Monday, September 21, 2015

Enchanting Edinburgh

We pulled into Edinbourgh about midnight on a Friday night.  The experience reminded me of The Knight  Bus scene from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  English cars and double decker buses whizzed around us as old flats, churches, and clock towers flashed outside the windows.  It felt like we would pull up to the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley at any moment.  
Saturday morning we ventured out with all the other tourists to see the sights of the city.  
I would describe all the buildings in the town as tall, dark, handsome, and very old.
We strolled past this Scottish wedding.  I loved the kilts and fancy hats.
I think John in an ergo is hot.  He is the best dad.   

We hiked up the hill to the castle but were content to go no further than the entrance.  We weren't in the mood to wrangle the kids and stroller around so many people and cobble stone steps.
We opted instead to spend a couple hours at the Scottish History Museum.  
We had a fantastic lunch at the cafe and the kids played in the children's section.
This Thai curry soup was definitely worth documenting.

After the museum the kids took turns napping and we found a beautiful park for a family game of hide-and-seek.
After hours of walking we enjoyed a pizza and calzone dinner at what is generally a small Italian take-out place.  The owner was very gracious and accommodating and pushed two tables together and rounded up enough chairs and dishes for our little fam.  It made for a private and relaxing dinner where we didn't have to worry about causing a scene.  Next we took a night time drive around the city.  The kids were good, the castle on the hill was majestic, and the scenery was surreal.  Traveling with three children isn't always easy, but days like these make the exhaustion and frustration totally worth it.  

After we left Scotland, John stayed behind to finish his work.  He had to travel through Edinburgh again and was able to go on the castle tour we opted out of with the kids.

I hope we can go back someday and do the castle tour for two.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Saint Andrews by the Sea

The three kids and I stowed away on part of John's business trip to Scotland in July.  John worked A LOT during the week but on the weekends we were able to explore the coast and countryside.  John's Scottish colleague mapped two road trips for the weekends.  It was perfect for sightseeing with our "wee" crazy kids.
One of our favorite and first stops was St. Andrews.  I was completely caught off guard by the serene scenery of the golf course, the adjacent majestic sea cliffs, and the medieval architecture.  I have a crush on this place that could only compare to Maui's Road to Hana.  
St. Andrews is the birthplace of golf and has Scotland's oldest university.  We were there just days  before the British Open and were able to explore the old golf course.
This is the famous Swilcan bridge.  Many famous golfers have squared off here on the 18th green.  It was exciting to see on TV the following week.  

John and the kids playing tag on The Old Course.  I couldn't believe this was permitted days before the tournament.  When we were watching the final minutes of The Open, I couldn't help but wonder if Rissy's boots made divots in the grass that could have effected the turnout.  I was hoping she ruined Tiger's game;)
There is so much history and tradition in this town.  I could taste it along with the salty sea air.  
My mom said that because the days are so long in the summer, the flowers flourish like you wouldn't believe!  
Sea cliffs and Scottish kilts.
I am dying to do genealogy and find out if I have Scottish blood.  John is related to Rob Roy.

The castles reminded me of Sleeping Beauty.  The ruins and landscape were so enchanting.  

Next we made our way along the coast to Anstruther and the best fish and chips in Scotland.   

The recommendation was spot on, some of the freshest seafood I've ever had!
Taking our three kids over the big pond had it's hellish moments.  I don't know if I've ever been so exhausted.  But the excitement of being in a new place gave us extra energy.  And our evening in St. Andrew's felt like a walk in the clouds.  I know we will be daydreaming of this land and the memories we made with the kids for the rest of our lives.  
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