Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rowan's UK Adventure

This post is long overdue as it's been a couple of weeks since we got back from our trip.   Rodney was right back to work and has been busy with that - I spent the first week back recovering from whatever British swine flu I managed to pick up while over there, and the wee man has been keeping everyone up at night while he takes his sweet time adjusting back to U.S. time.  I think we are now finally all in good health and getting a bit more sleep. 

We chose to fly out of New York this time.  I think it was a much better price when we booked and it seemed like a good idea at the time.  In hindsight, I think it's easier to leave from Boston as we had to drive up there anyway to leave the dog with some friends of ours.  Anyhoo, we made it to JFK airport with plenty of time to spare and we were off to a good start.

We decided to leave the car seat and buggy (or stroller for you Yanks) behind and just carry the Wee Yin through the airport in this fabric carrier.  Luckily we had folks at the other end who were going to lend us car seats and buggies, so that was a little bit less luggage to worry about. 

We got seated in a bulkhead row, which worked out really well.  They have a shelf that folds down from the wall and they put a little "bassinet" on top to put the baby in for naps.  The "bassinet" is basically a cardboard box but it did the trick and Rowan slept for a few hours in it.  That's him on the right.  There was another baby in the row with us who was just over 1 year old.  Rowan was of course the best baby on the flight.  ;)  He barely made a peep.
Our first stop was in Ireland to see Rowan's Nana and Nanda.  They picked us up at the airport in Dublin as usual (thank you, guys!).  It seemed a long ride back to Enniskillen with 4 adults, an infant and a ton of luggage crammed into the car but we got there.  One of the first things Nana did when we arrived was to show Rowan the little chick she had been keeping in the house.  This poor little fella lost its mummy to a fox so Joan was acting as surrogate mummy to it, keeping it in a little box in the living room and letting it out to roam about and feed several times a day.  Rowan was quite interested in the little chick.
We had a couple of good old sink baths
Rowan wanted to try on his outfit for his uncle Steve's wedding to make sure he had remembered all the essentials (and to show it off to Nana and Nanda, of course).  Here he is sporting his kilt outfit with the white socks.  He decided to go with black socks on the day, to match his Daddy, but he brought both pairs with him, just in case.  A boy's gotta have options after all.
After just a few days in Ireland, we headed to Belfast and got a quick flight over to Glasgow where Jayne was waiting for us with yet another borrowed car seat.  I was pretty sick by this time so Rodney took Rowan down into South Queensferry to show him the sights (or to let Mummy have a much needed sleep).  Here he is at the Forth Rail Bridge.  This was the world's first major steel constructed bridge and it spans about 1.5 miles across the Firth of Forth.  Even today, the Forth Rail Bridge is considered a great feat of engineering. 
Rowan seems to have slept through much of his tour of Queensferry.
The night after we arrived was Caitlin and Steve's rehearsal dinner.  It was a nice time to get together with many of the people that had traveled from afar and have a nice meal and a good blether before the wedding itself.  My Dad had arranged a coach from Queensferry to the Hotel de Vin in Edinburgh.  We had dinner in the Burke and Hare room - a tribute to the infamous Edinburgh murderers Burke and Hare.  In the 1800s there was a shortage of human cadavers to use for teaching anatomy at the medical college in Edinburgh.  The shortage led criminal types to start "grave robbing" or digging up recently buried bodies to sell to the college.  The sale of cadavers was so lucrative that Burke and Hare took it a step further and started killing folk to sell their bodies.  Anything for a quick buck, eh? 
On Thursday, 28 June, we attended Steven and Caitlin's wedding.  The weather forecast was pretty dismal and the morning was not looking good, with a big grey sky looming.  The rain held off, though, and while the ceremony was coming to an end, you could see the sun starting to shine in through the windows.  By the time we got outside, it was lovely and sunny.
The men-folk - Steven, Dad, Mike, Grandad Jack, Rodney & RowanOur family - Mike, Grandma, Nana, Dad, Steven & Caitlin, Grandad Jack, Mum, me, Rodney and Rowan.Off to the reception - time to party!!
The wedding photographer took some nice photos of each couple down by the water.
Auntie Jayne chats with the Wee Man
Photo shoot with Rowan and his grandma outside on the balcony
  Rowan hanging out with our gracious hosts, Carol-Ann and Alan Preacher

  The Forth Rail Bridge by night.
Before we left Scotland, we took a walk around my old stomping grounds in Echline.  This is the "big hill" we used to play on and roll down.  Seems more like a tiny mound now but I guess it's all about perspective.
This is our old house in Echline.  The garden still looks the same with flower beds around the perimeter.  We never had any dish TV when I lived here!  And they've paved the driveway but other than that, it looks the same.  I have no idea how my parents had 3 young kids in this little house!  We must have been ever so tidy and well behaved.  ;)
  The day before we left, we went to visit Nana and Grandad Jack in Granton.  Their house has not changed either and I can remember some of the pictures on the wall from when I was little. 
Auntie Pat was staying with them for a while so we got to spend some time with her, too.  Last time she saw Rowan he was still inside the belly!

Rowan and Jack have a stare-down.
Then before we knew it, it was time to go home again.  Rowan was kept entertained on the flight home with some cartoons.

All in all, we had a great time.  I wish I hadn't been feeling so ill but hey, it's a good excuse to go back again soon to catch up on the things I missed out on!

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