultimate Guide to Glasgow with Kids

Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland and one of the friendliest, hasn’t always had such a positive reputation. Once a major shipping port and industrial center, Glasgow, like many big cities, had issues with overcrowding, sanitation and violence. Since then, Glasgow has gone through major changes and re-branding. Fabulous shopping and restaurants, Glasgow University and the School of Art have become major attractions to the city. In fact, in 2008 Glasgow was named UNESCO City of Music. So, when my husband had the opportunity to work at the Glasgow University,…

Favorite Scottish Eats and Drinks

Favorite Scottish Eats and Drinks

While I was working the bar the other night, I had the pleasure of running into my favorite couple from Glasgow. It had felt serendipitous when I first met them, as I had just found out about my opportunity to travel to Scotland. At the time I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off financially so close to my other planned travels, but after talking to them I knew I was going do whatever I had to in order to get my family to Glasgow. I worked my booty…

HotMama Diaries: Scotland

HotMama Diaries: Scotland

06.22.15 HotDaddy met us for lunch at this awesome place I discovered, called Hillhead Bookclub. The décor was eclectic, the atmosphere was relaxed and funky, and the food was yummy and reasonable. They serve basil-strawberry water, which looks gorgeous on the table. There is also a great craft-cocktail menu. One interesting cocktail for a group would be the Hillhead Punch served in a Gramophone! Parents! You can enjoy the cocktails, because there is a playroom for the kids. There is even a Ping-Pong table for the “big” kids. After lunch…

Best Scottish Cocktails

Best Scottish Cocktails

If we are going to talk about Scotland, then we have to start with Scotch Whisky. I’ve always been a whiskey lover, but never really a Scotch fan. I’m not huge on smoky flavors and Scotch was just too peaty for my taste. Then I went to Scotland, tasted a bunch of scotch, and I fell. I fell hard. I realized that I love the single malt scotches and that not all of them are very smoky. Some are rather sweet. Anyway, I found two favorites during my stay, Oban…

Thread Up Scotland

Thread Up Scotland

We have just unpacked from St. Pete Beach and now we are packing again. This time we are off to a very different climate and for very different length of time. We are setting flight and heading to the land of rich history, haunting castles…and rain. Any guesses? We are going to Scotland!!! Let me tell you, packing for this trip was a bit difficult. Not only will we be gone for almost three weeks, we have to pack thicker clothes for a cooler and wetter climate. I didn’t want…