Saturday, April 2, 2011

Guest Blog From MMT- Arriving to Edinburgh

I would like to thank Katie for allowing me to write on her blog. I feel honored to be her first guest blogger. After that wonderful tribute blog, I don't need any introductions but my name is Mary Margaret (MMT) and I am a virgin blogger so I hope I don't disappoint you. My friend Carla and I boarded a plane Thursday evening bound for Scotland. I hate to fly but it was a pretty uneventful flight, which I guess is a good thing. British Air allows you a personal tv, so I was able to watch three movies and an episode of Modern Family to keep me occupied on my flight. Unless you are riding in first class, don't expect to get any sleep on an overnight flight in coach, or as I like to call it, cattle section. Security was tighter than usual but we were able to make our connecting flights with just 15 minutes to spare. We landed in Edinburgh at 3am EST, which was 9am Edinburgh time. After a joyful and tearful reunion we boarded a double decker bus for our trip to Katie's flat. It had just stopped raining and mother nature greeted us with a beautiful full rainbow, and at that moment we knew this was going to be a very special week. I always look for signs and knew when the sun came out and rainbow appeared that this was a sign for a memorable adventure. 

For lunch we ate at an amazing Italian restaurant called Postitano's which is right around the corner from Katie's flat. Katie enjoyed pizza margarita and I had seafood risotto. It was so delicious and I highly recommend it for anyone visiting the city.  I didn't realize that Edinburgh was one of the largest seafood exporters in the area and was really amazed at how fresh the seafood is. There are a lot of seafood markets and restaurants all over town. 

After lunch Carla and I took naps so that we would be refreshed for our first night out in the Burgh. At 6pm we hit the streets with Katie for a tour of the city. We hit all of the highlights for the University of Edinburgh, and I am so impressed with my daughter's new employer. What a great place for her to work!  Katie knows how much I love dogs, so she took me too the Greyfriars Bobby statue. After having my picture taken I gave him a friendly pat and then we were on to the next place. 

Katie then said we had to climb to the top of Calton Hill for a scenic view of the city. All I can say is glad I was gelling in my new nike's! It is definitely worth the hike up the hill and it was such a clear night we could see out towards Fife and the North Sea. Katie mentioned that rumor has it Calton Hill is the "red Light" district after dark, so the three wild and crazy girls had to get out of there as the sun went down.    

Katie and Me at Calton Hill

Katie and Carla

We stopped for a light dinner at Biblos and had some awesome soup and hot tea to warm us up. Next it was onto a place called Finnegan's Wake. My motto for this vacation was "whatever happens in Scotland, stays in Scotland" so I am not going to discus the Danish men we met, or Jack Black's twin brother, but I can see why my daughter loves being single in this city! I felt right at home when I saw Coke Cola in bottles! 

We needed to be undercover for part of the evening, so we sported these green shades Katie brought back from her St. Patrick's day trip to Dublin. She assured me that they would bring a guaranteed good time if we wore them, and boy was she right! We laughed and danced, and enjoyed the live band that was playing in the pub. 

Below is my daughter Katie and her friend Lynsey. Lynsey will be visiting Virginia this summer when Katie's home for a visit so we will be excited to show her all that Washington DC has to offer. Lynsey- remember to bring your green shades! 

Four wild and crazy girls

When my head hit the pillow I didn't wake up until 8am the next morning. We were off for another full day in the city. First stop, Giles Cathedral shown in the picture below.

After walking the Royal Mile we headed up for a tour of Edinburgh Castle. The weather was beautiful and their weren't as many tourists as we expected so it made for an enjoyable visit. 

I paid my respects at the dog cemetery which is dedicated to all of the soldier dogs who died serving Scotland. 

And then I found Saint Margaret's chapel, which is one of the oldest building in Edinburgh. 

I then found David's tower and it made me think of my son. He is going to be making his first trip over the pond this summer and will love Edinburgh!

After touring the castle it was time for lunch. Katie took us to her favorite lunch spot called Elephants and Bagels.  This is one of the most unique restaurants I have been too and you can get so many different options on your bagel. I enjoyed a chicken pesto with roasted red peppers on a multigrain bagel and Carla had smoked salmon, creme cheese and capers. It was outstanding! 

After lunch we went to tour the Scottish Whiskey Experience. Katie is going to do a full blog post on this tour since she loves to write about her experiences with the "spirits", so I will leave her to talk about that, but let me tell you if you visit don't forget the chocolate and Scotch experience. They go together like peanut butter and jelly!

After getting our drink on at the tour we decided it was time for a photo shoot in the meadows. Carla and Katie got their glamour shots in the daffodils. 

We are now getting ready to head to dinner and our first ceilidh dance. More to come on that experience later this trip. I will now have to steal my daughter's sign off and say, until next time, I will see you on the internet! 

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