Well during “Reading Week” (although from the people I talked to, it seemed like Ian may have been the only one that read), we decided we needed to do some site seeing. We went with the Kynes (who you met in the last post) for the day to visit Edinburgh. We left fairly early in the morning and had a nice train ride into the Big E. When we arrived, we pulled out the map to help orient ourselves and came across this large and impressive memorial to Sir Walter Scott..
We found our way over to the Royal Mile and got a fun view of the castle. We got a little sidetracked as we walked past ‘The Scotch Whisky Experience’. We went in and found out we could get a double discount for doing the tour before noon and because Will and Ian are students. Vanessa and I decided we didn’t really want to learn about the history of Scotch Whisky, so we took a short tour of the Royal Mile while the guys took a tour, tasting, and barrel ride..
They had a great time and got to take home their own special whisky glasses and filled us in on all the things to pay attention to when tasting Scotch Whisky.
From there we went on to the castle (If you’d like some quick castle facts, visit this site), which was really cool, and because we are Historic Scotland members we didn’t have to pay the GBP 22.00 it cost to go in! Here is a picture of the entrance to the castle.
We are standing on what we think would’ve been the drawbridge over the moat (we didn’t get the guided tour because you had to pay extra, so we’re probably just making things up). A view from the top..
We found some amusement in this, and yet, reflecting on the loyalty of dogs, I could believe it.. I bet there were some brave poochies.
This is Ian’s head with Mons Meg, a HUGE cannon that was given to one of the kings.
Some perspective on the crazy big cannonballs used with it..
We went in to see the Honours of Scotland (the crown jewels, the scepter and a sword) and they had a history lesson on the way. We may not have paid as close attention as we should have because we were a little distracted..
You can see the baby Mary Queen of Scots really took a liking to Ian.
We took a walk with the guys down the Royal Mile so Ian could stand next to this statue of David Hume.
Part of Ian’s goal for out time in the Big E was to find David Hume’s grave. After much asking, we finally found it around dusk.
Also amongst the graves we found a statue of… you guessed it – Honest Abe! He tops a memorial dedicated to things like freedom and equality in the Old Calton Burial Ground.
We then took some time to enjoy Princes Street where there are lots of shops. We went into a few stores and then realized that we were really tired and ready to go home! So we left the Big E for now, but it surely won’t be our last trip..
Also, I’ve been working with some boys from our church on making Christmas present for their grandparents. We did crayons with watercolor paintings and as I was making the examples, Ian was overcome with the desire to exercise his creativity as well.. He did a great job and it was even his first attempt at watercolors!
Here’s a picture of my first chicken pot pie ever! The second one I made was way prettier and tastier too, but I forgot to take a picture.. Yummy! Great on a cold, hungry day
While I’m at it, I’m going to go ahead and tell you about our Thanksgiving meal in Aberdeen! We got to video chat with some of my family who were gathered for the holiday because some people in Scotland actually have the internet… It was wonderful but hard to know we missed it. We actually celebrated our T-day on Saturday and enjoyed the company of two other couples aside from the Ellis’s and us. We each pitched in and made various dishes and had a great spread of food. We started with an array of cheese and crackers, artichoke dip, and devilled eggs. Then moved on to the main event..
We had a delicious turkey, green beans, rolls, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, carrots, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and then a pumpkin and a pecan pie for dessert. It was super yummy and all the ladies did an excellent job preparing it in a Scottish size kitchen with a Scottish size oven :) Kate even made a cornucopia..
We had a wonderful time eating and followed up with several hours of good conversation, some episodes of The Office (US version), and more U-tube videos than I have ever watched at one time. It was a great day for giving thanks :)