Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Scotland Days 1-3

Soooo last week we were in Scotland and Ireland!  Kevin won a trip through his work and if you've followed my blog for a long time, you know they do these trips RIGHT!  They are always extravagant and we do things that are unreal.  Like that time they had the Louve open for only us.  Yeah.  

Anyway, this trip was equally as amazing and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

First things first - packing two children to leave your house and go to two separate places.  Yep!  Plus Mr. Mills who went to Camp and had to have his food in separate bags for a week and medicine organized.  Molly Anne went to my brother and SIL's house in Pawleys.  Grady went to Kevin's parents for the weekend, mornings and nights and during the weekdays went to Ms. Becky's!  It took some coordination and lots of lists but we all got straight.  Thursday, August 2nd after both children were in bed, I took Grady's stuff to my in laws.  Friday morning I drove halfway to Pawleys to meet my SIL to give her Molly Anne.  Friday on my way back home, I stopped by to see Grady at Ms. Becky's one last time.  I started packing my stuff on Friday at 2:15pm.  We left for the airport at 3pm!  ;)

Yes, it was as traumatic as it sounds to leave a 12 week old and a 3 year old.  I've been anxious about it since Christmas when I found out Kevin won this trip.  But I felt more than comfortable with Molly Anne being at my brother's/SIL's and Grady with my in-laws and Ms. Becky.  Honestly, it couldn't have worked out better.  And I'm INCREDIBLY thankful for all of them for taking such good care of the children.  And I'm also incredibly thankful to have gotten to go on a trip of a lifetime, even having young ones.  It was SO GOOD to get away and have some time just us!  I do think it wasn't wonderful timing with have two itty bitty babies but it was also a trip we couldn't miss!  We cut the trip short by two nights so we were 'only' gone 7 nights, not 9.  

Anyway, I plan to recap the entire trip over the next couple of weeks as I have the time.  I took 450 pictures and lots of videos.  I have loved looking back at our other trips on my blog so it's important to me that I put alllll the pictures and commentary on here!  

Day 1:
Travel day - we left the house and took Mills to Camp on the way to the airport.  We flew from Charlotte to Dublin on the red eye.  Had a 7 hour layover in Dublin (because I wouldn't book flights until after Grady was born (!!!) we kinda missed out on the better connections) and then flew from Dublin to Edinburgh, Scotland.  We arrived in Edinburgh on Saturday, August 4th at 4pm! 

Day 2:
Saturday we arrived at the Edinburgh airport and there was a man waiting for us after baggage claim with our name on his sign.  We hopped in his van and it took us right to the Sheraton hotel where we stayed.  I must say, the hotel was nice and very centrally located!  

That night, we had a Welcome Reception at the hotel.  It was full of traditional Scottish food and a cool band!

Day 3:

Sunday was a big day!  Here's the gist:
Tour the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Tour the Botanical Gardens
Event at Thirlestane Castle
Out afterwards

Here's the detail:

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is where one of the three official residences of the Queen.  She stays here for a week in early July every year.

She still walks up these stairs every time she comes to the house and did just a few weeks prior to us being there!

Dining area

Next stop, the Botanical Gardens.  I loved these trees. 

They had a mini refreshment area for us in the building you see below.  

Then we got back on the coach buses and headed to Thirlestane Castle.  It's about 45 minutes outside of Edinburgh in the cutest little town called Lauder.  Also, I should add - when they drive us to all of these places on these buses, each bus has a tour guide that tells us about everywhere we are passing in town.  Very cool.    

Thirlestane Castle was closed to the public for this day.  

Because we were having a Scottish Fair there!

They had all of these stations set up where you could do all kinds of things, just like at a Scottish Fair!  Bagpipes welcomed us as we pulled into the front drive on the bus.  

These are the kind folks that live there.  He's evidently one of the Queen's right hand men.  We loved talking with them and they were so nice!

Down in the basement area they had a whiskey and gin tasting.  I loved both but definitely the gin was a favorite!

This was the set up on the front lawn.  Unbelievable.  Behind me in this picture was a huge tent of food.  

We shot clays.

Watched the dog and geese.  

Ate all of the incredible Scottish food. 

Threw wellies into the tires!  

Threw axes

Bow and Arrow

Not a detail was missed on an incredibly special afternoon. 

We got back to the hotel and decided to go meet up with some friends and try a place that Molly Anne and Grady's PT gal recommended!  The Devils Advocate is right off of the Royal Mile and the best place.  It was maybe one of the coolest places we went!

Then we bounced over to a place called The Waverly which was a bunch of food truck type stands with food and beer.  And live music.  

It was a super cool vibe!

We stopped by a place next door to grab some oysters which were amazing!

Our walk back to the hotel with the Edinburgh Castle in the background.  By the way, we saw this castle from our hotel room window!

Next up, our last full day in Edinburgh and then we are off to Dublin!


  1. BEYOND amazing! I totally you understand the anxiety of leaving g your babies, but you could NEVER have missed this amazing adventure. Can’t wait to see more

  2. WOW! What an amazing trip! Definitely a once in a lifetime experience!!! I cant wait for the rest of the photos!! Plus it gave the family opportunities to enjoy time with the kids! have a great day!

  3. The trip of a lifetime! So amazing.
    And I'm sure it was hard to leave the kids, but they were in good hands and were totally happy and well taken care of. My mom left me for almost 2 weeks when I was about 6 weeks old. And have never doubted how much she loves me.

  4. This looks so amazing; like something out of The Crowne! I wouldn’t feel bad leaving the babies either. They were in good hands with family! What a phenomenal opportunity!

  5. AHHHHHHH!!! SUCH an amazing trip! So excited y'all had this time together! And hello! I can't think of anything they could have done / planned better for y'all! What an amazing company!