We had a truly wonderful, sociable final day in Scotland and Joshua continued to revel in the adventure. We got up around 8.30 and I sent a message to my best friend to invite her for breakfast in our hotel, and she came with her Mum and we delighted in their company. We chatted easily as we enjoyed the breakfast buffet and some more scrambled eggs. Then Joshua and I climbed the contentious stairs for the final time, so that I could pack up our belongings. While I was packing, Joshua curled back up in bed for a post breakfast nap, so I was able to load the car, take some photographs of the hotel and pay the bill while he was safely in the land of Nod. As I settled the account, I reminded the hotel manager that their booking system had failed me as we did not get the ground floor room that I booked. He explained that the person who took the telephone booking did not specify in any notes that we needed a ground floor room so when it was requested by another guest, they thought we would appreciate an upgraded first floor room. I told him that we were very lucky that Joshua could manage the stairs, even though it was a slow struggle. If he had been wheelchair bound, we would have to have gone elsewhere. Anyway, as it was Joshua got better at coming down the stairs over the course of our stay.
Eventually Sleeping Beauty stirred, so I brushed his teeth and put his boots back on before he could nod off again, assuring him that he could sleep in the car. We drove to my friend’s Mum’s house to say our goodbyes and lots of hugs were exchanged. We then drove for around an hour to meet my Aunt for lunch, as she lives and works in Edinburgh. She had chosen a lovely light café and was waiting for us in a booth , so I slid Joshua in opposite her. He loved watching all the young people come and go , while we exchanged news and enjoyed the most delicious food. Joshua ate almost all of his chicken goujons and fries – he has eaten so much this holiday! More hugs and goodbyes, and we set off another hour to the pretty town in the Borders where my cousin lives. We were early so we explored the town, bought postcards and I wrote them in a pretty walled garden. We went to my cousin’s beautiful old house around 5pm,and as expected he and his wife were out, but we were beautifully entertained by their son, who I have not seen since he was a small boy. Joshua was exhausted by the traveling and eating, so he sought out a very comfortable settee and had a snooze in their, while we chatted and caught up on family news while sitting in the garden, drinking tea. He was great company.
My cousin and his wife were fall of apologies when they returned around 6pm and she kindly got straight on with preparing our evening meal, which was delicious. We ate quiche and salad in the garden, followed by a tasty cake that she had made using my recipe. We had lots of family news to exchange, so the time passed too quickly. But conscious that I had a long drive ahead, I left around 8.30 – but had to return as I had left my mobile phone charging in their kitchen – so I really left nearer 9pm! It was a stunning drive through the beautiful Borders, us being virtually the only car on the long straight roads, so I was astounded by the scenery and vowed to return in the caravan with my husband too. It was dark by the time we reached Newcastle and it was motorway most of the way back to our holiday cottage, which we had left on Tuesday morning. We reached our final destination just before midnight and Joshua slid gratefully in to his bed.
So over 500 miles later, we returned to where we began. It has been a brilliant roadtrip : we have spent quality time with friends and family, who we have not seen for too long. Joshua has excelled himself and seemed to enjoy the experience too, even the long drive last night did not phase him. My ex-neighbour summed it up beautifully , saying: ” I have known about Joshua all of his life and we love him, but we have been able to get to know the person that he is” . So it sounds as though it was not only a treat for us, but for those we visited too. Now we just have to adjust to not eating all day!