Jun 14, 2015

Visitors in Edinburgh: Nolan J and Barbara Ann

When I was first dating (and by dating I mean having marathon phone sessions with) Neal and he told me his grandmother (this gal) was born in Scotland, he shared with me one of his deepest desires: to take his mom to Edinburgh to visit and explore where her mother was born, which I thought was so sweet.  Obviously I didn't realize at the time his thoughtful plan would actually entail a transatlantic move, a masters degree, student loans, a foreign-born child...oh! and me. Didn't realize I'd be there too.  Anyway, last Christmas all the Lutz siblings went in together to send Neal's parents Nolan and Barbara to Edinburgh for a visit. (side note: things like this tempt me to try for a tribe of 9+ kids...awesome Christmas gifts? All the housework I wouldn't have to do? Yet as I type this I'm resting a bowl of ice cream on the belly that was just today accused of housing twins ("no, seriously, there must be twins in there!!"), while chasing said ice cream with TUMS....and all my senses are coming back. I'll be just fine with a coupon book for hugs at Christmas, thanks).  We were so excited to plan their trip and decided to do it in April over Neal's spring break.  They were here for ten days and made good use of their time: we drove up to Inverness, over to the Isle of Skye, back to Edinburgh, then down to England to attend the temple, and lastly up to Stirling.  As always I was terrible about taking pictures but here are a few from their visit:

Barbara Ann and her youngest granddaughter at the birthplace of her mother <3
Ran into a levitating Yoda on the Royal Mile
Hanging out in Perthshire, near Neal's great-great-great grandfather Donald Seaton's residence/probable burial site.
They came just before all the trees and flowers began to bloom, but at least we had some sunshine!

Outside Elcho Castle

View of Loch Ness

Tire change on the rental car...womp womp
Hotel parking lot--on the Isle of Skye (my favorite place in Scotland to date!)
Kilt Rock-- Isle of Skye

Because this Kansas girl can't see a hill without taking a picture.
Skye was a bit chilly...
...but beautiful

Neal said I had to share this because it was "the view in my review mirror for 90 percent of the drive"

Playing dress-up at Stirling Castle

A trio of highland coo, up close and personal

Jedburgh Abbey

Hadrian's wall

Eleanor loved, loved, LOVED having her Grandma and Grandpa Lutz around and was notably depressed when they left.  Grandma taught her how to climb stairs, played with her all day long, and was so helpful looking after her.  Grandpa sang her fun songs, made her laugh even when she was grumpy, and teased her just the right amount.  Nolan and Barbara are as good as it gets when it comes to parents, in-laws, and grandparents. They have dedicated their lives to service and family, and I admire them so much. We loved spending time with them and can't wait to see them this fall when we return home.  

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