Friday, August 7, 2009

Edinburgh Trip -- Days 5 & 6

Monday, July 27, found us on a train to North Berwick, a village just east of Edinburgh. Friends Kate and Hugo had recommended the beach there and offered us birthday money to pay for the train (and ice-creams and sand toys!) We were grateful to be on a very short train journey instead of a 5 hour one!

Though it poured rain for the first few minutes after we’d arrived, the rest of the day was clear and beautiful. We were all so excited to be by an ocean again! Josiah ran right into the water, cold as it was. Naomi and Ethan began digging in sand.

I was able to find a hardware store and buy some gardening shovels, some different-sized plant pots, and a utility bucket. I figured these would all last longer under the kids’ play and abuse, plus I’d be able to make use of them once we got back to Oxford. I also got a long-handled net and a beach ball (both of which we’d lost by the end of the day – sigh…)

We started at the western beach, and after 1 ½ hours, walked through town to get to the eastern beach. There we found lots of tide pools, as well as a “paddling pool” (a walled-in bit of sea water for kids to play in). Naomi, Josiah and I went off to see what we could discover in the tide pools. I told them about doing the same thing with my grandma when I was their age. It’s one of my favorite memories of her.

We saw lots of hermit crabs, caught a few small crabs and fish, and saw some red sea anemones. Naomi and Josiah were amazed to see sea creatures right there in the wild! We ate baguette sandwiches for supper, lingered ‘til past 6 and finally walked back to the train station. I really really didn’t want to leave. If we hadn’t made plans to have friends come over for coffee that same evening, I would have been tempted to stay on the beach until past 8!

As it was, we got home around 8:30 and our friends came by for a “cuppa.” Inke was the secretary in the Edinburgh Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies when Steve studied there. She and her husband James were missionaries in Egypt for years before settling in Scotland. It was nice to catch up with them in person, just before they were leaving for a holiday of their own.

Tuesday, July 28, was pretty boring! We needed a day to relax at home so we didn’t go anywhere special. I took the kids to the nearby park, just a 5-minute walk away. Naomi preferred to stay at home, looking at her new seashells, though. Josiah wanted to stay home and watch the crab (the token animal we brought home).

At supper time, we caught a bus into town and enjoyed a nice dinner and visit with our friend Maristela Lima-Napier and her three boys, Jonathan (5), Andrew (2), and Daniel (newborn). We’d known her from church, and though we missed her husband Gary due to his being on a work trip, had a nice time talking with her and watching the kids enjoy each other.

Only two more days before it was time to head home…

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