Big Adventure to Edinburgh

For quite some time I’ve been wanting to take Owen down to Edinburgh to catch up with some friends and generally show him off!  Last weekend I finally did it, whilst Bryan took the chance to have some guys over for an xbox weekend.  The Monday was a public holiday so it gave us a nice stretch of 3 days.

Owen was getting excited about our “holidays” and “big adventure”, bless him!  “Mummy and Owen, no Daddy” he also seemed to totally understand which was all promising.

We set off on the Saturday morning and drove south.  First stop, just over the Forth Road Bridge, was my friend Tony’s new house where we were going to meet his new twins and see his horses.  I couldn’t believe the twins were 20 months old already, ridiculous it took me that long to get down there and meet them, but then he hadn’t come up and met my wee one either and he’s 2.5 years!  Anyway we had the grand tour of the house and Owen was introduced to Mac the Shetland Pony, who he thought was rather lovely.
Owen meets Mack

Mac liked Owen so much he asked his Mummy Lesley to give Owen one of his rosettes, which made my wee guy very pleased!!  Playing with the twins, having lunch with the whole family, and meeting the animals was obviously all quite tiring as within 5 minutes of leaving there he looked like this…
Mack gave Owen a rosette, and tired him out!

Next we went to see Lyndsay and Kieron in Balerno, this was the first time Owen had met a lady with “baby in belly” and he thought it was quite exciting, enjoyed seeing the nursery room all ready as well.  He even agreed to giving the baby his buggy which he had been very against when we were at home, even though he never uses it!  “Luckily” I happened to have it in the boot of the car, and he was very happy to hand it over to them before we left.  Unfortunately he wasn’t so happy that we weren’t staying there as he remembered staying there before and went into “Owen’s room” and looked disappointed when I said that it wasn’t!  And so we moved onto our last stop of the day in Musselburgh.

Angela had very kindly cooked some macaroni cheese for Owen’s dinner so he ate that all up and then got ready for bed.  Our friend Louise arrived and I started to worry about whether he would go to bed as it was his first time sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor.  Now I don’t know if it was due to the practice run of him sleeping in it on his bed the previous weekend, or if it was just that the day had been soooo exciting, or if it was the promise we’d go to the zoo if he slept properly….but there he went.  Off to bed and there wasn’t a squeak out of the baby monitor all night!

That left us girlies free to do what we always used to do regularly when we all worked together, outwith work hours of course, we opened the vino, ordered a Chinese meal delivery and got chatting!  We had a really nice night (and yummy dinner!) and then headed off to our beds at a reasonable time as we were all needing energy for the zoo the next day!

Sunday morning we set off to the zoo, meeting another ex colleague Iain and his family Laura, wee Rose and baby Charlotte.  I’d been quite disappointed as earlier in the week I’d heard you needed tickets to see the pandas so had gone onto the website and seen that it was booked up until later in the week.  However when we got there we were offered tickets!  I was told they always keep some for on the day, although apparently we were lucky there were still some left by 10.30 when we arrived!

First we got the zoo bus up to the top of the hill and worked our way round the animals.  Highlights were the baby baboon, baby pigmo hippo, and a spider monkey trying to get Owen’s raisins through the glass!
Pigmy hippo and baby

Owen’s highlight seemed to be playing with Rose (I was assured “I love Rose”), even though just after this photo was taken came the worst bit of the day – he fell face first off the rock and got covered in mud!  Luckily it washed off though and he didn’t notice the bit of blood that appeared on his palm so the tears didn’t last too long.
He looks up to her no end

Iain and Laura’s time spot to see the pandas was earlier than ours so we got a report from them before we went, you only get in for 10 minutes and the time is split between the internal and external or his and her accommodation.  So its sheer luck if you see them at all and if they do much whilst you are there.  I am glad to say that we got to see both of them, and we were lucky enough to see them both moving as well.  We started off inside and Tian Tian was there and eating.  I got in before the crowd and Owen and I got a clear view of her and saw her walking outside before we had to move back and let others see the view of her backside!  Then we went outside and saw her walk round a bit before heading back inside to various cries of “oh no” and the like.
Lady Giant Panda

Next we went round to see Yang Guang who was busy gnawing bamboo.  He didn’t seem to want to do much (didn’t even turn round and wave at his very excited fans!).  After a while he did stand up (cue lots of shrieks) and stretch up to the roof..and then he lay back down and went back to his bamboo!  Just as we were told we had to leave though he stood up and moved down to the ground and walked around.  Suffice to say we had to get yelled at before we moved on!!
Yummy bamboo

We were so lucky with the weather as it was a glorious day, and the 3 kids were all really well behaved all day.  I think we were there 10.30am – 4.15pm and Owen walked most of the day.  When we got home he wanted pasta again so got the leftover mac cheese and then it was such a lovely evening that I took him out to the beach to play in the sand.  We didn’t even wear jackets it was so nice.
Digging at the beach

Again he went straight to bed and straight to sleep, although this time I am pretty sure he was totally exhausted!  Angela and I had a nice quiet night just the 2 of us until it was time for bed – poor Angela had to work the next morning.

Monday the plan was to go to the Advocates Library where I used to work, and pop into the Signet Library to collect some books a nice solicitor had offered me for my library.  However that wasn’t until lunchtime so I decided to continue the weekend’s theme of “animals” and take Owen to Butterfly World.  This also tied in nicely with the fact that he’d come home with green painted highlights in his hair from nursery one night as they had been painting a caterpillar. 
So umm that's a snake huh?

He wasn’t sure about the snakes, and was worried about a couple of “butterfly not happy”s (i.e. dead) but we had a nice time wandering around.  I think he liked the spiders most but he was quite taken by the cocoons as well and I was explaining that was like his Very Hungry Caterpillar book and how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.

Afterwards we went to the Dobbies next door and wandered around the pet shop.  Himself may have enjoyed this bit more than the bit I paid for to be honest!!  He named the rabbits and examined the gerbils, hamsters etc.  We even found Nemo in the fish section.  Then we bought some yogurt raisins and went and had a picnic snack next to the playground, after going on the swings and slide of course!

The Signet Library had given me permission to park in front of the building to collect my box of books so we parked up and went into the first library of the day.  Owen made me a proud librarian/Mummy by “shhh”ing noticeably!  Then we went through to the Advocates Library and saw some of the folk I used to work with.  A few of us went out for lunch, and we nipped out through the National Library of Scotland, so giving us a hat trick of library visits for the day!  Owen seemed to enjoy Vittorias with a massive ham and cheese panini – and a balloon to take home!  It was nice to catch up with Andrea, my ex boss, and let her see how my wee boy was progressing.  Of course we couldn’t leave for the journey home before Owen took the chance to pace Parliament Hall like the Advocates do!
Pacing Parliament Hall

Heading out of the city I realised we could probably fit in a wee visit to see some relatives too, and luckily my Aunty Kathleen was in.  Owen was excited to meet my cousin Claire’s Dalmation, although not so impressed with his full facial “kisses” and general bounciness!  Hope he never really meets 101 Dalmations at the same time!! 

It was lovely to get home and see Daddy again, and show him the shells and postcard we got for him, but I think we were both ready for bed and then back to our usual routine the next morning!!  Although saying that when I collected Owen from nursery this Friday he told me “I no want go home, I want see Mac horsey”.  If only every weekend could be a fun adventure!!

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