Visit Scotland: Celebrate Burns Night in Edinburgh

Edinburgh

I have visited Edinburgh pre-kid day but I still long for the day that we can take the kids to visit Edinburgh and Scotland soon. Now that they have watched ‘Brave’ movie, I think they are even more interested in Scotland than before. So today, I’m glad to share a post about visiting Edinburgh during one of their popular event to celebrate Robert Burns.

Commemorating a Prolific Poet: Burns Night in Edinburgh

 

Robert Burns

The celebration of the life of Robert Burns is a popular tradition in Scotland. The notorious poet, who was born on 25th January 1759, unites Scotsmen and tourists alike, in a commemoration of one of the most powerful and talented poets to ever live.

Whether you’re an aficionado of Burns’ poetry, a local Scot or just someone who wants to appreciate the life and works of Robert Burns, Burns Night is a custom that will leave you satisfied. Spend the night in Edinburgh and enjoy the festivities that are organised during the day and evening. You can find great deals on hotels in Edinburgh, meaning that it will be an affordable, yet rewarding, stay.

Ever since the first Burns night was held back in the 18th century, the evening has been an annual occurrence, including formal and informal suppers involving traditional food such as haggis, neaps, tatties and Scotch whiskey.

Burns suppers are traditionally organised to take place all over Scotland, and Edinburgh is no different – if you fancy a piece of heritage and culture, this event is not to be missed. Whether you choose to attend a typical informal pub or opt instead or a more formal restaurant dinner, the formalities are the same and continue to be steeped with history and pride.

As a sign of the end of the winter festival of events, this memorable evening can be enjoyed by people of all ages and all budgets.

If you’re interested in a more lavish affair, head for Prestonfield House on the 31st January for a little luxury and enjoy a dram of whiskey and a three course dinner, along with some fantastic speakers and entertainment following the meal. You can book tickets for this incredible evening now, and cost £50 per person.

Alternatively, opt for a visit to the Whiski Bar for a Burns Supper and some dazzling entertainment. On the 25th January, for £30 each, you can enjoy the traditional fiddle music of Muckle Fuggla, whilst dining on a traditional 3 course meal to include Cock-a-leekie soup, haggis and cranachan.

Haggis Scotland Burns Night

The delectable food combined with the recital of Burns’ “To a Haggis”, followed by the raising of the platter and the exclamation “Gie her a Haggis!” can be expected at formal and informal events to celebrate the life and works of this prolific poet. With light-hearted readings throughout the evening, including “Toast to the Lassies” and the notorious “Auld Lang Syne” – a song that has implanted itself firmly on the musical map.

Even if you’re not as passionate about Robert Burns and his poetic and literary works, the atmosphere that will welcome you at your chosen destination will be magical. The food and drink that flows smoothly is enough for you to have a “braw nicht”.

There are thousands of Burns suppers that are presented all over the world on Burns Night, but there’s no better place to celebrate than in bonnie Scotland. Book your accommodation now and enjoy something a little different, this January.

Photo Credits: Moyan Brenn, LindaHNick in exsilio

This post is sponsored by Travelodge.

Dreaming of: Tuscany With Kids

I have so many dreams of traveling with kids. Europe, Asia, South America and Africa.. The list is endless and I don’t know if we can do it all. But when one of the dream seems to be within reach, it makes the dream even more exciting.

We have been talking about taking the kids backpacking through Europe in the next few years when they will be old enough to take care of some walking without whining.

Tuscany With Kids

But last week, I entered our family photo vacation for a chance to win a week long stay in Italy. Tuscany to be precised. Now, I have to admit when we were talking about Europe I was thinking more about Rome, London, Amsterdam or something in that nature. I didn’t even think about Tuscany.

Now, that there is a chance.. I start to dig more and see what could we do in Tuscany with kids. Will they get bored? We are not wine connoisseurs. Will we enjoy a week out in this beautiful countryside?

The answer is YES.. Big fat YES..

Resources for Things to Do with Kids in Tuscany

There are many more things to do for kids in Tuscany than we can fit into a week. A great resources from Ciao Bambino gives us a good start.

I let my fingers do a little more work and found more information at Children in Tuscany. A great resources for various things to do with kids in Tuscany. Kids will love to climb the Leaning Tower in Pisa, ride the bike in Lucca, climb the bell tower in Siena, and tour the amazing Florence.

The winning prize is a week stay in Casa Cornacchi Country House. The location is perfect for a family home base to explore Tuscany.

Now, why do you care about my dream?

You can help me achieve this dream my dear friends. It’s relatively easy.

How To Help

1. Become a fan of Ciao BambinoCiao Bambino Facebook Fan page (so you can do the next step)

2. Leave a comment on my family photoOur Family Vacation in Macau

That’s it!!! Each comment will give us one vote.

The contest will run until March 12th. So you still have time to help us out.

Cheer to the dream!

You can check out other travelers dream for this Monday at Mother of All Trips.

First photo by Giampaolo Macorig

Travel With Kids: Tips Before You Go to Paris

eiffelatnight

My good friend just recently came back from their Summer vacation in Europe. I’m so excited to talk to her about her experience during her trip. Her first stop was in Paris. She gave me great tips on things that went wrong during her trip.

Double and Triple check your hotel information

When they arrived in Paris to their hotel which they booked online, they were in for a surprise to found that their hotel has no A/C. Apparently, it is typical to a lot of hotels in Paris. This is one thing that I have never known about before but now I know that it will be one of the feature I will make sure to check.

Verify the museum hour for different days of the week

When you travel back and forth between time zone, the jet lag and the date change can get to you. Make sure to double check the date and time of the operating hour as it may be different each day. And check your calendar when you arrive to make sure that you know what day you are of the week. :) It happened to me a lot especially when I flew back to Thailand. I have to stop and think what day was it.

Don’t forget about the Metro System operating hour

When we travel, we could get carried away visiting all those fabulous tourist attractions that we forget about how we can get back to the hotel. The night time at the Eiffel Tower is one of the amazing sight to see. But make sure you have a way to get back to your hotel because the Metro System might not be operating after the light show.

Give yourself time to adjust

It will be best if you give yourself some time after arrival to adjust to the travel exhaustion and jet lag. So give yourself one extra day to relax instead of doing lot of sightseeing the first day.

Do you have any tips before anyone heads to Paris to share?

Dreaming of: Amsterdam with Kids

dream_amsterdam4

Oh.. Amsterdam.. where do I start? It’s one of the city that on my list for our Europe trip that I have been planning. We want to be able to go there in a couple years.

The first thought that came to Mr. Rojo’s mind is of course the “coffee shop” and the redlight district. So he questioned if it will be family-friendly city to visit with kids. I have read several posts and reviews and found that on the contrary, Amsterdam is highly recommended for family with children.

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Staying:

I’m dreaming of renting a house boat and spend the morning sitting on the porch watching life happening along the canal.

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Doing:

I’m dreaming of visiting the Keukenhof in Spring and being mesmerized by the beauty of the colorful tulips. But if we can’t get there by Spring, I’m dreaming of checking out the flower market along the canal or take a day trip to check out the flower auction.

I’m dreaming of renting a bike and putting on our helmet and setting off around town to check out little hidden gems that might not be in any travel guide. After a long bike ride, we will stop by one of several parks around Amsterdam like Vondelpark to enjoy the beautiful summer and free music performance at the Open Air theatre on Sunday; or Museumplein park to take a break from museum visits.

I’m dreaming of visiting various museums – being the Rijksmuseum to see Rembrandt and Vermeer masterpieces, the Van Gogh Museum to learn about his lifework and let Miss J and Mr. Z enjoy the audio tour, or the Science Museum Nemo where the only rule is ‘please touch everything you see and explore!’. And depend on the energy level we have left, we will want to check out the Ann Frank House. It will be a great educational experience for them to learn.

I’m dreaming of cruising on the boat along the canals to see what Amsterdam has to offer or maybe renting pedal boats called ‘canal bikes’ and sweating ourselves pedaling around the canals.

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Day-tripping:

I’m dreaming of taking a day trip to Zaanse Schans. We can’t go all the way to the Netherlands and not visit the working Windmills.

Eating:

I have to admit. I don’t know much about the dutch food but I do know that we will have to try the famous snack ‘Vlaamse frites’ – which basically french fries with mayo. And based on WhyGoAmsterdam, the best french fries in Amsterdam is either Vleminckx Sausmeesters or Manneken Pis. For a quick bite, I might try FEBO vending machine per EuroCheapo‘s recommendation. This is not your American vending machine but a fast-food franchise in the automat style. We might also try our hand (or stomach) on Indonesian food. It might seem weird but Amsterdam has a large Indonesian population so the food there is amazing.

Now that’s my dream. Check out other travelers’ dreams at Mother of All Trips.

50 Places of a Lifetime By Intelligent Travel

Today I read the blog on Intelligent Travel on this post – ’50 Places of a Lifetime’.

What a great post. It has inspired me to look at what is my own list so far. I was amazed at how many places I have seen and how many more places I have yet to see.

The list includes the link to National Geographic site for each city with detail ranging from hotel, restaurant, entertainments, must-do lists and photo gallery. This will be my must-check before we plan any big vacation. I’m a sucker of completing a list. So I will have to try my best to check this one of mine!

Here is my list. I have managed to see 20 out of 50 places. I guess it helps that I lived or live in 3 of the cities.

Atlanta – My current hang out. A great city of the South.

Bangkok – My birth country. There is no place like home and there is no food like Thai food.

Beijing – Oh.. Beijing.. I would love to go back there to shop on Silk street.

Boston – Bean town. I went there over a decade ago. So a lot might have changed.

Chicago – The Windy City. And they are not joking about that. I went there during Winter.. Duh.. What was I thinking about!

Dublin – A quick side trip on one of my business trip. Lovely country.. Really…

Florence – I don’t think you can go wrong with any city in Italy. Just the history alone will make you feel smarter already.

Hong Kong – With our recent trip to Hong Kong, I still want to go back there again. The food along will be so worth it.

Las Vegas – The Sin City. Do they provide daycare in the hotel? :)

London – It seems like a lifetime ago when I visit the Big Ben. It’s about time to revisit.

Los Angeles – With the biggest Thai population in the US, I can get my Thai food fix from here. If only I live closer!
Miami – Our old playground. Ironically, we went there only a few times whenever we have guests. So recently, we just had to become tourists ourselves.
New York – I was there in 1997 for the countdown in Time Square. I did!!! And I don’t think I will ever do it again. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime-experience. Let’s just say I have a very small blader.
Paris – City of Romance.. No I didn’t go there with Mr. Rojo. It would be nice.

Philadelphia – It was Mr. Rojo playground when he was young(er).

Rome – I had such a wonderful time there with my mom and my little wanderlust brother.
San Diego – My favorite city in California. Ok.. maybe after San Francisco.
San Francisco – I think San Francisco is the most romantic city. And I went there when I didn’t even have a boyfriend!
Singapore – Hmm.. Orchard street.. shopping.. food.. clean..
Washington D.C – I can’t wait to go back. That’s all I can say.

Most of my conquer on this list was done before kids and family and marriage and housework and mortgage.. Needless to say, I really want to go back again with Miss J and Mr. Z. I want them to see the world and learn about different cultures, to open their mind and their eyes to all kind of possibilities.

And here is the rest of the list that will be on my to-do now.

Amsterdam
Athens
Barcelona
Berlin
Budapest
Buenos Aires
Cape Town
Dallas
Delhi
Dubai
Istanbul
Jerusalem
Madrid
Mexico City
Montreal
Moscow
Mumbai
Prague
Rio de Janeiro
Seattle
Seoul
Shanghai
St. Petersburg
Stockholm
Sydney
Tokyo
Toronto
Vancouver
Venice
Vienna

I have to say I like this list much better than the famous 1000 Places to See Before You Die book. It’s nice to have a huge goal in your life. But come on.. 1000 places? I’m tired just to read it and I didn’t even start my trip yet.

50 places are more manageable. Maybe.. just maybe after I’m done with my list of 50 places then I will move on to the bigger list like 1000 places.

So tell me.. what cities you have been? And what would you like to add to your list?

Happy traveling!