Life is so busy. I know that is true for us all, but this year we really felt it. Besides being busy busy busy, it is painfully evident how quickly the kids are growing. The combination of the awareness of these two things led us to want to make a conscious effort to slow life down and spend quality time together.
Initially we were thinking we would just pack up our lives and explore somewhere new for six months. We sat with this for a while and made some exciting plans. Eventually we realized that 6 months was just not going to work in our lives of work, school, braces, and surgery schedules. But we decided not to kill the dream, just alter it to one month in the summer!
We quickly settled on Scotland for our destination. Lots of people have asked me why we chose to go to Scotland. In a lot of ways the answer was “why NOT Scotland?” Scotland is absolutely beautiful. It is English speaking, which makes it just a tad easier for such a long adventure with 5 kids. And bonus- Kai’s surgeon from Ohio has a colleague here, so if we had some sort of medical emergency we know that we have a contact here that we could reach out to. With that box checked, we were in!
Now here we are already a week into our adventure, and I think it is the best decision we have ever made. We rented a tiny Airbnb with one bathroom, and we are all loving it so much. The intentional time together is priceless and so needed.
Here is a summary of week one:
Our flat from the outside and the front door.
We have a small park in front of our flat and a playground around the corner. The kids have had fun playing “Tig” (Tag) with some of the local kids. They are also obsessed with pigeons and were thrilled to feed them in the park.
The Royal Mile
A favorite sight on our daily walks.
Hannah eagerly volunteered to participate in a street show.
A few “Harry Potter” sights. The cafe that J.K. Rowling loved to sit in to write her novels, and the tombstone where she came up with the name “Tom Riddle.”
Calton Hill. This is an easy walk from our flat, and my favorite place so far. We took a picnic and our books and easily spent an afternoon up here where there are amazing views of the entire city.
We took the train into Glasgow for the day. We enjoyed walking around the city and seeing the museum.
One of the highlights of the trip was seeing James Taylor! One of the lowlights of the trip was that the high seats and loud music made Kaitlyn feel sick, so they had to leave the arena before he even took the stage. 🙁
Edinburgh Castle. We enjoyed the views, but especially enjoyed meeting up with friends from home who happened to be here too.
In the military war memorial at the castle the boys tried to find their grandmother’s maiden name, McGinty. Drew was the first one to find it, winning his grandmother’s contest.
Most of the family enjoyed seeing Edinburgh from the ferris wheel. Kaitlyn and I enjoyed crepes from the ground instead.
Yesterday we toured the Palace of Holyrood House. We saw it from the outside a few days ago, but were not able to go in because the Queen was in residence. Kaitlyn declared it one of the best moments of her life. It was absolutely gorgeous inside, and we all loved it.
Now on to week two! Loving every minute.