Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Visiting the Homeland

Dad is convinced that we are of Scottish descent.  I remain skeptical, though I will admit that Scotland is a lovely place and I can see why so many people want to be Scottish.  Personally, I think I'm a good ol'-fashioned American mutt.  Anyway.

The day after Thanksgiving, we got up early in the morning (which turned out to be a theme from this visit) and drove to Ely to hop on a train to Edinburgh.  So here's all of us waiting on the platform (alas, not Platform 9 3/4) except Lee who took the picture.

The advantage of taking a train from here to Edinburgh is that it takes less time than a car, and you get to relax and sleep or play Uno while you ride instead of worrying about driving.  And it's kind of fun.

We saw several rainbows.

Then we had to keep reminding Mom when it was her turn to go in Uno because she was so busy taking pictures out the windows.  And it's a good thing that Lee's already winnowed down the pictures from our camera, 'cause it still took me 45 minutes to go through Mom's photos for this post.  I think she was making a silent movie.

There I am shuffling the Uno cards and wondering why Mom insisted on taking my picture right that minute.  This is your chance to remark how long my hair is.  You know you want to.

One more gigundo house we saw out the window.  Or it's a church or a school or some other cool building and we did daydream about living in a place like that for a minute.

This is the first thing we saw when we got off the train at Waverley Station in Edinburgh.  Ta-da!  Then we hailed a taxi in about 3.2 seconds, and got a 6-passenger taxi on our first try.

Then we took pictures of all of us squished in the taxi.Why is Missy squished in with my parents instead of me?  Guess that's just the order in which we boarded the taxi.

Lee and Bennet violated the man-spacing rules again.  I think they sat next to each other just about every time we sat anywhere though.

Don't know what The Scotsman is, but it was one of Mom's pictures so I'm posting it.  Anyway, we took the tax to our hotel, got checked in and freshened up, and then got on the bus back to the city center.  A very nice elderly Scottish lady helped us make sure we got to where we wanted to go; I have to say that every Scottish person we talked to was SO nice the whole time.  Always willing to give directions (and correct directions too!).  The Irish were the same way, only they're a bit easier to understand.

We did a lot of walking around Edinburgh that first evening, and hit up the Christmas faire too.

Ice skating below the castle, pretty cool picture, huh?  That was all Lee.

There's a teeny bit of the Christmas faire; they had lots of food and drink booths, places that sold things like knitted hats with ears (I so wanted one but didn't get one because Lee wouldn't walk around with me in public if I wore a hat that looked like a raccoon or something), and a section of carnival rides and stuff.

This cool picture is also Lee.  I'm not so good with the low-light stuff.

Mom thought this sign was hilarious and she said a couple of teenagers laughed at her when they saw her taking a picture of it.

That building in the background kind of makes me think of the Addams Family mansion, not sure why.  Maybe it's the upward angle of the picture, 'cause didn't they used to show the house that way on TV to make it look bigger and more imposing?  No, just me?  Ok then.

There's the front of St. Giles Cathedral.  I think we took this picture right around five o'clock in the afternoon; it's pitch black by then this time of year.  Hey, the days start getting longer again after December 21, yay!

Here's Lee and Bennet exploring the whiskey shop.  We walked up and down the Royal Mile leading up to the castle just looking in the shops and stuff.

This was next door to the whiskey place, and I got a pretty little thistle charm for my charm bracelet.  The thistle is the national flower of Scotland and so it's naturally on *everything* they sell at the touristy shops.  So anyway, that was our first day in Edinburgh.  It's going to take me a while to get through the pictures for the next bit and I don't even have copies of Bennet and Missy's pics yet.  It's a lot of photos.


adifrog said...

I'm with you on the mansion thing. I see it too.

CCsMom said...

Funny -- once I got home, I thought, "Hey, I didn't SEE much on this trip EXCEPT through the lens of the camera". And now I'm seeing these pictures, it's coming back -- the Scotsman was an interesting building right after we came up from the train station . . . it was right above the entrance. Yep, I remember that now. Ha!

Thoughts by B and M said...

OH man, these are great photos! I can't wait to get the DVD from you guys!!!!!!!