We left Edinburgh to head for the highlands at 845 in the morning on Friday. We made our first stop in St. Andrews, which is incredibly beautiful and is definitely one of my favorite places so far. It reminds me a lot of the Hamptons, as it is on the water and has a lot of quaint shops and homes and is just entirely beautiful. There were quite a few golf courses, although I can hardly understand it. It's not as if golf is significant in St. Andrews. We just pretended not to notice the blatant silliness of it all. We wandered throught the cathedral and castle ruins and took approximately a bazillion photos (That's a rough estimate. I'll count and get back to you all.) Bekah and I ran into Heather in the castle and she was trying to find a siege tunnel, which we were game for so we were ladies on a mission. When we ultimately found it, it was well worth the hunt. I felt like a secret agent crawling into that dank little hole in the ground. We crawled around and took the obligatory silly face photos and crawled out. It was a highlight, honestly. Who gets to crawl through a siege tunnel?!
Following our secret tunnel adventure and a short stop at the garden where Beatrix Potter vacationed as a child and dreamed of all her woodland friends, we headed out to Pitlocherie, which was an interesting place. We walked all around and as we passed a pub along the way a lovely gentleman who appeared to have enjoyed perhaps a beer or two (read: was totally sloshed) is flailing his arms and yelling at all who would listen that he would "bite your face off! I'll bite all your faces off!!!" Wouldn't that suck?! I of course cannot wait to use this particular phrase and found my opportunity almost immediately. Dr. Rushing, our fearless leader, enters the lobby of the hotel as we're all assembled doing nothing of note, to be sure, and says something that was jokingly threatening regarding something like being on time (which I have absolutely no issue with, of course) and I turn, seizing my opportunity and say " Watch out, or I'll bite your face off!!"
... It's really a wonder I haven't been sent home yet.
Our dinner that evening was in the hotel and was, ladies and gents, lovely. I felt entremely fancy, which I usually do, but especially as there were at least two pieces of the place setting that I was unsure of how to use. Just kidding. Well, probably just kidding. It was pretty fair taste-wise, but it was extremely enjoyable if only for the company, conversation and odd foods to experience. Finally, Beth (my roomie) and I watched some hysterical British sitcoms. I must say, I am ten kinds of obsessed with the BBC. If I had been drinking milk, it would have shot out my nose to be sure. (I hope you appreciate my keen use of imagery!)
Saturday was exciting as we were introduced to the wild and wonderful world of midges (a.k.a. the demon man-eating bug)! At a quick photo-op stop, we exited the bus only to be attacked by the most irritating creature in all of Scotland. Seriously, if you ever need a really good insult, call them a midge. It will invariably lead to a good slap in the face.
We then stopped in Glenfidditch (?) which is the landing place of Bonnie Prince Charlie on his return to the country. More importantly, it's in view of a bridge used in the filming of the Harry Potter movies. Although, Charlie seems to be the bonniest Prince I've met of late. Bravo, sir. Bravo.
We stayed the night in Oban, which is incredibly beautiful. It's on the water and has such an expansive and breathtaking view, gorgeous houses and a marina. We took off up a large hill to try and find this Coliseum we could seee from the ground. When we made it (a feat to be sure!) we were so incredibly impressed by the view. It was absolutely unreal. Wehad dinner in this little Italian restaurant in the marina overlooking the water. The view was fabulous and the atmosphere was fantastic. Also, my trip-mates are some of the funniest people I've ever met. A+ for that, y'all!
When we returned to the hotel after a drink or two at the pub, we ran into the bride and groom from the wedding being held there. The groom had a good long chat with us and was incredibly entertaining. He had also had a beer or twelve and was yukkin' it up with all his might. I must say, the lot of the Scots so far are pretty cool. I'm a fan.
This morning, we woke up and headed down to breakfast. I had breakfast with Dr. Rushing, Dr. Bender and Lindsay. I love being around Dr. Rushing and Dr. Bender because they have the funniest interactions. My favorite quote of the morning was when Dr. Rushing asked if we thought people would laugh at him if he wore a kilt to school. Without missing a beat, Dr. Bender says, "Yes. W-E-I-R-D." Dr. Rushing just looked off like he was contemplating the revelation he had just been handed and I thought I was going to choke on my cereal. They are hilarious.
I will be sure to post again soon, but my money is now at it's internet limit. I love you all. I mean, unless I don't. Sorry 'bout that.
P.S. Lots of sheep. No Sean Connery. Nuts.