Hadrian's Wall, Entering Scotland
It was very cold. I woke before 05:00, showered and met the others after 05:30 at the lobby to go up to the highest point in the wall for sunrise. It was cloudy and coal dark. We took timed photos and had fun on the wall. Then we (An, CJ, John, EB, and I) walked down through the sheep valley between the baileys of the wall. They were covered with what we took to be heather, a dark brown. The sheep treated us well as we trespassed their field. My feet, shoes and socks got incredibly wet. I changed my socks when we got back. We had taken timed skipping photos on the road in front of a house on our way down. They are very silly looking.
I had my first English breakfast, which was awful, except for the eggs. It was sausage, bacon, beans, toast and eggs. Becca gave me her croissant and others gave me some of their food. I washed my hair again a packed before we left. I left wet for Edinburgh.
Edinburgh. Rainy, cloudy, overcast. First, to the National Portrait Gallery, which was lousy, I thought, compared to London. There was nothing of really good quality. It was fun to see the Scottish names though. We checked into the Balfour Hotel, which was a dump, but a big dump. Karl and Kris stayed in one room and the rest of us stayed in the other, including Kiron and his friend Karl.I walked downtown alone, dropping off my pictures that I thought I had ruined at Once Brewed. When I came out of the photo place I ran into many others from the group, and we got some bread and a cake to eat on our way to the castle. We ran into the rest of the group on the way there. I went to look at the Sir Walter Scot Memorial, but did not climb it. I also listened to a bagpiper, who was not very experienced. I ended up losing the group.
I went to the castle by myself in my own way, and ran into all the others who were inside castle. A few went to the art museum instead. I saw the crown jewels and many neat battlements at the beautiful and well-guarded castle. I looked at the names of dead Scots from W.W.I and W.W.II. I found many Robinsons, which was my grandmother's maiden name.
At 17:00, I went to the Whiskey Museum and learned how scotch whiskey is made and the stories behind it. EB and CJ were there later, and EB gave me her complimentary blended whisky. I hung around for a while and read single malt bottles, and was told of Lagavulun. So, I stopped at the nearest pub and had a spot. Yum Yum. An old poor drunken Scot talked to me about education and the right to have a job. I could hardly understand him, but caught enough to be able to understand enough of his meanings and intentions so that I could respond and give my opinions and tales of the education system in America. He thought that if everyone had a job, no matter what it was, they would have self-esteem because of it, and that with the proper push of self-esteem, any man is just as good as another who possibly could learn faster. If you teach the slow man, he will know just as much as the fast man. When we parted, he said "I'm not stupid, am I." No.
On my way from the castle hill to the hotel or to the cathedral where I was to meet everyone at 19:00, I ran into the group led by Jana. They were on their way to Pizza Hut, so I joined them. We talked and ate. Jana, Karl, and I shared a large vegetarian pizza. I talked to Jana about the art museum and my favorite artists. Most of us went to meet others at the cathedral. Karl, Kiron, Becca, Liz, Jana, Lisa and Drew Curtis were there. We went to a pub Kiron had seen. We decided to go to Rose Street then, because no one wanted to follow Kiron's plan to go to every pub and drink a pint, but we found that most of the pubs only allowed people over twenty-one in. The group split up, and I was left with Lisa, Becca, Kiron, Karl, Liz, and Drew Curtis at a small empty pub. I got a whiskey, and then went looking for the others, since we had found a pub that allowed people under twenty-one. I didn't like the place. Well, I didn't find anyone. So I went back and finished my whiskey and played a slot machine. I ended up even. Then I went out scouting for myself. I met them again on the street, and we went to a pub on Leith. (The rest of the evening is omitted from this online journal to protect the innocent, and the not so innocent.)
I spent most of the day working on a many to many relationship data structure that a friend at work built for another purpose. I was writing an import script most of the time, to bring in other data and populate the linking fields. It was a lot of fun. Seriously, but my brain felt very overworked.
I met Rachel at Patty's house, where she was doing her LIONS make-up with Ole and Elyse. The three of them looked pretty fierce, and Rachel had done a very amazing job on herself especially. I biked over to Doc's to join Jill for Fish Fry and a few drinks. Rachel joined us and roared at everyone in the restaurant before she ate the other half of my fish. We met Patty and her cubs at the Homecoming game, where we got some popcorn and watched the game from time to time. After half-time, we made our way slowly to the exit, and then walked the kids home. We returned to our own house and I played with my new PS3 MOVE motion controller on sports games. It was very intuitive and fun. I joined Rachel in bed and we watched the movie Invictus.
Rachel and I had a night without Frida, as she was staying over at a friends house nearby. I was at rehearsal until 8:30pm, and when I arrived home, Rachel was entertaining Abe. Abe played pool with me downstairs, and had a bowl of my chili from last night. When alone, Rachel and I watched "Derek", with Ricky Gervais.