The first part of our trip started this way – planes. We left RDU around 7:30pm on March 12th, starting the 6.5 hour flight to London.

Bob and I were giddy children at the sight of American Airway’s entertainment options – hundreds of new and old movies, tv shows, and games. How, we asked, will we be able to sleep and watch this list of 12 movies we saved?? Answer is that we didn’t sleep – we tried, though! I got maybe an hour’s worth but poor Bob could barely close his eyes – while his neighbor on the other side took a snooze on his shoulder!

The ride was pretty smooth, but when it did get bumpy, you can bet my stomach was down there in the ocean thousands of miles below us. I’ve flown a good amount in my life but it seems that flight anxiety gets a little worse as I get older.

Getting through London Heathrow was a feat once we landed. Because of how I booked our tickets, we weren’t able to follow the flight connection directions and had to reclaim our bags and go through passport control and transit to Terminal 5 and print our boarding passes and re-check in our bags and go through security again. Oh, and the power went out on the Heathrow Express line so we had to get back to the underground and pay to get to the terminal – let’s just say it wasn’t ideal.

The second leg to Edinburgh went much smoother, with both Bob and I falling asleep instantly. I battled sleep, however, to watch the scenery out the window. Cotton ball clouds transformed below, becoming their own mountain range as we entered Scotland. 

Once we landed, we jumped on the tram to the city center, arriving just in time to check in to our hotel – the Ibis on Hunter Square near the Royal Mile.

Our goal for the first day was to hike to Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park to view the sunset. On our way down we passed Holyrood Palace and the quite hideous Parliament building, in which the representatives were busy voting on what to do about Brexit.

Up the hill we climbed, battling the wind that threatened to push us right off the edge – I don’t exaggerate. It was amazing to see this beautiful rocky facade towering above Edinburgh. While we didn’t make it all the way to the top – we chose the wrong path and ran out of light – we did find a decent spot to sit and watch the city from above.

We took our time heading back to the Royal Mile, watching the birds and stopping to look in a Christmas shop. We ended the day with supper at the N 1 High Street Pub – can you believe Bob almost tried haggis?! I ended up talking him out of it since it was the first day of the trip – but his enthusiasm definitely surprised me!

I think it’s safe to say that choosing Scotland as Bob’s first European destination was the best decision. Seeing his reaction to everything and his excitement with being here – it warms my heart and makes me confident for the rest of the trip. Cheers!


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