When I’m 64 Tour Highlights

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I shared my very first passport stamp with my mom 10 years ago. First passports. First trip outside of North America. First passport stamps. For both of us.

Since that trip to New Zealand a few weeks after I graduated high school, I've gone on to fill up a passport (and get started on a second one) by visiting almost 40 more countries. My mom, on the other hand, still just had that one lonely passport stamp.

Until this summer, that is.

Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland

Ever since our mommy-daughter trip to New Zealand a decade ago, I've been trying to convince my mom to travel somewhere else with me. To Italy to see where her dad's family was from. To Ireland to trace her mom's Irish roots. Or how about to England to see where the Beatles grew up?

Finally, last year, I convinced my mom to let me plan a trip to the UK for us – using her beloved Beatles as bait. Once I pointed out that she would be 64 this year and that we could call our trip the “When I'm 64 Tour” (after a Beatles song, of course), she really couldn't say no.

We spent two weeks traveling from Dublin to London, me showing her some of my favorite parts of Scotland and England and both of us having some new adventures. I'll be writing about some of these things in more detail in the next few weeks, but for now here's a peek at what we got up to:


We decided to fly into Dublin instead of going directly to Scotland, both because I thought my mom would like to see a bit of Ireland and because it was cheaper than flying to Edinburgh. Our first day in Dublin was spent mostly in a jetlagged stupor, but we did manage to visit Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. The next day we toured around the city via hop-on, hop-off bus and visited Kilmainham Gaol to learn about some Irish history. I don't regret taking my mom to Dublin, but if I were to do it again, I would have either done a day trip to somewhere else in Ireland on our second day, or would have just paid the extra money and flown straight to Edinburgh.

The Long Room inside the Old Library at Trinity College, Dublin

Georgian door in Dublin, Ireland

Temple Bar in Dublin


We didn't have nearly enough time in Edinburgh – just half a day, really. Thankfully it was a long, sunny summer day, meaning we had enough time to wander up and down the Royal Mile, visit the Elephant House (where parts of Harry Potter were written), and go inside St. Giles, a beautiful cathedral on the Royal Mile. I wish I would have planned for a second day in Edinburgh, but we had so much more of Scotland to see!

Edinburgh Castle

A bagpiper on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland

Inside St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh

Highlands and Isle of Skye

After our one night in Edinburgh, we were off up into the highlands with Highland Explorer Tours on their 3-Day Isle of Skye and the Highlands tour. I've been to this part of Scotland before, but it didn't matter – the Highlands and Skye are so gorgeous that I don't think I could ever get tired of them. On our way to Skye we stopped at ruined churches and castles and arrived in Portree with plenty of time (for me) to climb up to a watchtower overlooking the harbor.

Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland

View from the Portree watch tower on the Isle of Skye

Our second day was spent seeing the highlights of the Isle of Skye, from the Old Man of Storr to Kilt Rock to Dunvegan Castle.

The Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye, Scotland

I didn't want to leave! But our third day (our third sunny day on the infamously “Misty Isle”) was probably the highlight. We visited a ruined castle in the morning, took a sunny ferry ride back to the mainland, and then boarded the Jacobite Steam Train – the very same train that served as the Hogwarts Express in many of the Harry Potter movies. I felt like I was 13 again.

Ruined castle on the Isle of Skye

On the Jacobite Steam Train in Scotland


The next morning, we waved goodbye to Scotland as we boarded an early train bound for York. I've actually never been to York before, and we were both super impressed by it. We had lunch at the adorable Betty's Tea Rooms, wandered through The Shambles, went on a ghost tour, and of course visited York Minster. I even climbed up to the top of the church's bell tower.

Inside York Minster

The Shambles in York, England

Betty's Tea Rooms in York


From York, it was on to Liverpool – the highlight for my mom, I'm sure. We spent two days doing as much Beatles-themed sightseeing as possible. This included a “Magical Mystery Tour,” hanging out at the Cavern Club, going to the Beatles Story museum (which is really a great museum), and visiting the childhood homes of both John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Even if you're NOT a Beatles fan, Liverpool is a really cool city and I'm looking forward to writing more about it!

Me and mom at Strawberry Field in Liverpool

Liverpool docks

Superlambananas in Liverpool


From Liverpool, we took the train down to London, where I more or less walked my mom's feet off for a few days. We walked all along the South Bank and went on a Beatles-themed walking tour one day (had to take Mom to Abbey Road, after all!), and did a walking tour of “Royal London” (with afternoon tea!) another day. We also went to see Miss Saigon on the West End and I introduced my mom to things like Airbnb and London public transport. We had a good time in London, but we definitely could have used another day or two!

Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben in London

Changing of the guard at Horseguards Parade

Afternoon tea in London

Bath, Stonehenge, and the Cotswolds

On our last day in the UK, we did a full day sightseeing tour from London. We stopped in Bath first, which is probably one of the prettiest English cities I've been to. We then had lunch in Castle Combe, a village in the Cotswolds that looks like something straight out of a movie. We ended with a tour of Stonehenge, which was another place my mom was really looking forward to visiting.

Bath Abbey

Castle Combe in the Cotswolds


We packed SO MUCH into two weeks. Too much, perhaps. But I wanted to make sure my mom saw as much of the UK as possible. Because the “When I'm 64 Tour” can only happen once, after all.

Which part(s) of this trip do you want to read more about?



"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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40 Comments on “When I’m 64 Tour Highlights

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  1. Just signed up for blog! You brought tears to my eyes with the beauty of your words and pictures. The memories you made with your mother will grow more valuable with each passing year. Your pictures are so vibrant. What type of camera did you use? I want one!!

    How cool that you got to do this with your mother! I have many memories of trips with my parents, but unfortunately they’re becoming a little less adventurous as they get older… I do love Bath, London, York and Dublin – I haven’t been to Liverpool or Scotland so I’m looking forward to reading more about those places! 🙂

      It would be great to travel more with members of my family, but I definitely got the majority of the travel gene! Haha.

    You are such a sweet daughter! I remember going to Mexico with my mom and step dad for 8 months while my step dad went through the process of getting his green card so he could get the job of his childhood dreams in the US. You make me wanna take my mom to Sweden, since she’s always wanted to go. Maybe someday … You inspire me to dream of traveling even more, though, with all of your lovely photos. I look forward to hearing more about all of these places, especially Scotland since it’s my favorite place and the first place I hope to visit someday.

    Now, that is one special trip! I especially loved the picture of you with your mom. Looking forward to hear all about the trip!

      We took some other photos together, but that one is definitely my favorite! (And yes, we’re totally wearing matching Beatles shirts! Haha.)

    Cool. Hmmm…nah. Super cool! We are never too old or under experienced for yummy sensory input, and inspiring moms to join us on a trip (or three) is a wonderful to share our gratitude for helping shape us in our youth and to share with them a solidly awesome time.

    Try any haggis? lol

      Wise words! (And no, no haggis on this trip, but I’ve had it before in Scotland!)

    I would love to take a trip with one or more of my family members–it has been WAY too long since I’ve traveled internationally with any of them. And I loved reading about this location–I reallyyyy would love to go to Scotland and the rest of the UK someday, mainly to scope out as many Harry Potter sights as I can! I think I would very easily fall back into feeling like I’m 13 again as well!

      If you’re a Harry Potter fan, the UK is definitely a MUST at some point!

    Sounds like a fantastic mother/daughter trip! I’m glad you say that Bath seemed lovely – I’ll be there for a wedding next month before exploring Ireland for the very first time! I’d love to hear more about the other English cities you visited.

      Bath is a gorgeous city! Parts of it (especially around the Abbey and Roman Baths) can be really touristy, but if you walk a couple of streets away it’s lovely and quiet. We got some food and had a mini picnic in a park – so nice!

    Sounds like an amazing trip, you really hit all the highlights. My, that Long Room in Trinity College has to be one of my favourite rooms in the whole world, so beautiful!

      I’ve been to the Long Room twice now – SO worth it, even the second time around!

    I love that you did this with your mom! My mom and I took our first trip to Europe together when I was 16 and we have been traveling together ever since. Most recently, she came to visit me here in Latvia and we took a road trip through the countryside and then traveled to Stockholm. We have road tripped through California, New Mexico, and Portugal, and visited over a dozen countries together. When she was 69, she came to visit me in China and we went to see the Leshan Giant Buddha. She has no fear! Well, except for some of the food. LOL.

      Good for your mom! I don’t think my mom would ever travel to China with me, but I’m really glad I finally got her to the UK!

    So awesome, looks like you two had a great time!!! My mom (she’s 67) is my favorite person to travel with, so I loved this post! I’m really looking forward to hearing more about Liverpool 🙂

      My mom and I get along pretty well, so we make good travel buddies!

    This sounds like a fun themed adventure that you had, and I am sure it was great experiencing it with your mom (or mum as they say). 😀

      It definitely was fun! It helped, though, that my mom was more or less up for anything – and I love the Beatles, too, so I certainly didn’t mind that part either. 😉

    I love that you went on another trip with your mom, and you got to share that experience with her, especially since you shared your first international trip with her. I’d love to hear about all of your trip, but probably Scotland most of all! That’s so cool that you took the train that was used in Harry Potter!

      Scotland is one of my favorite countries in the world, so you can be sure I’ll be writing more about my time there (including riding the Harry Potter train)!

    What an amazing trip and some fab photos! And how lovely to share that all with your mom! Look forward to hearing more…Happy travelling 🙂

      My mom is a good travel buddy. I hope she enjoyed it as much as I did!

    What a great trip! I’m jealous – you make me feel like I haven’t seen as much as you of the UK and I live here! As for Liverpool – can’t wait to read more about that part of the trip. I’m moving back there soon!

      And there’s so much of the UK that I still haven’t seen! I’ll definitely be writing more about Liverpool, though it likely will have a Beatles bent, since that’s pretty much all we did there!

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