Published: October 18th 2009July 29th 2007
Robert Burns hometown
Sunday, July 29, 2007, Glasgow to Carlisle:
6:15am- Get the wake up call. Having taken my shower the night before I proceed to condense my two suitcases into one (since Globus will only “Take care” of one.) We’re suppose to leave our suitcases outside our hotel room door when we go down to breakfast at 7am.
7:30am- I am dressed and everything is repacked. I go down stairs and join the group for breakfast but, thanks to my insanity, I am too nervous to eat anything so I have OJ and enjoy the heartburn for the next 30 minutes. Our guide, Margie, asks where my suitcase is and I said it’s in the hall. They mean it when they say leave it at 7am.
7:45am- I go and find Margie and ask what she’s heard about mom and John. She said that their plane was getting in at 8:20am and they were coming directly to our hotel and then we were all taking off. So, we spent a little over an hour waiting for Mom & John. Nobody seemed upset, and I handed out free Mac lessons to those interested.
8:00 am- Mom and John show up
Robert Burns homestead
I cannot decide if I want to laugh at this or apologize to the Scots. I am going to do both.
in a taxi and immediately join us on the bus- yea!!!
Our first stop on our trip is to visit Robert Burns’
cottage. Old cottage, gardens and, of course, a gift shop! Buy nothing. John humps a cow. Mom, myself and Linda (NYC teacher) wander around the town a bit. It’s pretty. As we’re heading back to the bus, I see a couple of old horses in a nearby field and go up to the gate to get some pictures. The owners sister shows up shortly after and her husband and I feed them some carrots (horses, not the sister). Friendly people.
We stop at Gretna Green
to get some lunch. This is where a blacksmith use to wed runaway couples, so it’s now a romantic spot…I guess. I took a picture of a freaky wood devil sculpture and another of a naked ladies butt (you don’t have to wear pants in Scotland…no, it was another sculpture.) Those were almost the highlights of Gretna Green until, when we were getting back on the bus, the guy ahead of us is upset because he left his camera somewhere. Just then, a lady that works at one of the shops
comes up and hands him his camera. He is elated and hugs her over and over again all the while thanking her in his very strong Queens accent. Ladies and gentleman, I introduce Burt, a man who was later adopted by my family. Whenever you hear Burt stories, just picture Woody Allen and you’ll see the whole picture (well, not the “whole” picture- Burt is a member of the Naturalist Society and is naked whenever he can be, so those pictures will not be shown.)
After that, we drive to Carlisle Castle
- it’s amazing- many pics taken. Including a shot of where the prisoner’s would lick the damp walls in an attempt to get some water. Carlisle is on the border of Scotland and England and, currently, belongs to England. Our tour guide (and I’m sure a good many others) isn’t too happy about that and lets it be known. I guess they keep getting traded between the countries. I get bored during the tour and break out on my own and take any stairway/door I can find to see if there is somewhere I can go that is restricted. At this point, I meet Melissa, another girl on
our tour who is attempting to do the same thing. Friendship is born.
On our way to our hotel, we stop at a boulder that “kind of” represents the border between Scotland and England. It’s not entirely accurate, but at least they found a rock big enough that Scotsmen & Englishmen will stop moving it to wherever they please. I end up taking a picture of Nancy, a lady who (along with her husband, Bob) later became good friends of ours.
5:00pm- we get to our hotel (The Crown Wetheral Hotel)
for the night and we’re told dinner is at 6:30pm. We’re too exhausted to explore the town, so we hang in the room.
6:30pm. We’re too exhausted to explore the town, so we hang in the room.
6:00pm we go down to the bar in order to try to stay awake ‘til dinnertime. At dinner, we sit with the two most boring women on the face of this earth. We later refer to them as “Lip” (she had a cleft lip or whatever you call it) and “Hat” (she always wore a baseball cap- what can I say, we’re inventive AND kind with our nicknames).
I think this statue is very appropriate for the elopement capital of Scotland! Ah, sweet, gentle love.
Dinner was long and the food was so-so. Lip & Hat would ask me 500 questions and I’d be polite and answer thoroughly. Then they’d shoot John a question and he’d answer “yes” or “no” and then not speak again. I need to take tips from that boy because, apparently I offended them (as I often do) by reciting my Ryan Stiles story where he told me “Don’t fuck up, you’ll be out of here.” The “F” word was too much and they haven’t really spoken to us since. Thank God I have a sailor mouth.
8:40pm- we are all in bed and falling asleep. Long long day. And the boring twins sucked the rest of our energy out of us. As we fall to sleep, we hear the sounds of the wedding party which is taking place below our room. The party lasts into the night and I vaguely remembering looking out the window at one point to see a Scotsman in his kilt peeing in the bushes. Sorry folks, it was too dark for me to answer the “what do they wear under the kilt” question.
There are more photos below