Last weekend, I made my first foray into the UK since age 9. Edward and I climbed aboard a tiny aircraft that carried us northward towards Edinburgh, tiffin, and Miss Jessie (a long-time partner in crime). How was it? Excellent, of course!
We arrived late in the evening, exhausted from our toils of packing suitcases, cleaning the house, and grumbling through airport security. Of course, it is always in these low moments of exhaustion that fate decides to throw you a curve-ball. Tired, you say? BAM! Your hostel is the tiniest door in the wall, and will take an extra hour to find! Think of it as a challenge.
Eventually, we found our tiny hostel. There, we also found Jessie. All of these new sights were welcomed with many hugs and subsequent flopping on beds. Despite our group's jetlag and travel-weariness, we did manage to rally our spirits enough to go out for one pint and a few photo ops in the dark.
The next few days were much more exciting. We savored the sights at Edinburgh Castle and The National Museum of Scotland. We took a tour of the royal yacht, Britannia. We tasted whiskey. We indulged in deep-friend Mars bars. We climbed to the very peak of Arthur's Seat!
More importantly, I tried haggis. And, enjoyed it. Most importantly, I ate lots of tiffin at The Elephant House, the cafe where J.K. Rowling penned scrawling notes for the Harry Potter novels. I also took lots of incriminatingly dorky photos of myself writing on napkins while drinking my morning coffee.
After three nights of gasping at the breathtaking beauty of Edinburgh (constantly vowing that we would drop our lives to live amongst its wet, chilly stonework), we moved on to Glascow. Maybe I didn't have a chance to get to know Glascow very well, but seeing the "other Scottish city" after oogling Edinburgh's stunning features was rather underwhelming. But, beauty wasn't the point.
The points were twofold: 1.) FREE breakfast in our hostel and 2.) watching Dylan Moran, one of my favorite comedians (of-all-time-ever) perform at the Pavilion Theater. Each moment of the two hour performance was inflated with the breath of incessant giggling, guffawing, and chuckling. Very much worth it. Then, I ate a chicken sandwich.
The morning after my chicken sandwich, I awoke to the feeling of pointy rocks in my stomach and a vaguely swimmy sensation in my head. Surely, I thought, these unpleasant feelings will dissipate with copious water and FREE breakfast, right? So, we all trundled downstairs to the eating area where I stuffed my face with two bowls of milk and muesli, toast, and three cups of coffee. This was good. I love muesli. I love it even better when it's free.
It was somewhere on the bus between the hostel and Glascow airport when things began to go awry. I began thanking all heavenly bodies that I'd saved plastic bags from souvenir shops and tried desperately not to concentrate on the fact that we were moving. By the time we made it through check-in, I was dashing for a bathroom. After security, a conveniently close trashcan. Before the flight, another nearby (but not nearby enough) trashcan. And so on, and so forth.
Once home, I was able to collapse into bed and sleep for a day. I awoke from my stomach-reeling slumber dehydrated, but much less nauseated. Thank goodness.
Sadly, we never did ramble our way to Loch Ness during our stint in Scotland. Luckily, Nessie was doing a book signing in the National Museum and was kind enough to give me her autograph. Dreams do come true.