We rented a car last weekend and decided to take a little excursion on Saturday. We had hoped we might go away for the whole weekend, but quickly realized we were both too busy to spend that much time planning something, so we found a couple castles not too far away, and spent the day taking in some history.
I was pretty nervous about this whole thing.. Knowing that traveling would mean Aed would not sleep as well and that we would be guaranteed a grumpy baby, but you’ve got to start somewhere!
So we loaded up into the car, trying to think of every possible need, but at the same time having the assurance that we were only going to be gone for the day and the world would not end if we forgot something. Aed had just been fed, and so unfortunately, was not quite ready to sleep, but got a bit of a nap since it was about an hour drive to our first destination: Castle Campbell!
It is in a beautiful location overlooking the town of Dollar. (I learned on this trip that almost every time I hear the word ‘dollar’ I immediately think ‘McDonalds’. Is that sort of weird? I think so.)
We got out of the car and immediately had a screaming baby on our hands. He was very upset to have been awoken, put into a carrier, and moved out into the cold, wind, and rain. We weren’t real sure where we were going and I had to pee really badly, so we were kind of a mess. If any experienced parents had witnessed the situation, they would have been laughing hysterically. Guaranteed. I was about to start crying (and I sheepishly admit, I had the urge to curse a few times. I know! That just goes to show how bad it was) and Ian sprouted 17 more grey hairs, but we decided to trek on and just see how things went.
And trek we did.. it was a long walk to that castle! Quite literally over the river and through the woods.
But we made it and were welcomed by a nice lady and no one else! We were the only ones there. Can’t imagine why, being such a beautiful day and all. I got my potty break and we were on our way.
It was really a beautiful castle and our only lament was how lush the area would’ve been if we had come in summer time. But fortunately, we are easy to please.
As we wandered, Aed quickly expressed his desire to eat, and his usual unwillingness to wait for an opportune moment. So I fed him. I fed him in a little, old, wooden chair, in the cellar of the castle. The freezing cold, stone cellar. Sitting there with my nose running and my toes going numb, wondering if my son could feel his toes, I began to be oh-so-thankful that I have never lived in a stone castle.
Well, our hungry munchkin finished up and we headed up up up to see the rest of the castle! We found a beautiful view over the glen and the town of Dollar..
We were able to climb to the very tippy-top and were welcomed again by the freezing cold rain. The stairs were steep and stone and very, very narrow. This is where we learned that for some reason, Aed does not like narrow staircases. We had to climb up and down a few other narrow staircases and he yelled every time! It was kind of hilarious. Fortunately, Daddy is very comforting. :)
I managed to get one picture of myself.. I am always behind the camera, so sometimes I forget that I am a part of the family, but I promise, I was there too! :)
We enjoyed Castle Campbell, but we were all ready to get back in the car and out of the cold. We continued on with a sleeping baby to Dunfermline to check out the palace and abbey. Fortunately, we got a little lost (but only a very little) which meant Aed got to sleep a little longer. We really liked the town of Dunfermline! The area we were in was really nice and had a great variety of shops and restaurants that we are not used to coming from St Andrews! The palace is just on the other side of that big clock.
Before you get to the palace, there is a big, beautiful cathedral. I’m not sure if that’s the abbey or not. Ian is better at figuring these things out and would probably be better at writing these memoirs, but he procrastinates and never does it. That’s why you still haven’t heard about Rome, Glasgow, or London. I’m telling you – get on his case!
Aed was getting fussy to eat again at this point, so we found a little café to feed him in. I got a slice of carrot cake and a delicious hot chocolate to enjoy while Aed enjoyed his afternoon snack and Ian had some soup and then went out to snap some pictures.
I think this is the abbey of ‘Dunfermline Palace and Abbey’ but I am not sure. But I think it is since it’s ruined like the palace. It is just on the other side of the cathedral and the sun was setting beautifully behind it.
The rain cleared up, and though it was still cold and windy, it was much less wet!
My boys thoroughly enjoyed the visit (minus the narrow staircase). This is the palace area. There are lots of rooms down there below ground that was a guest house area that we wandered through. And I LOVED the windows! I’ve never seen stone windows with the ‘T’ in them separating the panes. I thought they were beautiful.
We saw the last few bits of the palace and abbey and decided to call it quits. We were all hungry and tired, so we journeyed back to our car. Not before, however, we spotted bird of all birds, a majestic peacock! Right outside a pub, just chillin’ on the sidewalk.
After we got over our initial shock, I mentioned to Ian how there are peacocks at Buckingham palace and he said, “Oh, do you think this one escaped?” I thought he was jesting, so, laughing, I said, ‘Yeah and wandered really, really far north.” It was only then, after the pause followed by a good belly laugh, I learned hubby thought I was talking about Dunfermline palace and didn’t realize he was suggesting such a monumental journey for such a little peacock.
We got in the car and Aed was thoroughly frustrated by all this movement and repositioning, so it took a little while for him to settle into a good sleep. It took great efforts from mama to hold his arms down (he startles a lot more when he’s really tired) and cover his face (he has trouble falling asleep if there is too much visual stimulation) aaaaaall the long way home, but we made it safe and sound and in one piece. We fed our baby and put him to bed, and then fed ourselves with some delicious, hot pizza, enjoying our warm, dry house and congratulating ourselves on the success of our first excursion as three instead of two.