The Train, The Zoo, The Pandas and The Family

Isn't it funny how the smallest of things can make you feel so happy? Check this out...

I know I should've turned the flash off, but if you can see it says 'Reserved Hill'- when we got on our train last weekend for a short break in Edinburgh, this is what greeted us in the First Class carriage! Like a country bumpkin on Rodeo Drive, I had to get out my camera and take a shot - even if that meant looking uncool in front of the other 'Firsties'!

Cross Country Trains very kindly offered my family and I a return trip on their network, so after an evening spent with a map of their route and the family diary in hand, we chose Edinburgh! I wasn't expecting to get tickets for the First Class carriages (I usually travel 'standard' because it is cheaper) but it was lovely to be seated in a less crowded carriage away from the hustle and bustle of other peoples' tinny headphones, rustling papers and one sided chats on mobile phones! Here we are making ourselves at home:

Once we had zoned in on the destination, I'd set about some internet research to work out what we'd do to occupy our time in Edinburgh and was delighted to see that Edinburgh Zoo is now the home of two Giant Pandas who arrived in December for a ten year stay, on loan from their home in China. I remember seeing this on Daybreak- the massive lorries slowly rolling through the streets of Edinburgh, transporting Tian Tian and Yang Guang to the zoo, with well wishers lining the streets waving flags! I knew our kids would love to see them so we booked our tickets and a panda viewing slot and off we went!

Here is Tian Tian playing peek a boo with my camera:

...and here she was bored after a few seconds!

Here is her panda friend Yang Guang, sleeping (so cute!)

Other than the pandas, we saw all sorts of monkeys, birds, big cats, bears, zebras, hippos and penguins. Here are a few shots:

...and this picture was just begging to be captioned! Even in the animal kingdom we have multi tasking mamas!

What a great weekend! We've never taken a train for a family short break before, usually taking the car but it made a pleasant change for all of us to be able to relax en route, rather than my husband being the driver. It also helps that you can take small kids to the loo without stopping the journey which is a bonus!

Disclosure: Thank you to Cross Country Trains for the return train tickets from Leeds to Edinburgh.

Thanks for visiting! You are looking hot today! x

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