A First-Time Visit to St. Andrews

Now, I must warn you. This is going to be a pretty jam-packed post. If only because my mom and I got up to a lot while we were in St. Andrews. 

If you can believe it, in all my (three) years of living in Edinburgh, I had never once made the journey to St. Andrews, our neighboring university town. My excuse is that I think it takes a little bit more effort to get to if you don't have a car- there's no direct train, so you get off at Leuchars and then have to take a bus into the town center. Okay, maybe that's not the best excuse (it's just an extra bus ride after all), but I'm glad that my mom's visit gave me the chance to finally explore this charming seaside town.  


An Afternoon at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh

As an Edinburgh student, it's no secret that royals walk among us. Whether they're "minor" royals who attend the same classes as us, or the major royals who visit the city on a regular basis. It's not uncommon to have a friend or two who's met a royal before (I met Princess Anne last year, and have a few friends who have met Prince Phillip thanks to the Duke of Edinburgh Award).

But how much do we really know about the Royal Family? I mean, aside from binge-watching The Crown and Victoria, that is. Despite the celebrity of it all, there's a lot more to the Royal Family than headlines and hairstyles. The history of royalty in Edinburgh is rich and compelling. And when you combine that with the complexities of England's relationship with Scotland, you have a really interesting story.

Being someone who is always keen to learn more about British history, who also loves beautiful architecture, art, and gardens, I was so pleased to be given the chance to visit Holyrood Palace with my mom while she was in Edinburgh.


Exploring Wine Country in Santa Barbara, California

It's been more than a week since I returned from my holiday to California. And guess what? I'm still dreaming about all the wine I tasted there. France and Italy may be world-famous for its wine, but California is quickly building up its reputation as a leader in the wine-making world.

While Napa and Sonoma county may be the most well-known places to fully immerse yourself in the vineyard lifestyle, Santa Barbara does the trick if you're staying in Southern California, and don't want to venture too far from the LA area. It's basically a win-win.


LA in Three Days

This girl is no stranger to Los Angeles. Ever since my oldest brother moved there to pursue his music career (and succeed in it), I had spent many a spring break soaking up the sun on the West Coast. But over the past two or so years, I've had to skip out on the annual LA trip because, well, life got in the way. So while my parents took one for the team and continued to visit my brother each spring, I, sadly, missed out. 

Until this year. The annual Olia Family vacation took a dramatic turn, and we ended up heading West instead of to Europe, like we normally do. It makes things easier for my oldest brother, who has little time to take off of work, and makes it so that we can stay in the country (albeit a 6 hour flight away) for our vacation. Cue jetlag. 
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