Vacation Day 1: Scotland, arrival

The first day in Scotland was exhausting.

We had a red-eye flight out of Boston that left at about 6:45 p.m., landed in Amsterdam at 7:45 a.m., had a two hour layover scheduled (the flight out of Boston was delayed so we didn’t have to wait the whole layover), and then a quick hopper over to Edinburgh.  We arrived a little later than our anticipated 10:15 a.m. and it threw things off for the beginning part of the day, especially the car rental.

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We had prebooked a car at Hertz and the place was SLAMMED.  We were there for over two hours just waiting in line to get our car.  It was ridiculous.  The car was equally ridiculous.

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Did they KNOW who they were renting this thing out to — all we asked for was something with GPS and an automatic that could hold 4 adults.  Did they look at L’s driving history first?!  😛  It’s a brand-spanking-new 2017, fully loaded, and we were the first people to have ever driven it…we took the extra insurance.  We put it through its paces after we figured out how to work the thing.  It was like being in a weird space ship where everything should be touch screen but nothing was, so it’s all controlled by a bizarre mouse thing in a center console.  Also, it wasn’t passenger friendly for tall people.  Mom was the shortest on the trip, measuring in at 5’9″.  So it was beautiful and fun to say we drove around in, but nothing that any of us would ever want to drive or ride in again, though it did have some great pick-up-and-go.

L signed himself up to be the driver.  He figured if the rest of us drank whiskey the whole trip, we’d all be happier.  There’s probably some truth to that.  The poor guy had to learn to drive on the left in the middle of the city.  Thankfully, Edinburgh was a very patient city and when he was freaking out, the residents gently pointed to the other side of the road — they knew we were idiot tourists.

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L had wanted to go see The Real Mary King’s Close but they were being the jerkiest of jerk-wads that we encountered while in Scotland, so we decided to skip that tour and wandered around the Royal Mile a bit instead.

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St. Giles’ Cathedral

Eventually we made our way up the hill and visited Edinburgh Castle.

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The Castle was preparing for their Military Tattoo and I really enjoyed watching the grounds crew strapped into repelling gear so they could mow the sides of that hill.  Good times for all…except them, they looked utterly miserable lugging lawn equipment up and down.

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Edinburgh from atop the battlements

After touring the Castle, we all decided we were pretty pooped and wanted to head over to our B&B for the night.

We stayed at The Strathardle Inn in Kirkmichael, Perthshire.

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I don’t know if it’s because we were so tired or what, but even at the end of the trip, we all still unanimously agreed that those were the BEST, most comfortable beds in Scotland or Ireland. 😛

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Seriously, they were.  Everybody else went to freshen up before dinner.  I crashed and took a power nap.  We ate dinner at the Inn as well.  It was also dreamy.  I think it was my favorite — the others argue for other meals, which just shows we ate well everywhere we went, but I’ve settled on this one.  Even sleep deprived, I know good food.

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Sweet potato puree with spicy red cabbage, kale, and pork belly with a cider sauce.

The restaurant itself is in the special Michelin pub guide and I could see why.  I do NOT like fatty foods.  I was sucking down the pork belly like no tomorrow — it was *that* tasty and well prepared.  L was shocked and then begging for bites like a baby bird.  I knew I had to eat something special there.  I could get fish and chips anywhere!

Mom ordered something a bit more traditionally Scottish: Cullen Skink.

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…and Mom discovered that she likes Guinness.

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She’s not a beer drinker, so we were all a bit surprised.  I’m not a beer drinker, neither is L.  I know I don’t like Guinness, so didn’t try it.  L was in the spirit of trying things so he did; he hated it so much he drank my weird coke with a lemon in it just to get the taste out and he also hates soda.  He’s weird. 😛

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