My Edinburgh Bucket List

After this week, I'll be halfway through this academic semester (not including the exam period at the end), and it's had me in a bit of a panic that next year I'll be in my final year of University. And while there's a lot of academic pressure to come, I've also realized that there are so many fun things in Edinburgh that I've yet to do!

It may be a bit pre-emptive to start a bucket list for my remaining time in this lovely city, but I also think making a mini (and by no means exhaustive) list of things I'd like to do is a good reference for whenever I have a free weekend (or, let's be real- afternoon).  

Spend an afternoon at Portobello beach // While I've been to the Portobello area for a parkrun in my first year, I've never paid this quaint town a visit in a non-running context. Just a short bus ride from the city centre, Portobello is home to Edinburgh's most famous beach, and maybe one of it's most famous brunching areas. If we ever get even a sliver of sunshine, I'll consider making the trip out! It's never warm enough to swim, though (unless you're particularly brave). But it's the perfect spot for a Sunday walk!

Have a picnic in the Pentlands // Once again, I've been the Pentlands to run before, but never just for a bit of relaxing! I'd love to take a cheerful (and slow-paced) walk around these beautiful hills, taking in the views, and finishing it off with a picnic. That is, when the weather gets a bit better up there! Whenever we get even a few flakes down here in the city, the Pentlands are basically having a blizzard (which is what happened this weekend). Not ideal picnic weather.  

Visit the Fruitmarket Gallery // There are no shortage of free museums and galleries in Edinburgh, and the Fruitmarket Gallery is one that I still haven't been to! Located right by Waverley Station, the Fruitmarket Gallery features contemporary art by Scottish artists, as well as artists around the world. With exhibitions changing on the regular, there's always a reason to go again and again! Plus, I've heard that the cakes in their cafe are not to be missed.

Have dinner at Kim's Mini Meals // While there are so many restaurants I have yet to try in Edinburgh, Kim's Mini Meals is one of those spots that I continually walk by and say to myself "One day I have to go!" Kim's is this teeny tiny restaurant (in what looks like the front room of a flat) that serves authentic Korean food. It's always packed and has a queue out the door- plus, it's only open for a few hours every night. Talk about a mystery! Not to mention, it's been featured in the Michelin Guide multiple times.

See a concert at Usher Hall // Despite being a hub for music and the arts during the Fringe Festival, Edinburgh isn't known for having particularly large concert venues, so popular artists don't tend to perform here (you'll have to go to Glasgow for that). That being said, I'd still love to experience a concert at Usher Hall- whether that's to listen to some jazz, discover a lesser-known artist, or take in an entire symphony.

Is there anything else I should add to my list?


January 2017: Going, going, gone

I finally feel like I'm back in somewhat of a routine. After the past few weeks of nonstop travel, academic work, and social events, the lull in my schedule is leaving me feeling more relieved than ever. It sounds crazy, but in the past two weeks I've been in Edinburgh (obviously), London, York, and Sheffield. I even realized after spending 14 days in the UK since winter break, I had only spent 6 of those days in Edinburgh. Yikes.

But even though things have calmed down quite a bit, this bout of business had led me to realize that this coming semester year, I'm going to have to be more flexible on making time-sacrifices. There's so much to do as I look to the future, so something's gotta give. It's not like I won't be running, singing or writing anymore, but I might have to pull back on one of the above each week or so. It's not the best feeling by any means, but it's a temporary solution.

Since I've been full speed ahead on lots of different things since the start of the semester, I thought I'd share a few tidbits from the past few weeks. Plus, I thought I'd also add in a little bit at the end of this post on what I'm looking forward to in the coming weeks.

Traveling to York for the first time was one of the highlights of the past few weeks. I took the train up to York from London after spending a night there (and dealing with a broken phone tragedy), and while it was hectic to say the least, I'm glad I pushed through. This trip was sort of a "two birds with one stone" situation, where Ben and I were able to go to a top notch reeling ball and visit his brother who goes to university there at the same time. We truly got the insider's tour of this quaint English city, with a few references to its ties with Game of Thrones (not really my jam) and Wolf Hall (I'm such a fangirl!). We ate at some amazing places, including the famous Betty's tearoom for weekend brunch.

BUCS Cross Country ended up being the first race of the semester for me, if you can believe it. I'll usually have competed in about two races by the time BUCS comes around, but this year I didn't have the time (did I mention I was busy?). That being said, though, this was the perfect race to make my second semester debut at. It was muddy, crowded, and even had a hay bale to jump over. I didn't do fabulously, but I think I really conquered this tough race well.  

Superbowl Sunday came and went in flash, having come back from BUCS that same evening, ready to cook football food for 14 people. I honestly love having friends over to the flat, cooking up a storm, and enjoying everyone's (slightly rowdy) company. For the game, we cooked chicken wings, sticky ribs, pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw, ranch dip, and a massive bowl of nachos (because the food is as important as the game, obviously). Speaking of the game, staying up until 3:30 AM and watching the Pats win in an epic comeback was insane (and I think those who left early are regretting it now...).

Last week's blog post was my most popular one in a while, and I'm quite proud of that. Not necessarily because it was popular, but because it was important, and I'm glad that it resonated with so many people. The political climate at the moment continues to be rife with tension, and mentally exhausting. But its so great to see people acting on it. If you haven't read last week's blog post yet, you can find it here.

And as for the next coming weeks (months?) I'm really looking forward to two things in particular:

Going on holiday to Marrakech is bound to be magical. We have a week off in February, and Ben and I are making the most of it by traveling to Morocco. I can't wait to explore the city of Marrakech, walk through the famous markets, and even take a two-day mini trip to the mountains. I also can't wait to share my adventures on the blog!

Two of my best friends from home are coming to Edinburgh in March and I couldn't be more ecstatic. One of my friends is doing a semester abroad in Prague, and my other friend is coming all the way from Boston during his spring break to visit me! I can't wait to show them around the city, take them out for some amazing meals, and go to a few bars and clubs with them.

So that's what's been up with me lately! Anything exciting going on in your world?
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