Early this month we had to make a trip to Scotland's capitol city, Edinburgh.
Pronounce it like "Ed-in-bur-a" so you don't sound ridiculous.
Ask me how I know.
We were obligated to go because that is where the closest American embassy is and we had to go there in order for Miss Airdrie to become a US citizen, get her report of birth abroad, passport, and Social Security Number.
We were too worried about that last one, just the first 3; ______ insert political comment here.
While Edinburgh is just under 200 miles away, in Scotland that means a good 4 hour drive. In order to make our appointment at the embassy without hauling 4 children out of bed at 4 a.m. we went a day early and stayed the night at a hotel. This was a super awesome decision on my husband's part because it made for a nearly stress-free trip!
Here are some of the fun sights for you to enjoy a glimpse of Scotland!
On the way down we choose to take the route through the Cairngorm Mountains.
Our first glimpse of the mountains!
Please excuse my 'through the window' photography. As much as I love the scenic beauty and want to do it justice, it's not enough to make me want Mark to pull the car over causing the baby to wake up.
This is the famous fly-fishing river Spey.
My husband would love to fish the Spey...unfortunately so would every other fly fisherman.
It is SUPER expensive!
So Mark fishes in the sea off the harbour walls.
Same difference, right?
Too bad my giant, hovering, striped scarf reflection is floating in the sky.
The Spey was flooded from our unusually warm winter.
This is outside the town of Aviemore.
It reminds me so much of Breckenridge, Colorado--a pretty little ski town!
Starting up into the Cairngorms.
Oh hey there castle ruins on the edge of the loch (lake).
I love how God paints His beauty in all corners of the earth.
We have a sweet friend who has been here and her description of the sheep is apropos:
"It looks like someone just tossed a bunch of pellets out all over and they popped into sheep."
Almost as plentiful as sheep in Scotland are the distilleries.
We do live in the malt whiskey belt.
Mountains in Scotland look much different than American ones.
But they're still mountains, so we loved them with all our heart.
The children BEGGED to play in the snow.
So we stopped and let them play for a few very cold and underdressed minutes.
Aw, my favourite guy!
I love the reflection of the kids in Mark's glasses.
Coming down the other side of the mountains is Blair Castle.
I could've probably blown up my Instagram with all my pictures just begging for a filter.
This is a warning sign that says "High Winds"...
right before we cross the Queensferry Bridge.
For the love of Pete, tell us what to do...
stop, drop, and roll;
WHAT do we do with this "high winds" warning?!
Earlier freak out not needed, the wind did not present a problem.
The lovely Firth of Forth.
Our first essential stop was IKEA.
I love this store to the flag.
Those mini carts kept my children in this exact formation the entire time!
WOO HOO Go Swedish ingenuity!!!
Mark cackles out loud because he found a tub full of scissors.
(Jeff Foxworthy something or the other)
Edinburgh Cathedral backlit by the moon.
This was SUCH a lovely shot, my old, cracked iPhone didn't do it justice.
We stayed at the lovely Walton Guesthouse.
and SO affordable.
The big kids had their own bedroom.
Our lovely bedroom...
With a twin bed for Aberdeen.
An affordable hotel, downtown Edinburgh, that sleeps 5--I can thank my thrifty husband for spending hours shopping around online!
My children immediately went in, and threw their junk all over to make it feel more like their rooms at home.
Mark and Airdrie exploring as well.
Ooooh, look what I found...
Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate for 5!
Giant windows in this auld (old) building.
Sun coming up over the city
Full Scottish breakfast included!
Choice of white or brown lumps of sugar.
Scrambled eggs, hash brown, sausage (not quite what you think), grilled tomato, bacon (not quite what you think), and haggis (exactly what you think).
She loves it.
For reals. They all do.
I, on the other hand, got this lovely eggs Benedict.
ALL included in our fabulous hotel price.
Seriously, look 'em up if you're in the area.
Pretty details of the foyer.
The wee car park in the back of the hotel.
The back garden.
Goodbye lovely hotel!
Look how precious our little world travellers are!
Don't forget AirBear!
Her daddy was precious and carried her luggage for her.
Back street behind the hotel.
SO tight to fit into in our giant of a car!
This is why I'm taking pictures and Mark is driving.
I can't handle stress or driving like that.
I may have revealed too much about myself in that statement.
A few shots of Edinburgh.
Sad...a church turned Satanic restaurant.
Caedmon loves St. Columba and his story.
(Broncos reppin', by the way)
This is how things are done here.
If you need to make a delivery or stop you do so on the street, even facing the wrong direction.
Annnnd it's closed.
Water main broke in town.
No water to castle.
No water, no tourists allowed.
And we are tourists.
It's ok, we'll just stand on the parking lot and take pictures.
Pictures of the entire family at the castle:
It is SO cold and windy!
Aberdeen was freezing!
The Firth of Forth.
My Nessie Mae.
And last but not least, our trip to the American embassy.
No photos inside the embassy, but our children were allowed into the restricted interior for potty breaks.
Taking a quick picture on the steps of the embassy and we got a lovely postie (postman) photobomb.
We didn't retake because of all the security cameras. I thought they might take away my birthday.
6 days later, I kid you not, all documents have been sent from Scotland to the US,
a passport and new documents made,
shipped back to Scotland, p
roofed by the embassy,
and then mailed to us.
What the 6 week waiting period...???
Thanks for stopping by to see our Edinburgh fun!
I'm awa to see to my washing.
(I'm away to see to my laundry)