No, Yoda wasn’t wearing a kilt yesterday 🙂 I have a few more fun pictures of that to share in a second, but I can say, lots of other people were wearing them. Young, buff guys, wearing them shirtless. Big men wearing them with tshirts and cutoff arms. All the salesman at stores which sold kilts. Speaking of kilt sellers – we bought some for the kids at an independent store where we were told it’s one of only 4 independent kilt sellers left on The Royal Mile. There are, no joke, 29 purveyors of kilts on that one street. Big ones, little ones, skimpy mini-kilts, and kilts for your beer or wine. Apparently all the rest of the stores are owned by about 3 men, and they import them all from places in the East (not going to mention the place here, but if you’re familiar with the place where bad bagpipes originate, well, evidently, poorly made kilts are flowing from the same place.) The nice Scottish lady helping me in her dad’s shop, though, sold us some made in Scotland, and for much less money than custom Armstrong kilts, which it will be some time til we purchase (as in, when they’re not all growing like weeds.) Gabriel wasn’t too happy about being kilted, but we assured him that the only time he need wear it is when Papa wears his.
Greer’s head is in that one because she was on John’s shoulders 🙂
We started out the shopping trip at Geoffrey (Tailor) Weavers right outside Edinburgh Castle. No idea why the name has tailor in parentheses, but that’s how it’s written. The store had signs everywhere about not taking pictures which I didn’t see til I had snapped a few. Really neat place with a whole lower floor of paradise for anyone seeking real tartan wool products, cashmere, or tweed, as well as all accessories for your kilts (great jackets of all sorts, leather jerkins, every shade of hose, sporrans, pins, you name it.) It was like every website of Scottish apparel I’ve ever seen all in one place, with tons of premade kilts in a huge range of tartans hanging on the racks. Of course they also made them custom, and on the floor below that, they were weaving the wool fabric itself! We could actually look down and see it being made which was really neat. Very few places in Scotland are actually certified to weave tartans, and then when they are, you can only purchase certain tartans from those businesses. Here are a few pictures from their main store:
We headed further (quite a ways) down The Royal Mile to the other location (the headquarters) for Geoffrey (Tailor) Weavers. This took us through lunch and the crazies on the street, but I’ll recap that in a minute. Our reason for heading to their other store is because that’s where they hire out all the kilts and outfits for people’s weddings, etc. We went to find a used kilt for me to buy on the cheap (sure – you can buy cheap kilts all along The Royal Mile, but they’re polyester and look awful, because, “If it ain’t Scottish, it’s crap!” to quote Mike Meyer 🙂 ) and ended up with a really nice looking one that fits me perfectly, in the “Scottish Rugby Union” tartan. I found out from the kilt lady at the store where I got the kids’ kilts, when I asked if they had kilts in that tartan to match mine (since I thought maybe it was a common tartan up here), that you can only buy this tartan at the official Scottish Rugby Union stores, or at “certified” tartan weavers – which, as I mentioned, applies to Geoffrey (Tailor) Weavers. Reading about it more, I found out the tartan was, in fact, designed by Geoffrey (Tailor), and that they are now the exclusive weavers of it. Or so says google. Here’s a picture for you of my beautiful new kilt, which probably cost about a third of what it would have been new. Apparently it’s faded, which is why it was being sold, but I like it!
I can put a lot more time into describing yesterday now because I’m the one home with the children while John and Gabriel head out to the Royal Military Tattoo. Today we didn’t do much at all — started late and went to a “soft play” place as they call them in the UK. We were almost the only people there, and it was big enough and nice enough to hold the children’s attention from 2:30pm-5:30pm. John and I were able to relax most of that time, and we even enjoyed a relatively yummy lunch from their cafe (if you ever get to try a “coronation chicken” sandwich or wrap, they are delicious!). After that we picked up some KFC on the way home (and I got a decaf iced coffee and a scone with clotted cream from Costa Coffee to make the rest of the evening go by a little smoother :)) to the hotel, and then the kids all played at the hotel park while we picnicked on the chicken. The girls are all in the bath right now while I wait impatiently for the Men’s 200 Meter Final, and it’s just about time to feed Daniel again. Quite an uneventful day! But yesterday makes up for it 🙂
After the first stop at the Weavers, I think I mentioned that we had lunch at The Scotch Whiskey Experience. Turns out, they actually spell it “Whisky” in Scotland, and we use the “E” everywhere else in the world. Who knew?
Here are a few of the sights along the way — as I said, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has brought a lot of strange things to town. They have lots of plays and shows going on all over town in the evenings, so the characters were in costume on the main streets trying to entice you to go to their shows that night. So without further ado, check these
Now a few more of Yoda for you. Can you figure out how he is levitating? John knew what it was and asked Gabriel to confirm it for him by quickly peeking underneath his robe. It still looked pretty cool, though, so John dropped some change into the guy’s basket. (Of course change over here is often whole pounds instead of just pence.) The guy was really raking it in because he looked so cool 🙂
After Yoda was when we got to the kilt for me, and then John walked a long way back to the van for us – with Daniel in the Baby Bjorn and Greer on his shoulders – probably a good 20 minutes uphill and in the sun! While we waited on him to pick us up, we bought the kids their kilts. Overall a successful day! Peanut butter and jelly in the room rounded it out, and then Patience and I left for the tattoo while the others watched “The Lorax” in the hotel with John. Later this week I’ll post about the Tattoo because I need to go to bed now 🙂