Saturday, June 04, 2005

Scotland Meets Ellie

We decided we'd have to do a little touring outside of Durham while Nana is still here with us, so we settled on Edinburgh as a day-trip. The first requirement was viewing Braveheart so she could be brought up-to-speed on the whole Scottish-English thing. (Yes, I know it's not particularly accurate, but it does get the basic point across. BTW, this is the statue of William Wallace at Edinburgh Castle, which doesn't look much like Mel Gibson...but then again I'm not sure we know much about what he really did look like!).

Besides taking Nana out and about, the other goal for the trip was to begin learning how to do life along with Ellie. Crystal had it all figured — feed her on the train so she's good for a couple of hours of touring, etc. Well, like most of the best laid plans of mice and men, this one lasted for maybe a good five minutes....

Here we are getting ready to board the train. Ellie found the smooth motion to be irresistably sleep-inducing, so try as she might to eat, her heavy eyelids got the best of her and off she went. So when we got to Edinburgh she was good'n'hungry just in time for the rain to start falling. Now feeding a baby is not the easiest thing in the world, but try doing it modestly, in the rain, standing in a ticket line, with hundreds of people around. Crystal is amazing, but I'm sure it wasn't easy!


When we stopped for lunch, Crystal found an excellent way to be able to eat without spilling food on Ellie. She seemed quite content to camp out underneath a napkin while Crystal buttered her croissant. Shortly thereafter, I was disappointed to find that St. Margaret's Chapel was closed for a wedding. I had wanted to see the inside again, but contented myself with watching the bagpiper who was standing outside the door of the chapel. Then I realized that he was playing the wedding recessional so I snapped a little video of the happy couple (click on the bagpiper above to see it).

Somehow I got it into my head that it would be cute to get a picture of Ellie inside of Mons Meg, the 15th century, six ton cannon that can fire 330 lb cannonballs 2 1/2 miles. Crystal was reluctant but, I managed to talk her into trying to sit Ellie in there. I had wanted to lay her down, but Crystal put her foot down. Instantly, tourists started snapping pictures of our adorable little baby inside the canon. Suddenly it struck me that maybe I was being foolish. Images of Michael Jackson dangling his baby off a 5th floor balcony went through my head. Not to mention a few people who had clucked their tongues at us for taking our nearly-three-week-old off on an outing. Hopefully nobody got any good pictures of us by the cannon... Seriously, I think Ellie was the least worn-out of the four of us on this trip, and I think she enjoyed being cooed over by the Scots (and American tourists).

Crystal and I really enjoyed a demonstration of Scottish weaponry that we saw a couple of years ago when we visited Edinburgh. We were pleased to see that the same fellow was doing a similar talk on this day. Click on his picture to see an excerpt from his talk where he uses "bits" in yet another new way!

And what trip to Edinburgh would be complete without a stop at Jenner's? The saleslady really thought she had us as she showed us to the "Kids at Jenner's" department of children's clothes, selling for huge sums of money. But Ellie decided that all of your kind gifts have her wardrobe pretty much sorted.


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