Sunday, 29 July 2018

The Mother Daughter Weekend Away Getaway With Kia

mother daughter road trip

This weekend me and my Mum did something that we've been talking about doing for years now; a mother daughter getaway. We've spoke about going away for a night just to chill out and relax or booking a spa break practically every year for my Mum's birthday but for some reason or another it just never happens. However, when Kia got in touch to ask if we'd like to take the new Kia Stonic for a spin, we finally set our plans in motion.

As I'm still in the process of learning to drive, my Mum was more than happy to do the driving and as soon as she sat in the driver's seat she was immediately won over by our new car for the weekend, so much so that when she went back to driving our own car she noticed such a big difference when it came to the clutch, it's distinct lack of helpful gadgets and driving itself.

So without further adieu, let's see what we got up to on our mother daughter weekend away getaway;

kia stonic dimensions

Our main priority was going somewhere with a swimming pool and possibly a spa within driving distance of some nice restaurants or shops and we pretty much immediately came to the conclusion that we would we would be going through to Edinburgh. Despite the fact that we only live about a 45 minute drive away from the Scottish capital, we certainly don't visit as often as we really should.

We booked into the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa Edinburgh solely because of the incredible rooftop Hydrapool which actually turned out to be an additional £30 per person to use. Since the indoor pool and sauna were included in our stay we decided to see what they were like before splashing out on any extra ammenities as we just couldn't justify the extra expenditure at the time. And we were both glad that we didn't as the indoor pool was more than enough for us. Check out my Insta Stories to see exactly what I mean as I sneakily took a few photos with my phone when we had the entire pool area to ourselves.

We packed up the car, bringing with us some of the everything that I featured in my Summer Road Trip Essentials blog post and set off for Edinburgh. Compared to our current car the boot was absolutely massive. We had plenty of room and could have luggage fit for a fortnight away, instead of just one night, with room to spare. My Mum had actually never driven through to Edinburgh before  since usually either my Dad drives us or we take the train so she was really happy to see how the Sat Nav did in terms of getting us there. Having never used a Sat Nav before it made a big difference to my Mum's confidence in terms of taking the right exits and being in the right lanes. Speaking of changing lanes, the Kia Stonic has the technology of lane departure warning and blind spot detection which made navigating Edinburgh much easier.

Edinburgh city guide blog

The Kia Stonic really is like the Inspector Gadget of cars, especially when you have an older model like we do. It even has a camera system that pops up on the screen to let you see behind you when reversing. We honestly could have spent all day playing with all the gadgets and the screen but we had another city to explore. We checked into the hotel, dropped our bags and headed down towards Princes Street.

Since we only ever really go through to Edinburgh for the Fringe, we often miss out some of landmarks that have tourists flocking to the capital in the first place so we made a list of what we really wanted to see and do, in addition to lounging by the pool and chilling out at the hotel and our first stop was Princes Street Gardens.

Even when we do come through for the Fringe, I always enjoy a stroll through Princes Street Gardens. It's easily one of my favourite spots in Edinburgh for quite a few reasons. Not only do you get a spectacular view of Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town but it's often much quieter and nicer to walk through than the hustle and bustle of Princes Street itself.

edinburgh city guide blog

I immediately spotted that the newly renovated Ross Fountain was back on display and took the opportunity to check it out and have a little impromptu photoshoot, of course featuring my absolute favourite Topshop plisse trousers. Honestly, it's like wearing your pyjama bottoms they're that comfy and they stop your legs from getting too warm in this heat whilst also remaining covered up.

Edinburgh city guide

We then headed up onto Princes Street itself for a spot of window shopping. Whilst Edinburgh does have a lot of the same shops that we do in Glasgow, the stock often differs drastically so you can often find items that have gone out of stock weeks ago back home. One store that we don't have in Glasgow is Harvey Nichols and more specifically, a Fenty Beauty counter, so I was beyond excited to check both out on this trip. Expect a blog post on all things Fenty Beauty very soon.

sheraton edinburgh spa

After a quick bite to eat, we headed back to the hotel to get into our swimming costumes ready for an afternoon/evening spent in and around the pool. Just getting the chance to completely switch off (I made sure to leave my phone behind in the room) was such a treat. As someone who works online, I don't really have an off switch and will often find myself doing blog or freelance work on my weekends and late at night so completely detaching myself for a few hours was absolute bliss.

sheraton edinburgh swimming pool

The indoor swimming pool was also a swimming pool like no other that I've been in before. It was a beautiful infinity pool and wasn't freezing cold either. We really enjoyed just taking our time and it we only shared the huge poolside space and pool with a handful of other people so it didn't feel too crowded or manic like our local pool back in Glasgow.

Greyfriars Bobby Statue

Despite visiting Edinburgh many times we've never quite made it to see Greyfriar's Bobby. So that was another one of the places at the top of our to see/do list and after quite the trek, we finally found the statue of the adorable little pup at the top of a hill in the Grassmarket. If you're not familiar with the story of Greyfriar's Bobby, he sat and guarded his owners grave in Greyfriars Kirkyard for fourteen years until his own death.

It was nice to see him and his little golden nose, which has turned that colour from tourists rubbing his nose for good luck.

maison de moggy edinburgh

We also passed by another one of my favourite spots in Edinburgh on our hunt for the prolific pup; Maison De Moggy, Scotland's first cat cafe. It was just about to close at that time of night so we couldn't pop in but we did get to sneak a peek just before the shutters were pulled down.

The beautiful Guillaume, who always seems to appear at the window when we pass by, jumped up to say hello, which made our night.

city guide Edinburgh Scotland

We then took the scenic route back to the hotel, however saying that, when you're staying in a city like Edinburgh, pretty much every street and every turn that you take is scenic. The sun was just beginning to set as we headed back down to Princes Street to and it honestly felt like one of those nights on your holiday somewhere warm and sunny where you don't even think twice about going out for a wander at nine or ten o'clock at night.

It was then that we really realised that we were enjoying a night away and not just a rushed few hours through to the city, like we usually experience. We even stopped off for an ice cream on the way home despite the fact that I don't usually eat anything after dinner (Invisalign makes snacking a bit of an issue to be honest) and that made it feel even more like we were on our holidays.

kia stonic specs

After a wonderful sleep and another hour of so of swimming and chilling by the pool, we plugged the next destination on our mother daughter weekend away getaway into the Sat Nav (seriously, how have we went all this time without one?!) and took off back along the M8. Only a 30-40 minute drive from Glasgow you'll find the wonders of Loch Lomond.

Again, despite living in Scotland my entire life, I had never made the trip through to Loch Lomond until now. Spurred on by the CCW Blogger Road Trip through to Callander, we wanted to explore more of Scotland's natural beauty and that's exactly what you'll find here.

kia stonic review

We had no problem finding exactly where we wanted to explore thanks again to the Kia Stonic's brilliant Sat Nav system. It truly opened our eyes in terms of using one going forward as it was so intuitive and easy to operate. It was also another extremely comfortable drive with the copious amounts of legroom, something we're seriously not used to in our compact car and exceptional air conditioning, which was definitely appreciated in this freak heatwave that we're currently having here in the UK. My Mum also couldn't help but remark how slim and comfortable the steering wheel was to handle practically every five minutes either.

Thankfully there was some cloud cover when we arrived at Loch Lomond so we weren't melting like we have been this Summer and being by the water provided a lovely cool breeze too. Again, it was so nice to leave my phone in the car and to just live in the moment. Of course, I made sure to get some beautiful photos taken (how couldn't you with that as a backdrop?!) but I wasn't worrying about replying to emails or endlessly scrolling through social media, like I usually do when I'm in the car.

loch lomond shores

I think us Scots can often take for granted the truly magical landscape that we enjoy living in here in Scotland. It really is unlike anywhere else in the world. It's especially apparent when you see tourists from all over the world flocking to certain landmarks or areas and marvelling at how beautiful and special they are. And whilst we didn't quite spot the Loch Ness Monster, we had a great time enjoying the weather and surroundings down by the water.

Duck Bay Loch Lomond Restaurant

After working up quite an appetite, we stopped off at Duck Bay for lunch. My Mum actually remembered visiting this very site back when it was a completely different restaurant back in the '80's with my Dad so it was really nice to take her back all these years later. They're already planning their next visit through for a little date night one night next month as they used to make the trip through to Loch Lomond back when they first started dating.

Duck Bay Loch Lomond

I mean, can you really beat that view for lunch?!

duck bay loch lomond scotland

As soon as we saw classic fish and chips on the menu we had to opt for that and honestly, it was incredible! The chips in particular were so yummy! It was also a substantial basket unlike the dinky little baskets that chips or fries often come in at other restaurants. As a big fan of a good chip, this was very much welcomed by me.

duck bay loch lomond menu

My Mum also added a side of mac and cheese (her absolute favourite food!) as she just couldn't resist and it definitely got her seal of approval.

kia stonic deals

We spent some time exploring more of the scenery and walking off our lunch before heading back through to Glasgow. We both couldn't have been more impressed with the Kia Stonic. I mean, it even has a nifty little compartment for your sunglasses! Since we last bought our family car (it was probably about 15 years ago now) there have been so many incredible and innovative advances made. Electric windows, not having to use a key to open the doors or start the car and a fancy radio that actually displays the song title and artist and more stations than you could ever listen to.

Glasgow Lifestyle Bloggers

I also just wanted to share how much I'm loving this shirred dress from Next, so much so that I've bought it in two other colours/patterns in addition to this one. It, plus my plisse trousers from Topshop, that you will have seen above, are all that I've been wearing this Summer and I'm so excited to take them with me on my trip to Florida later in the year. Hotter also very kindly sent me a pair of their brand new Tourist Sandals* for me to try out on this Summer staycation and even though they're slightly updated (there's a new buckle, colours and footbeds), they're just as comfortable as the originals. It also gives my old black pair a rest this Summer as I've worn them practically every single day (when it's not raining or freezing cold, of course) since I tried my first pair.

If you're planning any Scottish staycations or travelling up to Scotland this Summer and looking for something to do, I would 100% recommend visiting Loch Lomond and Edinburgh, especially during the Fringe Festival for the latter.

A huge thanks to Kia for lending us the new Stonic for the weekend and for ultimately pushing us to finally go on our weekend away. Did we have any complaints about the car? Only that they took it away.

Where would you go on a weekend away getaway here in the UK? Have you ever visited Edinburgh, Glasgow or Loch Lomond? And what's your favourite thing to do on holiday? Are you a lay by the pool kinda person or do you prefer a packed itinerary?


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