094 - I'm pooped!

Got up this morning and hit the ground running... I had to -- I'll peter out and things will get left undone if I stop, so I've been going ninety to nothing all day.

Started out by being anal retentive and cleaning my back door. It has a glass-paned door in the middle, with two long windows that swing in with screens on the outside. I love it. It's awesome. But I get to see the dirt that accumulates on the white frames and eventually it bugs me. So about once a year, I clean them off. Then I cleaned the glass for good measure. My fingers smell like vinegar, it makes me want to grab the pickles out of the refrigerator and have a snack (much better than eating my fingers).

In the middle of that, my blinds arrived, and they are PERFECT. I got them online from Select Blinds for half what I would have paid at Home Depot, and they are the exact right size. My room looks so nice and bright now, and I can raise or lower them AND open and close the slats. My foray into the world of Roman shades has made me appreciate the brilliance of the way mini-blinds are designed, and their ability to control the light. I can't wait until tonight, because the other issue I had with the Roman shade was that they let too much light in at night (and not enough during the day), so I was always annoyed by the street light behind my house.

Once I took the Roman shades down my own laziness was staring me in the face... last year I had company coming so I made a push to get some of my home improvement projects finished... but I took a couple of shortcuts. I pulled a stunt worthy of the previous owners... I painted around the top of the blinds instead of taking them down and painting behind them. I know... bad Kristy. I vowed I would never do that. Just don't look behind my headboard or my armoire and we'll pretend that it never happened (I'll fix it if I ever sell the house, I promise... but that armoire is HEAVY).

I also loaded the dishwasher and vacuumed. But that's boring stuff and not worthy of a paragraph. And I emptied 3 of the 4 cat litter pans in the garage, which is also boring, but a major accomplishment so I'm tootin' my horn. Toot! Only one more to go... sigh... And a billion fireants to kill. Die ants, die!

So... the trip... you may leave if you wish. For the rest of us:

Day 1 - Edinburgh -
  • We will be visiting Edinburgh Castle.
  • Later that night we will go on the Underground City of the Dead Tour that takes us to the underground city (of the dead, muahahaha) where us plain folk would have lived in squallor, surrounded by our own filth. It was walled up due to the Black Plague, forgotten about, and rediscovered several years later. It's supposedly haunted -- and we like ghosties.
  • Then we may visit a pub. Interestingly, my friend Debra turned me on to Milk Thistle, claiming that if you take it before you drink, it will prevent hangovers. So I bought some yesterday. If I go to a pub, I will drink, and I do not want a hangover on my vacation. And if Jamie or I encounter a creepy guy, the code word is "whipoorwill." I will not be caught in another Jerry Fallon situation, do you hear me???

Day 2 - Edinburgh -

  • The Scott Monument, a very tall, very coal-stained, very massive tribute to Sir Walter Scott. I'm climbing it -- I want the certificate.
  • Get on a bus and tour the city. Hop on, hop off. Hop on, hop off.
  • Holyrood Palace / Abbey / Park, hoity-toity abode of Queen Elizabeth, and home of a bookstore that pimps the royal family like nothing I've seen before. Books on Prince William. Books on Prince Harry. Books on Diana. Books about that other guy. Tons of them. Ironically -- and trust me on this -- it is the site of the most foul-smelling bathroom in all of Scotland. I've been to the Best Loo, it smelled of oranges, and it really was nice. This was not that.
  • Rizzio's Grave in the Canongate Kirkyard ("kirk" means "church" now you know some Gaelic... and "Sinn Fein" means "run! bomb!") - I read a fictionalized biography about Mary, Queen of Scots, so I'm a little obsessed with Mary and Rizzio. I stumbled across his grave by accident on my last trip. I want to go back and leave a flower or something.
  • Then we get on a train and go to Dunkeld

Day 3 - Dunkeld / Birnam -

  • Braan Walk - a gorgeous walk through the woods that takes you to the Rumbling Bridge (so called because the water is so powerful that it rumbles) and the Hermitage. I don't know what the purpose of the Hermitage is, but it's pretty, and I like walks in the woods, and waterfalls.
  • Dunkeld Cathedral - a gorgeous, massive Cathedral ruin with a functional Cathedral attached to it. Did I mention gorgeous?
  • Beatrix Potter Garden - Birnam is where Beatrix Potter got the idea for her books, so there is a little garden there and a gift shop where you can buy all kinds of Peter Rabbity-related knick-knacks.
  • Possible pub visit, more Milk Thistle.

Day 4 - Onward Ho! - Our driver picks us up and we begin to jump around... (knock it up, knock it in, let me begin...)

  • Rosslyn Chapel - a stunning piece of architecture that I think will rival St. Conan's Kirk. At least in photos, it appears to be chock-full of eye candy in the form of friezes and minute archetitectural details. It was once thought to be associated with the Masons, but that's been debated. Since my uncle (the father of the cousin who will be there with me) was a Mason, I like to think it was, and it will be all the more special to her.
  • Melrose Abbey - Don't know much about it... it just looks amazing, and it causes me to drool (metaphorically speaking).
  • Mary's Country House - The obsession with Mary continues. But if we run short on time, this will be what we skip.
  • Jedburgh Abbey - This is thrown into the plan if we have time to spare
  • Chillingham Castle for HALLOWEEN or Samhein (pronounced "sow-won" if I recall correctly, now you now two Gaelic words!) - We get to go to a bonfire, a fireworks show and then we are taking the ghost tour. This is supposedly the most haunted castle in the UK and has a particularly grisly past... torture chambers, lots of death, bodies in a lake, and a couple of ghosts. *Eek!*

Day 5 - Still-a-movin'

  • Hogwarts! I mean, Alnwick Castle. Unfortunately it closes the day before we get to it, but all I really want is a picture of the outside. Unless, of course, Rupert Grint happens to be around, and then I will maul the poor bugger. He's hot. It's a red hair thing.
  • Hadrian's Wall - Beware the blue painted Picts!
  • Caerlaverock Castle - A cool ruin. Ya gotta see a castle ruin.
  • Sweetheart Abbey - If you thought carrying a vial of your lover's blood around on your neck was devotion, you were taking the easy way out - try carrying your lover's embalmed heart around in a box... then build him an Abbey...
  • The Globe Inn (maybe dinner, maybe just a visit) - Where poet Robert Burns hung out, and it's supposedly haunted by a maid.

Day 6 - And the train kept-a-rollin...

  • St. Ninian's Cave - an interesting place
  • Bladnoch Distillery - Particularly excited about this distillery. Prior to my last trip I researched whisky to see what I thought I might like, and I chose two: Auchentoshan and Bladnoch. I was able to find the Auchentoshan, and during the whisky tasting it was the hands-down favorite. So I'm eager to pick up some Bladnoch and see how it fares.
  • Cairn Holy I and II - Ancient megalithic tombs... it's fun to say isn't it? Try it... ancient megalithic toooooombs...
  • Culzean Castle - A modern castle... ya gotta see one of those, too.

Day 7 - Back to Edinburgh for an encore presentation

  • Calton Hill - A mish-mash of monuments. I've heard it's best not to be there at night, so we'll go in the afternoon
  • St. Giles Cathedral and Thistle Chapel - St. Giles has the most gorgeous collection of stained glass windows I've run across, which is really saying something because I've seen a lot of stained glass. Thistle Chapel is a knight's chapel. It is small, but packed with interesting details. I didn't get to spend much time there last time so I'm looking forward to exploring it a little further on this trip.
  • Royal Botanical Gardens, time permitting
  • City of the Dead Haunted Graveyard Tour - Where we will face off with the MacKenzie Poltergeist at the Greyfriar's Kirkyard. Muahahahaha!

Day 8 - The End.

I take it back - that Robert's 14 movie wasn't the worst. Shallow Ground. I don't get it. I'm 32 minutes into the movie and I have no idea what it's about. All I know is that there's this guy, and he's covered in blood. Blood leaks from his ears. Blood dribbles from his mouth. His eyes bleed. There's something sinister about him, but I don't know what it is. Except for the blood. That's kind of a giveaway. If they ever get around to a plot I'll report back. Oh... interesting... a second bleeder...


  1. Oh I am so jealous. But in a good way! I went to England and Scotland last year and have been trying to figure out a way to smuggle myself over to Scotland ever since :)

    Have an awesome time! Eat a deep fried Mars bar!!


  2. Grats on the many accomplishments (especially the cat litter). Hope you have a great time, on what looks like a pretty awesome trip.

  3. Congrats and good luck. This post has been nominated for Post of the Year!