Wednesday, August 27, 2008

scotland-part 1

We're here! And even though it's only the first day, there's already so much to tell. I'm afraid, though, that until I finish this book project, I'll have to be brief.

I'll wait to tell you about our flight over until I can really describe it to you in detail. It was interesting in several aspects, and I don't want to rush it.

We arrived in Edinburgh six hours ago. In that time, we got our car and worked like crazy to keep it on the left side of the road. Every time we came to an intersection, we sucked in our breath and tried to force our tired brains to "do the math." If we have to stay on that side of the road, but we want to turn right, that means we have to ... wait, that's not right ..." Most of our conversation from the airport consisted of one phrase: "Stay left." Here are pictures of Dave acclimating. To be honest, that first one is of Dave's first three seconds in the car ... while we were still at the Alamo rental car lot, so he hadn't truly been tested yet. But here's one of him driving: The laughter may have been due to a wee near miss (do you like how I'm already throwing Scottish words at you?). At one point, it looked like we were seconds from seeing Jesus for the first time, but then we got back in our lane.

We had a lovely tour of Edinburgh while we drove around the same square mile for 20 minutes, looking for a street that kept ducking itself away every time we got near. After exchanging dollars for pounds and asking directions of a man with a thick, thick, thick-and-delicious brogue, we stayed lost for another half hour. In fact, after following his very specific, very clear, very Scottish-flavored directions, we were even "loster," if I may take the liberty to create a word. But after stopping at a visitor's center, the woman there told us, in a thick, thick brogue, how to pin down the street that kept eluding us. I believe we would still be lost, still circling that lonely mile, and probably sobbing by now, except that along with her verbal directions, she also drew us a map. Here are pictures of the "street where we live," and the family-owned bed & breakfast which is our Edinburgh home.

As far as I can tell, this Scottish attack cat is for looks only. She was nothing but friendly. Her fur was nice and satiny, just like my American cats, and she clearly liked when I scratched behind her little ears, just like my American cats ... but she gave herself clean away when she rolled her "r's" during a meow.

We took a short three-hour nap, woke up, walked into town, and bought dinner at a little place that specialized in "fish and pizza." I'm still wondering at that combo. But I'll tell you what--I've never had fish and chips that good in my life. The comparison is something akin to pitting mom's homemade pot roast against a Swanson's frozen pretend-roast t.v. dinner. Ivar's and Skippers probably ought to take a field trip over here and see how it's supposed to be done.

The women who boxed up our dinner thought it was odd that we wanted salt-and-malt AND tartar sauce. By the looks they gave each other, I'll bet they're still talking about that. We thought it was a little odd that there wasn't a napkin in the place. Not only are we still talking about that, but now I've blogged about it too.

We took our dinner and sat in the park called "The Meadows, where we watched--and I'm not kidding--a man and his Scottish terrior chase each other around the grass. How appropriate is that?

On the walk back home, which was about a half hour each way and which felt wonderful after all our flying and napping, we spotted a happily familiar little coffee shop. Can you see the Starbucks logo in this picture? So tomorrow morning, after a breakfast of apples and granola bars, we will slip into Starbucks, grab a latte, and plan our day. Watch for pictures of Edinburgh castle sometime tomorrow night.

We miss you all! In just a few short hours, you (our church family) will meet for the weekly spaghett/lasagna feed, and lots of laughter and fellowship, and great teaching. Lord willing, we'll be ... asleep! :)


2 Comment:

At 8/27/2008 2:05 PM, Blogger Kim had this to say ...

Awww, we miss you guys! It looks like you are having fun over there. Did you get a new camera?

The, "At one point, it looked like we were seconds from seeing Jesus for the first time," cracked me up! Thankfully that didn't happen. ;)

Have a nice time at Starbucks tomorrow. G'night!

At 8/28/2008 7:42 PM, Blogger Cora had this to say ...

Shannon, Scotland, through your eyes, looks wonderful! I am envious. I am sure you will adapt quickly and you will have the time of your lives! Can't wait to hear and see more. We miss you and love you much!


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