We’re back from vacation now, but I have one last travel update. Ask the Readers returns next week.
Mrs. 1500 and I spent the last part of our vacation visiting with the Mad Fientist and his wife, the Mad Fientista. We spent four days Edinburgh followed by two in London. I had never been to the UK, so didn’t know what to expect. However, there was one thing I couldn’t stop thinking about:
Never heard of haggis? It’s chopped up sheep organs stuffed into a sheep stomach.
The Mad Fientist kept threatening to serve us this delicacy and I was filled with fear. I eat hot dogs and Taco Bell, so haggis shouldn’t have bothered me. But it did anyway.
Before I bleat on, I need to tell you about our adventure in getting across the pond because the trip almost didn’t happen. Our plan was to fly out of New York City on Friday afternoon. We’d drop the children off in Chicago before flying to the UK on Saturday afternoon. It didn’t go down like that and we almost didn’t make it.
10am: We learn that our flight was cancelled due to bad weather. We soon learn that all flights for the day in NYC are cancelled. We call Southwest immediately, but cannot get through. While on hold, we notice that flights on Saturday morning out of NYC are full. Not good.
12pm: We’re still on hold with Southwest. We consider renting a car and driving to Chicago.
1pm: Desperate circumstances call for desperate action. We book a flight out of Pittsburgh. I jump on the metro to go get a one-way rental car to get us there.
2pm: I pick up the rental and head back to the hotel to pick up the family.
3pm: We hit the road. For the next 3 hours, we’re stuck in hellish traffic in Hell’s Kitchen making our way to the Lincoln Tunnel.
6pm: New Jersey!
2am: We arrive in Pittsburgh. Since we have to be at the airport at 5am, there is no point in getting a room. We park our car in a hotel parking lot and sleep for a couple miserable hours.
8am: Chicago. We have to fly out at 3pm and have some errands to take care of, so don’t sleep. Not sleeping was not smart.
3pm: We fly out of Chicago to Dublin. I can’t sleep on planes, but was too tired to read or get anything done, so I watched movies.
4:30am: Dublin! Our connecting flight to Edinburgh wasn’t until 1pm. We’re so tired now that we can barely function. We find a McDonald’s and go to sleep in a booth. This was surprisingly comfortable.
2pm: Edinburgh! Finally. We haven’t had a good sleep since Thursday evening, but we decide to stay awake. We figure that we’ll adjust better if we can just stay up a while longer and go to bed at a normal time.
10pm: Sleep! Finally. We go to bed and wake up 14 hours later.
Edinburgh was a beautiful and fun city. We were there to take in the Fringe Festival, fantastic beer and funky food.
The Fringe Festival is a monthlong party with performers come from all over the world. We saw improv, storytelling, stand-up comedy, covfefe and giant inflatable cows.
The Mad Fientist came up with some mad beer. Anyone recognize the mysterious one on the left?
Except for the latest Taco Bell creation, I’m not adventurous when it comes to food. So, I was terrified when the Mad Fientist threatened us with haggis (sheep’s heart, lungs and liver) before we arrived. I didn’t know if he was joking, but didn’t want to ask. I figured I’d just keep my mouth shut and hope he would forget the whole thing. That was not to be.
When we arrived, he mentioned that not only would he be serving us haggis, but also blood pudding. Blood pudding? Ugh. In my mind’s eye, I pictured blood pudding as I know it in America. Like this, only red:
I cowered in fear.
Then came the big day.
I was relieved to learn that blood pudding is actually a sausage. Phew. And while I wouldn’t order haggis willingly, it wasn’t bad.
If Scottish friends ever come to America, I’ll turn the tables and take them to Taco Bell.
Thanks Sane and Mad Fientist for a wonderful time!
This trip took us to Maine, Vermont, NYC and the United Kingdom. It was the longest vacation I’ve ever taken. We left on Friday, 7/21 and returned home on 8/13. And it wasn’t nearly enough time. I could have spent two weeks in each place and not come close to being bored. I don’t like perpetual travel, but I do like sitting in one place for a long time and taking it in at a leisurely pace. Next summer when the girls are out of school, we’ll choose a city to spend time in and plant ourselves there for a while.
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