Monday, May 13, 2013

Cheeky weekend in Scotland

Barry, Isla and I decided to hop across the water for the weekend and visit Scotland.  I've never been, Barry's never been and Isla's definitely never been so off we went.  We landed in Glasgow.  I secretly hoped for a nice, tropical know different from the wet weather of Derry.  Unfortunately, it was not to be had!  Glasgow is, of course, more North than Derry so any chance of warmer weather...well, I knew it wasn't going to happen but hey...can't blame me for wishing.  By the way, someone needs to let that 'ol cow Mother Nature know it's May and freezing rain and hailstones is a no no!

We stayed in a hotel where Barry bumped into someone who lives just right down the street from us and the lady that worked in the breakfast room every morning actually had a son who went to college in West Virginia!  I'll use the never overused phrase here:  small world.  The lady didn't actually know I was from West Virginia because she was slagging the crap out of it talking to someone else lol.  She had been.  To a podunk town I'll add so I can kind of see her view but you know...don't judge a book and all that jazz.  I thought for a moment about going over and embarrassing her and telling her I was from West Virginia, but I didn't.  How crap would she have felt...and she was so nice to Isla every morning.  But, you can go no where!

Isla at Pizza Hut in Glasgow.  She learned to color here!  We have to make our dining out experiences now in these types of places as she's loud, whiny and makes it a habit to ruin others dinners!

Hotel hallway crawling.  A baby's favorite thing.

So, we conquered Glasgow...exploring Buchanan St., all the shopping centres including the one housing the only Hamley's outside of London.  And, I didn't buy one thing!  Except lots of food!  We walked our feet off and pretty much hit every touristy sight in Glasgow.  After that was finished, me and my little touristy self wouldn't have been content with just one city, so we hopped a train to Edinburgh for the day on Sunday. 

Getting ready to explore Hamley's!  Sort of the same as FAO Schwartz....

I have yet to see another city with a skyline as domineering, dramatic and breathtaking as Edinburgh.  From the castle swooping out of the side of the hill as if it's part of the actual mountain, to the old buildings that seem to collide into one, my eyes were never bored while we dandered about Edinburgh.  Starting from the castle and walking down Royal Mile, I could actually picture Mary Queen of Scots doing the same thing.  Well, I like to liken myself to royalty, so I could actually picture myself doing it.  Kidding by the way.  No, I'm not. 

Edinburgh skyline.

Barry and I have three cameras between us not including the cameras on our phones.  However, not one of our three cameras works and we had to rely on our crap phones for pictures the whole weekend.  I'm uber not impressed with the quality because of course pictures never fully capture what you're seeing with your naked eye.

The only crap thing about Edinburgh:  Holy cheese is it expensive!  The castle was okay.  It was very expensive.  Sixteeen pounds per person to get in for a total of £32.  Actually, it was £33 because Barry decided to accidentally drop a pound coin in the castle off to the side where everything was roped off and no one could get to.  Not a fan of losing money even if it is a pound.  That could have bought a packet of biscuits at the pound shop!  I was disappointed in the castle and Edinburgh only a smidge because it is so bloody commericalized and touristy.  In fact, the whole weekend, I don't think I heard many Scottish accents!  They were Italian, French and those damn bloody Yanks everywhere and their uniform fanny packs (get your giggles out all you Derry folk lol...yes, we call them fanny packs!), red waterproof jackets and massive white trainers.  I don't understand why Americans come over here and dress like this. They do it here in Derry, too.  All trotting off the bus down at Free Derry corner with their standard issue red coats, white shoes and fanny packs.  They don't dress like that at home!  Why do they do it anywhere else?  Makes me wanna go over and slap them when I see it and shake them and tell them they're not giving off the best impression!
Here' s the room inside Edinburgh Castle where Barry lost the pound coin.

Queen for the day outside Edinburgh Castle.  If only I knew we were going to lose a pound coin inside...I would have wiped that smile off my face!


Holyrood House Palace in Edinburgh at the bottom of Royal Mile.  We took a royal pees here and changed a royal diaper.  Well, at the visitor's center anyway.

Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Necropolis

And, on our way to the Glasgow airport today, we encountered a lovely bus driver.  This is where the title of this blog post comes in.  A cheeky trip, indeeed.  Because we got a bit of cheek from the bus driver who threatened to punch Barry and told me to my face while holding my 15 month old daughter, "F*£$ you!"  A long story about this, but we were actually in the right and had many witnesses who gave good testimony as we filed a formal complaint.  Still made it to the airport on time though!  Boom!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

What to do now

I started off the year thinking that this year would be a clean slate.  And, I mean that in the sense that I didn't have anything major planned.  Since I've met Barry, I've had something major planned every year (wedding, engagement, book, moving, Zumba classes, Zumbathons, vacations, etc.).  This marks the fifth year I've known Barry, so when January came and I had nothing planned, I didn't know what to do with myself.  It took two weeks into January and then my calendar was officially booked for the first part of the year.  My spacing could have been a little better because most things I signed up for that second week of January came to fruition this week.  The first of which was a Strictly Come Dancing style dance competition for charity (Dancing with the Stars to my American readers).  My partner and I have been meeting for months and practicing our dance.  We competed in the Zumba category, naturally.  Months of practice came to a head Friday night as we performed in front of hundreds of people our dance.  Here's a few photographs and a video...looking at these photos, I'm rethinking this whole growing out my fringe/bangs.  My forehead is so big you could land a freakin' plane on it.  Where are my scissors?

A few weeks prior to the competition, all the dancers met and put together a silly Britney Spears Hit Me Baby One More Time parody video.  Here's the may want to sit down before you watch the video...and your eyes may bleed a bit:

The morning after this was a Zumbathon for a group called Parents of Older Children with Autism. 

Now, it's time to put my feet up and relax a little bit.  Oh, wait.  I'm the mother of a one year old...feet up doesn't happen anymore!