Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On our way to Scotland



On Saturday we woke up bright and early to clear out our hotel room and head to the train station.

I decided to stop by one more store that I had wanted to check out before we left and – oops!- while I was there realized suddenly that it was past the time that the taxi was going to be picking us up at the hotel.

So I had to run all the way back (with both kids) cursing my lack of time management and the fact that I had promised myself that there would be no stress-sweating that day.  Broken at 10 am.

But, I got what I wanted from the store, and we made it to the train station in plenty of time.


I’m going to go ahead and say that we were the only people there to load up 2 suitcases, 2 duffel bags (one full of dirty clothes- no laundry for a week, remember?), 2 car seats, and a stroller.

I’m pretty sure they all thought that we were moving to Scotland.


Thank goodness Brian had the forethought to order a seat for Isaac too instead of sticking him on our laps- so we had this whole table and four seat area to ourselves.



My little world travelers even took a nap on the train



(Joseph WANTED to nap on the floor- I promise!)


(A nice old man asked to take this picture because his wife said Joseph looked “so precious”)

(He was in a different position in this one because I had just stepped on his fingers and woke him up for a minute.  Whoopsy Daisy!)


Before we moved to New York, Joseph would have never, ever in a million years been able to sleep on a train, much less on the FLOOR of a train after staying in a hotel for a week in a foreign country. 

He needed his bed and his set nap time, period.  So, yay!  Score one for abandoning our house/friends/proximity to family!


For some reason, even though it was a 4.5 hour train ride, Brian and I didn’t make a plan for what we would do upon disembarking at Edinburgh.  Maybe we were too busy staring out at the endless sheep, rolling green hills, and ocean?  Beauty at its finest, let me tell you.

In any case, before we knew it we were arriving in Edinburgh and gathering our children, bags, car seats, etc. and realizing that the car rental place where we were supposed to pick up our car closed in 15 minutes!!!!


We made a split second decision that Brian would run ahead, call a taxi, get the car and come back to get us, and that I would load up all of the bags on the trolley (one of those cart thingys that you get at the airport.  They call them trolleys) and wait for him to pick us up.

Basically we shouted this to each other over the roar of the train (“sound good?” “yeah!”) and then he was gone.


The train pulled out of the station as well, and I was left there in silence.

With 2 suitcases, 2 duffel bags, 2 car seats, a stroller, Isaac strapped to my back, and Joseph inquiring (repeatedly) about the function of different parts of the train.

Oh yes,and in a foreign country.

With no cell phone.

And without our passports or any money at all. (Brian had the money bag with him)

Feeling panicky yet?

Not really my finest moment.


I took a deep breath and said, “oooookay…” and got to work.


As I was trying to load everything onto the cart (with Isaac on my back)  a man from the train station came over to help saying that my husband sent him. (Thanks sweetie!)

He loaded up my cart for me and pushed it to the elevator while things continued to fall off of it.


One man came over and shouted  “Wow!  That’s a lot of stuff!”  which normally I would have been annoyed at, but he said it in a Scottish accent, see, so I asked him to marry me instead.


At the top of the elevators, next to a sign that said “Trolleys will not work past this point” the train station helper abandoned me, saying “Your husband will meet you here!”

Lying, lying train station man.


The boys and I waited.

and waited,

for an hour.

Isaac on my back for an hour!

and did I mention that I needed to pee?

But couldn’t take all of our stuff into the bathroom with me?

Also, we saw a man arrested right in front of us (I am guessing drunk and disorderly, I couldn’t really understand what everyone was saying- the accents and all)

which made for a LOT of questions from Joseph, let me tell you.


About the time that I started to panic, I heard my name, in a thick brogue, announced over the intercom, “Caitlin -----, Caitlin ------, please meet your party at Terminal 2.”

Where in the world was Terminal 2?  And how in heaven’s name was I going to make it there with all of our things and our children? Insert Caitlin saying a curse word here.


I will save you all of the details, but it involved lots of bags toppling off the trolley, an elevator ride to the wrong floor, being unable to get into a second elevator because of the wide trolley, Isaac losing a binky and striking me repeatedly about the head (he was still in the backpack), and me telling Joseph repeatedly to “take a break from talking” all while trying not to cry.

Just then, like an angel from heaven, I saw Brian come running around the corner.

And I burst into tears.


We had to regroup, load up the car, and talk about what had just gone down and how we felt about it (there may have been some more profanities involved)

But we were able to kiss, take a deep breath, promise to BE MORE PREPARED IN THE FUTURE, and get started on our vacation!


Our hotel in Edinburgh was fantastic, DSC_0105

(Best Western Edinburgh Capital Hotel)

and had a cool steep hill/grassy area across from it where we let the boys blow off some steam.






Me running down the hill laughing, laughing, laughing;


One: because man I was cruisin’!


and two: because Joseph was so cranky and was running after me crying “Mama!” like for some reason I was running down this hill to abandon him.


Haha!  I’m sick like that a little.


Have I mentioned that I am Scottish?  Almost 100%?  And that I have always (my whole 27 years-ha!) wanted to see it?

I sat on that green hill for a good 15 minutes and looked out over the land , thanking God over and over that I had made it here to see it.


Jen said...

I am so glad that you got to Scotland but boy, what an adventure getting there.

britney said...

Holy Crap! I hope the rest of your vacation went much smoother.

T Rex Mom said...

I am so happy you went to Scotland to see your home country. Always good blog fodder after such experiences.

Thanks for posting about it. We've missed you.

Jenners said...

I always feel so bad laughing at your misfortunes but you just have a way of writing things that make me laugh at the horrors you experience. You look like you were cruisin! And I bet, for just a minute, you wanted to just run like hell and have some peace away from the kids!

ter@waaoms said...

Other than your train terminal incident, it sounds like you had a wonderful time!!

I have some scottish background in me too, but I'm mostly a mutt. ;)

Looking forward to hearing more about your trip, but mostly, looking forward to hearing more from you! :)

septembermom said...

I would love that green hill too! What a beautiful and memorable trip. I'm so glad that you all enjoyed it.