Movin' On Up

I thought this day would never come, but it's finally here. Markus and I are moving to the city! We spent a year in the burbs and while they've been pleasant, it just isn't for us. The past six months were very challenging and it seemed pretty dismal. I was starting to get discouraged, but then things started to fall into place. We found an awesome apartment in Logan Square, one of the best neighborhoods in the city. Also after five months of patiently searching for the right job, I found it! I'll be working for an awesome company in the Loop, the heart of downtown. It all still seems so surreal, but it's really happening and I'm so excited for this new chapter in our lives. I can't wait to share all of our new adventures with you, my dear readers!

Edinburgh Revisited | 2 of 2

Sadly, this is my final post about Edinburgh. In this last batch of photos, there is an extra large Tardis that we happened to pass by on the street. It was the only police box we saw the entire time we were in the UK. I was really hoping to see another one in London, but we didn't. I've gone through all the Edinburgh photos and have reminisced long enough on the beautiful Scottish city. I'm a bit sad about it, but there is still heaps of photos from the rest of the UK! Dear readers, please enjoy this last glimpse of a wonderful city!

Edinburgh Revisited | 1 of 2

I love this city, it's so beautiful and I could spend years exploring it. I can't believe that I still had so many photos to edit. This post is basically composed of random shots from around the city. I had a lovely time going through the photos and remembering all the wonderful things we did in Edinburgh!

Monkey Park Iwatayama | Kyoto, Japan

When Markus and I visited the Philippines, one of our biggest regrets was missing the tarsiers in Bohol. We decided that if we had a chance to see exotic animals, we would take it. Markus is a huge fan of animals. He loves them and even knows random facts for heaps of animals. As soon as he knew that we were traveling to Japan, Markus requested that we see the snow monkeys. I readily agreed, but I was worried that since it was summer, we wouldn't be able to see them. The most famous spot for snow monkeys is Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano, but we weren't traveling in that direction. Thankfully, Kyoto has Iwatayama Monkey Park and they are open year round. 

The park is located on a mountain, so you have to hike quite a bit to get there. The day that we visited was so hot that the park gave us plastic bags of ice. At first, I thought it was kinda strange. Although after 20 minutes of hiking, it was a lifesaver. After about 30-40 minutes, we finally reached the top and monkey paradise. It was pretty awesome seeing so many in one spot. My favorite thing was feeding time and seeing them chase a guy tossing out food. It was both cool and scary. Imagine seeing about 30 monkeys running toward you, definitley terrifying. Either way, it was a great time and I'm glad that Markus was able to finally have his monkey experience.

Eteaket: Tea Boutique and Cafe | Edinburgh, Scotland

One of the greatest things about traveling in the UK is having access to an endless amount of tea. We spent most of our trip trying to find the perfect afternoon tea. Early on, Ari found Eteaket in the heart of Edinburgh. We discovered that it was the perfect spot for brunch. Everything was amazing. The tea was great, the sandwiches were delicious and I loved all the dessert options. I loved Eteaket and for the rest of the trip, I compared all other tea places. Unfortunately for us, we did not find an equivalent in England. I'm just thankful that we were able to discover a great place and didn't leave the UK disappointed!

Calton Hill | Edinburgh, Scotland

This week, I was catching up with our dear British friends, James and Ari. We met them while we were teaching ESL in South Korea. When they left Korea we were so sad that Markus made a video. We loved them so much that we even planned to visit them in the fall of 2012 and tour the UK together. When we were catching up earlier this week, they told me they were going to Edinburgh for the weekend. It reminded me of our trip and that I still had heaps of photos to post. The first of which are from my favorite place in Edinburgh, Calton Hill. As I was going through and editing photos, I was really sad. It's been two years since we've seen James and Ari. We've visited some amazing places in South Korea and the UK. Hopefully, we'll be able to reunite again one day in the States and go on more adventures!

Arashiyama's Bamboo Groves | Kyoto, Japan | 2 of 2

When we were walking through the bamboo groves in Arashiyama, I was reminded of the fight scene in "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon." After watching it again, I see the ridiculousness of that scene. Could you imagine trying to stand on top of a bamboo tree and then doing some sort of martial art?  Anyway, enjoy the final installment of photos from Arashiyama's bamboo groves. If you're ever in Kyoto, make sure you visit. It's a beautiful tranquil spot that I have yet to see anywhere else in the world!

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