Missing Proper Scones With Clotted Cream and Jam Something Fierce

Ya’ll, I am really missing being on vacation. Not only do you get to visit amazingly beautiful sites AND escape your worries and the mundane crap that “regular” life comes with, you get to eat EVERYTHANG. Vacation food calories are always zero, even when smothered in mayonnaise. Especially then.
I decided it’d be fun to share my food pictures from my recent vacation. I made it a point to photograph as much food as I could, because my idea of what a good vacation is is eating with wild abandon and zero guilt. Obviously, I didn’t snap a pic of literally everything I ate, or we’d be here all week. Behold, some of the best and most interesting things I ate inhaled (in chronological order):
How’d our flight from Reno to Denver know we were going to the Netherlands? Way better than a package of four broken mini pretzels!
Literally, the second we got off the shuttle and we dropped our luggage off at our houseboat, I went looking for these. Patat Frites are literally everything I’d hoped they’d be.
My first time trying street Kurdish food and I didn’t get the shits! This woman is crazy talented. I have no idea what it was we ate, but it was amazing!
This is the stuff of my food dreams, man. Blocks of cheese bigger than your head. *faints*
The fresh fruit at our neighborhood food market was tempting, but I, of course, went with the fried potatoes and mayonnaise sauce. Totally the right choice.
Wait…what? Shut up. No.way.
After consuming this one beer precisely two hours after arriving in Amsterdam (and after 12 hours of travel), I promptly fell asleep right there at the bar.
Homemade eggs (that you don’t refrigerate) with zucchini from the market and Turkish coffee. Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
A waffle with powdered sugar, right in front of the ‘I Amsterdam’ sign. Heaven.
Except, they don’t serve coffee there. Vewy twicky.
Ya’ll, this is Kinder-flavored gelato. I’m drooling and shaking like an addict just thinking about it.
This is a cheese sandwich. Literally, just cheese and bread. No mayo, no butter, no chutney. Literally, just cheese. Just bread. It would have been the most boring sandwich in the world except that that was the finest cheese I’ve ever eaten. That bad bitch didn’t need any conflicting flavors hiding its delectable flavor. I could go on about this sandwich, but this is getting weird. I’ll stop.
We got a free Heineken after the stroke-inducing strobe light tour. We may have gotten more than just the one free drink.
Dutch pancakes, or pannenkoeken, are nothing like American pancakes, but they ARE delicious! Savory and sweet varieties here.
This literally looks like dog food packed into a patty, but I assure you, haggis is freaking delicious. This is a haggis roll that we shared. I hate sharing.
Celebratory we-somehow-found-our-first-Scottish-house-stay-despite-being-packed-like-sardines-in-a-too-small-car-and-we-were-newbie-wrong-side-of-the-road-drivers wine.
We thought we were buying a pork roast, but it turned out to be “bacon”. It was still pretty damn tasty.
The no-refrigerating-eggs thing was pretty strange to get used to, but I’m convinced they taste better than eggs in America.
Marks & Spencer tea at a very cold Stirling Castle. M&S is EVERYTHING. I miss it so hard.
The cold is never a deterrent when it comes to ice cream. This, folks, is a strawberry ice cream cone made with Scottish cream and the finishing touch-a Flake for added flair. Perfection. Just gorgeous.
We had no idea how to eat these. Do you heat them up in the oven and eat them with syrup? Are they eaten cold and plain? We never could decide how to do it, so, instead, we let them get moldy (which doesn’t take long in such a wet and humid environment).
We got bread with our fish and chips. Just a plain piece of bread. I found this really amusing.
Our first traditional fish and chips was in Stirling. They weren’t bad, but the lack of seasoning was a bummer. I always felt like an asshole heavily salting and peppering everything I ordered.
This is a Victoria sponge muffin I got at M&S. It was the best muffin I’ve EVER had!
It’s an acquired taste. It totally tastes like orange bubblegum. Right, Lorna?
This picture hardly does the sandwich any justice. It was goat cheese and roasted red pepper and one of the best sandwiches of my life. The soup was Moroccan vegetable and was divine, as well. All of this deliciousness was found at a small cafe on the shore of Loch Katrine in Scotland.
This is a cherry Bakewell tart cookie. It was just as delicious as it looks! I still have dreams of the sweet treats I had.
Black pudding. I tried it. That is all.
Whisky tasters. Not my jam, but, when in…Edinburgh.
Strawberry Scottish cream at Edinburgh Castle. I couldn’t get enough.
Delicious dining and drinking at Hector’s with some awesome friends.
My Scottish friends brought us Scottish treats. We demolished them way too quickly. Not pictured is the Scottish tablet. I’m legit addicted and am planning on making some at home. It’s straight up a diabeetus delicacy.
Tea time on the Royal Britannia
This was not exactly what I envisioned when I ordered cheese fries. But, cheese? Good. Fries? Good. It was all good.
All good bloggers hold their food up as if it were the second coming just for a good photo op.
This is a proper steak and ale pie. And, proper it was.
Tunnock’s Tea Cakes are LIFE!
A vegetation Scottish breakfast is pretty legit. Potato scones are AMAZING.
Scottish pancakes are seriously amazing. I’d trade in the American ones ANY DAY.
Have you ever seen a longer sausage ever in your life?
This was the day I wondered how far I could really push the sugar intake. And, I think the word is ‘glutton’, not ‘lush’…
Underneath those delectable-looking rainbow sprinkles is honey raspberry oat ice cream. AMAAAAAAAAZING.
I saw these everywhere. I always thought my sugar obsession knew no bounds. I could never let myself buy one of these. I’m still really regretting that decision. How will I ever know how dreamy they are now?
The beer was on point. And, on tap.
Remember how I mentioned Scottish tablets? Well, this is Scottish tablet ice cream. I almost fell down dead it was that good.
I discovered my love of shandys at The Corner House Hotel in Annan, Scotland.
The.best.mushroom.risotto.of.my.life
I ordered the vegetarian Scottish breakfast (because nitrates are a huge migraine trigger for me) and Mark, the guy running the hotel, kept asking me how my fake breakfast was!
The owners of The Stable in Brattleby left us a lemon curd cake that wasn’t just super kind, it was to.die.for!
I became full-on obsessed with hazelnut soya or oat milk lattes. I got one literally everywhere we stopped.
I found these almost-too-adorable-to-eat sprinkled donuts in Tesco.
Banoffee Pie at The Stables At Chatsworth House. It wasn’t until I got home that I put two and two together and realized ‘banoffee’ is ‘banana’ and ‘toffee’ put together. How clever (unlike me)!
When you think you’re being responsible by only getting a half pint, but then you end up getting four of them.
I met another fabulous blogger and friend at an amazing restaurant in Leeds that looked out over the city. These were some kind of ravioli and they were amazing.
This is a “whippy”ice cream with hazelnut sauce that I took a picture of in front of some important building in Lincoln. To be honest, I was only thinking about not losing my precious ice cream.
This was the best fish and chips we had on the trip. It only makes sense, because we had them at a local institution in the seaside town of Deal, England.
Day drinking on a Sunday right outside Canterbury Cathedral, but it was OK, because any behavior on vacation is acceptable. Duh.
The hipster avocado toast was alright, but cold pork pie with strange gelatinous filling is just not my favorite.
When in Cornwall (Please excuse my nails here and really, in every picture. I’m so embarrassed)…
We had a Pimm’s Cup right in front of Highclere Castle. Be jealous. It’s OK.
I would kill for an English scone served with clotted cream and jam!
A goat cheese tart and beautiful garden salad in Port Isaac. I really am having withdrawals now.
I can’t even remember what flavor this was because I was too bummed that my pic of my ice cream and the beautiful scenery would be tarnished by the cars in the parking lot. It’s a hard knock life for a loser Instagram addict.
I HAD to try a jacket potato with Heinz beans. It was fart- I mean- fantastic.
Just living the crammed-in-the-backseat-of-a-car-travel life. At least I had my Costa.
We almost missed our ferry to Dublin. Like, threw-our-luggage-dirty-underwear-flying-out-of-the-car-running-screaming-into-the-ferry-terminal almost missed it, so we all had a much-needed adult beverage on the ride over.
In a sea of gourmet, all-you-can-eat breakfast foods at our swanky Dublin hotel, what did I find to eat? Poop on toast? No, my friends, that’s Nutella. When spread onto toasted bread, it has magical healing powers (don’t tell anyone, but I also ate a waffle that same morning).
Guinness at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin? Duh.
The ice cream place at Kylemore Abbey closed before I could get a real ice cream. I had to settle for a freezer-burned Ben & Jerry’s ice cream sandwich. What will people think of me now?
This strange concoction of tart fruit and vanilla ice cream worked. It was so good.
There ain’t nothin better than putting your toes in the sand while you eat a “whippy” ice cream. Except when you get to do it at Inch Beach on the Dingle Peninsula…
These mussels we had in Dingle Town were magnificent.
The best fish cake I’ve ever, ever had!

I can’t believe my little trip down food memory lane is almost over. What was your best travel meal or treat? Let me know in the comments!

The Isle of Skye: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

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The Isle of Skye is legit an otherworldly realm straight out of a Tolkien novel. One moment, you’re bumping along on a lovely one lane road riddled with potholes, surrounded by strangely-shaped mountains carpeted completely in a soft green and then, you round a bend and you’re somehow in a rough, craggy atmosphere, where a purpley-brown growth is springing out of a mist-covered ground and you are convinced you somehow landed on a planet not in our solar system.

(That was the longest fucking sentence I’ve ever written. It’s probably not even grammatically correct, but we’re just gonna roll with it.)

This is not a homage to Skye. In fact, my favorite part of Skye really had nothing to do with the actual place, as I could have met one of my favorite bloggers (more on that later) in Timbuktu if that was where she lived (and I happened to be traveling to Timbuktu).

This is going to be a post that fully prepares anyone wishing to go to Skye for the good, the bad, and the ugly.

So, let’s just get on with it, eh?

The Good

Really, the best way to show the good side of Skye would be with the pictures I took. So, I’m going to show and not tell. Besides, even my amateur photography would better serve to express its raw beauty than any vocabulary I possess.

This was 10 PM on the Isle of Skye. 

That water, though…

Every conceivable shade of green can be found on Skye.

The coolest coffee shop that served me the best latte I’ve ever had.

The best latte I’ve ever had and my first time trying oat milk = OBSESSED.

Beauty around every bend

The skies really made that green pop.

An old cemetery by the sea

Too beautiful for words

The sheep. OMG the sheep. I loved them so much. I miss those wooly butts so bad.

A stretch of road with no one on it is how I hoped it’d be.

It was so quiet and peaceful at this spot. Right here. Right here is Scotland to me.

It legit looks fake.

What planet is this even?

Out of this freaking world!

Being introspective af

I really hoped we’d see a hobbit at the Fairy Glen.

This is Skye.

This is the Skye I want to never forget.

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A tiny Old Man of Storr 

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Hehehehehe

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Portree

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We got to this one before the hordes invaded.

The Bad

The Roads

Holy shit, the roads. Probably 90% of the roads on Skye are one lane. I don’t even know if that figure is at all accurate, but numbers don’t matter here. You’re gonna feel those one-laners and that’s all that matters.

Not only are the majority of the roads one lane, they are full of locals who don’t have time for tourists and their inept driving. One thing can be said about those locals: they have a system and they all religiously abide by it (You pull over if the pullout is on your side. If it’s on the other side DO NOT, FOR FUCKS SAKE, PULL OVER ON THE OTHER SIDE OR YOU MESS UP THE WHOLE SYSTEM, JANET.)

So, yeah, the actual Skye residents drive like bats out of hell and literally everyone else has no idea what they’re doing.

As if that ain’t bad enough, after every other sheep in the road (that’s not a figure of speech, btw, they are literally in the road) is a pothole the size of any one of the Kardashians’ massive fake asses, and considering the entire island is only 639 square miles, that’s a lot of freaking potholes.

Our rental car probably needed all new suspension after a week of those roads, and my chiropractor is rolling in the dough (literally and figuratively).

The Tourists

So, yeah, we were tourists, but we weren’t those tourists. We weren’t touristy tourists. We weren’t literally-push-like-we’re-in-Kindergarten-tourists.

Actually, I encountered pushy, rude tourists the most in really crowded touristy places like Edinburgh Castle and the like.

I don’t recall any one tourist from the Isle of Skye, but that is probably because we encountered 8,565,723 of them. To be fucking precise.

I get it, people want to see beautiful places. We all want to see The Old Man of Storr, the Fairy Pools, the Quiraing. Realizing that doesn’t make it any less annoying that you and literally everyone’s brother are trampling along to see a famous rock structure and not one bit of it feels like it should.

When you look at pictures of Skye, it looks so unspoiled, unpopulated, “unruined”. Unless you’re visiting during the off season, those remote-looking images are straight up false advertisement. It’s hard to take in and truly appreciate the raw natural beauty of the Quiraing when you’re fighting with hordes of tourists with their selfie sticks.

There were quite a few times we drove by beautiful waterfalls or odd-shaped alien formations and didn’t stop because the area would be literally crawling with people.

My favorite waterfall was this one…

…because strangely, we were alone on the road, and there was not a single person for as far as the eye could see. We barely caught a glimpse of the waterfall as we passed, so we stopped so I could run back to take a picture. As I was heading back towards the waterfall, the only sound I could hear was the sound of rushing water and just the wildness that Skye is when it isn’t overrun by people. It was my favorite moment, hands down.

Alone on the road with this made me feel so completely in Scotland.

The Ugly

The Lack of Amenities

The bladder is a sympathetic organ. It feels bad for you when there are no bathrooms anywhere to be found. So, to show how sorry it is, it makes you need to go to the bathroom far more often than is even humanly possible. The bladder is also a stupid asshole.

You know who else is a stupid asshole? The Isle of Skye.

Ya’ll, there are literally no public toilets on the entirety of the whole damn island. Maybe that’s an exaggeration as we didn’t explore every square inch, but where we did go, we didn’t see one. Not a one.

What is the result when a council/area/agency fails to provide public restrooms at popular tourist sites?

Well, let me fucking tell you.

TOILET PAPER EVERYWHERE. EVERYWHERE.

You have no idea the amount of stress I had knowing the bathrooms would be few and far between. And, that wherever I’d find to “wee” behind a bush, there’d already be toilet paper and I DON’T EVEN WANT TO THINK WHAT ELSE.

It was gross. Inexcusable. And, exactly what happens when a place is perfectly happy taking tourists’ money but can’t be bothered to provide sanitary ways to relieve oneself.

I’m just glad that one of my fears- having an attack of the travel trickle in the middle of nowhere- was never realized, because I really didn’t want that to be the highlight of my time on Skye.

The Locals Who Are Jerks

When we arrived in Portree on our first night, it was a really busy Saturday evening. The tiny Co-Op grocery store was a happening place, as everyone was trying to get their provisions for the evening. There is next to no parking in Portree, but we somehow lucked out with a spot directly in front of the store. In case we needed to move the car for some reason, my aunt and uncle stayed in the car and my mom and I went into the store.

As we were looking for a handful of basic groceries, my aunt was approached by a woman who ever so nicely (that’s sarcasm) told her she couldn’t park in the spot we were in all night. My aunt said something like, “We weren’t planning on staying in the grocery store all night, but thanks…”

This woman then proceeded to tell her how annoying tourists are and how she can’t stand them.

She said this to a person who is obviously not a Skye local, but a fucking tourist.

Our first introduction to the Isle of Skye was a woman who told us how much she hated us.

Awesome.

There were a few people who were kind and accommodating, but for the most part, the people we encountered on the Isle of Skye weren’t especially nice.

Even worse, we were told that the general consensus is that tourists suck and that fixing the roads or the lack of amenities is totally not worth it, but the money they get from the hated tourists? They’re cool with that.

Look, I get it. Tourists can suck. Especially the ones who push you out of the way so they can take 18 different selfies in front of whatever isn’t quite as cool as they are. If you live in a touristy town, hordes of tourists invading your area can get old pretty fast, but being rude isn’t going to make them go away.

What took away some of the sting of being treated like an invasive species was getting to meet one of my favorite bloggers, Lorna, from Gin & Lemonade.

Her and her hubby and darling daughter were so accommodating, kind, and an immense treat to spend time with. Because of them, I’ll always love Skye and when I think of my time there, I’ll feel a connection that can’t just be made by merely seeing and visiting, but by experiencing and truly getting to know the good that exists there.

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MASSIVE love to these people.

If you’re reading this and you’re a Skye local and you take offense, take it up with the lady who stands outside the Bank Street Co-Op-the one who warmly welcomes your guests.

Travel Tuesday Update on a…Monday?

In case you’re new here or have been on a blogging hiatus like me, you know I went on a pretty epic trip this summer.

I’m sure you’re all thinking, “Yes, bitch, we know. Shut up about it already.”

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but ya’ll are gonna be hearing a lot about it in the coming months. Sorry not sorry.

I went to Amsterdam, Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland. In that order. It was amazing and I’m still coming down from the cherry Bakewell tart high.

I have a journal *almost* filled to the brink with what we did every day and a page in my Notes with random observations, delicious food I didn’t want to forget I ate (as if) and funny tales of tonight-we-aren’t-gonna-drink-wine-again fails.

I’m not going to post in order of what event happened first. Whatever I’m inspired to write about will be written about first. I’m not a very organized writer at all. So, bear with me.

First up, hopefully arriving in your inbox and/or reader on Tuesday or Thursday, is a post about my experience on the Isle of Skye. Prepare yourselves, this won’t be just another sunshine and unicorn farts Pinterest post on Skye that just skims over what to expect. It’s about to get real up in here (Toilet paper and goats in the road and people everywhere, OH MY).

You thought this would be a real post, didn’t you? I’m such a fucking disappointment. Or, a tease. Sorry.

Before I leave, here’s my favorite picture I took while on Skye. I don’t want you thinking I didn’t like it or anything…

The Quiraing. Impossibly beautiful.

See ya’ll on Tuesday…or Thursday!

Global Warming Ruined My Trip to The British Isles

OK. So, global warming didn’t really ruin my trip, but it definitely whooped my ass pretty good and hard.

Hiding from the sun at Roche Abbey.

I got back from my five-week-long trip last Friday and my brain is just now starting to function again. I felt pretty discombobulated and spacey for several days after being awake for 24+ hours as I crossed four time zones on my long trip home.

I completely blanked on my dentist appointment the other day that I had rescheduled twice (currently looking for a new dentist, because I can’t show my face there now) and I’ve woken up every morning at 3 AM ready to rock and roll. Jet lag is real.

Or, maybe I had heat stroke and it’s still affecting my brain?

Yes, heat stroke.

You might not be aware, but the U.K. (and Ireland and probably most of Europe) is having a heat wave of epic proportions right now. We touched down right in the middle of this insanity.

I was not fully prepared.

I packed layers. I packed sweaters. A knit hat. Scarves. Long sleeves. A fucking coat.

We had a few glorious days in Scotland where a sweater and a coat was necessary. After that, Mother Nature said a big “Eff you” to my plans of having a lovely, cool, “typical” British summer.

The kind of summer where I get to wear layers to cover my never-ready-for-summer-body is precisely the kind of summer I want to have. (Edinburgh Castle)

There were a couple of days on the Isle of Skye when it was so chilly, I couldn’t get warm and it was everything I hoped it’d be.

(The Skye Museum of Island Life)

Crazily, it never reached higher than 85 degrees, but it felt like it was way hotter. Way.

WANT TO KNOW WHY?

1. It was pretty humid and humidity makes things that much more awesome.

Where I live, it’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach triple digits in the summer. It blows. I hate the heat. I hate the heat even more than I hate low carb diets. It’s that serious. However, if I had to choose my heat, I’d choose dry heat a million times over humidity. 77 and humid feels like dying a slow death on the surface of the sun.

2. There was no AC in most places. I repeat: NO AIR CONDITIONING (this included no trace of a fan anywhere).

When the weather normally only gets uncomfortable for a couple times a year, it’s not smart to invest in an air conditioning system. I get it. I was prepared for the no AC thing, because it wasn’t my first time in the U.K. I could have handled the odd couple of days of uncomfortable heat, but it was hot LIKE EVERYDAY.

It wouldn’t have been too horrible, but the places we lived in for up to a week had nothing to move the hot air around with. When you only have three pairs of pants that you plan on wearing more than once, it kind of sucks that you have swamp ass from sun up to sun down.

3. HEAVY DUVETS EVERYWHERE

So, it was hot. It wasn’t the end of the world. We were on a dream trip and we enjoyed every sweaty moment of it. I soon got used to feeling damp on every inch of my body, but what I never got used to was the lack of a certain essential element of American bedding- the top sheet (also referred to as a flat sheet).

Had it not been hot and muggy most nights, a heavy duvet wouldn’t have been a problem at all. However, when you’re a freak about your bedding and you have to be covered with something, the lack of a thin, cool flat sheet was really fucking terrible.

I’m sorry to every owner of every bed we slept in. The smell will probably never come out.

The one night my mom and I thought we were smart and took the cover off the duvets and just slept with the covers, it got really cold. Of-fucking-course.

So, that’s how global warming ruined my ideal British summer. Is there somewhere I can send my complaint to?


I am so excited to be back (well, actually, I’m really missing proper scones with clotted cream and jam, British pints, Mr. Kipling Bakewell Tarts, M&S Percy gum, and English mustard and ham crisps, but I’m dealing) and I’m ready to share all about our trip of a lifetime.

Check back each week for another travel satire post!


This is a satirical post, but global warming is real and it’s happening, ya’ll. When we were in Dublin, the server at a pub we went to said Ireland was on a 40-day no rain streak and he had never seen so many days without rain. This broke my heart, because what makes Ireland beautiful is the presence of rain-lots of it.

I know I’ll get some comments about global warming. I’m really not up for a debate on something that has tons of scientific evidence backing it up. If you do want to leave me a comment, please let me know what you think about this warm (hot) weather in Britain and elsewhere (if it applies). Or, tell me about a time you had some surprise weather on a trip.

Vaarwel and Chì Mi Fhathast Thu

Look at how fancy pants I am with my super cool post title in, not one language, but two.

Fancy like this

Bonus points if you can tell me what two languages and what it says. I’m really counting on Google Translate for not messing this up and making me look like an idiot.

So, yeah, I’m leaving on a jet plane. It’s possible that while you’re reading this, I’m on a plane, squeezing the armrests as if that will somehow help steer the plane in any direction that will get us to our destination in one piece. I’m not a good flyer (sorry for the nervous farts).

So, yeah, I’ll be out of the country for a little more than five weeks.

This means I will, likely, not have time to read, comment on, or like your blog posts. I’ll try, but I can’t make any promises.

I might also not have much time to post, other than updates here and there.

So hang in there, don’t give up on me, and wish me luck in returning safely, ready to blog about my adventures.

Bye, babies!

Source

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Eight years ago, I took my first trip to the British Isles. It was a graduation gift from my parents (More like a graduation incentive–my mom begged me to finally graduate and going on an-all-expenses-paid trip was my motivation. You can bet your ass I made school my bitch after hearing I’d be sent across the pond after receiving my Bachelor’s).

The fact that my parents literally wrote me a $5000 check (that I had to pry out of my dad’s hands) to have the trip of a lifetime is something I can never adequately thank them enough for. It was a life-altering experience that I relive in my heart time and time again.

Now, forty five years after my mother went to England, herself, for the first time, she gets to go again. We get to go together.

I’m fully expecting a lot of laughs, maybe some tears, and for sure, some annoyances, but I only wish for this trip to be an experience we recall fondly for years to come.

In honor of my last trip, and in excitement and anticipation for the one coming up, I’m sharing some of my favorite pictures from The British Isles 2010.

Be aware that I’m not a photographer in the least, and my photos were taken with a $100 pink Samsung digital camera.

Some will be terrible. A few will be blurry. More than a couple will have random people or strange angles. None have filters. I also took these from my Facebook, so they’ll be terrible quality. But, aren’t semi-terrible photos all part of the fun?

Buckle your seatbelts, baby! Here we go!

Hands down, the coolest plane picture I’ve ever taken. I think this is the southern-most tip of Greenland.

A view of London from the window (that didn’t have a screen) of our hotel room. We stayed in Earl’s Court, which is a gorgeous district in Kensington.

Our hotel in London. It was definitely not a Marriott, but it was perfection.

Our London neighborhood. Those row houses, though.

I still crave Nando’s, and who knew you needed sunscreen in England??

This Maida Vale pub just screamed England to me. It was here we found out what Russel Brand meant when he sang, “Will you come for my bangers, my beans and mash”. Or, maybe he means something else.

I distinctly remember this was the moment I almost pooped my pants. I also recall thinking, “This is how we die.”

We took the train from Birmingham to Coventry, because driving was a big “NOPE” (I eventually got brave and became one of the most proficient American drivers the British Isles has ever had the good fortune to host). This is Coventry Cathedral. It was hauntingly beautiful.

Did ya’ll know Lady Godiva is one of my ancestors? It’s true. I was so excited to visit her statue, but, sadly…

…it’s not quite as grand as Primark.

Wait, y’all have dollar stores too, but everything is a pound (which is like a dollar, but not)? Mind blown.

British motorway rest stops are like freaking palaces!

The Conwy Castle ruins in Wales was my favorite castle. We were there, exploring, for hours.

The flowers growing out of the castle walls were almost too quaint.

I mean, just look at this!

Who knew one could find palm trees in Britain? Llandudno was exquisite.

I.did.not.want.to.leave.

WTF? I ate one. That’ll show them.

This was our one splurge stay. This is the Radisson Blu in Dublin. The grounds were my favorite part. This is where we discovered that Ireland’s air conditioning is not like “our” air conditioning. Hot.as.balls.

Kilkenny was quaint af. We wanted to stay at this hotel. It was way out of our budget, so the Pembroke Hotel was the lucky winner of hosting us for our barf-tastic wild Irish night.

TOO MUCH PRETTY

Y’all think this person likes Elvis?

It’s almost just as romantic as Italy. Except they were laying on the concrete in a pretty sketchy part of town outside an apartment building. Young love.

But, someone left kegs there. I found this way funnier than it really was.

Blarney Castle was awesome. I didn’t kiss the Blarney Stone, because Rick Steves said I’d get the herp if I did.

Eeeeeeeeeeeee

Seriously, I felt like I was on another planet while walking the grounds at Blarney Castle. It was otherworldly GORGEOUS.

The drive to Dingle Town, while poop-your-pants-scary was stunningly beautiful at the same time. It was a conflicting feeling.

Dingle Town! I couldn’t even with the adorableness!

I’ve never seen so much green.

Galway was a lively city full of sounds, smells and so many people. The energy was palpable.

Galway also has weird af people who put their gum on a public railing, that is literally right next people playing Scrabble, to eat their chips. She then just left it there.

Kinlay Hostel in Galway was our first dorm-style hostel and the entire night I was literally sweating profusely from the fear that people would come into our room and I’d have to share a room with…STRANGERS. No one came. THANK GOD.

Some ruins and a rainbow effect. No big

Some more ruins and some dark, foreboding clouds. This is like travel picture porn to me.

Ever been to Newgrange? They are prehistoric mounds that are older than the pyramids. Anyone else use the Egyptian pyramids as a gauge for how old something is?

A super narrow alley in Edinburgh we named “Stab Alley”. Not exactly sure why.

Edinburgh was my favorite. I have this one in black and white on my wall. Love.

Edinburgh Castle was too much. Too.much.

The views from the castle are AMAZING AF. Scotland is just the absolute best.

You never know who you’ll find on the streets of Edinburgh.

Loch Ness, my love. TOO BEAUTIFUL. Too.freaking.beautiful.

This path cutting through these delicate wildflowers led to the banks of Loch Ness. It was MAGICAL.

No words needed. Those are words, but, you know what I mean.

I could have stayed on the banks of this river in Inverness FOREVER.

This was taken somewhere between Inverness and Edinburgh. I didn’t realize Scotland was so green.

This was taken from Oxford Castle. Oh, England. You hurt my heart. You’re just too beautiful

Here I am in the haunted Oxford Castle. What haunts me to this day is how I thought I was fat. I wish I were as fat as I was when I thought I was fat, cuz, honey, now I’m fat.

The winding streets of Oxford. I felt studious and smart af in Oxford.

Oh my (said in a George Takei voice).

The River Thames. Le sigh.

The River Hotel was, bar none, the most *interesting* hotels we stayed at. There was the case of the stubborn pube (it was sitting there, on the bathroom floor waiting for us when we checked in and still there after the bathroom was “cleaned”). Then there was the fact every surface in the room had, at least, an inch of dust. Of course, I can’t forget the old lady receptionist who was meaner than a dog shitting tacks. And, of course that we were put in the Annexe, where all of the Americans and other unfavorables get a room. What a trip.

I was speechless the entire time we toured Westminster Abbey. If walls could talk.

When I first saw Big Ben, I knew I was finally in London (This is confusing as my pictures go in order, and I, obviously, was already in London. We started and ended in London. My second set of Big Ben pictures was much better than the ones I took three weeks prior, when I was still a London newbie).

Rick Steves told us not to waste our money on the London Eye, so we didn’t. I’m still not sure if I’m mad at Rick or not.

The only picture I got of the London Bridge.

I think this is Covent Garden. What I do know is we ate at a tiny Italian restaurant in this neighborhood. I had Chicken Carbonara. I never forget food.

One of my London “must dos” was to see a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. That was before a full day of walking. Also, before we realized that why our tickets were so cheap was because our “seats” were in the pit and we had to stand for all three hours of the play. Spoiler alert: we didn’t stay for the whole play.

Now I’m so excited for my trip and ya’ll are probably bored after looking through some random’s pictures.

So, tell me, what’s your favorite “take away” from a trip? Is it a souvenir, new knowledge, pictures, or something else? Tell me in the comments!

The Fatty in Denial Diet Shtick

In case you haven’t caught the 872 times I’ve mentioned my trip coming up, I’m heading across the pond in just a little more than a week!

Way back in January, after making our first of many house stay reservations and the like, I remember thinking, “Well, shit, I can’t go on this trip with these fat rolls and bingo wings!”

Thus began what I call The Fatty in Denial Diet Shtick.

It’s a cyclical shit show of epic proportions. It’s something I do every time I have a reason to “finally” lose the weight. It’s a really fun game, amusement, joke.

Step 1: Realization

OMG! Amsterdam can’t know I’m fat!

It’s not like my thighs conducting heat when they are rubbed together as I walk or the fact that my jeans (when I wear the fuckers) have cut a permanent line into my fat don’t remind me of my overly bodacious bod, but the realization that I’ll be fat in another time zone and completely out of my comfort zone usually snaps me right back to cold, hard reality.

Step 2: The Game Plan

It’s time to finally get serious and open the Weight Watchers app I’m paying $20 a month for.

No more soda. No more white bread. No more sugar. No more happiness. Quit crying.

Join a damn gym or at least go to a yoga class once a week, shit.

Walk every day. Literally, rain or fucking shine.

Do leg lifts and squats while my students are testing. They won’t think I’m weird. I mean, they pick their noses literally while staring me down, so we’ll be even.

Buy diet pills on Amazon. All of the legit diet pills come from Mexico.

Take B-12 drops. They give me horrific gas, but too.freaking.bad.

All of the diet and fitness ideas and quick fixes found on Pinterest are explored. No obese stone can be left unturned.

Step 3: Actually Acting on the Plan

After making really big plans and promises that totally aren’t unrealistic at all, I settle on just counting Weight Watchers points and walking. It’s what worked ten years ago, when I was young. It’ll totally work now.

I usually set off with gusto, buying pounds of $60 coconut flour, enough carrot sticks for a horse show, a pallet of eggs, and 18 spaghetti squash (squashes?).

I was taking-a-fitness-picture-for-Instagram-serious about getting my fitness on.

Step 4: Going Hard and Heavy

…for a week.

Right as it starts getting really shitty and downright depressing that my days start with farty eggs and boring coffee, I start to relax the rules a little bit give up completely.

That totally looks like a cup. Well, maybe just a little more and it’ll be a cup (it’s usually three cups)

Granola is better than a glazed cake donut, so…

One bite is like no points at all. Yes, even when I take 15 bites. 15 zero point bites is still zero. I know math.

Step 5: Counting the Amount of Days Remaining Before the Event

If I have several months before I need to lose the weight, I can relax on the diet, because losing 20 pounds in a month is totally doable.

Why the hell am I already making myself miserable? I don’t need to start really getting serious for at least another month or two.

Step 6: An Upper Cut to the Double Chin AKA Sabotage

After months of telling myself I have “x amount of months” until I need to really get serious, it’s now D-Day. Inevitably, the following will occur to derail any semblance of the perfect diet plan I made so many moons ago, when I was still young and full of hope:

Birthdays

Holidays

Teacher Appreciation Week

Movies

Donuts in the staff lounge

National Pizza Day

The kick off to Food Truck Friday

92 I-had-a-bad-day-Costco-sized-popcorn-and-Reese’s-Pieces pig outs

Sunday Brunch

Friday

Monday

A new donut shop within walking distance

I can’t go to the movies and not get popcorn. Like, it’s against the natural order of things. The popcorn is not in the picture, because I ate it before the movie even started.

Step 7: Defeat and Denial

Once the day that I-can-still-maybe-lose-a-few-pounds-if-I-really-try-hard comes and goes with a cloud of Cheetos dust, the defeat and denial sets in.

I mean, it’s pointless now, so I might as well eat those cupcakes I saw in the staff lounge.

Half of a watermelon in one sitting is healthy.

I gave it the old college try.

Step 8: Fuck Yo Couch

So what if I didn’t lose any weight? I didn’t gain any either. So, I basically met my goal. Europe is gonna get whatever body I give it, dammit.

Step 9: There’s Always Next Time

This one doesn’t even need a description.


In order to not disrupt the fragile space-time continuum, these steps are on an infinite loop until the end of time.

Do you follow the same steps? Did I miss one? Share your tips for not losing weight or getting in shape for an important event or milestone in your life. I can’t wait to hear how else I can fail miserably!

Third Funniest Blogger, Baby!

I’m still positively shocked that anyone other than my mom thinks I’m funny. I mean, I occasionally make myself laugh, but sometimes I think I’ll eventually wake up. But, I don’t think this is just a dream, guys. I was voted 3rd Funniest in the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. That must mean it’s really true. I’m kinda officially funny.

I’m so incredibly honored and excited to have made 3rd, ya’ll.

I was so excited and apprehensive the night before the awards (that happened in London, btw), I had horrible nightmares all.night.long.

They ranged from your usual holy-shit-I-forgot-pants-and-I’m suddenly-on-stage-in-front-of-a-room-full-of-people to the nightmare that I didn’t place.

See, these awards mean so much to me. Like, so.much. The excitement and anticipation leading up to the event was even better than a cupcake high.

Not only does winning an award help validate the fact that I call myself a humor blogger, the ABBA originated from the U.K. My Anglophile self is geeking out big time.

Not only do I feel pretty dang proud, I feel so lucky to have the readers I do. This was all thanks to YOU.

To those who took the time to vote for me, to those who take time out of their lives to read my words, to those who have liked, commented, shared, spread the word, THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

I’m immensely lucky for you all.

I also want to say a huge thank you to the ABBA committee. You have spent an immeasurable amount of time, heart, and thought into putting these awards together. Not only that, you’ve created an event that so many people have to look forward to and be excited about. So, thank you.

This is how I celebrated. Maybe I should be Fatty McDonuts.

How to Worry About Your Upcoming Trip in Four Easy Ways

Want to hear something certifiably insane? It’s less than one month until my big trip this summer and I’m obsessing over every conceivable eventuality. I’m not 100% crazy, so in between night sweats and uncontrollable fingernail biting, I’m daydreaming of the lush English countryside and some Patat Frites with a massive dollop of mayonnaise in Amsterdam.

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But, yeah, the majority of my headspace right now is straight up looney tunes. Here, have a little look-see:

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What if I made a mistake and I can’t really afford this like at all?

Is five weeks an insane time to be away?

What if the plane crashes?

What if my baggage is lost forever and I forget emergency underwear in my carry on?

What if I forget my leg (mustache) shaver?

What if I can’t bring my leg (mustache) shaver on the plane?

Are we all, including our luggage, going to fit in the Vauxhall we’re renting?

What if the plane crashes?

What if all the clothes I’m planning on bringing look hideous on me?

What if I get diarrhea in the middle of the English countryside?

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What if our houseboat in Amsterdam sinks in the night?

What if every one of the 3,492 times I looked at my passport expiration date, I looked at it wrong and it really is expired?

What if I get really bad gas on the plane?

What if I get a migraine or cramps right before going into Anne Frank’s house and I can’t fully appreciate the life-altering experience?

What if I can’t sleep on the plane?

What if one or more of our house-stays have bed bugs?

What if we all just want to kill each other?

What if I contract Ebola on the plane?

What if someone steals my phone and I can’t take pictures of the rest of the trip?

What if…

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If you really want to enjoy your trip planning just like me, worry about every single inconsequential detail to the point of madness. Here’s how:

Step 1: Second Guess Every Choice

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From plane ticket buyer’s remorse to vacation locale, second guessing every single choice you’ve made while planning your trip is a sure fire way to drive yourself to spend all of your saved trip money on drink. It’s not a successful vacation unless every single detail of it has been picked apart and turned inside out. It doesn’t say I’m-having-the-time-of-my-life-planning-my-dream-vacation like obsessively wondering how much you could have saved on your plane tickets had you booked a week later or earlier (or if you had booked on a Tuesday at 2 PM like every travel blog says to do) or compulsively checking for a better hotel after you’ve made non-refundable reservations.

Step 2: Procrastinate All Planning Tasks

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When you have a lot to plan, your time would be much better spent binging on The Office (which you’ve watched in entirety 18 different times) or cleaning your oven. It’s not like planning for a trip isn’t fun, but it’s overwhelming af to compare train tickets with Easy Jet tickets or trying to figure out air travel time and time zones. Even worse is figuring out which historic pass covers which historical site you want to see, because, naturally, they don’t cover all of the places you want to see, so to make buying the pass cost effective, you need to figure out entrance fees for all of the 874 sites you want to see (because that’s some tedious shit, you just buy all of the passes and hope for the best). This is why travel agents are still a thing.

Step 3: Worry About Every Single Hypothetical Situation

Travel anxiety almost always stems from one of three major fears (in no particular order)-

  • Plane, train or some other transportation freak accident/death
  • Becoming ill due to sickness or food poisoning during a really inconvenient time (like in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge in standstill traffic, for example)
  • Losing or having your luggage, your camera/phone, money and/or an important document, like your passport stolen

These sound like pretty logical things to be concerned about and prepared for. Any savvy traveler would have procedures and plans in place to help minimize any of these things occurring (Well, except planning to avoid a fiery plane death. I don’t think there’s anything you, as a layperson, can do to influence fate like that. It there is, please message me with every single detail).

If you’re losing sleep over worrying if you’ll be suddenly struck with diarrhea on a crowded underground train or in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, so you start hoarding Imodium, you’re worrying about your trip the right way.

If you come across a story about a freak accident on a plane, so you google for more plane accidents that include the same keywords and suddenly it’s 2 AM and you’re in deep in some really serious conspiracy theories you found after digging through the deepest, most clandestine corners of the dark web, you’re basically winning at being the right kind of savvy traveler.

If you’ve Googled “can houseboats easily sink while you’re sleeping and you won’t know it”, you’re a downright pro.

If the majority of the items in your carry on bag are mini bottles of Lysol spray, travel Clorox wipes, a year’s worth of Airborne, and more than one surgical face mask, you’re basically the travel worrier god.

Traveling is exciting and so, so worrisome. Don’t forget the Xanax!

4. Obsess About Every Single Travel Purchase Decision

Do you like how I moved the text up so you could see Karl’s magnificent boots?

Its a big deal picking out something you need/want to use on your travels. One of these crucial purchases you will need to make is travel sandals (well, if you’re traveling somewhere warm, anyway). If you want comfort without Velcro and style without flat soles, prepare yourself to really go unhinged.

In order to properly stress yourself out during sandal shopping:

1. Ask for recommendations from people that you won’t listen to at all, but still waste everyone’s time, because it’s all part of the process.

2. Find one “comfort” pair of sandals that look stylish enough that are insanely expensive, but rationalize that your feet deserve better than $2 Old Navy flip flops.

3. When you receive your order of $800 sandals, go into a deep depression because they are just made of cheap plastic and are not, in fact, gold-plated.

4. Return the sandals by mail, which will include finding/buying a box that will fit the shoebox (because, naturally, you threw the box it was delivered in away), forgetting the return slip that needs to be placed in the box, and taking no less than two trips to UPS.

5. Buy the cheap pair of sandals you were going to get anyway.

6. Repeat above steps with LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE YOU BUY FOR THE TRIP.

The above steps can and will stress out even the most calm, savvy traveler. If the preparations are getting you down and you need an escape from the stress and you’re getting nowhere with your mantra of “WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING?”, try one of these handy ways to de-stress below:

1. Drink heavily.

2. Take a whole Xanax (halvesies are for wimps)

3. Inhale any available carb (cake is particularly medicinal)

4. Binge trashy reality TV (because basically any show on TLC will make things seem a lot brighter in your own world)

I hope you’re able to be all-consumed by every one of the minuscule details of your trip just like I am. It’s really the only way to “do” travel.

Bon voyage!

Trip anxiety is a real bitch, ain’t it? Obviously, this is a highly exaggerated account of my own trip worries and concerns, but I’d be lying if I said one or more of these thoughts haven’t raced through my head multiple times over the course of the last few months. If you really are anxious about your upcoming travels, talk it out with someone. Hell, message Fatty. We’ll talk it out. I’ve also found going on walks through my neighborhood, blasting music that gives me feels while I take a drive right after the sun sets, and funny dog videos helps me ease my anxiety. Travel is one of the greatest experiences in life, but only when you’re sane enough to appreciate it. Love and cupcakes.

Bitty Blog Break

Hey, ya’ll!

Let’s just cut right to the chase.

I’ve been majorly stretching myself too thin. I’ve been trying to plan a huge, five week-long trip while teaching and working a side hustle.

Add trying to keep my home decent-looking, trying to eat healthier, attempting to get my 10,000 steps in everyday (epically failing, btw), running a Facebook group, and trying to have enough passion and energy to write and you have a pretty epic shit show.

Really, I’m managing fine, but I’m not enjoying the writing process and I’ve not felt inspired to write. I’m also not crazy excited with what I’ve put out there.

When this happens (because it happens, ya’ll) I have to just take a step back, recharge, and work on a little self care.

And, if I’m being candid here, I just need plenty of time to sit on my couch thinking about nothing, being a fat piece of poop in order to feel like myself.

I just need a little binge-a-show-I’ve-seen-a-million-times-time

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I’m hoping I’ll be able to write some more travel-themed posts before the big trip, but I’m not making any promises.

I hope ya’ll don’t give up on me.

Love and Cupcakes!