The Elephant House in Edinburgh, where Harry Potter was born.
Wes’s wonderful parents joined us on our first big trip with the baby, and it was such a blessing to have them! Not only did we have four extra hands to help with all the baggage that a baby warrants, they even babysit for us so we could have a few romantic dinners.
Even though it has been a year since this trip, I did take some notes on my phone while we were gone, so I’ll copy and paste those as well as edit them to make some sense!
Day 1: security in Dallas was fast and efficient, and I wore Keela in my Beco Gemini so as to avoid taking her in and out of the stroller, but they still pulled me aside and swabbed my hands.
Keela fell asleep inthe plane bassinet almost immediately, but the last 5 hours of the flight she was miserable. We were totally those people with a screaming baby. Teething tablets, tummy massage, shushing, babywearing… nothing helped.
We arrived in Amsterdam exhausted and with a couple of hours to kill, so I walked her to the VIB (Very Important Baby) room in Schiphol. The VIB room is dimly lit and quiet so babies in the curtained crib booths can have some sense of normalcy in the middle of this bustling hub. There is also a long counter with changing pads and deep sinks in case a poosplosion requires a bath! If you are a parent traveling with a baby, do not miss it. It’s a great place to nurse in quiet.
Wes and I also enjoyed some relaxing time with some masseuses in terminal D- we highly recommend the stress relief massage!
Once boarded onto the plane bound for Edinburgh, Keela was feeling rested and chipper, but after waiting on the plane for an hour (some git didn’t have the proper visa), she started to get fussy again. Luckily, the flight was only an hour and between me, Wes, the flight attendants and a few sympathetic passengers we were able to keep her happy for the most part.
Upon arriving in Edinburgh, we were utterly exhausted and had not slept in almost 24 hours, and as I was still a nursing mother to a 6 month old I did not start the trip very well rested. A nice Edinburgh customs agent saw us carrying Keela and took us to the front of the line, and for some reason that simple kind gesture coupled with some questioning of the next customs officer just broke me and I was stifling sobs as we went through to baggage claim. I sat down and gathered myself as we waited for our bags. As it turned out, one of my mother in law’s bags didn’t make it from Amsterdam, so we spent an extra hour at the lost baggage window sorting that before heading to the car rental counter.
At the car rental counter, which is a long hike from the airport, we are told that the reservations we made online are no where to be found in their system. An hour later we load into a car and are on our way to the Hotel Indigo in Edinburgh, only a 5.4 mile drive but it felt like the longest drive ever. As we’re leaving the rental center, we notice the clutch is sticking. A couple of miles later, I smelled smoke- the hood was clouded in it! Deluded by exhaustion and with no where to pull over we still thought we could make it… With 1 mile left, the car stalled and limped to the side of the road. At that point, I just wanted to get the baby into a bed so she doesn’t have to suffer through any more travel. The hubs, his mom, and I take Keela and walk the rest of the way to the hotel, leaving his dad with all the luggage to wait for a tow truck. We felt awful about it, but there was no point in all of us staying.
That evening, after everyone had a long nap, we strolled past St. Andrews square, down to the river and over to Rose street where we had a lovely meal at The Rose Hip.
Keela and her papa in front of Edinburgh Castle
Day 2-we went to the national museum of Scotland, lunch at Nandos and up the royal mile to Edinburgh castle. Dinner at Mussel Inn, whose mussels were the best we’ve ever had. That night, we notice Keela has teeth ready to pop through which could explain the plane disaster.
The hubs and me at the castle
Day 3: lunch at Conan Doyle before taking new rental car to Ft. William. Hit concrete pole in the parking garage immediately after picking up the car… assess damage and decide to carry on with the trip since we have rental insurance. Dinner in Glencoe. Get to Glen Tower Lower Observatory and it’s a wonderful little B&B, the owner’s son even plays his bagpipes for us. Wes and I make a friend at the Ben Nevis pub and enjoy the view.
Day 4: breakfast of salmon and eggs and haggis (not bad). Head to Inverlochy castle and gondola ride hike. Loch Ness, dinner at Crannog seafood and boat cruise in Ft William. Keela pushes herself to sitting position for the first time.
Ben Nevis – Ft. William
Inside the Inverlochy Castle
Loch Ness- Caledonian Canal
hiking Ben Nevis with her papa
The Hogwarts Express! As seen from the Loch Eil boat ride. They used this train for long shots of the train in the movies.
Day 5: head to Loch Lomond, dinner in beautiful Luss
Day 6: Loch Lomond shores (tourist trap), Bunratty Castle, dinner at Village Cafe in Luss. Wes’s parents leave for home.
Day 7: The very eccentric yet very nice owner of Loch Lomond Lodge drives us to games in Balloch. Taxi to Glasgow airport and to Dublin late.
Luss at dusk
View from our Inn
View from our dinner table at Loch Lomond Lodge
The fanciest port a potty I’ve ever seen. It told you when to close the door, sit down, stand up, and exit after it washed and dried you. Heaven forbid you miss a cue.