7 Things To Do In Edinburgh, Scotland

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-things-to-do-edinburgh-scotland-day-trip-victorias-street-colorful-alleyway-2livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-things-to-do-edinburgh-scotland-day-trip-victorias-street-4One of my absolute favorite cities I’ve ever visited, and hands down the one I tell everyone to add to their travel bucket list, is Edinburgh, Scotland. The sights (Harry Potter dreamland!), the people (kindest you’ll ever meet), the food (delicious!)…the combination of centuries old architecture juxtaposed with modern buildings, restaurants and shopping centers is something unlike anything else. It sort of reminds me of Rome but in a less gimmicky, touristy way in the sense that you’ll be sitting outside at a cafe and boom – directly to your right is the Pantheon…ya know, just a casual construction built in 126 AD and perfectly standing (…like what?! Insanely incredible!). I don’t know about your city, but you definitely won’t experience anything close to that feeling in Austin, Texas, ha! Needless to say, cities with such rich histories are my very favorite to visit. It’s so fascinating to walk amongst castles and stroll through alleyways that have been there for hundreds of years…and you will experience just that and so much more in Edinburgh!

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4-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread

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Is your mouth watering 1. looking at pictures of the bread above and 2. just thinking of bread?! YES ME TOO. Okay, glad we’re on the same page about that one… 😉 If there’s one thing that Europe does right (well…they do a lot of things right but we won’t go down that rabbit hole haha), it’s most certainly bread…scones, croissants, french bread, focaccia…you name it, it’s delicious and gives my heart pangs because there’s simply nothing like sipping hot coffee or tea and indulging in freshly baked bread, homemade butter and yummy jam…especially while at an outdoor cafe in Paris or better yet, at a darling cottage house in the midst of the Irish countryside. Yes, that scene I just set was REAL LIFE for all of four glorious hours and I am so excited to give y’all a closer look AND share a super easy, wonderful Irish soda bread recipe.

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British Isles Itinerary & What To Pack

1-livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-british-isles-cruise-itinerary-what-to-wear-pack-september-augustOhh goodness, I definitely felt all the nostalgia pangs as I organized this travel post! It’s been a full week since we arrived home from our two week cruise through the British Isles with Princess Cruises, and while we are happy to be back into our normal routine and over the let lag, I must admit that sorting through photos is definitely hitting me in the feels! This was our third cruise with Princess (and it was our third reunion trip with our favorite travel blogger gang, too! Always a blast to be reunited!), and we couldn’t have asked for a more incredible trip. If you follow me on Instagram, you likely saw a play-by-play of each stop along our 12-day cruise (…and lots of videos of Blake sleeping on bus rides, in the ship lobby – you name it…this guy was asleep on it haha!!), but I wanted to be sure and start off my British Isles travel diary posts (lots more to come!) by sharing 1. our itinerary (England, Ireland, Scotland – will break it down by port & city further into this post) and 2. what I wore + what to pack. I’m also excited to share my favorite stop of the trip with y’all, along with why we love cruising! So, let’s get to it…

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Road Trip Through Iceland

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-travel-lifestyle-blogger-iceland-road-trip-what-to-do-pack-reykjavik-noken-travel-guide-arial-view-skylineHello friends! Ohh the long anticipated Iceland travel diary is finally HERE! In November, I partnered with the wonderful Noken to create a promo video for their OFFICIAL launch! In a nutshell, Noken curates incredible end-to-end trips through Iceland (…and now Colombia, too!) and yes…they do ALL the work (hotels, rental cars, itinerary) and you just get to soak up the magic of this stunning country. I grabbed my two best friends, Elissa & Ben (…y’all probably know them very well by now – my besties since age 15…the best travel trio!) and we ventured to Iceland for a week of road trip bliss starting in Reykjavik and through southern Iceland. To say this was the trip of a lifetime is truly an understatement…I have never seen SO much vast beauty in one country. From driving on an open road (…with no one in sight for miles!) and a changing terrain every 20 minutes (…one minute you’re in a white powdered snow globe, the next in a mossy green lava field) to hiking on a glacier and looking out on giant pieces of ice in the middle of a black sand beach…Noken curated the most magnificent trip!

Sharing more about what we did, as well as a Noken discount code for LL readers (jump on this one, y’all – they plan THE BEST trips!) and the video at the end of this post!
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Travel Diary: St. Petersburg, Russia

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Aaaand finally I have edited these photos (…which also means I got the “happy sads” reliving this portion of our trip…ya know, happy it happened, sad it’s over, etc. 😉 and am super excited to share an in-depth look at our time in Saint Petersburg, RUSSIA! This was definitely the part of our cruise through Scandinavia with Princess Cruises that both Blake and I were really looking forward to…there’s so much history and tons of fascinating museums and palaces to see…so, let’s get to it!

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A big thank you to Princess Cruises for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

 


Travel Diary: Copenhagen & Oslo

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Hey there friends! Excited to share a photo diary from the first two stops during our 12-day cruise through Scandinavia with Princess Cruises last month! (…Working on my Russia wrap-up tomorrow, so be sure and check back later this weekend!). This has been the year of travel for me and Blake, and we are so grateful to experience such wonderful cities and countries together…I feel like I am constantly pinching myself as I look back at our photo albums after each trip. Copenhagen has been on our radar for years and though we were only there for a day and a half, we completely fell in love with the city! Then came Oslo, Norway – which kind of blew me away and surprised me (in the best way!) because the mix of super old buildings and historical monuments (vikings, anyone?) next to ultra modern, sleek scandinavian cafes, apartments and shops is pretty surreal and quite a sight to see and experience. That’s the thing I love about Europe…the juxtaposition of new and old buildings on the same street…it’s pretty incredible and very special to be so close to history in that way.

Needless to say, these were two major cities that we were thrilled to visit! Sharing more photos and a list of recommendations if you’re headed that way…(ps: you can find our cruise itinerary here).

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My Favorite Activities On A Cruise Ship

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-travel-fashion-blogger-princess-cruises-regal-ship-what-to-do-on-board-cruise-boat-top-deck-pool-hot-tubIf you haven’t noticed by now, we’re big fans of cruising! From our trip through the Mediterranean in June 2016, to our 12-day cruise through Scandinavia last month, let’s just say all our troubles float away when we step aboard that beautiful ship! From grabbing cocktails by the pool and trying out the delicious specialty restaurants, to watching movies under the stars on the top deck or penciling in gelato dates…our ship had plenty of entertainment and r&r options!

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A big thank you to Princess Cruises for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.


10 Things To Do In Barcelona

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-travel-fashion-blogger-barcelona-spain-costa-brava-pals-beach-catalonia-3Ohh my heart! THIS. TRIP. My two best friends, so much laughter, the perfect setting…can we do it all over again?! See above? That’s Elissa, my bestie since age 15…we go waaaay back. She’s a flight attendant and used her magical powers to bring me and our other bestie (see below) Ben, to Barcelona, Spain for a week of pure bliss. We called this trip our “10-year-friendiversary” (…even though it’s been over 10 years now…any excuse to take a bff trip to Europe, right?). Ps. If you’re curious if we watched ‘Vicki, Cristina, Barcelona’ in preparation for this vacay, that answer is a definite yes. (I also watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants prior to Greece…no judgement, okay? 😉 ).

Days spent at the beach, nights dancing until the sun comes up, jazz concerts at random Airbnb apartments, sight seeing, tapas eating, cava drinking…excited to share a list of 10 must-do activities in Barcelona!

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Travel Diary: Day-Trip To Berlin, Germany

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-regal-princess-scandinavia-cruise-may-june-itinerary-what-to-wear-pack-ports-berlin-germany-museum-historic-district-travelDid you see my latest travel post featuring Tallinn, Estonia? I am slowly but surely spilling all the details from our trip through Scandinavia with Princess Cruises! Today I’m excited to share a glimpse at our day-trip to Berlin, Germany. Hope you enjoy!!

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JEANS / STRIPED TEESNEAKERS / TRENCH COAT / SUNGLASSES / HANDBAG

A big thank you to Princess Cruises for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.


Darling City: Tallinn, Estonia

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-fashion-travel-blogger-princess-cruises-scandinavia-northern-europe-what-to-do-wear-tallinn-estonia-22livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-princess-cruises-scandinavia-tallinn-estonia-12Hello and welcome to the colorful dreamland of Tallinn, Estonia! Excited to spill the details from our trip through Scandinavia with Princess Cruises over the next two weeks – starting with a glimpse into one of our very favorite stops. I knew Estonia was beautiful, but I had NO idea just how much I’d fall in love with this darling, quaint city!

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A big thank you to Princess Cruises for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.