Jan 22, 2015

Visitors in Edinburgh: The Lehi Lutzes

Two days after Christmas, we enjoyed a much- anticipated visit from Neal's brother Kent, his wife Stephanie, and their 8-month-old son Clark.  Neal and Kent are the youngest boys in the Lutz fam. After many agonizing years for their poor mother, they each finally settled into marriage (as she was on a mission in the Philippines.  She and her husband had put off serving a second mission forever because they didn't want to miss the surely impending weddings of their youngest sons.  After over a decade of waiting, they gave up and left for the 'Pines.  A month after their departure, Neal and I were engaged, and a year later Kent and Stephanie were getting married.  That's two trips home to the States during their 18-month missionary service. I digress.)  During their pre-marital glory days, the boys did a bit of travelling, climbing mountains in Peru, Russia, and Costa Rica in addition to numerous states throughout the US. One could say they're a pair of 'peak-baggers'. So when Kent and Steph told us they were making their way to Scotland over Christmas break, Neal was stoked that he would get to climb Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK, with his big brother. And I was stoked to have another visit from family.

They arrived after a loooong day/night of travel bearing gifts from the homeland, including marshmallows, Twizzlers, Mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, taco/fajita/salsa seasoning, tortillas, deodorant for both of us (they only have roll-on here. nasty!), and an ice-cold can of Diet Dr.Pepper for yours truly. Basically took up a good chunk of their luggage space to help out some deprived Americans.  After a nap for charming little Clark and his jet-lagged father, we took them on a little tour of the city and climbed Arthur's Seat (our foolproof solution for jet lag).  We had a rental car the entire time they were here...it was glorious.  The bus system in Edinburgh really is awesome, but there is something to be said about the freedom of just getting in your car and going where you need to go.

That night, they were obviously exhausted, and went to bed around 7:00.  We still needed to go pick up the travel crib we were borrowing from a friend for Clark to use, and Eleanor was sleeping soundly in our room.  Not only did we have the opportunity to leave our child at home, but we had a car. I don't know, that short drive to pick up the crib had the two of us downright giddy.  After we loaded it up, Neal asked excitedly, "where else should we go??" The possibilities seemed endless, yet I couldn't think of a single place to go. We pulled into the parking lot of a clothing store we've always been curious about, but have never had a convenient time to just hop off the bus and check it out.  It was closed for the night but we were just excited that we had so easily stopped by. Anyway, we succumbed to the reality that we are lame and were in bed by 9:30, but if you live a car-less life, you just might understand the thrill we felt that night.

On day three we loaded up the babes and took a trip to northern Scotland so the guys could summit ol' Ben.  Stephanie and I drove along the country roads of Fort William, and by she and I, I mean Stephanie drove along the country roads of Fort William (you could not pay me to drive a manual ever again, especially in a foreign land) and she did amazing.  The guys finished their climb, one of the coldest Neal has ever done, and we made our way to Inverness for the night.  Even in the winter, Scotland remains so scenic and beautiful.  The drive was just gorgeous.  We passed the infamous Loch Ness, numerous old castles, and arrived in the quaint city of Inverness.

My sad iPhone pictures:
Cousins (2 months apart!) reunited

Don't look too excited, girl.

From the summit of Ben Nevis:

And now for some of Stephanie's nice-camera-real-photography-pictures:

Look at Mr.Clark totally conked out!

Ben Nevis hiding behind the cloud

A view of Loch Ness...such an insanely long lake.

The Lutzes surprised us with matching BYU pajamas for the kiddos. Go Cougars!
(all these baby pictures are for you, Grandma Lutz)

In Plockton, a beautiful little fishing village

We made it back from our little road trip on New Years Eve, which is a huge event in Edinburgh.  Aside from festival season, it's the most popular time of year for tourists to visit.  We had been looking forward to Hogmany since we moved here, but after all that time in the car, I was majorly wiped out.  I was still battling that first trimester fatigue along with what I think was a pesky virus, and the thought of going out so late was realllly unappealing.  I offered to stay home with the babies, and Neal stayed behind with me (which was really sweet, because I know he wanted to go). Kent and Stephanie went to see the fireworks and made some fun European friends, while Neal and I watched the London NYE show on our computer (womp womp).

The next day we headed South to England to attend the temple...another long day in the car. t Thankfully we had Serial to keep things interesting.  Neal and I did a session while Kent and Steph watched the babies.  After our session, they went in to do sealings, only to find they didn't start for another couple hours.  So sad.  They did spend some time in the temple though, and we made our way back to Edinburgh.

We had so much fun hanging out with this family.  They're fun, and smart, and all-around great people.  They taught me how to play Pinochle with great patience, were extremely gracious about our tight living quarters, and were just a lot of fun to hang out with.  After they left, we moped around our suddenly too-quiet flat and tried not to think about how long it will be until we see them next.  We miss our people! We love it here, but we really miss our people.

Miss you guys already!


  1. Have you not tried the spray deodorant? I ended up preferring that and bring it back to the States with me!

  2. your pictures of the highlands are amazing! it makes me want to go so much.