Monday, June 14, 2010

Nana and Papaw Come for a Visit!

My mom and dad, along with some good friends Tim and Debbie, came to visit at the end of May. Dad and Tim played LOTS of golf while the rest of us pretty much just hung out with Aed :) We took them to Anstruther for fish and chips, they wandered St Andrews, the four of them took a little trip to the highlands so they could play the Dornoch course and see a castle (whose name is evading me at the moment.. Dunrobin perhaps?), and I enjoyed baking and cooking when the opportunity arose.

We also ate the best meal I have had in Scotland.. It was so delicious I can’t even tell you about it or you’ll be jealous :) Just one of the many perks of having visitors – eating out!

It was really fun to have Tim and Debbie here as well, since it’s been several years since we’ve seen them. They stayed for the first week and then headed home so they could turn around and go to Haiti a couple days later!

After the golfers had their fill and Tim and Debbie were on their way to Haiti, the five of us decided to go check out the Secret Bunker of Scotland. It was really interesting to see the kinds of preparations the UK was making in case a nuclear war broke out. It really is located in the middle of nowhere and is amazingly large inside. I think the highlight of that experience was when Aed peed on the floor. And on Ian. But the highlight was the floor, for sure. (While fully dressed, I might add)

We also did some shopping to try and replace all of our holey clothes.. we had limited success and are still on the hunt for jeans. These are the days when I just long for a Kohl’s! And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Wii frisbee golf tournaments we partook in after dinner :)

Like the photography fiend that I am, I ONLY took pictures when we went to Scone Palace (pronounced scoon, not like the scone you eat), which was one of the very last things we did. We’ll just say I didn’t pull out the camera because I was too busy enjoying my family :) I got plenty of pictures anyway, as you’ll see..

We headed to Scone for a day’s visit and were greeted at the entrance by a woman who told us the palace was closed today. What?? How did we not know this? Well, it turns out there was a Royal visit that day that had not been advertised. We asked around and eventually figured out that Prince Charles was coming for a visit, but they were all very secretive about who was coming and why they were coming.

So, we decided to just wander the grounds as they are gorgeous, though it was a cold, rainy day.

Upon our approach to the palace, we spotted some white peacocks!

I had never seen one before but they are beautiful.

There were also some highland coos munching away, surrounded by goats and such, but only the coo made it into the sights of my lens..

Here’s our little buddy keeping warm under his rain cover (Papaw was very concerned that he was going to run out of oxygen under that thing.. the good news is, he didn’t!).

We weren’t sure if we would get to see Prince Charles or not, as no one would tell us when he was arriving. So, we kept wandering and waiting and wondering and waiting. Eventually, a band showed up all decked out in Scottish garb. Surely he’ll be here soon! We’ll wait because if the band is here, he must be coming.

We took some photos while we waited..

By this time, the Aedster was getting grumpy. We learned while mom and dad were here that he no longer sleeps in the stroller AT ALL, much to our disappointment, and even more disappointing is that he hardly sleeps in the car now, either. Ian was walking him around, but he was only happy when the band was playing and they kept stopping! So insensitive! So, we decided to try holding him instead.

However, we had left his coat in the car (seeing as how he’d SURELY be sleeping in the stroller the whole time), and it was pretty chilly, but the car was really, really far away and no one wanted to miss the prince! So we tried to come up with some creative ways to keep him warm. (Little did we know we could have made it to the car and back about 47 times before Mr. Charles arrived.)

He didn’t really like being inside Daddy’s jacket, and he wouldn’t keep the shirt on his head, so we eventually just took the foot muff out of the stroller and plopped him in it while we held him. Much more effective :)

So we kept waiting. There were buses and cars dropping off loads of nicely dressed people, but still no prince. A bunch of school kids showed up, and a lady started passing out flags to wave. Surely NOW he’ll be coming!

So we spent our time waving our flags..

Even Aed waved his flag (he LOVED it and still waves those flags all the time with great gusto)!

More cars, more people, no prince!

But, we’ve made it this far, we can’t give up now!

Then, a motorcycle. And another one! This is looking good!

Finally! He rolled up in his fancy jaguar, gave us a few quick waves, and disappeared inside the palace.

A little anticlimactic perhaps, but we still got to see him in real life!

Unfortunately, as I was snapping pictures of him as quickly as I could, I didn’t realize that my lens was focused on the heads right in front of me, rather than the Prince. Bummer!! He even waved and all I have is some blurry proof.

Then, suddenly I snapped out of it and remembered I could ZOOM IN and I got a few close ups of him over the heads.

Whew! So much excitement! So, we took off and decided to come back the next day. Since we had driven all the way out there and the palace had been closed, they gave us free tickets to come back and see it whenever we could.

We were so glad we did! The next day was gorgeous, sunny, and warm.

I was on a mission to get some family photos, so it was perfect!

This might be my favorite of the day.

This one is awesome though.. Apparently I was the only one that could see past the sun to look at the camera! :)

Dad decided to strike a quick pose for me

Those rhododendrons are gorgeous right now! So big and pink and fluffy! And they were everywhere.

We continued our wandering to see what we had missed yesterday (we did see the inside of the palace too, which was very nice, but no pictures allowed!), and we found a maze!

Since it was Aed’s first maze, we took a picture :)

This area is known for having some giant trees, redwoods, Douglas firs and such. We found them!

You can see Aed and Ian at the bottom of that tree. They were so big!

Ian took Aed over to see some of them up close, and here they are at the bottom of the California Redwood..

They touched the trees..

I photographed the trees..

And on the way out, Daddy let the Aedster ride on his shoulders! It was so fun!

Then we found a low branch to set Aed on for another attempt at a family picture :)

He thoroughly enjoyed himself..

May I just take a moment to point out how my son has inherited my husband’s cheeks?? :) Aren’t they so cute!!??

Aed’s favorite past time at the moment is WALKING. I’m not quite ready for the real deal yet, but he MUCH prefers to be on his feet then on his hands and knees (he’s a 100% crawler now!).

We snapped a few more pictures and headed back to the palace..

But not before finding a white peacock in a tree!

The entrance to the old village of Scone is just outside the palace entrance.

The Earl decided he didn’t like this way back when because the villagers were always around the palace, so instead of moving the entrance, they moved the village! Oh Nobility.. what will we do with them?

It was a wonderful day and a wonderful visit. We were sad to say goodbye, but were so thankful that Mom and Dad were able to come! Who’s next?? :)

1 comment:

  1. 1. Love the picture of your mom and dad with the flags.
    2. Great family photo!
    3. Aed is seriously adorable. I have to meet this kid before we move.
    4. He does have Ian's cheeks! I didn't notice until you mentioned it, but its true.
    5. Jealous that you got to see some of the Royal Family in real life. I think that goal of mine will go unmet.
    6. Glad you had a nice day to go back to the castle. It looks like you had a great day.
    7. That was a lot of comments, but it was a big post, so I think its ok. :)