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Home Away from Home

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

Our beautiful Edinburgh apartment (100 yards from Edinburgh Castle)

One of our favorite things about traveling is the accommodations. Whether it be a hotel, hostel, apartment or Bed-n-Breakfast, there is something exciting about staying in a new place. Over the years, we have picked some very interesting choices. We love the search of finding an affordable place or budgeting for an extravagant castle.

What’s not to love about the perfectly made bed with the sheets tucked in at right corners; the beautiful pillows; the fluffy towels folded into fancy animals: the coziness? Everything you wish you could do with your own bedroom - or maybe that is just our dream.

We experienced this very thing when we landed in Edinburgh and made our way to the apartment with our husbands. What is Old Town going to look like? Moreover, what is the apartment going to look like? We knew that we would be buying our own food and cooking our own meals. We would also be situated near cafes and pubs. Too many choices - too excited about what to do in Old Town. Or.. get a little scared in Old Town too.

Our Edinburgh apartment living room and kitchen

Old Town, or Auld Toun, is the name given to the oldest part of Edinburgh. It consists of medieval street plans and Reformation-era buildings. Old Town’s main road is nicknamed “The Royal Mile” which runs from Edinburgh Castle all the way to Holyrood Palace.

To get to the apartment, we traveled from the airport to St. Andrew’s Square (for Waverley) via the Edinburgh Trams. From the station to our apartment, we walked what felt like straight up the side of a hill to reach the base of Edinburgh Castle. Down 60 steps only to then go up an additional 80 steps to reach our apartment. #yesIcounted

If you don't feel like counting, bring your FitBit and you'll be amazed at how much walking you get in one day when you travel.

Note to self: do more stair-stepper workouts before your next trip to Edinburgh.

Remember to thank our husbands for carrying the suitcases up the stairs.

Joking around with selfies (notice Edinburgh Castle in the background)

The property manager was already at the apartment when we arrived, so we didn’t have to wait or try to figure out how to open one of those weird Airbnb locks. We are off to a good start.

The four of us, slightly out of breath...actually we were sweating and breathing hard from the climb...what a perfect workout btw...we cram through the door and into the narrow hallway. After some clever maneuvering, we managed to get our suitcases and bodies around to enter the living room. Let the vacation begin! #happydance

Our apartment was BEAUTIFUL! This mid-Victorian period apartment has a front row view of Edinburgh Castle and parts of Old Town. WE LOVED IT and will recommend to anyone.

Eating in! Good laughs in the apartment!

We are all standing in the front room looking out the window and excited about our week in Edinburgh… except I smell something really strange in the apartment. Maybe the previous renters cooked something and the smell was still lingering OR a neighbor.

The ventilation in these places is still really old.

Our property manager shows us all the little quirks of staying here. I am looking at my husband to see if his nostrils are flaring… does he smell it too?

He gives me the “what is wrong with you” look. #travelingwithspouses

Any other time he can read my mind, but not today. I’ll need to work on my telepathic communication skills. #mindcontrol

The property manager continues talking about how to work the hot water in the kitchen - there is a switch we have to turn on in order for the water to heat up. Guess how many times we asked… “does anyone remember what he said about the hot water?”

He gives us the WiFi password, very important piece of information, however, I am still distracted by the weird smell.

He tells us it is our responsibility to take the trash out when we leave. The dumpster is at the bottom of the stairs - street level. You can see it out the window...blah, blah, blah.

For the LOVE OF GOD… what is that smell????

Boulder photo bombing on Natalie and Michael's bed in our Edinburgh apartment

He finally hands over the keys and leaves us to explore our home that we have for the next 7 days. YEAH!!!

He no more shuts the doors and begins the descent down the stairs am I able to ask everyone:

Do you guys smell that??

A resounding YES - What is that?

My husband looks at me and says, “is that why you were staring at me?”

Yes Dear.


Michael fighting jet lag in Edinburgh

Now begins the search for the cause of this rank-fishy smell. I am praying please don’t let it be what I think it might be…

We start by opening all the windows. The breeze is amazing and a wonderful distraction. We love Edinburgh: oooh and ahhh over the view of the castle, comment about the stairs, look at the bedrooms… back to the search.

Where is that smell coming from?

  • Check the kitchen trash can - Nope.

  • Check the dishwasher - Nope. It must just be a neighbors cooking. #sherlockholmes

Waking up in Scotland. What a view!

We agree to unpack before trying to find a Co-op and grabbing a quick bite before we start our walk the jet lag off trek.

This is when we heard Natalie’s “OH MY GOSH! I found it!!” She comes out of the main bathroom horrified. It’s the trash can. Yep, you guessed it… someone forgot to take the trash out and there was a personal item left for who knows how long.


The icky-dance...heebie-jeebie jig...pretend yarking… you name it, we all performed it.

“I think we’ve all experienced our own ballet here tonight. It was a ballet of emotions and feelings.” ~Det. Allen Gamble (The Other Guys movie)

We travel prepared, so off to find the Clorox wipes in the suitcase.

Clorox kills everything. When it doubt, bleach the hell out of it. #thanksmom

As a side note, it is helpful to have travel Clorox wipes handy because the airplane tray tables are not always clean.

Back to how we are going to nuke this trash can…

First order of business, find a bag to rid the contents of the trash can. We had not been to the Co-op, so no plastic bags on hand. There was a lot of cupboards slamming, laughing, gagging, and cursing happening while looking for a trash bag.

God looked down on us and showed mercy - we found a bag. #grateful

Rock - Paper - Scissors for who has to clean out the trash can.

Another time I need to thank my husband because he took one for the team. Using ALL (mind you) of our Clorox wipes, he successfully bags the rotting trash. Holding it at a secure arm’s length, he races down the 80 stairs to deposit it in the dumpster.

Our hero!! He saved the day.

As a rule, when staying in an Airbnb, do your part and throw your trash away. It is not the responsibility of the next tenants to clean up after you. Granted the cleaning staff should have checked the trash can in the bathroom; however IF the previous tenants had followed the rules… we wouldn’t have this great story to share.



This apartment was lovely and we WILL stay there again. Until next time...

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