I just got back from a reading at the Barnes and Noble in the Edina Galleria. My friend Lorna Landvik was reading from her new book 'Mayor of the Universe' (fun read, good Christmas gift).
Listening to Lorna talk I started to feel guilty about my own writing. Or lack of writing.
I've been putting off my final thoughts on Edinburgh, and I think I know why. If I don't finish, and type 'The End' to this adventure... then it's not officially over. I'm no therapist, but I've watched the Bob Newhart Show on TV.
Anyway..... after our show closed, I had a few days to take in some of the sights of Edinburgh. You can never see everything, but you pick a few things you think you'll like to explore.
I used an excellent little travel guide called 'I-Spy' Edinburgh, it's published by Michelin and designed for children to use. I like the fact that it's small (you can put it in your purse or your pocket), and since it's for kids, it's very simple to follow, with lots of interesting facts, about murders and executions. Two places I spent some time in are:
1. The Museum of Childhood. Free admission, but bring some pocket change to put in the mechanical toys. There are two in particular I loved. I think they took 10 or 15 pence? One was a mechanical Sweeney Todd scene. A person gets baked into a pie! The other one is a guy sitting in a chair, and when you put your coins in the slot, ghosts come out to haunt him! Charming and hilarious. Well...... if cannibalism and spooks can be charming. There were school groups visiting the day I was there, and that made it extra fun. I love eavesdropping on conversations between small children. They have such an interesting way of looking at the world.
2. The Royal Botanic Garden. Also free admission, but you may want to take a bus to get there. It's a huge place (70 acres), so there will be plenty of walking once you're there. A bus is a pretty good bargain. You can get an 'all you can ride' pass for the day, for 3 pounds 50 pence. You'll want to ride upstairs, and right in front for the best view. Double decker buses are SO cool. Once there, take note of the really beautiful silver colored leafy gate into the garden.
I headed straight for the kitchen gardens, and passed a plant with leaves the size of a Buick. Once at the kitchen gardens, you realize that many of the rectangle plots of vegetables and annuals are tended by local schools. The cutest ones have small signs with kid printing (wobbly letters) announcing which school is tending that patch of earth. A black cat emerged from somewhere and let me take a few photos of her (him?). Not far away from there, is a tribute garden for the Queen Mother (who was Scottish and much loved). My favorite element of her garden is the stone building, with a beautiful shell and tile mosaic that covers the walls inside.
Next time: more fun things to do