105 - Day 1 - Travel and Edinburgh

City of Edinburgh from Edinburgh Castle

Apparently I can't put the pictures where I want to put the pictures, so they're just random. Next time I'll upload the pictures and then type up the blog...

Scott Monument

Sunlight filtering through the trees of the Princes Street Gardens

Sunset at Edinburgh Castle

Day 1 --

I get to the hotel and wait for the shuttle to take me to the airport. The driver phones ahead to say that he's running about 5 mins late. Twelve more minutes pass. I'm nervous. I have to meet up with my cousin in Washington DC, and I don't know how many more passengers are on this route. I don't want to miss my flight.

When I get into the van I casually mention that he was late and I'm concerned about getting to the airport on time, but I don't make a huge deal of it. We encounter traffic due to an accident. He begins to mutter to himself... 'sorry... got to do what I have to do... got to get there on time.' He exits the highway and begins to cut through parking lots and back roads. When he gets into the wrong lane to turn, but does it anyway... I begin to think I've put too much pressure on the poor man. He's still muttering and I'm getting nervous.

I realize I need to pee. I ask him if the next pickup is at a hotel. He says yes. I clear it with him first -- I will go to the bathroom as he's loading up the next passenger. I shouldn't delay us, but I need to go. Next passenger is Mr. Scowley. Never smiles. He's in a foul mood from the get-go. I sprint into the hotel and ask where the bathroom is... on the second floor. Smurf. Who puts the bathroom on the second floor??? Remembering Mr. Scowley and not wishing to incur his wrath I ditch my plan and return to the van. I will use the bathroom at the next hotel.

Next stop is at someone's house. Smurf.

We make it to the airport and I haven't wet myself, but we encounter another accident and a house fire. One tragedy for each passenger. I'm hoping this isn't a sign of things to come.

No line at security. Wow. Miserable little concourse, only one pitiful little snack shop with tired looking, overpriced sandwiches. I buy a bag of Cheetos.

Board the plan and quickly realize that United has a caste system. I am in Economy, but I sit at the equator where Economy becomes Economy Plus. The seat in front of me costs $49 more. They are very strict about that. The guy crammed into the window seat across the aisle from me attempts to sneak into the seat in front of me mid-flight, but the stewardess sends him back. She is not to be trifled with. I don't know what it matters... the seat was empty when the plane took off...

United also doesn't take cash. Only credit cards. Fine, I have one... but I pulled out cash specifically for the plane and it seems weird to me that they wouldn't accept it...

Get to Washington and meet up with my cousin, all is well. We are now together whatever happens. Meet a nice, if not somewhat clingy and possibly delusional, lady while we're there. She's going on and on about her English fiance. They've been dating for 7 years. She's gone to England all of 5 times, yet she seems pretty clueless when it comes to flying. She shows me a picture of a significantly better looking man, who is also significantly younger than her, who is seated on a hotel bed. They met on the internet. I begin to wonder if she's not making this up... When they get married they are going to maintain separate residences... Mm-kay.
Long flight. Heathrow miserable, but I already covered my warm welcome.

We arrive in Edinburgh and collect our bags. They weigh a ton... Jamie's duffel bag weighs two tons. I manage to find the hotel without getting us lost (go Kristy!). We set out for Edinburgh Castle to meet Brian and Laura (I asked the clerk if they checked in and they had, so I knew we had all arrived).
I don't know how to get to the castle proper, but I know where the castle is. We're booking it up some incredibly steep hills. I'm pushing Jamie to hurry because it's 4 o'clock and the last admission is at 4:15. We get there and the lady at the ticket counter tells us that everyone has to be out of the castle by 5 pm, and she would suggest two hours to see it all. Smurf. No Brian. No Laura. We decide to pass on today and do it first thing tomorrow. Plan 2 - Meet Laura and Brian at the Underground City of the Dead Tour.

We have dinner at The Crag & Tail. It was yummy... steak with whisky sauce, chips, mushrooms and broiled tomatoes. Then we do a little window shopping. Then we get some hot chocolate... apparently this shop has never heard of sugar... I had to put in two sticks to get it even mildly sweet. Then we get to St. Giles and we wait. And we wait. And we wait. As we wait there is a guy with fire that entertains us. Four times.
It's 7:30 pm and we don't see them. It's 8:00 pm and we still don't see them. We decide to pass on the tour and just go back to the hotel. We're tired and we're cold, and admittedly, I have been something of a bitch, so Jamie probably didn't like me much just then. I resolve to relax... was intent on trying to hook up with Brian and Laura so I was pushing, but there's no point in it anymore. I know that we'll find each other and after that, we'll figure it out.

We manage to find them at the hotel. All my careful planning and I didn't tell them where to meet for the ghost tour, so they asked someone and were directed to a different tour. They had been waiting for us, and waiting for us, and waiting for us... just down the street where we were waiting for them... Buggar. Oh well. We've managed to get together, and Brian got to visit the Harley dealership. We've all had a rather exciting day, it's time to turn in and we have a big day tomorrow.
Tomorrow... Day 2...


  1. Quite a busy first day...looking forward to day 2!

  2. I am remembering my trip! Thanks for the triggers!

    Are you sad to be home?