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July 10, 2009

Delayed Gratification

Since Gwenny turned 5 in Paris without the benefit of a home-baked birthday cake or really any celebration at all other than the fact that she was in PARIS!  I mean, really, shouldn't that be good enough?  Well, maybe if you're turning 15 instead of 5.

So we've been home since Sunday and we're finally past the urge to lapse into a coma at 3:00 PM each day and Gwen's been reminding me of my promise to make her a cake.  She asked for chocolate - with chocolate frosting and I was at a loss for how to make a totally brown cake look 'girly' (Not unlike my dilemma when Michael asked for a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting for his 4th birthday).  I finally decided to go the cupcake route since I had a cupcake 'tree' that displayed the treats in a fancy way.  Fancy = Girly.  Right?

delayed gratification

So that was Gwen's delayed gratification and here's some for you.

A few posts back, I mentioned that we were in Scotland (trying to tolerate the rain and the bagpipes) but I don't think I mentioned that we spent another full day there and the weather cleared and it was insanely beautiful.   Honestly, in the sunshine, even bagpipe music sounds good!

Here are some of my favorite photos from our last day in the UK.

Edinburgh Scotland 
Can you believe how beautiful this is?  Seriously, I can't stop looking at it.  I just wish I remembered what the heck it was!Flowers in Edinburgh
Another gorgeous photo of Edinburgh.  This time I crouched down and snapped the photo through a wrought iron fence that protected a bed of beautiful flowers.

Gwen The Defender 
Gwen was allowed to pick a souvenir of the trip and she chose a sword and shield.  No big surprise there!  Here she is "protecting" a spot along the "Royal Mile".  Be sure to click the image so you can see the larger view and appreciate her face and how serious she is about her job.


 Ruins of Abbey behind Holyrood Palace
Gwen and Maddy inside the ruins of the Abbey behind Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh.  It's amazing to be in a place that is this old (it was built in 1128!). 

 Ruins of Abbey behind Holyrood Palace
I love this photo of Andrew and his baby girls.  He looks so good and the Abbey Ruin is so spectacular but Gwen is clearly miserable.  Maddy is only happy because Gwen isn't.  To pretend that our entire trip was all fun and games to them would be a disservice to every parent who has ever traveled with 4 and 5 year olds.    Looking back, it's kinda funny.  As parents, you just soldier through all of this as best you can.  Now I find it remarkable how these gorgeous photos betray the full mood of the moment in which they were taken.

 Ruins of Abbey behind Holyrood Palace
A snapshot back in time - nearly 900 years!

 Garden of holyrood palace
Don't you almost expect a unicorn to walk across this grassy path?  I don't think I've ever seen anything more beautiful and it was a relief to be in the garden of Holyrood Palace because, frankly, the palace is kinda grim.  It's dark and cold and musty and full of things that must have been state of the art several hundred years ago but seem uncomfortable now. 

Interesting how we can judge how royalty lived hundreds of years ago and (by western standards) it seems substandard.  This was especially true of how Emperors lived in the Forbidden City in Beijing but things weren't much more comfortable for Kings and Queens of other countries.    Kinda makes me wonder how the peasants lived back then.

If you're still wanting more, check out our flickr photo set for Edinburgh. All these photos are there and several others too. Best of all, they're full size so you can see every glorious detail!

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