The summer of travel has officially started.
Roaming is one reason we signed up for this long stint in London. And we plan to take advantage of being right here in Europe with the rest of, you know, Europe at our fingertips(ish).
For our first foray we stayed right here in the UK. Mat, Faye and my in-laws and I went to Scotland. Edinburgh if you want to be particular about it and I intend to be.
In my best Nora Jones voice (which actually isn’t very good, so maybe in Nora’s actual voice) I am asking you to come away with me
Here’s what we did at a place you should never go without a rain jacket. So if you don’t have a rain jacket get one because you want to go here.
We started our trip out with a train ride and it was a blast for all parties. I felt particularly great about the train, but I told you about that last week.
When we arrived we had a celebrity siting. Hugh Laurie I am certain you check Hello Luvvy on the daily – I was that chick with the baby waiting out the crowd leaving the train platform just like you except I was waiting it out because I had a stroller and not because I am famous. It was good to see you.
We walked to our hotel from the train and it was a beautiful walk. We were greeted less by Hugh Laurie and more by this beautiful day and amazing view over Princes Street Gardens.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Edinburgh I give the Nira Caledonia (http://niracaledonia.com/en/) the Hency approval. It was eclectic and beautiful with classy nods to Scotland without covering everything in tartan. Our room had a picturesque view of Edinburgh including the Castle.
The first day we just wondered around the city walking our way to and around the Royal Mile seeing all sorts of shops and whiskey rooms. We saw street performers of all sorts but the most impressive was the guy who stood on a pole and juggled knifes while he asked for 5 pounds per person.
On the Royal Mile we swiped Hume’s toe. It’s a modern statue (like from the 90s – too ligit). The philosophers toe sticks out and you are said to gain wisdom and knowledge for touching it. According to wikipiedia if this dude were alive he would hate the mere principle of this but people do it anyway. We did it. I don’t actually think we are any wiser although we did contribute to keeping his toe a beacon for all on the Royal Mile to see.
We visited St. Giles Cathedral. Maybe we got luck and not wisdom from Hume because we couldn’t have picked a better time to be in the cathedral. It was sunny – in Scotland they do have momentary glimpses of the same sun you can’t get rid of in Texas. And there are so many stain glass windows. The sun coming through the stained glass was stunning. They said it was 2 pounds to take pictures and I choose not to do that but then I took one with my phone and felt bad about it. Here is the Cathedral and evidence of my rule breaking.
We ended our day with dinner at The Outsider. Trendy space. Super nice guy who seemed to be an owner of sorts. Mat and the Hency’s loved the food. Faye might have screamed so much that we paced up and down George IV Bridge for close to an hour. Maybe.
Day two was Edinburgh castle. It rained on and off and once we got caught in more of a downpour with a hungry baby who wasn’t willing to wait and didn’t particularly see the fun in being wet in Scotland. We huddled under our umbrella in the corner and fed the hungry tiny one. We will always remember the Scottish Crown Jewels, the cannons and the time we fed our baby at a castle.
Yes, the castle is spectacular but the view is even better.
After a couple hours at the castle we headed to a café for warmth, dryness and food. We went to The Elephant House and if you are a Harry Potter fan you don’t even need me to tell you this is where JK Rawlings wrote the best childrens series of our generation. I’ll be honest. It was fun to be there but I would give the food and coffee a rating of mediocre. I ate it. But I wasn’t begging for seconds. Ya know? It did have an amazing view of Edinburgh Castle but so did The Outsider. I would say go to The Outsider.
Later in the day we twisted our way down cute little side streets and into little boutiques.
My favorite by far was this super precious book store called Golden Hare. They carry books they consider to be beautiful and they only have one or two of each of them.
The displays were beautiful.
The children’s books were unique, modern and so so fun to look through. We had to get one for our little. You must go if you find yourself in Edinburgh.
We finished that day with a stop at Urban Angel for prosecco and pastries. If you ask me there is nothing finer to have at 5pm than something bubbly and a piece of cake (or a brownie or a cookie or a scone).
This is one of those places you feel cooler for going to. The interior is modern and fresh and the menu includes all those super healthy ingredients you don’t buy for yourself at the grocery store because you have no idea what to do with them.
We stayed in for dinner at the hotel because everyone was wiped out – especially the little one.
We departed the same way we arrived and returned to London just in time for our Sunday night church gathering.
Edinburgh was put on the revist list. The highest compliment you can get from these traveling Hencys. We want to get into the Highlands of Scotland next time and do a tour at a whiskey distillery. Look for that in the future.
If you are going to Edinburgh please ask us to go with you. We'd love to.