Baby takes Edinburgh

Hello blog. Its feels like its been such a long time since I sat down to tap out our day to day adventures. I can partly blame this on a family visit, the baby’s birthday and, of course-something I’ll get to n a minute, our trip to Edinburgh. But really, I blame allergies. Allergies, you say? How bad can allergies be in a big city? Well, Reader, if you have never been to Germany, you have no idea. Berlin is an especially green city with hundreds of naturally-landscape (ie: wild looking) spaces dotted throughout the Hauptstadt. Its lovely, really. At least from what I can tell from my bleary, red eyes.

With pollen season in full swing and not a single Claritin-D in sight (seriously, what do I have to do to get my doctor to prescribe a decongestant?), I was overjoyed to head to Scotland and, more importantly, Boots. Have you ever been to a Boots? Its a lot like an american-style drugstore, but with nicer cosmetics. To someone who’s been living in Germany for eight months, it was the promised land. We bought Sudafed! Wonderful, wonderful Sudafed.

But I’m getting away from myself and my very happy topic. This was my first trip to the UK, something I’ve been looking forward to for as long as I can remember. I’m only sorry we couldn’t do more. Even though it rained and snowed (snowed!), S and I went out everyday (Jon was speaking at a conference). We walked up and down the Royal Mile, went shopping in New Town and made pilgrimage to Harvey Nicks, and ran around town taking pictures of as many literary stars as we could. The Sir Walter Scott memorial was particularly impressive.

I was particularly impressed with our hotel, StayCity Edinburgh. The rooms are apartment-style and absolutely perfect for traveling with kids. I don’t really like renting short-term apartments, because I don’t like the feeling of living in a stranger’s home and sleeping in a stranger’s bed. This hotel was a happy compromise. Everything was new and we somehow lucked out and got a room with a huge terrace.

Some other highlights:

Edinburgh Castle – The jewel in the crown of Edinburgh sights and the home of the Scottish crown jewels. See what I did there? Yeah, it was bad, I know. There has been a settlement on Castle Hill since before the Romans. A great stop if you love history.

The Red Door Gallery – 42 Victoria Street, Old Town – A sweet gallery and design shop. I wanted to buy everything.

Armstrongs – 81-83 Grassmarket, Old Town – I usually don’t have the patience for second-hand/vintage stores, but this one is organized nicely. It something of an Edinburgh institution.

Mum’s Comfort Food – 4a Forest Road – British comfort food at its artery clogging best.