Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Gran and Gramps come to visit the Borders!

Back in 2014, when Ella was just 3 months old Byron's Gran and Gramps came to visit from South Africa.  We had a super fun week with them! They loved meeting Ella for the first time and being there for her special blessing day at church, but obviously Ella didn't remember much about it! and so we were very excited when they came to spend another week with us this year! 

They also timed it impeccably and managed to be here for the only whole sunny week we've had so far this year!! I kept saying they had brought the South African sun with them! So we got out and about each day soaking up the gorgeous weather, showing them the sights and just enjoying spending time with them! 

I had to do a bit of explaining before they came about who they were to Ella, and so I was trying to explain Ella's different Granny and Grandad's and how they were her Great Gran and Gramps and were called Bill and Flo, somehow she really picked up on the 'Flo' and so for half of their visit she called them 'Gramps and Flo' and the rest of the time she called them Granny and my 'Gamps'!! Either way was pretty cute! 

After picking them up in Edinburgh, we made a quick pit stop at Ella's fave - Ikea - and introduced them to the delights of the pull your own ice cream cone machine! 

and then it was home to play in the garden!

On the Monday, we awoke to gorgeous blue skies and so we headed to Peebles - one of our fave Border towns! 

It was a beautiful day to walk down by the river! 

and Ella was especially delighted at another opportunity for ice cream - especially when it's blue!

She also enjoyed having a larger audience than usual at the playpark! 

Her face is so funny in this swing pic!

Peebles - you are so dreamy! 

We headed to Kailzie Gardens, where we stumbled upon this giant apple reserve.  Ella wanted to eat them all! 

Admiring the alliums - my fave!

Smiles and cuddles with Great Granny!

Amazing views in every direction! 

I had to look up as we walked through the woodland and snap this! It is so rare we get uninterrupted blue skies here, and it makes my heart happy!

I was in love with this cute little bridge!

Gran and Gramps being great sports at the park after Ella ordered them on to the see saw! She's getting ever so bossy these days, but they were only too happen to oblige! 

Ella can't get enough of sand so was loving this giant sandpit and got stuck in to make some sandcastles.

I love this shot! Ella and her fun loving great grandparents that were always game to join in with everything!

The next morning Ella went off to playgroup in Coldstream so we picked a picnic lunch and stopped in at The Hirsel after picking her up.  It was another amazingly sunny day and it is always so pretty there by the water! 

That evening we headed to Scott's View...

because who wouldn't love views like this! 

...well apparently Ella!! I guess she has a limit for how many times she can be photographed! duly noted!

The next morning it was all smiles again at Melrose Abbey - back in her happy place, hunting for ghosts!!

She happened to bump into a little girl visiting from Australia, who we nicknamed her dungaree twin! They were so cute with their matching dungarees and pink trainers, and they were both the same age too! The little girl was playing with her mummy's audio tour device pretending it was a camera.  Ella came and asked me for her camera! (I hadn't taken the audio device knowing full well I wouldn't get to pay attention to it with Ella to run after!) so I gave her my phone and she was quite happy to pretend with that! 

They were too adorable together! Ella kept saying 'let's play chase' to her!! 

She was also especially happy to spot the pig on the roof of the abbey, which is one of the things they tell you about on the tour.  I told her we could climb the tower to go up on the roof - I failed to tell her we wouldn't be able to get to the exact spot of the pig, and so she wasn't impressed when we reached the top of the abbey and the pig was out of reach!!! 

but when there are a zillion stones to play with you forget what you were crying about in the first place pretty quick!

All smiles with Gran and Gramps!

We always pop across the road to the Harmony Garden after visiting the Abbey, because it's just too pretty - hello lupins! 

I can't get enough of this holding hands pair! 

Our last stop was at Abbotsford House where the rhodo's were in full awesome bloom! 

and again my heart was filled with Lupin loving in the walled garden area! 

Ella amused herself by doing running races across the lawns! 

with the promise of a toe dip in the river after we were done with all the walking.

Our little naturist had to go full hog and wanted to go all the way in! (these days she's all about 'being naked' as much of the time as possible! which doesn't always bode so well in a Scottish summer - because aside from this awesome week of amazing weather, it has been more like winter around these parts!)

My buttercup baby!

More thrills in store at the playpark with Granny! 

We rounded off our amazingly sunny week with a BBQ - what else! 

and yet more ice cream - Ella couldn't believe her luck! 

We said our sad goodbyes to Gran and Gramps on the Saturday morning, we made a quick pitstop in Jedburgh to show them the beautiful abbey there too - Ella was already asking to look for ghosts! but it was on to Newcastle where we dropped them at the train station.  Ella was most disappointed when we got to the platform and she realised she wasn't going on the train too! Shame!

It was such a fun filled week, and we cherished these times with Gran and Gramps as now they are back in South Africa and it will be at least another couple of years before we see them again.  Grateful for all their help - they even were able to help us out and babysit one evening when we had to attend a meeting at Ella's nursery school, and Ella still talks about the time they babysat her and fed her egg for dinner! it must have been one memorable egg! By's Gran mended all his trousers that needed alterations, his Gramps helped him make a bird table for the garden he'd been wanting to do and they helped pretty up our garden too, and as if they weren't cool enough already as evidenced by all the park playing they did and ring-a-ring-a-roses singing and playing with Ella - they even stayed up til midnight playing Settlers of Catan with us! Not an easy game to follow, especially when you're in your eighties but they were quite the gamers! We were definitely sad to see them go!