First few days back in the burgh

Right now, Adam and I are at Spoon, tucked into a corner by the window while drinking coffee and writing our respective essays. I have my English dissertation research spread across the table–which is actually made of an old map–and Adam is solving matrix equations. The sky is grey and dark, wool scarves and hats have reappeared, and I’m having a serious case of deja vu.

My study partner in Spoon. He's solving equations while I'm writing a thesis.

My study partner in Spoon. He’s solving equations while I’m writing a thesis.

How do I summarize my past week in Edinburgh? For one thing, I seem to have brought good weather with me. The past two days have been a bit dark, but other than some light drizzle, the sun has shone and I haven’t worn a coat all week-long.

Sunset stroll around Old Town

Sunset stroll around Old Town

The benefit of having friends in Edinburgh is not feeling like a tourist upon my return. It’s so refreshing to know where I can get the best deal on strawberries, which cafe has the best WiFi, or what bar won’t be too crowded on a Thursday. It genuinely feels like I’m living in Edinburgh again.

Such a gentleman

Such a gentleman.

Adam met me at the airport like a true gentlemen–with flowers, chocolate, a bottle of champagne hidden in his bag, and arms ready to take my luggage from me. We spent the sunny day making BLT’s and then had drinks with his friends that night. I wore heels on cobblestone and it felt glorious (until I tripped). The next day, his wonderful family took us out for dinner in Linlithgow. Adam told me that he had a surprise for me the following day, so we took the family car and headed back into Edinburgh for the night.

Melville Castle

Melville Castle

The next morning, we packed up and drove a quick 30 minutes to Dalkeith, which is on the very edge of Edinburgh. The car rambled down a long, rocky driveway, around a bend, and then came in view of…a castle. Yep. Adam surprised me with an overnight stay in Melville Castle, the former home of [one of] the lover’s of Mary, Queen of Scots. We enjoyed high tea with prosecco, taking photos in the gardens, and drinking wine in our four-poster bed. It was fantastic!

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The next day we took the long way home and stopped by Rossyln Chapel, the alleged site of the Holy Grail (for you The DaVinci Code fans). The village of Roslin is quaint and quiet and the Chapel was gorgeous.

Instead of taking high street back to Adam’s family farm, he drove me through the countryside. I had never seen that much of Scotland’s countryside before. It’s just what you would imagine–rolling hills, open skies, tufts of forests and wildflowers. Our drive was calm and quiet until we rounded a corner.

“STOP!!”

Poised in front of us, rubbing its hairy head on a barbed fence, was a great, big, orange highland cow. It stood only yards away from us and Adam quickly pulled the car off to the side. Let’s just say that the reunion with a great hairy coo was a sweet one.

Sweet lord

Sweet lord

 

Selfies

Selfies

After we petted and nuzzled the cows (making sure to not get too close to their horns), we took a long walk around Beecraigs loch, enjoying the sunset and the humid weather. We ended the day with Fish n’ Chips and chatting with his family, spending the night in Linlithgow before returning to Edinburgh.

Beecraigs loch

Beecraigs loch

The last few days have been a blur of reunions with Edinburgh friends, late nights at the pub, and studying in cafes. I was thrilled to get dinner and drinks with my friend Alice (who I said goodbye to in my entry “Hellos, goodbyes, and a hovercraft full of eels”). Yesterday, my old roommate Fallon caught up and gossiped over coffee and cake at Elephant House, the cafe where J.K. Rowling penned the first Harry Potter book (and a favorite stop of mine).

Elephant House

Elephant House

Adam and I have a busy weekend ahead. We will be cooking stir fry with his best friends tonight and watching a horror film (yikes, I know). Tomorrow, we will be back in Linlithgow with the family, when hopefully I will be lucky enough to see a lamb born. We hope to visit Loch Lomond on Sunday.

Princes Street gardens & the castle in the back!

Princes Street gardens & the castle in the back!

 

We have done so much more than I ever thought we would. I had expected that my two weeks would be spent only in Edinburgh, most likely cafe hopping, dissertation writing, and having lots of cheesy romantic moments with my favorite Scot. It feels fantastic to be back in my second home, revisiting my favorite places and people but also making new memories in new places.

Post-rain stroll down to Princes Street

Post-rain stroll past winding Victoria Street

A week back in the burgh and I already feel like I never left!

Last night in Malone's. I'm a happy girl.

Last night in Malone’s. I’m a happy girl.

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