So, I absolutely fell down on the job this final week of the trip, but am I to blame when the public outcry for more dance was so great?! How can I blog AND give the people what they want?! And the paparazzi around here, let me tell you! It got hard for me to leave my dressing room! (Despite being from Tennessee, delusion is my favorite state...)
Anyway, I'd like to take a moment or 90 to tell you all about my final week in wee, bonny Scotland. (I'll be honest, I don't really know the proper usage of that particular word.)
Monday was a class day, so of course there were a number of very flattering blackmail photos of all of us on the internet that afternoon. (Thank you Dr. Rushing. I really do prefer photos in which I have less than six chins, but I suppose I must bend to your creative spin.) We got to hear all about everyone's fabulous free weekends, which of course meant we were in class for approximately eleventy bajillion years. This was intensified by the fact that my body chose that day to reject itself, followed by my video camera giving me the old one finger salute and then the phone not working so I could call home and bitch about all the aforemetioned disaster! Bajeez! I think perhaps God was punishing me for the "babies on spikes" comment I made in class, but I can't be sure. What I can be sure of, however, is that karma is a fickle friend. You enjoy it when other people are getting the sucky end of the stick but when you become the whipping boy, suddenly karma is no longer funny. The day began to redeem itself when we all took off to the National Museum of Scotland. We basically didn't care to see anything but Dolly the sheep and boy, did we ever! Sadly, though, Dolly is looking like she's had a little work done! She is very glassy eyed and stiff. I might go so far as to say she looks as though she may have been stuffed! That must really suck. Also she's on a rotating table in a glass box so it makes it even one MORE notch higher on the creepy meter. The Museum was pretty cool, but after a while, you realize that every piece of weird copper tableware and all the 17th century furninshings start to look the same and before you start pulling at your hair, you have to get out into the light again.
The day further redeemed itself toward the end when Jennifer and I went to the pub and ran into the fabulous Rushing-Benders and chatted for a bit and then I was introduced to the "Evolution of Dance" and the "G wiz vs. Table" videos. That was enough to turn the night around. TABLE IS VICTORIOUS!!! Also, the pub was playing some rockin' music videos, including Madonna's "Like a Prayer," Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." I mean, the heavens opened up over Centro Bar.
Tuesday we headed to the home of Bea-Pot, Original MC, more commonly known as Beatrix Potter. (She has to hide her identity, lest her street cred be denied. You know.) Although it was a neat place to visit, the trip itself was a tad... disappointing. It went really quickly and we did a lot of traveling for only a short bit of staying in one place seeing cool stuff. On the bright side, we narrowly avoided death barrelling down through the English countryside, with its tiny roads and our driver, who navigated using a GPS system. And while I appreciate that we managed to get there sans any sort of dismemberment or misdirection, I feel like a paid driver using a GPS system is cheating. That, to me, is like a literature teacher teaching Spark Notes. I mean, come on, dude. For that matter, hand the deal over to me! I can drive! Not very well, but I can(!) follow directions. Well, I can hear directions. Ok, nevermind. But that dude was still no Jimmy, that's for sure! Another happy event was the large population of sheep grazing about the Potter property. Several of the fluffy darlings had the letter "H" painted on their sides, which I was positive was a shout out (holla!) to me, but which Dr. Rushing decided actually meant "hamburger". Poor sheepy!
We finished the day by heading to the Crags for a wee drink (that time I KNOW I used it correctly! A-plus for me, right?!) and as we were enjoying our beverages, the lights went out. All I could think about was "Shadow Dancing" but I digress. The mistresses of the pub told us that due to the blackout wee had to leave so they could close the bar. We chose to stay a while longer anyway, because we are rebels... so there.
Wednesday was a perfect day. That is not even sarcasm, which I am aware is utterly shocking to anyone who reads this blog, but it really was amazering! It started with a short class-like session in the cafeteria, which was, ahem, fun... Anyway, we left and a group of the gals headed out to go to Roslin Chapel, which, in case you didn't know is fabled to be the home of the holy grail. Anyway, that's what Dan Brown says in the Da Vinci code. Or so everyone keeps telling me. Anyway, I'm pretty sure the funniest part of the whole day happened before we had even gotten out of Pollack Halls good. We head down the street and Cait, I, and Jennifer are walking shoulder to shoulder down the sidewalk. As we're walking, Jennifer is talking and I'm looking straight ahead. Suddenly, out of NOwhere a sign jumps in front of Jennifer and slams right into her! (That was in the interest of helping J save face, when in fact, Jennifer seriously ran slam into a pole.) The best part of all of it was that, as if in a cartoon, the sign literally began wobbling and making the "boioioioioing" sound as Jennifer stumbled backwards out of our formation. I was concerned of course, but sadly the uncontrollable laughter was restraining me from expressing said concern. Chalk up one more point to the hell column for me.
Anyway, once we made it to the bus, we had a lovely ride out to the Chapel, which is quite possibly one of the most amazing places I've ever seen. The architecture is stunning and it's overwhelming how much history lies in those walls. It's absolutely incredible. I was also extremely tickled by the cat who was sleeping on one of the pews and who no one could resist petting for a moment. The tour guide person said he was a regular visitor to the Chapel but that they didn't feed him, so he obviously belongs to someone as he is not a slim kitty, if you know what I'm saying. Anyway, they said they call him William because they think he is William St. Clair, who built the Chapel, reincarnated. I believe it too! I bet he's guarding the Grail!!! Oh man!
After the Chapel, Jennifer, grande Caitlin and I headed to the American Embassy to Scotland, Pizza Hut, for dinner and then joined Bekah, Beth, Emily, and Katy for the World Premiere of Dummy at the Edinburgh film festival. The movie was amazing and beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking. I will have you know, however, that I did NOT cry (much.) even though it was extremely sad at some points (Ok. So I may have been quietly sobbing and getting tears and snot all over the place, but I do not need your judgment! Don't judge me!!!). It was absolutely a wonderful experience though. The lead actors, the director and the art director were all in attendance and they held a Q&A following the film, which was just an incredible experience. How often do you get to see the world premiere of a feature film and then get to discuss it with the very people who created it? Unless you're a movie star or filthy stinkin' rich, not a whole lot! And as I am neither (yet), that was quite the experience! Also, post-film, we decided to take some real-life red carpet type photos!!!
Here, Bekah and Jennifer pose like Supermodels.
After that, we headed back to Pollack Halls and the sun was shining (which is a bleedin' miracle for Scotland most of the time) and I just felt compelled to climb Arthur's Seat. So I did. And I made it up without falling (...more than once) and when I got to the halfway point, my favorite reggae protest song came on my iPod so I did a little mountain-dancing and then continued up when I realized all of Scotland could see me flailing about. When I reached the top, Doug was there!! We took a couple of photos together and then headed back down. We got back to Pollack Halls at about 1030 and headed over to the pub and spent the rest of the evening talking about musical theatre. See, it was a perfect day! (Plus, also, I heart Doug times a hundred pieces of cheesecake!)
Finally, Thursday, we began our final day by hitting up the botanical gardens which was ok, but nothing spectacular. We did climb a tree and do some posing (always fun) in front of a waterfall! Afterwards, we headed to the Vanity Fair Portrait exhibit at the National Portrait gallery which was amaaaaaazing. I love Vanity Fair's photos more than all the butter pecan Breyer's ice cream in the store. I was totally absorbed in photos of people like H.G. Wells, Claude Monet, Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn, Clint Eastwood, Julia Roberts and the list just goes on and on. It was such a fantastic exhibit. We finished the day by packing and heading over to the Crags for a couple of drinks and then went to sleep. We had originally planned to try and hike Artur's Seat at 3 something in the morning to watch the sun rise, but it rained and we got nervous about the safety of hiking up a slick mountain in the dark. It was ultimately a no-go. Probably a good thing though, as travelling yesterday was totally hellish.
I won't really go into detail about that now, but I may feel more chatty when my jet-lag wears off and I write my final reflection blog tomorrow. For now though, I must go before I get carpal tunnel or gangrene or something.