Laila’s favorite things were – Talking with Truman, Primark shopping, and Learning things she didn't know about Jack the Ripper
Me: seeing all the architecture and historical buildings from big red bus. Big Ben, House of parliament, Shopping with Laila and Tru and the cool Graffiti street art
TOWER OF LONDON
Laila’s faves: Tower of London. Crown Jewels. Harry Potter tour - Hogwarts replica. The chihuahua, oyster, monkey Guy on the tube.
Me: Yeoman BeefEater tour at Tower of London. Seeing Crown Jewels and medieval toilet. Fish pie and a scone with clotted cream and jam. Tried a scotch egg. Loved How excited Laila was about Harry Potter.
HARRY POTTER WARNER BRO STUDIO
We trained back to London that afternoon for the Tower bridge tour with Ben and Jackee Belnap and Paula. So cool seeing the road and cars below through the glass walkway. Walked the south bank of the Thames. It was filled with lovely, quaint alleyways and picturesque river and bridges. Dinner at Italian place. Pizza express. Funny name for how fresh and delicious it was. We are living on Cadbury chocolate buttons and milk chocolate digestive cookies.
Day 4: Leave London to train up to Scotland first class on Virgin train. First class means lots of room, sitting at tables, where the train stewards offer drinks and food over the 4 1/2 hr train ride. We saw Rolling green hills, Sheep, Misty weather and we finally greeted our people...George and Eileen Sharkey. I can’t describe the joy we felt as we got off the train and into a group hug.
Day 5: Scotland weather is wild!!Horizontal rain one minute and the next it's sunny. This is repeated over and over all day long. We are staying at the Gilardi's- the famous "Stobbs the Baker" with delicious sweeties and breads. Laila and Wayne went with Umberto to the bakery and came home with all sorts of goodies. My favorite is the honeymoon- a bar chocolate with Rice Krispies mixed in over Carmel and coconut.
Nancy and David McLean came up from Stranraer to spend the day with us shopping at Primark, Malta, Toyshop, Thornton's and the Pound store. They brought one of their dogs, of course. It rained buckets. Then we all gathered at Karen's home with 4 year old Nolan showing off and begging for Laila's attention. Wee one year old Imogen is teething and not too happy. Karen and Liam live in a 1905 brownstone that's so charming. Eileen made delicious lasagna, salad, sweet potato fries and profiteroles with chocolate and icecream for dinner and dessert. So thankful my parents served their mission in Scotland so we can know these fine people. We are blessed.Day 6: Umberto made us a proper Scottish breakfast. Featuring haggis, black pudding, square sausage, link sausage, egg, potato scone, pancake, baked beans, bacon and toast. So much food all on one plate. Laila was a good sport and tried it all except the beans and the bloody black pudding sausage. Wayne cleaned his plate.
Karen and Liam Brodie took us to Edinburgh Castle and we walked the Royal mile to see the fun shops. The castle is amazing. So much history that I love but it bores Laila. George treated us all to dinner at Soutter Johnnys in Kirkoswald with George and Eileen and the Gilardis. Laila stayed at Karen's and played with the kids, watched movies and had McDonalds. She needed a parental break by then.
|On couch: Nolan Brodie, Eileen Sharkey, David McLean, Nancy McLean, Laila, Karen Brodie holding Imogen, George Sharkey, Melinda and Wayne|
|Around the table...Wayne, Christiana Gilardi, Eileen Sharkey, Angela Gilardi, Santino Gilardi, Umberto Gilardi, Melinda and George Sharkey|
The Sharkey's took us to Glasgow. We shopped around for a bit then finally had to say goodbye at the train station. We could not stop crying and hugging and crying some more. Leaving the Sharkey's waving at the train platform felt like losing my parents again. Laila and I ugly sobbed for awhile on the train. We arrived back in London and ubered out to our hotel closer to Heathrow airport in the rain.
Day 8: This day was all about traveling back home and thinking about all the great things we did this past week in London and the amazing Scottish people we got to hang around. Ahhhhh.... There was only one first class ticket left for the flight home so Wayne insisted I have it again. He's a doll. It's been an exhausting day.