Scotland – Day 8 / York – Day 1

Today we woke up bright and early. However, even though we woke up a 1/2 hr later than yesterday it didn’t feel as early to me. Perhaps the absence of a fire alarm test helped. We went down to breakfast promptly at 7, when they opened, and ordered hot breakfasts. This turned out not to be the best choice as it was a full 20 minutes for our breakfast to arrive. We quickly ate and then checked out and started walking toward the train station. The train station is relatively close but our train left at 8 and the combination of a slow breakfast and Calvin’s top speed was starting to concern me. So Jaeger pulled both suitcases while I carried Calvin on my shoulders at a fast walk. We made the train stop with several minutes to spare.

The train ride itself was fairly relaxing. Up till Edinburgh we hit 70-90 mph. However, after Edinburgh there were parts where we hit 125 mph (Jaeger bought a special GPS app for his tablet so he could track it). Calvin spent most of the 6 hr ride listening to an audio book while coloring/drawing while I read. I really adore how engrossed Calvin can get in audio books. For lunch we got food from the train cafe. We arrived in York around 2pm.

We checked in to our hotel. This one is a “Hampton by Hilton”. Inverness was our big hotel splurge so this one is more cookie-cutter corporate (Jaeger checked and they have face flannels, perhaps because they’re an American (?) chain).

We left our hotel and started walking in the general direction of York Minster. We went slightly out of the way so we could walk up on the wall surrounding the city. Jaeger wanted to go to Evensong (weirdly, he’s quite pro-religious services when he considers them a cultural experience) which was scheduled to start at 5:15. We weren’t sure how long it was going to last so we decided to stop and have a fortifying snack at a coffee shop. Once again Calvin and I got the Hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and split a cookie.

We got to York Minster a bit before 4 and wandered around the church for quite a while. I was not quite as systematic as I would have liked due to Calvin’s distractions. It was pretty interesting though. At 5 we gathered in front of the organ and were ushered into the Quire. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This seemed a pseudo-special Evensong as they were celebrating the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Hope and Homes for Children charity (I don’t know if highlighting specific charities is a normal thing or if this was just special). The service consisted of:

  • The Bidding (Chancellor and Canon in Residence)
  • Procession and Responses (choir)
  • Office Hymn (congregation)
  • Psalm 108-109 (choir)
  • First Lesson (Exodus 2:1-10)
  • Magnificat (choir)
  • Second Lesson (Colossians 3:12-17)
  • Nunc Dimittis (choir)
  • The Apostles’ Creed (congregation)
  • The Lesser Litany, Responses and Collects (choir)
  • Anthem (choir)
  • Address (5 min sermon)
  • Prayers (Canon in Residence, longer than the address)
  • Hymn (congregation)
  • Blessing (Dean of York who happens to be female)
  • Organ Postlude (wasn’t in the official program so I’m not sure what was played)

The whole thing lasted around an hour and was a bit longer than I had planned on. Ideally, I would have brought more than just Calvin’s crayons to amuse him. I usually bring way more to a regular church service. However, Calvin still was reasonably behaved. I can say for sure he was not the most disruptive element as that honor belongs to the man whose cell phone went off twice after the Canon in Residence had specifically reminded people to turn their cell phones to mute. Also I’m fairly certain Calvin was the youngest kid to survive the whole service (there was a family with one child younger than Calvin but they left after only the first couple of songs).

After Evensong we went to a nearby vegan restaurant. The adult food was pretty decent. Their kids menu didn’t appeal to Calvin. For some reason vegan/vegetarian restaurants seem compelled to do terrible things to kid’s menus. When will I learn my lesson and just order him an adult entree? To compensate for Calvin eating relatively little supper, we also got dessert. Jaeger and I split a carrot cake. I think if I had to I could be vegan for most of my food choices. The exception would be dessert. Carrot cake is not right without cream cheese frosting. I mean, that’s the whole point of carrot cake. I got Calvin a chocolate mousse pie that’s basically a more unhealthy version of my chocolate tofu pudding. I figured it probably got a little extra protein into Calvin.

We got back to the hotel relatively early at around 8. However, tomorrow looks like it’s going to be jam-packed so this early evening probably won’t become a trend.

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