Tour Guide Scamp: Day 6

Today was my last day with my parents. This was the only day of the adventure that I didn’t have anything planned. I figured anything that didn’t get done during the week could be done today. We had another good weather day (6 in a row, must be a record for here), so it made the walkabout that much easier.

We started the day with a little walk, the purchase of a new first day of school outfit, and then met a couple of the girls from my program for lunch at the Mexican restaurant that I love. I’m glad my mom finally got to meet all the people that she gets to hear about (minus one….fail on her part). My mom was on her best behavior and did not show them the worst of the baby pictures that she brought.

From lunch we walked to Calton Hill. It has one of the best views in the city, and was something else in the city that I had never seen. I am going to go back on a sunny day to get a little better view. On the way down the hill we got to see where David Hume is buried, and Rubber Pirate Chicken had an amazing day.

The last stop of the day was to the National Museum to see Dolly the Sheep. We only went through one floor of the museum, but I really only wanted to show them the clone. Along the way, I was able to finally get my mom a Beast ice cream. It is a chocolate bar covered in chocolate ice cream dipped in chocolate and nuts….basically the best thing she ate this trip.

My dad then let me have some time with my mom so we could chat. The two of us are used to doing things together, and having long chats, so to have an hour or so to do that was nice. We ended the day with haggis. I told my dad there was no reason for him to eat it, but he ate that and blood pudding. Needless to say he will not be eating it again. The only thing he has left to try is an Iron Bru. I don’t think he needs to try that either, but I will leave that up to him.

The only downside to this trip is we didn’t take a picture of the three of us together. There are two pictures that I think sum up the trip though. The first one is my mom’s reaction to a kiss after haggis, and the second one is one of the best pictures of me taken in awhile.

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The next time I see my family it will be when I am moving home. This visit has definitely been the little boost I need to finish my papers and start working on my dissertation. I’m looking forward to my last 8 weeks here and all of the little adventures I hopefully find myself on.

 

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Tour Guide Scamp: Day 5

Don’t worry, I can still count. Yesterday I  sent the parents to the Highlands, and since I had a meeting, I stayed home. Turns out, I should have gone. They had a 27 year old bearded Scotsman with a quick wit and a love for his home. I love beards, men, and Scotland, so he sounds perfect…..maybe I will go take his tour before I leave in May

Today was a day of exploring the underbelly of the city. The day started off with shopping for goodies to take home to family and friends, and once that was done, we stopped for a cup of tea and very tasty muffins at the Elephant House. While that might not sound impressive, it is the birthplace of Harry Potter. It has one of the most interesting bathrooms. Since the books have been released, and the Elephant House has been put on the map, people have felt the need to leave Harry Potter themed messages on the walls, the toilet, and even the mirrors.

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From there we continued on to The Real Mary King’s Close and took a tour of the underground part of the city. I’d been on the tour before, but I still enjoyed going underground to see the parts that used to belong to the city. Unfortunately there are no cameras allowed, so we don’t have pictures, but thanks to the internet, my loyal 7 readers can enjoy a quick glimpse of the Close. Close means street, or in the case of the city, the alleys that are between the main streets.

The next stop of the day was to the best/worst tourist attraction ever: The Edinburgh Dungeon. It was cheesy, it was scary, and it provided me with one of the funniest pictures I have ever seen of myself. At the end of the adventure there is a ride that drops you much like Tower of Terror at Disneyland (but on a smaller scale). I was in the middle of talking to my favorite Frenchwoman when we dropped, and I had mouth open scream of terror. I actually look like I am afraid….thankfully that picture will only live in the minds of those who saw it today. I’m glad the other two members of my faithful trio were able to go and then hang out with my family.

From there we moved on to a little pub off the beaten path for a quick drink. I was able to convince my BFF here to pop over and hang out for a bit. He was a very good sport about it, and didn’t even blink at the Rubber Pirate Chicken. That is the true sign of a BFF.

The night ended at one of my favorite eateries for a warm meal and some deep fried haggis. Problem was, the waitress wrote down the wrong order, so my dad will have to wait until tomorrow to get his haggis. I keep trying to tell him he isn’t missing anything, but he really wants to try it.

Tomorrow is my last day with my parents. Other than lunch with some of the girls in my class, I am not really sure what the day will hold. If it is cold, like it was today, I may try to talk them into a museum, but if the weather is okay, then I am going to take them to see the best view of the city. Then it will be back to business as usual here and back to paper writing and dissertation prep work.

Not really looking forward to that.

Tour Guide Scamp: Day 3

Can you guess what we did today? If you guessed a boat ride, you would be correct.

Today was less about walking, and more about enjoying the view. The Firth of Fourth is truly a wonder, and all of those who know my dad knows that he loves the water, so I thought a boat ride under the bridge and out to Inchcolm Island would be a perfect way to spend what turned out to be a sunny day. The wind was in full force, so the ride out to the island was a little rough in some spots, but circling the island was great, seeing the abbey was nice, and the best part of the boat ride: SEEING A PUFFIN! It was quick, but I feel that it was way worth it. I loved being on the water, being in the sunshine, and just seeing another part of the city. I also know that it was something that my dad really enjoyed, and since this is their vacation, that is my main goal.

We stopped in the really posh hotel in town for tea, but we ended up in the restaurant and not the tea room. We had some amazing French onion soup (which I am still tasting) before going back to the hotel to relax a little before dinner.

We passed most of the afternoon watching fun British tv shows. I forget that not everyone is used to the pedestrian lifestyle that I have become accustomed to, so I think the last two days and really worn the parental units out.

We ended the night at Frankenstein’s Castle….and yes, it is just as awesome as it sounds. We had a drink and they munched and then we parted ways for the evening. Tomorrow they will spend the day in the Highlands looking for Nessie while I get to go to dissertation meetings and work on final assignments.

I guess it is time for me to remember that I am still in school. I’m trying to finish strong so I can make a case for the credits to be accepted at Fullerton to save me some time and money (ugggh, fingers crossed). It will also give my parents a chance to have a little alone time on their vacation.

Tour Guide Scamp: Day 2

I’m pretty sure the parents are ready to drop kick me to the moon. Today’s tour had them walking up 45 steps of death to visit the castle. I felt really guilty when my mom had to pull out her inhaler….tour guide fail. As much as I hated the steps, seeing the crown jewels and being able to see the entire city was worth it. We spent a good part of the day at the castle going in and out of all of the war museums, looking through the chapel, and watching musket demonstrations. The weather was perfect. I saw the sun today, and I only got cold once (and that is saying a lot for here). Even though I might have finished my time here without visiting the castle, my parents both enjoyed it and that is really all that matters.

After we had seen everything that could be seen at the castle, I took them down the Royal Mile. This is the street for tourists. There are fun shops and restaurants mixed in with some beautiful churches and government buildings. We stopped in one of my favorite little Italian places (I know, I’m in Scotland, why am I eating Italian? Trust me, my parents have already made fun of me) and had the best piece of lemon cheesecake with a lemon glaze of all time (ok, not all time, but I hate cheesecake, so this was amazing). I walked them further down the mile and to the School of Education so my dad could see where I went to class.  We wandered on to Old College because it is a beautiful building and really sells you on the school.

We spent the early afternoon having a drink at the hotel bar. Luckily my parents are the type that can sit and have a drink and people watch without being too fussed about it. We were able to chat and catch up on all the gossip that I have been missing out on at home, and then we talked a little about David and the flaming pile of shit that was. I cried. In a bar. In front of my parents, but while my mom was in the bathroom my dad did his best to tell me that no one is perfect and that even though I know I wasn’t an angel, I did nothing to deserve what I got. Having not really raised girls he is not used to dealing with things like this, but he told to just keep on trucking with my recovery process and that eventually I would come out of this on the other side. While it is what everyone has been saying to me for months, it was still nice to hear it from someone who usually stays out of all the girl drama that goes on in our house.

We finished out the day at an Irish pub near the hotel. I got to enjoy real food, and we even got to watch a little football (and of course, I mean soccer.). We looked at all the funny pictures we took all day of the rubber pirate chicken and his adventure in Edinburgh and then I strolled home. Of course my mother worries about me walking home in the dark, but alas, I have made it safely.

The Irish pub was the same one I sat in a little over a year ago after a long day of campus and city tours and decided that I was going to move here. I took a picture that night, and had my mom take one tonight. I think it pretty much sums up the journey so far.

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This was last March.

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This was two hours ago.

Tomorrow is a ferry ride in the harbor and a tour of the shopping district….which means a lot more walking. Sorry mom.

Tour Guide Scamp: Day 1

The day has finally arrived. My parents are finally in Edinburgh for a visit. I haven’t seen them since January, and while I am a little over a month from going home, I cannot begin to describe how excited I am for them to be in my space. For the next 6 days I will be playing tour guide for them in one of my favorite places in the world.

The first day of tourapalooza was not super exciting. The parents are tired and very jet lagged, so after meeting them at the hotel, I showed them the great Greyfriars Bobby and the cemetery that he stayed in for 14 years. Anyone wanting to read the full story can go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greyfriars_Bobby. The cemetery is really quite beautiful, and is nestled in between shops on one of the main streets in the city.

The second stop on the tour was main campus. I pointed out all the important buildings (The campus bar, student health center, library, you know, the usual) and then walked the old people through my favorite park to the dorms.

Stop three was my room in the cesspool. Thank sweet baby Jesus all the undergrads are on Spring break. The dorms were quiet and my parents got to meet some of my friends here.

The final stop on day one of the tour was my favorite Irish pub. We ate, had some drinks, and then I sent them off to their hotel. My mom looked like she was ready to fall asleep at the table. Of course I would have loved to spend more time chatting and catching up, but I have plenty of time for that while I am shuffling them around from castle to museum to pubs around town.

Tomorrow’s agenda includes exploring the castle, hanging out in the tourist part of town, and having dinner with some of the girls in my program. My mom has already promised to bring lots of baby pictures….oh goody.