Bonnie Scotland and a Whirlwind Wedding Week

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June 20th 2008
Published: June 20th 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

After a very busy first five days of May, the 6th rolled round and we were on our way. Of to Scotland for our wedding!!! Three flights, twelve hours of waiting in airports and one lost jacket later (which we left at the first airport), we finally landed in Glasgow. My Gran picked us up and we were soon safe and sound in her flat in Paisley. We spent the night chatting with Gran and Lesley, who came round for a visit. When we could no longer keep our eyes open, we went to bed for some much needed wedding beauty sleep.

The next morning was busy. Gran dropped us off at the car rental company. We got our car and then went to Houstons, a shop that rents out kilts. We browsed and chose a tartan for Mike to wear. He got measured up and tried on the shoes and soon he was all kilted out!!! After that we stopped at the shops to find a new jacket for me since mine was missing in action. Then we were on the road towards my Mum and Don's house. We drove up the banks of Loch Lomond, headed over the Rest and Be Thankful and dropped down the other side onto the banks of Loch Fyne. We kept heading down the road and soon we were in Dunoon. We found Mum and Don, had a quick coffee and did some errands that needed done for the wedding. We then had tapas for dinner before going to the local school where Mum and Don had a rehearsal for a show that Don was directing. The were nearing the end of rehearsals and were only weeks away from live production and everyone was excited and nervous. It was looking good. Then it was back to the house, a quick night cap and off to bed.

We enjoyed breakfast outdoors the next day. After that it was time for a photo shoot. Our photographer, Derek, came by to take some photos of my Mum and I getting me into my wedding dress and then we did a photography session out in the garden. Whilst all this was going on, Mike and Don stopped by at the Creggans Inn where the wedding was going to be. This gave Mike the chance to see the function room and to decide on the ceremony location. They then went round the loch to the town of Inveraray, where they made a pit stop at the Whisky shop. When Derek left, my Mum and I started the wedding "favor" project. Making up little bags with love hearts and chocolates. When the boys came back we went to a small restaurant called Inver Cottage. It sits further round on Loch Fyne and has a beautiful outlook onto the ruins of old Castle Lachlan ( We had decided that this would be a great spot for guests to have dinner on the Friday night. Since the wedding was in a rural locale, there wasn't many options for places to stop by for dinner when you have a large crowd of folks. Inver Cottage is great and they have brilliant food. We sampled a few dishes and decided on a menu for the Friday.

The following morning after breakfast, I finished off my wedding project of making table place cards with guest pictures on. I had decided that it would be a great way to include all our guests but didn't realise how hard it is to get a photo of everyone that would work. I soon found out that it's easy to get a photo of someone, but harder to get a photo where you're not standing right beside someone or head to head with them. I managed however and thought they worked out pretty well. Late morning, Mike and I headed over to The Manse to meet up with the Minister, Robin. He wed my Mum and Don a few years ago and was happy to do the same for us. We chatted with him for an hour and then made our way back to the house for lunch. Then we hit the road, stopping at Creggans on the way to confirm a few items. Then round to Inveraray, before driving back to Paisley. We went out later in the afternoon for drinks in Paisley with my cousins Steve and Andrew and Steve's girlfriend Claire. We always have a lot of fun with them and this occasion was no different. Lots of laughter and jokes. Later in the evening we went round to Aunt Lesley's house, where we had a few more drinks and ordered in curry. Yum. Again, lots of noise and laughter.

We were up early the next day as our friends Frank and Suzanne were coming in from Toronto. We didn't have enough of their flight details to find out when they were due in so just made our way down to the airport. However, when we got there we discovered that their flight was delayed and that they wouldn't be arriving now until 11:30 at night. Doh!!! We stopped by my Aunt Anne and Uncle Ian's house quickly to say hello. We then spent a few hours doing some wedding errands. That evening the whole family went round to Anne and Ian's house where we had dinner. We went back down to the airport later and picked up Frank and Suzanne. We took them back to Anne and Ian's and had a quick drink before bed. We discovered that a medical had delayed their flight as they had to divert to Goose Bay and then got stuck there for 12 hours!!! At a military base of all places.

After some sleep we spent the morning sorting out a car for Frank and Suzanne and then going to Houston's as Frank was wanting to rent a kilt for the wedding. We then went for coffee before they headed off in their car to do some exploring of Scotland. Mike and I spent the afternoon at Gran's. Gran and I did some wedding errands in Paisley and had a nice walk around Paisley in the sun. We had a phone call later at night from Mike's Mum and Dad to let us know that they had arrived safely with Annie and Deke. They were also delayed 12 hours as they were flying on the same airline as Frank and Suzanne and their flight had also been affected.

Mike worked on his speech for the wedding the next morning. In the afternoon we took a train up to Glasgow and then the underground out to the West End. We strolled through Kelvingrove Park and went to the hotel where Mike's family were all staying. Kelvingrove Park is overlooked on one side by the historic buildings of Glasgow University and by the grand houses of Park Circus on the other. The River Kelvin slices through the middle of the park. It was a gorgeous day and we all enjoyed a walk out to Byres Road which is close to Glasgow University. We went to Ashton Lane just off Byres Road which is a little cobblestone street lined with pubs and restaurants. We had a drink and catch up session in a few little places here before heading to a restaurant at the bottom of Byres Road where we had a really yummy dinner. After dinner, Mike and I went to the Three Judges pub with Annie and Deke. The Three Judges is a pub that my Dad used to love to go to, so it was strange being in there again. We were joined by Frank and Suzanne who had decided to head back to Glasgow a little earlier than planned. They came back with us and we stayed at Anne and Ian's again.

The following day was an important one!!! The boys golfing day. It had proven a bit tricky to sort this day out as only Deke had golf clubs with him. However, with Gran's help Mike managed to find a golf club that was happy to rent clubs out to them all. Lochwinnoch golf club is one where my Dad and Uncle Ian used to golf, so it was quite fitting that they boys played there. The staff were really helpful and managed to finds clubs for them all - with actual club members lending their very own clubs for the cause!!! Before they went to play golf we all had to meet up first. We did this at the Brunswick Hotel in Glasgow's Merchant City. I had suggested it as somewhere for people to stay in Glasgow and it transpired that pretty much everyone decided to book for there. It made it easy for getting together! We drove up to Glasgow with Frank and Suzanne. We found Bill and Sheri wandering around outside the hotel. Deke was having a morning coffee in the cool wee cafe, which is attached to the Brunswick. Soon my very good friend Hilary arrives and after lots of hugs and introductions the girls head off to get coffee and visit some shops. After an hour or so we head back to the Brunswick and are happy to see Ben, Jenn and Matthew. The boys are all ready and leave for the golf course. The girls make our way back to the shops. We have lunch and a cocktail in Princes Square and dilly dally in and out of shops. Sheri, Jenn and Matthew head back towards the hotel at 5ish, as Sheri wants to find a place to do her washing (laundry) as she and Bill have been traveling around Italy for a week or so. After a few more shops Hilary, Suzanne and I stop at Tesco's - get some drinks and then also go back to the Brunswick. We end up having a room party in Jenn and Ben's room. We get joined by our friends Sudha and Mike, who flew in that day. Later the boys come back from golf and get more beers in. Soon we realise that it's getting late and that we should probably get some dinner. Bill and Sheri suggest an Indian restaurant that they visited the previous night. Since it's now late, we're lucky that they are still open and all pile in. We enjoy a great curry. Then it's time to find a taxi and head off home.

Wow, it's Thursday already. The week is really flying by, in a haze of activity. It's brilliant to have people arriving and joining in the fray of things. Thursday is a day of highlights. One, it's our friends Ben's Birthday - which is a nice addition to the wedding craze. Two, we're off to Edinburgh - whoopeeee. We are all feeling a little slow today though. A mixture of late nights and jetlag. We catch a train from Paisley up to Glasgow and walk round to the Brunswick. Annie and Deke have arrived from their hotel in Kelvingrove. We join them, Bill, Sheri, Ben, Jenn and Matthew in the coffee shop. We hang around, drinking coffees and wait for the others to make their way downstairs. Sheri and Jenn make a sly trip around to Marks and Spencer - mission, to buy a Birthday card and cake for Ben. The staff at the Brunswick Hotel are very friendly and helpful. They put the cake in the fridge to keep it cool for later. They also take a card that we've written for our friend Georges who is arriving a little later in the day and they promise to pop it in his room. When everyone has made it down, we make our way to Edinburgh. The majority of us catch a train from Glasgow's Queen Street station which is only a five minute walk away from the Brunswick. It only takes 50 minutes to catch the train over and it chugs it's way through the rolling hills of Scotland's central belt. The final few minutes of the journey is quite impressive as the train passes by the Castle high above and the tracks slice through the gardens at the foot of the volcanic rock that the castle sits upon. We alighted in Waverley Station and the throng makes it's way up Cockburn Street to The Royal Mile. A famous passage in Edinburgh from the castle down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The cobbled streets wind their way up from the Palace all the way to the castle at the top. From here, you get amazing views of the surrounding city and the Firth of Forth in the distance.

When we reached the Royal Mile, the group split up for an hour or so as some wanted to visit the castle and others just wanted to wander the streets. I headed off with Bill and Sheri. We walked down Victoria Street, with it's brightly painted shop fronts, to the Grassmarket down below. From here we walked up Candlemaker Row towards Greyfriars Kirkyard. Bill left us to browse in a comic shop he spied on Candlemaker Row. Sheri and I walked a wee bit further up and went into the Kirkyard. One of the most famous graves is that of Greyfriar's Bobby. Bobby was Skye Terrier dog owned by a man called John Gray. When John Gray died, Bobby sat on his grave for 14 years until he passed away and both dog and master are buried in the yard. The story is well known in the area and films have been made as a result of Bobby's popularity. A statue of the dog can be found just outside the kirkyard. After our walk around, we made our way back down Candlemaker Row and collected Bill on the way. We wandered down through the Grassmarket, which was originally used for cattle markets and also public hangings. At the end, we decided that it was time for a light refreshment and stopped for a wee half pint. Afterwards we walked up Castle Wynd steps and stumbled across the others loitering around on the Royal Mile. The whole gang walked down the Mound to Princes Street. The Mound is an artificial hill that connects the old town to the new town. Princes Street is a main road at the edge of the new town and is lined on one side by all the main shops and on the other by Princes Street Gardens, with the castle dominating the skyline. We crossed over Princes Street to Rose Street and found somewhere to stop quickly for some food. Then there was enough time to whirl around a couple of shops before jumping on the 18:30 train back to Glasgow. On the way, the sun started to break through the clouds and we arrived into late sun in the city centre. The evening turned out to be very similiar as the one the night before. We got in drinks and this time sat in Bill and Sheri's room, chilling out and chatting. We were all pretty exhausted and it was nice just to relax. My friend Andrew who was a pilot at Harmony Airways had just arrived in Glasgow a few days before. He was over to work for Sunwing Airlines and came over to the hotel to join us for a few drinks. It was nice to see him again and to catch up on the year since Harmony stoppd flying. We all wrote in Ben's birthday card and surprised him with his Birthday cake, which had been well looked after by the Brunswick staff. New members to the throng that night were Georges and our friends James and Jenn - all over from Vancouver. With weariness kicking in, Mike and I decided to catch the last train back to Paisley and got one at midnight.

Here's to the start of the wedding weekend!!!!!! Back out to the Cowal Peninsula and the banks of Loch Fyne for an amazing day that we'll remember for the rest of our lives. Stay tuned...

All our love,

Mike and Charlotte xxx

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