Exploring Scotland–Mama Came To Visit

Last week, my mother came to visit me here in Aberdeen for Spring Break. Unfortunately, the awesome weather we had the week before didn’t stick around, so we had to bundle up all week, but it all worked out okay.

The Summary, with Photos 😀

Saturday–For my mom’s first day in town, we basically explored Aberdeen. The Aberdeen International Market was up on Union Terrace and the Belmont Street Farmers Market was in action so we spent a lot of time wandering around there and searching for fun additions to upcoming meals. We also did the Tour de Malls which, in Aberdeen, means Bon Accord Centre, St. Nicholas Kirk, Trinity Centre, and Union Square. We didn’t actually do much shopping at the malls. It was more to show my mom the different stores and explain their American equivalencies. We ended up having burgers for lunch, which was my way of showing my mother what I’ve been complaining about the last year. Seriously, why can’t burgers be good here?

Sunday–We made it to Aberdeen Beach before the rain started and watched a couple surfers, one kayaker, the Scottish Armada, and a dolphin spend their afternoon in the water (Brr, if you ask me). Then I took Mom to ASDA, which was a lesson in why I had my very first Scottish panic attack in an ASDA. Again, seriously, who organizes these stores? We had Nikki over for dinner before our adventure to Balmoral on Monday and she introduced my mom to Sticky Toffee Pudding. Okay, this, I will admit, is one thing the UK got right.

Can you tell it was a bit windy?

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

This man was running with his dog, who couldn't care less about the man, because his stick was waiting to be fetched.

Again, with the Brrrrrrrrrrrr.

A shark?

Nope! A dolphin!

Tiny wee beach hut!

Monday–Nikki chauffeured us out to Balmoral Castle and the Cairngorms. The cafe at the castle served Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties, which I got my mother to taste–reluctantly. She was more concerned that the Neeps, a.k.a. Turnips, are actually Rutabagas back home. Ah, if only she knew how many things were called something else here. Keep an eye out for an upcoming 26 by 26 update for Balmoral Castle.

Mama and I with the River Dee in the background.

Nikki made a lovely new friend at the castle.

That clock is definitely not accurate. Gosh, Royal Family, get your act together!

We made it! And, yes, we are very proud of our audio tour handsets.

What 20-something girl wouldn't take the opportunity to pose with the wild boar statue in the middle of the garden?

But, of course, it is me who decides to ride the wild boar. I'm sure there's some royal guard out there who would have told me this is inappropriate.

The River Dee through the Bridge to Balmoral Castle

Wait, so, where's the castle?

Across the banks of the River Dee

Mom: What do you suppose it says on the bottom?
Me: Cairngorm National Park and Monument
Mom: Oh. That's French?
Me: No, Mom. That's Gaelic.
Mom: Confused look.

Peek-A-Boo!

We just had to find the phone booth that appeared in the middle of nowhere.

Bahahahaha! Trapped Mama in the phone booth.

Trusty Driver!

Tuesday–We headed down to the Garthdee campus of RGU for a visit and to sneak into the practical rooms. Mom was surprised how modern the buildings all are. I explained it’s from all the money international students spend to teach themselves. She laughed. I cringed.

Wednesday–We woke up reeeeeeeeealy early to head down to Edinburgh. Once we figured out where we were going, we headed to the Royal Yacht Brittania. It’s a beautiful boat, but I will never understand why the Queen chose to sleep in a single bed. You’re the Queen! Even if you don’t want to sleep in the same bed as your husband, you should keep the big bed! I mean, obviously that’s got to be a perk to the job, right? My friend, Kimmie, came in from Glasgow and met us for lunch and then we headed back into town to visit the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. I’ve been to the castle before, but neither Kimmie or my mother had, so it was fun to explore and make funny observations with them. We also popped into the Tartan Weaving Mill and Kimmie and I were thisclose to getting our picture taken in full Scottish regalia.

Looking out from the bridge into the Port of Leif. The Ocean Terminal, a.k.a. the mall is on the left.

4, Pennant 7, X (assuming that's a blue cross)

Looks a little cramped in there...

I need an industrial washer and dryer.

Mama made a buddy.

Theta Love! She's Toil. I'm Trouble. ...Apparently.

Looking out over Edinburgh from the Castle

Mama gets touristy.

Rebel.

Nobody said anything about climbing IN the cannon.

Classic Mother-Daughter photo.

Thursday–We spent the day back in Aberdeen having exhausted ourselves walking around Edinburgh. It was warmet than previous days, but still not quite warm enough to head to Stonehaven or Duthie Park. We walked around the malls again before realizing Mom had been bird-bombed. After depositing her jeans in the wash we headed back out and walked around town, stopping for a drink at Soul–a church that has been converted into a bar.

Cheers, Jesus.

Contemplating the works of Robbie Burns.

Overall, it was a good visit. I think my mother can agree, though, that a week was enough for the two of us. I won’t go so far as to say I’m excited to be back to school, but I am excited to have full control over my laptop, radio and kitchen supplies again.

Hugs and Kisses from Scotland!

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