Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Clampits Move to Edinburgh

I never expected my first impression of Edinburgh to be similar to being on the campus of Texas A & M. I don't mean that the architecture was a throw back to the 1960s (an age where building construction should have been outlawed), or that I saw cowboys in big trucks (big cars don't exist here let alone pick up trucks). It was more in the spirit of the city. And that my friends, was a very warm welcome to a girl far from home.

Picture this, we get off the airplane, flying high on our excitement as the panorama of the city came into view, but our excitement quickly did a nose dive once we reached the baggage claim area. No, we did not lose any of our eleven pieces of luggage - praise the Lord - thank you for your prayers! But we realized, we have eleven pieces of luggage. This does not count the four carry-ons we had as well. Not to mention a 3 month old, his car seat, and his massive stroller (excuse me "pram") the size of what the Scots consider to be a compact car. Apparently even strollers are bigger in Texas.

Taylor expertly pulled each piece off of the baggage merry-go-round (the name is escaping me at the moment), and we stared dumbfounded at our home that now amounted to 7 dish barrel boxes tightly wrapped in blue cellophane, a little bruised and battered from their transatlantic journey, 4 hefty suitcases, and 4 very heavy carry-ons stacked into a small mountain that rivaled Arthur's Seat.

Can you say excess baggage?

Still staring dumbly at our belongings, we were shaken back to reality by a red-headed, Scottish accented, tartan clad angel. Her name was Lauren, and she was working at the Lost Baggage counter. She saw our dilemma and rushed to our rescue after calling down to check-in to recruit another girl to help the Inces through customs and out to the car rental area. You may be thinking that isn't that big of a deal, but the car rental place was at least a mile away. In a separate building. And we had six carts piled high with luggage.

So here we are Taylor, Lauren, and Check-In Girl pulling one cart behind them and pushing another in front of them each loaded to the brim with our belongings, and myself wearing Seth in the Baby Bjorn, and pushing the massive stroller packed with carry-ons. Hello Edinburgh, here come the Clampits!

After making it through customs and finally out to the street to the walkway that would lead to the car rental center, I thought, how are we going to do this ? We could each barely manage our loads with the wonky wheels on the carts and the blocked visibility caused by the sheer height of our stuff. But the Scots pressed on, and so we followed.

Lo and behold people started coming out of nowhere to lighten the load. Check-In Girl was relieved of one of her carts first - just as one of her high heels was about to snap off, and then a man wearing a neon yellow "Taxi Security" vest grabbed one of Lauren's and started pushing. I kind of fell back behind the group and watched our little Scottish army in disbelief. Taylor saw my amazement and whispered, "it's like God raising up Gideon's Army!" I felt as if I needed to shout "Howdy!" to all of the passersby as I was now endeared to the Scottish people forever (and they were obviously glad the Inces invaded their city). I couldn't get over the feeling of being in College Station. Edinburgh had such a similar vibe.

So the Lord again confirmed our call to be here in Edinburgh.

We were a motley crew for sure, but we did indeed make it to the car rental center. I wish I had a picture of our Scottish army in front of our mountain of baggage, but, "I can't believe we forgot to pack our camera in a carry-on!"

Here are some cute pictures of Seth to make up for it!

Seth's first Sunday in Edinburgh

Tummy Time on his new Ikea play mat. He's checking himself out in the mirror.

Worn out from Tummy Time!

"From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise..." Psalm 8:2

I will write a post on our flat soon. Love and miss you all!! Thanks for the emails - keep them coming!

The Inces (aka The Clampits)

Friday, September 17, 2010

"I Can't Believe I Forgot..."

I know everyone is dying to see pictures of our new digs, and the last post was probably a let down since I actually wrote it back in August and just never posted it (too busy "Shredding"), but I am still not delivering the goods. This has to do with a little syndrome Taylor and I both have. Sorry Seth. It's called the "I Can't Believe I Forgot..." It applies to losing stuff and leaving stuff.

We realized this summer, much to our chagrin, that this had become a family mantra though the onset of it started once we were both old enough to leave the house without our mommies. Taylor's item of choice to lose or forget was his belt, and mine, my watch. It is good that we both suffer from this condition as there is much grace.

Here are a few things we've recently had to use the dreaded phrase for:

Scenario #1: We've just arrived in Edinburgh and want to contact our parents who are waiting to hear we've made it.

"Taylor, I'm going to text my parents," I say as we wait for our rental car to be ready. I dig around for my cell phone and try to turn it on. Nothing.

"I can't believe I forgot to charge my cell phone!" Taylor just smiles because he certainly can believe it.

Scenario #2: We've just arrived at our flat 4 hours later (little mishap with the car rental) and still want to contact our now anxious parents that we've made it to our new home across the Atlantic Ocean.

"Robin, I'm gonna grab the cell phone charger so you can call our parents," Taylor says as he rummages around in the bag where he stored the power converter, plug adapters, and other electronic paraphernalia. Nothing.

"You're not going to believe this, but I can't believe I forgot the cell phone charger in Houston," But I can believe it.

Scenario #3: We've been driving all over Edinburgh trying to run errands we can't easily do without a car while we still have our rental. All the while feeling guilty that we haven't been able to call our parents who are even more anxiously awaiting (and probably not sleeping at this point) since it has now been 48 hours since we left Houston, we've just moved across the Atlantic Ocean, and brought their beloved 3 month old grandson with us.

"Robin, I am going to set up the computer so we can at least email our parents that we made it," Taylor pushes the ON button. Nothing.

"I can't believe I forgot to charge the computer," Taylor says as he rummages for a second time through the electronics bag.

"Uh Robin, you're really not going to believe this but..."

Say it with me Readers, "I can't believe I forgot the power cord to the computer!!!"

I mean seriously. It's a very advanced case and the prognosis does not look good as living in Edinburgh hasn't cured us. Case and point:

Scenario #4: The bike shop owner running down the street to catch up with Taylor.

"Sir, I can't believe you forgot this," he says in a thick Scottish Brogue. Taylor reaches out sheepishly and grabs his ID and credit card from the honest Scotsman. He can believe it.

All of this to say, I can't do a proper blog post of our time in Edinburgh because I Can't believe We Forgot to bring the power cord to the computer that has our photos on it (not that we've taken any photos yet: Sight-seeing day #1 "I can't believe we forgot the camera." Sight-seeing day #2: "I can't believe we forgot to charge the camera!")

Good thing this phrase only seems to happen with things and not people.