When you have kids, your parents sit back and laugh to themselves as you complain about all the crap they pull thinking to themselves, “Ha! It’s payback time!” But what about the spouse that’s getting payback for their partner’s childhood crimes? I mean, I don’t think anyone would argue that I was the PERFECT child. So clearly my children are paying Brett back for the times he acted out in his youth and I’m just suffering alongside him, right?
Stop laughing, Mom! Get your own blog if you’d like to refute that!
Anyway, last weekend…maybe the weekend before… I can’t remember now. The kids are on their end of term break – two whole weeks off – and time has lost meaning. We make the nearly two hour trip to St. Andrews with the main purpose of providing an indoor activity different than tracking trails of crumbs and toys all over the house after several days of rain and gloom. We’d seen an advertisement for the St. Andrews Aquarium on ItsOn which is like the UK’s version of Groupon. If you click on the link, you’ll see what we saw which is something that looks like a fun filled day of animal adventure complete with an on site cafe for maintaining a caffeine buzz. Sounds good, right?
We pop in the car to make the almost 1.5 hour drive. First mistake we made was not charging the tablet before we left! We only had the iPad so there was constant bickering although I don’t think Brett noticed since he was nearly giddy with anticipation. We were going to THE BIRTHPLACE OF GOLF.
“Do you realize that we’re driving down the same road that all of the greatest golfers have driven down? We’re seeing the same things!”
“Why would they be driving down this road?”
“What? What do you mean? To get to the golf course.”
“No, I mean coming from this direction. Why would any of them have flown into Aberdeen? I’d assume that they would fly into Edinburgh and come up from the South.”
“Oh shit. You’re right.”
Seemingly nothing could pop his giddy bubble though. We were going to ST. ANDREWS! Stephen would be so jealous. (I knew deep down he’d much prefer to be driving there with Stephen for the first time than with us.) Not even the aquarium with its incredibly pungent fishy aroma and way over priced admission tickets could dampen his spirits. You could see every animal in that place twice in less than 30 minutes and for 35£ – it seemed we should have gotten a little more for the money…
We killed time with the stingrays and the penguins until we were able to listen to a brief reptile talk and Brooks got to pet a bearded dragon. It was quite an old bearded dragon and the handler warned us that we needed to be quiet lest we give him a heart attack.
Mia had to be escorted from the area as she was having a legit meltdown about wanting to ride one of those little coin operated cars you see outside of grocery stores – or used to see. I NEVER have any pounds on me and that day was no exception. She threw a fit when anyone but her brother tried to get in and pushed a little girl right off! That was made more embarrassing by the fact that the little girl actually did have a pound to spend in the car and Mia did not! We didn’t want to be blamed for the death of the reptile so I pulled out a play from the Parenting by Distraction handbook and led her to the gift shop and cafe.
The hope for caffeine fix was dashed when we were told that the cafe was closed. Now we had the issue of where to eat on a Sunday at lunch time. We drove around looking for a kid friendly restaurant I found in Scotland The Best in vain (damn you, Apple Maps! Yes, Danielle, I know, I should have used Google Maps to start with. I did after the first time didn’t work!) We FINALLY track down a parking spot that is within a half mile of the place we want to go. This is it. Isn’t it cute!? I couldn’t tell you anything about it. We didn’t go there. It turns out we had a diva with us on our walk from the car to the restaurant.
She refused to ride in her stroller, she refused to let Brett carry her, refused me carrying her and screamed until we let her walk. She. Is. Slower. Than. Christmas. By the time we reached the street with the restaurant we opted for the first one we saw instead of the super cute one with good reviews that was another block away. It was a Mexican food place. The food wasn’t phenomenal but the margaritas were the best we’d had since moving and they sure went down smooth! The best thing about nearly ever restaurant here is that they’re cute and cozy. The room envelopes you like comfortable hug and invites you to take off your jacket.
Finally, it was time to walk the sacred grounds of the old course at St. Andrews. We had some foreshadowing of what was to come when Brooks wouldn’t or couldn’t listen to instructions and Mia broke down at least twice on the short walk from the car. The 18th Green was open for people to walk on! It was Brett’s lucky day!
Brett tried his damnedest to instill reverence for the course in Brooks but Brooks was more concerned getting his sister to do things she shouldn’t while not listening to a damn word we said.
After Brooks nearly pushed Mia into the little creek/stream thing that runs through the course, Brett decided that our time at St. Andrews was up. (Really I just think that our visit was so far and away from what he envisioned as his first visit with Stephen that he couldn’t stomach the debacle that we’d become.) I pushed time to get one last shot that he said he wanted. A picture on the Swilcan Bridge where the greats take a picture once they retire. From my angle though, his leg was blocking part of the shot and I asked him to take it down. Turns out that’s the way they take their retirement pictures. FAIL.
The kids screamed the ENTIRE WAY back to the car. Mia had to be tucked under one arm so that her flailing arms and legs wouldn’t make any more contact with ours.
So all in all our day ended just how it began – both children acting like fools and us wishing we had a drink in our hands.