Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Effie in Edinburgh

Many of you guessed correctly that we are vacationing in the United Kingdom, and three of you guessed it exactly.  Very well done Filip, Anna and jSarie!  We are, indeed, in Edinburgh, Scotland--a city where I lived for a while when I was a child.  I have been waiting a long time to show this special place to my family.

My new Makie doll, Effie, is a perfect companion for this journey--not just because she's charming and versatile, but because she was made in the UK, and so this gets her back a little closer to her birthplace of London, England.

The first thing we did when we arrived in Edinburgh was to climb the hill (mountain!) in the middle of the city.  It's called Arthur's Seat--perhaps named after the legendary King Arthur, and it offers spectacular, panoramic views of the city.

New Makie doll, Effie, on Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh.
We actually hiked up the Salisbury Crags, which are to the west of Arthur's Seat.  This was not an easy hike--especially for me and Effie.

The weather was absolutely beautiful on Sunday, and the view from atop Arthur's Seat was bright and clear.  Many of the paths and meadows were filled with small children, searching for the last of the hidden Easter eggs and rolling them down any nearby slope.

Here's the view without Effie:

Edinburgh Castle can be seen just to the right of the middle of this picture.
Spring is already well underway in Scotland, and Arthur's Seat is covered in beautiful (but prickly!) yellow gorse blooms.

Although Effie had to be carried to the summit of the mountain, her 13 joints actually make her an excellent climber:

Now what??
We also spent much of the first day walking around my old neighborhood, but I didn't take any pictures of that.

At the end of the first day, several more Kinder Surprise eggs were opened.  I'll show you all of the toys I got in my eggs. 

A plastic panda with a little cardboard diorama backdrop:

A shiny red hamster with a heart stamp:

And this little race car that actually zooms around:

I also opened up another Makie fukubukuru bag to see if there were some other fun outfit options for Effie:

This bag had a repeat dress (the black and red polka dots), a pair of silly glasses, a grey wool jacket, some cream colored leggings, and an itty bitty denim mini skirt:

The jacket feels like it is made out of wool or dense fleece, but the construction is very simple:

Effie took quite a few tumbles on Arthur's Seat, and she had a big patch of dirt on her upper lip by the end of the day.  Unfortunately, when I tried to wash the dirt away, I washed away her nice pink lip paint, too:

At least the silly glasses hide her mouth!

I actually decided to have her go without glasses for our next outing.  She put her black wig back on and paired it with the blue and white checkered dress that I got in the first fukubukuru bag (I mistook this for a shirt), the new cream leggings, and her black boots:

We walked around the High Street, checking out little alleyways (often called "closes," or "wynds") and enjoying the sunshine:

We also walked around the grounds of Holyrood Palace, the official Scottish residence of the Royal Family, where Effie enjoyed playing on the iron gates:

We didn't have time to visit to palace, but Effie found a nice overlook where we could get a great view of this magnificent building:

And we could even see the fancy new Scottish Parliament Building, too:

I told Effie that we were going to Edinburgh Castle the next day, and she got very excited and wanted to wear her pink princess dress and her matching hair:

I'm ready for the castle!
What Effie didn't realize is that Edinburgh Castle is a huge, rocky fortress...not a fancy palace:

Edinburgh Castle from the Scott Monument.
Not only that, but it was cold and rainy that day, so she wasn't exactly dressed appropriately.

She made the best of it, though, and didn't even mind posing on a slightly wet cannon...

...or exploring the dark, damp prison rooms:

After visiting the Castle, we went to the neat World of Illusions museum.  This spot boasts a rooftop camera obscura, Edinburgh's oldest tourist attraction.  Effie enjoyed the views from this building, even in the rain and mist:

She also enjoyed many of the cool light exhibits:

I have no self control, so by the third day, all of my Kinder Surprise eggs had been opened.  Here are the other toys I got:

A plastic put-it-together ostrich:

An awesome pull-cord top (works really well):

And my favorite toy, this adorable little bird (an owl?) that chirps when you spin its head:

 And, I opened the last Makie grab bag:

This one had a pair of skeleton jeans, a "Math is E=mc2" tank top, some black glasses, and a fuzzy hat:

The shirt doesn't make any sense to me.  Math is not relativity, as far as I know.  I love the glasses though--they're exactly like the pink glasses, just black:

The jeans are fun, and Effie was glad to get some long, warm pants:

The hat came with a broken chin strap (perhaps why it was in the grab bag?). It's hard to understand this hat unless you see it on a doll.

I'll need to fix that chin strap...
After trying out several combinations, this is the outfit I picked for Effie to wear the next day:

And here she is modeling her outfit with the new West Highland white terrier she adopted at the Edinburgh Castle:

One of my favorite places to go as a small child was Linlithgow Palace.  This is the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, and an amazingly well-preserved ruin.  Most of the palace is open to visitors, and so you can explore all around, finding all of the rooms, running up and down spiral staircases, playing hide-and-seek, and pretending to live in the 17th century.

Effie liked this deep well down in the sub kitchens:

I was glad that the well was protected with an iron grate:

It still was possible to peek down in there and see all of the coins that people have dropped:

Here's Effie lounging in one of the third floor windows:

And looking out over Linlithgow Loch:

One tower still leads all of the way up to the top of the palace, where the views are amazing...but the height is a little scary:

I was very grateful for all of the guard rails!

Effie needed a moment to relax in the sun before we climbed back down all of the spiral stairs.

Here's Effie in my favorite room--the bedchamber of James V, just below where Mary Queen of Scots was born:

What a glorious part of the world.  I wish we could stay here for another week!  We still have a few more things to do, and I definitely plan to investigate some local toy stores, but our trip is already coming to an end.  I'm sorry that I am not getting a chance to reply to all of your wonderful comments, but the internet here is slow, and there is so much to do....

I'll leave you with one last picture of Effie riding the train back to Edinburgh from Linlithgow:

Pulling into Waverley Station.


  1. hermosa la muñeca y el lugar, yo tambien quiero una makie. Tienes una magia para sacarle fotos a las muñecas como si de verdad estuvieran vivas. Oye por cierto respecto a Licca la tuya si puede doblar los brazos, en la foto donde se rompio se le ven los cables interiores, solo se necesita un poco de presión. Lo sé porque consegui una licca saludos.

  2. Oh Emily!!! I can't believe that you were so near to me and we did not meet! I am delighted that you are enjoying Edinburgh. It is indeed a beautiful place. I hope that you enjoy the rest of your holiday :) xxx

  3. How wonderful that you were able to blog during your great trip Emily!! The photos are stunning and Effie looks so cute!! I love her in the pink wig :)
    The kinder surprise eggs bring back so many memories!! My sister and I used to have a great collection.
    Have a safe trip back . I can't wait to see the toy stores you found!!

  4. Effie looks so adorable when posing for the pictures, changing her clothes, and the kinder eggs! How I miss them~ :( I <3 reading your blog!!! :-)


    Welcome to Edinburgh! We have rain, rain and more rain. And fog. Or you might have missed that, actually, hah. I'm glad you had fun, though, Auld Reekie is so very dear to me<3

  6. What a great set of shots! We were there last summer and enjoyed ourselves immensely. If you have the chance, I would recommend the Museum of Childhood. In addition to other toys, it has historic dollhouses, doll hats, and doll furniture that were great to see (

  7. Wonderful photos Emily. I'm such a homebody, but you're making me want to travel. I would love to pretend I lived in the 17th century. Effie is such a charming traveling companion, and you will always remember your wonderful holiday when you look at her.

  8. What a great trip! Oh, but Effie's poor lip paint! I wonder how easy it will be to repaint her lips, and if you'd have to use anything special, in light of the materials she's made from? I just love her new puppy, it looks so cute with her! The blue wig is really nice on Effie, too. It really makes her eyes pop! You're really making me want a Makie! If only they weren't so darn expensive!

    (Could that shirt be saying "Math is relative?" Still doesn't make sense, but...)

  9. Too bad about the lip paint! Anyway, even without it the new Makie looks a lot less creepy. Nice assortment of wigs and clothes, too! It's like three dolls in one. By the way, I have the same ostrich :)

  10. Such a beautiful trip! I love all the little stories you invent to present with your photos <3
    I need to plan my own Edinburgh vacation because the place looks fantastic! (do they sell little Westies as souvenirs in the castle? I own a real-life one but a plush miniature would remind me of my little rascal when I'm away from home :D)
    It's funny cause my students here in Poland have a lot of the same kinder surprise toys you found in your eggs! I recently had to fish that ostrich out of my tea ...

  11. That looks like a fabulous trip! I would be hard pressed to even name a favourite photo - they're all wonderful (and Effie is adorable)!

    I love seeing all the KinderSurprise toys as well - what will you do with them all?

  12. Loved the pics from your trip. I've always wanted to go to Scotland, really, I want to go to every part of the UK. We went to Ireland (which is not part of the UK, I know) last November (low-cost holiday), and I absolutely loved it there as well.
    Your review and pics of Effie made me go back and try the generator again (I tried it after your first Makie, but wasn't sold), and this was a terrible idea, as I managed to create a Makie I absolutely adore, and really, really, want to make real..

    Wonder if I should save money to get her for my birthday.. it's not like she'll go away.. Your site makes me want expensive stuff! ;oP Lol

  13. Can you please review the Legends of Oz Dorothy fashion doll???? PRETTY PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. You are so completely awesome taking pictures! Every toy you introduce I instantly crave because it looks SO cute and adorable in your photos. Now, I live in Germany and I have loads of Kinderüberraschung toys and I KNOW they are crappy little pieces of plastic which are good for nothing, I KNOW that and I still want to run to the next supermarket to get some. Even that ostrich thing which I have three or four lying around here looks sweet!
    So I´m very, very mad at you! Just kidding! Enjoy your trip!

  15. What a gorgeous place, I'm so jealous of your vacation plans. I have to say, Effie is SO adorable but to my eye she seems the most herself in the pink wig. Its color and shape just seem "right" for her, ya know? Enjoy your time and stay safe. :)

  16. Hi!
    I love Effie, she is adorable!
    By the way, can you please review one of the Monster High Frights, Camera, Action! dolls? Preferably Clawdia, but anyone will do as long as the're from that line!

  17. Loving the pictures of your trips. Effie looks fabulous everyday. thank you for sharing your wonderful trip with us.

  18. Effie is so cute! I just want to hug her all the time! :)

  19. Effie (short for Euphemia) was a very popular name in Scotland in the 19th/early 20th century. So it's extra appropriate that it was Effie you took with you on your Edinburgh trip!

  20. Erie looks a wee bit like flutter shy of my little pony ����

  21. I admit to chuckling when you said the hat is hard to understand unless on the doll. Not if you are Russian! Its an Ushanka.

  22. Most likely you have already remedied Effie's poor little lips already, but if you haven't I would suggest drawing them back in with watercolor pencils and sealing with Mr. Super Clear Matte or VERY clear fingernail polish. (If anyone knows of a reason why Mr. Super Clear would cause problems, please mention it! And if you do use it, make sure to cover her eyes with tape or something first.)