Adventure

Day Three: Edinburgh (October 4)

This morning, my alarm didn’t wake me up. Oops! Dad and I went to have breakfast with someone who used to be one of his swimmers at The Elephant House for breakfast. Mom met us a little later and shared my breakfast with me. After that, Kendall took us to the Scottish National Museum and showed us some really cool Viking artifacts!

Breakfast at The Elephant House

Even though we went our separate ways, we met Jac at Pret a Manger for some lunch. Everyone seemed pleased with how inexpensive and tasty it was. We caught an Uber out to Leith, where the whole family saw the Royal Yacht Britannia and Jac saw Pierce Brosnan walking to the car park outside! My favorite part of the yacht was probably the state dining room. So many famous people have walked through those doors!

The state dining room on the Royal Yacht Britannia

We ubered from Leith to Calton Hill, where we made a short climb before enjoying some incredible views of Edinburgh. Then we walked back towards our flat and I popped into a shop to buy the things to made a grilled cheese. As a family, we stopped to eat at City Cafe. The food was pretty good, but the service was terrible. I just had some French fries, anticipating my grilled cheese, but I was so full after the French fries and exhausted from all the walking that when we got home at 6:30, I just wanted to rest. I fell asleep around 7:30 or 8 but woke up at 10:40 because I needed to use the bathroom and eat something.

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Adventure

Day Two: Inverness to Edinburgh (October 3)

I woke up at 6AM today after falling asleep around 6:30 or 7 last night. I picked up my things and went and got Mom and Dad from their room to go to Costa to get coffee/tea and breakfast. I had a coke and a lemon muffin that was delightful. It had some lemon curd in it. At about 7:30, we all walked to the train station, which was very conveniently located right next to our hotel. We boarded the train, stowed our luggage, and found our seats. The train departed at 7:55 and we were stunned by the beauty of the landscape around us. A woman with a trolly of tea, coffee, snacks, and sweets came by. I got a Yorkshire tea and some shortbread and Jac got some coffee. Then Jac went to find the buffet bar on the train while Mom, Dad, and I enjoyed the scenery.

We arrived safely in Edinburgh, got our luggage to the shop the airBnB owner has to store, and went to Eteaket for afternoon tea! It was delightful.

Afternoon tea at Eteaket!

We walked back to the airBnB and unloaded before walking around Edinburgh, stopping at a grocery for some things, and going to dinner at The Elephant House. We were all pretty exhausted, so we went to bed early.

Haggis balls we each tried at The Elephant House! They weren’t bad!

Adventure

Day One: IAD to AMS (October 1-2)

Our flight was a little late boarding and a little late departing, but we made it to the airport and got through security with plenty of time to spare.

This has probably been the most turbulent flight I’ve ever been on. I can’t remember a more bumpy ride on any of my flights.

In spite of the Ativan and Ambien that I took and the capability of using my CPAP machine, I couldn’t fall asleep as people were wandering the aisles bumping into me and talking and making noise even after the cabin crew turned the lights down. It’s only 10:43 EST, but in 2 hrs and 25 minutes, we will be landing in Amsterdam at about 7AM local time.

Mom has some type of weird pain in her ear that doesn’t seem to be going away no matter what we throw at it; but Dad, Jac, and I are doing alright. I imagine I’ll be pretty cranky our first day in Inverness from lack of sleep, but that’s probably true of all of us. I’m grateful that we weren’t seated near any small children or infants.

We will have a four hour and forty minute layover in Amsterdam, but that’s really not enough time to leave the airport since we are fairly certain we have to go through customs as it’s our entry point into the EU.

Update: We didn’t have to go through customs in Amsterdam. We probably could have risked leaving the airport. We have been waiting here for almost four hours. Jac may have slept for about an hour and a half on the flight from DC, but none of the rest of us got any sleep. We will arrive in Inverness in a little over two hours, where we can drop our luggage off at the hotel and explore the city a bit. Mom and Dad are grateful they don’t have to immediately get on a train for three more hours to go straight to Edinburgh, and I’m honesty ok with relaxing a bit tonight since I’m running on fumes, caffeine, and stimulants (prescribed to me!) at the moment.

We got to Inverness, dropped off our luggage, and went exploring! I went to the Victorian Arcade while Jac and Mom did some shopping and Dad walked down the street. I went to Milk Bar and had a salted caramel milkshake and Dad met me there. We all went back to the hotel, checked in, then went out walking. We are walked down to the River Ness and saw Hootenanny then crossed the bridge and walked down the River farther.

Majestic stairwell at the Royal Highlands Hotel That may have inspired the staircase on the Titanic!
One of the bridges over River Ness

We ended up eating dinner at The Filling Station, which has American food, because we wanted to eat somewhere close to the hotel. I had a chicken sandwich, Dad and Mom had burgers, and Jac had fish and chips. We went back to the Royal Highland Hotel where we were staying, Mom and Dad went to their room and Jac and I went to our room, I took a shower, and we all crashed after having been awake for more than 24 hours.

Jac on the flight from IAD to AMS
Dad on the flight from IAD to AMS
Mom on the flight from IAD to AMS
Me on the flight from IAD to AMS