We spent 4 weeks this summer touring England and Scotland ... first staying with family in Basingstoke, England recouperating from our transatlantic trip (thank you Uncle Tony & Aunt Sybil). Once over the jet lag, we head into London where we enjoyed visiting with friends, sightseeing, museums, the London Eye & Tower of London (see photo, left, with Ryan, Taylor & a Beefeater). Then on to Edinburgh on the Flying Scotsman (4.5 hours train ride from Kings Cross Station, London to Edinburgh) where we met up with the Woodfords and Robertsons, our good friends from Cayman, and some of their Scottish friends (see group photo above). We all overlapped in Edinburgh for literally 24 hours and had a great afternoon and evening together. While in Edinburgh, we stayed with family and had a super time getting to know them over fabulous family dinners, a wee dram, and lots of laughs. After spending 3 fun filled, action packed days in Edinburgh climbing Arthur's Seat, Touring Edinburgh Castle, Ghost Tours and getting to know the city, we travelled North. Our first stop was Blairgowrie & Dundee, where we had dinner with some of David's family that he has not seen in over 15 years and met up with more friends from Cayman (left: Duncan, Taylor & Ryan and Scone Palace). We continued our journey North to Pitlochry and Aviemore, then South to the Isle of Mull (see photo of the seal colony and Tobemory in the background), finally ending in Glasgow. Every moment of our 2 weeks in Scotland was an adventure, whether we were visiting the smallest distillery in Scotland, Edradour, with the Petrie's, or driving in the highlands through some one lane mountain passes with no one but the highland cows observing, or braving the north winds and rain on Isle of Mull as we tried to visit Iona. The kids tried blood pudding and Haggis, searched for Nessie on the Loch Ness, travelled on an old fashioned steam train in Aviemore, and met the Clan Chief of the Maclean's at Duart Castle in Mull. We stayed at beautiful Bed and Breakfasts and, for the most part, had pretty decent weather .... for Scotland.
After our Scottish adventure, we flew back to England and enjoyed chilling out and going to movies back in Basingstoke. Grandma and Grandpa Kirkaldy were also visiting Basingstoke from Cayman and we all took a day trip into London. We visited the Imperial War Museum, took a boat tour down the River Thames (see photo's, right), visited The Royal Observatory in Greenwich, and met up with a childhood friend of Tina's for dinner.
The trip was a super adventure for our family and a great chance to connect or reconnect with some of David's family. Ryan and Taylor were perfect travel companions ..... and most importantly, had a chance to get to know their paternal roots.