Saturday, June 9, 2012

Scotland in photos!

So, I pulled the trigger and booked my ticket to Scotland.  I was quite nervous as I hadn't been away from the Little Prince since he was born and always in the back of my mind was, 'What if something happens to me?'.  Let's be honest, something could happen anytime, anywhere but flying makes me nervous so I was a little ball of stress leading up to my trip!  I did the responsible thing and saw my lawyer to do my will and get all of my documents, bank accounts and passwords in order.  I felt much better but still am not a fan of flying!  I sobbed in the airport while saying goodbye to my sweet, precious little boy and got on the plane with tears streaming down my face.  Sounds glamourous doesn't it!? 

My point?  I used to be a jetsetter...I flew all around the world and never gave it a second thought.  I would fly to London for the weekend, Florida on a whim, Montreal for bagels...and it never once bothered me.  Having a child has made me very, very aware of my own mortality.  Fortunately the guy next to me on the plane was drunk and Scottish and didn't shut up the entire time so he took my mind off things.  We had a good chuckle at the Canadian guy wearing a kilt on the plane *rolling eyes* the only time that's acceptable is when a man has been at a wedding, woke up still in his kilt and has had to race to the airport to get his flight home.

Our flight left the gate on time and all was looking good until we got out to the runway and we waited and waiting...finally the pilot came on and told us we need to go back to the gate because there was a technical problem and he needed to do some paperwork.  Charming.  Oh and the fuel we burnt off going to the runway and back had to be topped up so we left Toronto an hour late...and I had no way of telling my uncle at the other end because it was 2:30am for him!

You know in every group of strangers, on every flight, every bus, in every restaurant...there's that one guy who can't just go with the flow and has to make a spectacle of himself?  Yeah, he made himself known quite early in the flight by marching to the back of the plane where the flight attendants were busy working on drinks to calm down irritated passengers.  I had prebooked my seat so I had the very last spot at the back of the plane (right next to the washrooms and emergency exit) so I was able to watch this guy make his way from the front of the plane to the galley and I'm going to be honest...he spent wayyyy to much time back there.  I was going to ask if he is an air marshal but I heard him asking the flight attendants if they were going to tell him why we were delayed.  They told him they know nothing and to go back to his seat but he refused to budge.  I even had to tell him to move so I could get to the washroom and he wasn't happy about it!  This went on for most of the flight and just before we landed I heard the head flight attendant speaking to a couple of people a few rows ahead of me about him, letting them know they could file a complaint with the airline.  Hm.  Well this is interesting!

The flight landed and of course everyone jumps up the second the seatbelt light goes off (except for me, I wait until everyone is off the plane then disembark.  My luggage will be waiting for me) and they end up standing there for about 10 minutes before the pilot comes on and says everyone needs to sit back down.  Hm, this is new!  Next thing the annoying guy marches to the back of the plane followed by 3 big bad Strathclyde police officers!  Oh yeah, someone wasn't happy!  It seems the head flight attendant had decided being verbally assaulted, sworn at, called names and being subjected to sexually demeaning comments from a passenger just wasn't a part of her job description.  From what other passengers said, a good amount of this went on at the front of the plane (I should've been an investigative reporter) so I didn't witness it but I did see how much time this guy was spending at the galley annoying the flight attendants and I told the police I felt it was bordering on harassment.  Oh...I told the 5th police officer that...seems three wasn't enough so two more got on the plane.  Finally they let us off the plane to get through immigration, which took forever (I should look into getting a UK passport), and get on our way.  My poor uncle was standing in the airport for almost 2 hours waiting for me!

Now, I don't know if my Scottish experience is the most accurate for anyone travelling there as I tend to be kept in a little ball of cotton wool and never have to deal with reality while I'm there as I am fortunate to have great family in Scotland who never let me out of their sight or pay for anything. I do have lots of photos to share of my adventures so today I am starting with my random photos....

I have no idea how to drive in Scotland but I enjoy the highway signs! 

 One of the streets we walk down to get 'doon the toon'!

My uncle has a crunchy Downtonesque driveway!
No words needed. 

The view from the gate - the house across the street was once owned by an old woman who employed my great-uncle.  Legend is it was a bit of a Lady Chatterley situation and I remember her as being so very nice and I played in that house as a child.  There are secret doors and staircases!  It's now owned by one of the directors of Glasgow Celtic who is pals with my uncle but I didn't meet him when I was there.

The guard dog slash big softie.  We were watching Britain's Got Talent when I was there and every time Pudsy came on to do his dance the guard dog got in a huff and left the room!  I'm shocked the opera singers didn't win! 

A Scottish sunset. 

I love this fuzzy photo taken in the pub in Cambusbarron!  Everyone drinks Irn Bru - young, old and everyone in between!  This same evening I got my photo taken with Kevin Drinkel who used to play for Glasgow Rangers (that's more like it!).

 Why yes I do understand every Scottish granny I've ever met! 

Something I love about traveling is trying new foods or new combinations of foods.  I made my uncle sit and wait while I took photos of his lunch.  This is bacon, brie and cranberry!  The Suburban Prince will be having this for lunch soon enough.

I didn't have haggis when I was in Scotland but I've certainly eaten it enough times in my life.  Before you turn your nose up at it you should find the ingredient list on a package of sausages.   I actually prefer the tinned haggis tho and always have it in the pantry.

Cousin Willie's wife ordered me one of these.  Somewhere under all the cream and marshmallows there was a splash of hot chocolate!  Note the Flake stuck in the top!  YUM!

I had a snowball for lunch.  I skipped the savory portion of the midday repast and went right to dessert.  Snowballs are a bit hard to describe...the middle is marshmallowy but not like a north American marshmallow.  They are sweet and taste like my childhood...the next time you are in a British shop try one!

Cousin Willie and his wife picked me up and took me to see the Falkirk Wheel.  It's an amazing piece of engineering and it's very cool to watch.  It's used to get boats from the bottom part to the top part just like a lift lock.  You can watch a video of it here.

While out with Cousin Willie and his wife we went for a drive to the Forth bridge.  The wind and rain were out of control and we got out of the car to take a few one point I thought Cousin Willie's wife was going to be blown away!

The same spot, different direction.  I raced back to the car!

Hamish the Heilan' Coo!

I've got lots of photos of Stirling Castle in my next post about my trip! 

If you can, please leave your comment here instead of on Twitter. Thanks!

Have a fabulous day!


Debra said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your pictures!! Can't wait for castle ones. :)

Seems like there's always one on every flight. Last week we had the loud women who gets on the plane with her rolling suitcase and exclaims 'these aisles are narrow!' (um, first time on a plane?) Then she says 'I apologize now if I hit anyone on the way to my seat.' Nice manners. She say way behind us so I'm not sure what else she did but I'm quite sure that was only the beginning! No police officers at the end of the flight though. :)

Thanks for sharing all of your trip details. It's like we were all there with you.

Adrienne Shubin said...

Really fabulous photos. I feel like I was there!
Isn't air travel the pits anymore?? We had mostly drama-free flights save for one woman who had a melt down right in front of our row and an old American couple who fought like cats and dogs for most of the flight. They were so awful to each other - why do people who obviously detest each other travel together?? I think they thought no one could hear them, but I heard every nasty word.

Glad you had such a wonderful time :)

Anonymous said...

That you ate a snowball is beyond cool!
Looking forward to hearing more.

About Last Weekend said...

Loving the scunchy crunchy driveway, very "Yew" (posh) according to my posh friend (as opposed to concrete like we have) And thanks for the heads up about comment verification

Highland Fashionista said...

Looks like you had a lovely time! Next time, look me up! I smell a joint post in the from Scotland! Keep em coming, I love it!

LR @ Magnificent or Egregious said...

Sounds like an exciting trip (even with the plane excitement!) last few flights have been ok, no real drama but I remember one flight a year or two ago on Westjet where these 19 year old wannabes were swearing throughout the entire flight and finally one guy told them off and everyone literally started cheering.

High Heeled Life said...

Looks like a fabulous time! Though I'm certain you and the other passengers could have done with a little less live on plane entertainment... glad you had a great time!! xo HHL

Associate Girl said...

Oh thank you for taking us on this trip with you. I have only ever seen haggis in a can!

Leigh Powell Hines (Hines-Sight Blog) said...

What a great trip. I loved the comment about the man in the kilt on the plane.