A bit of Edinburgh Castle

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It’s 10pm and just too late for me to upload a million pictures and such.  I spent a lot of the morning on the computer before we went out, sending about 20 messages out to people who we will be visiting on our cross country trip – so no time to work on a post about the Tattoo then.  Then we spent the whole day out (didn’t leave the hotel until 2:30pm though!) until 9pm, so with feeding babies and getting kids situated, etc, here it is, 10pm, and nothing ready to post.  Tomorrow during our 7 hour drive I can put the pictures on to the computer and tell you all about the Tattoo and the castle, but for now – mostly words to paint the picture of our day and a few snaps from John’s iphone to entertain you:

Check out Greer's hair...

Check out Greer’s hair…

 

I’ll tell you about the day – starting with the most sleep I’ve had in ages!  I went to bed around midnight with my alarm set for the next feeding which was supposed to be at 2am, and then the next feeding would be whenever he woke me.  Instead, when my alarm went of at 2, I turned it off thinking I’d get up…and woke up at 7am!!!  That’s 7 hours of sleep, interrupted only by my alarm for a few seconds!!! I haven’t had that much sleep certainly since Daniel was born, and possibly for several weeks before that.  It was WONDERFUL!  It wasn’t even Daniel waking me, though – I just woke up for some reason, and hopped up to get him, only to find him still out cold.  Either way, I woke him and fed him, and put him right back down – he went immediately to sleep again thankfully – and I was able to stay in bed til 11 when John came in to wake me up (I slept some of that time but not all of it because I had trouble getting back to sleep after so much rest!)  It was such a wonderful, and a much needed, awesome night’s sleep which I can only say must be because God knew I was at my wit’s end yesterday feeling over-tired and frustrated with some nursing issues I’ve been having.  So happy!!

We spent the morning (what was left of it) watching Olympics in the room and just relaxing, dealing with online business and such.  Once we got moving, it ended up being 3:30pm by the time we pulled in to a parking garage just off the Royal Mile in central Edinburgh. In case you’re coming for a visit and want a good place to stay or a good place to park — the Raddison hotel is right on the Royal Mile just about 3/4 of a mile down the hill from the castle, and it has a public parking garage.  It’s great because if you park anywhere else down from the castle, or up by the castle, and then you walk down the Royal Mile, you’ll have a long hike back up to your car.  This time we started at the bottom of the hill, walked up to see the castle, and then slowly made our way back down to the van with the kids.  We started on St. Mary’s Street looking for Kilberry Bagpipes (I wanted to look into buying a set of smallpipes from them – not the most reputable of pipemakers, but I thought it might be fun to just buy a set of less expensive smallpipes while in Scotland.  No big deal, though – I’m sure I didn’t need another set anyway :)), but they were closed.  Today through Sunday. DUH!!! It’s the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, so of course, they had to go set up their booth since the Championships are tomorrow.  Oh well 🙂

Then we walked up to the castle, stopping in to a cafe for a snack of croissants for us all – working against the clock to get up there by 5:15pm for their last admission to the castle which closed at 6pm.  We had trouble pulling the children away from all the artists and crazy characters along the way, but eventually we made it up there, at 5:02pm.  Then, we were turned away!  They said the last admission was at 5pm, but I had read on my cellphone when I pulled up their website, that it would be at 5:15pm.  I kept telling the guard this, but he was adamant that we could no longer go in, even though the castle really didn’t close til 6pm, and we already had tickets.  It was really frustrating because it was a loooonnng walk up that hill with the six kids, because we had stopped to go potty right before heading up to the gate, and because we had spent a good ten minutes looking for Kilberry Bagpipes.  Finally we asked to see a supervisor, and that lady let us in.  We must have just been too pathetic (I have since looked it up online – and on the internet on my computer it says the last admission is an hour before closing – 5pm; but on my cellphone, an HTC, there is a mobile phone version of the website, and it clearly says the last admission is 45 minutes before closing – 5:15pm.)

Reading over this so far, it seems like I’m complaining about the day so far – but really, there was beautiful weather, and we had a nice relaxing time most of the day. 🙂  Wandering the castle grounds we found to be very impressive, but I’m going to wait til tomorrow to post pictures when we’re traveling all day back down to our home in the UK.  It was just enough time for us to see everything, although the museum of the Royal Scots Dragoons was closed (I actually think it was closed all day today, though.)  Afterwards we found an Italian restaurant on the Royal Mile and thoroughly enjoyed a delicious, relaxing meal.  The restaurant filled up while we were there, but when we arrived it was empty.  The crowds on the street today were again oppressive, and it was quite taxing keeping tabs on all the children on the walk up the street to the castle and back down, so retreating into a quiet restaurant was just what we needed!  We let the children stare at a few things after dinner that we had rushed them past before (someone airbrushing caricatures, face painting, balloon animals) and then started the drive home.

There is a lot of construction right now in central Edinburgh, so we couldn’t follow the GPS and ended up way off track trying to find a way around the barriers.  As we were wandering in our van we passed a park – and all of the children simultaneously begged to go to it!  We had nowhere to be, so John turned around and went back to the coolest park ever (according to our kids.)  Then back to the room for our last fill of Olympics and some more computer time.  My kind of vacation!! It is so nice that we haven’t had to be places and see things on this trip and could spend a lot of time relaxing together before our big journey back to the states 🙂  I look forward to rewinding some of the days to tell you about our pictures tomorrow but for now, I am looking forward to sleeping 🙂

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