Friday, January 18, 2008

I'm horrible at posting... but on the plus side, that means I'm super busy!

Okay, so yesterday I started writing this entry and never finished. It is so hard to find time to do this stuff when you are going off of other people's time too, not just your own. For instance, I start writing, and people want to go out to lunch. Can't just stay in and write all by myself, right? Well anyway, the trip has been so amazing so far and the people on the trip are so neat and honestly have been so fun to get to know. When it comes to writing regularly and such, I definitely see myself doing more of that if I was on my own here. But anyway, that said, here is a partial post... more to come later on.
Wow... so it has been a week since my first entry. I'm definitely not updating as much as I had originally thought I would. I apologize. Anyway, where did I leave off? Last Friday night, or Saturday morning really, we spent four hours investigating the vaults beneath Edinburgh. I have to say that this was an amazing experience. It would have been nicer if the group wasn't so large and Dan had mentioned that if he did it again, the group would be split in half and the investigations would occur on two separate nights. But anyway, it was a lot of fun. First of all, it was completely dark. We had our "torches" haha (that would be flashlights to all you Americans, hehe). Well anyway, we walked around in the dark using our EMF detectors and blinding each other with the flashes from the cameras. At first there was a lot of screeching and people yelling "knock it off, I'm serious!!!" as people were getting adjusted to the dark and bumping into each other both on accident and on purpose. We were split up into three groups that rotated through three assigned sections of the vaults throughout the night, though we didn't always follow those restrictions. But hey, if something interesting is happening in the hallway next to us and no one else is in there, we're not just gonna stand in our assigned room and just ignore it. So at one point Anthony and I wandered into the corridor and were taking some EMF readings. As we were walking, we both heard footsteps walk from the corner and straight past us. Of course, no one was there. Creeeepy. Well that was the turning point for me that night and things started to get really cool. Admitting though, that a lot of the uneasiness and scares that night might have been psychological... but of course that is all left up to personal opinion. My personal opinion? It was a thoroughly enjoyable once in a lifetime opportunity. Unless of course I decide to become a professional ghost hunter. ;)
So then on Saturday we slept in to recover from our night of investigating the vaults, eventually dragged ourselves out of bed and headed out to see some sights. Allison and Kelsey and I walked from our apartment down to Princes St, past that to Charlotte Square where, to our disappointment, we did not hear any phantom piano playing. Then we found the infamous Rose St. everyone had been telling us to go to. Twenty seven pubs, one guy had told us. Good restaurants and shopping we'd heard from another local. Well, we did indeed notice a ton of pubs and bars and restaurants but unfortunately it was the afternoon and we weren't all that hungry. But we have decided to go back before we leave. That night we went out for Thai food and then spent the night watching British game shows and horrible British hospital dramas. Knowing that we were getting up early the next morning to head out to Stirling, Allison, Kelsey, Rory, and I all made it a (fairly early) night. Well, I stayed up pretty late I guess... but it was worth it to spend the evening talking to Colin. I'm going through phone call withdrawals. It is one thing to talk online every night... a totally different thing to actually hear his voice.

Well, I know that doesnt even begin to cover this time gap you all know nothing about, but I want to at least post something before I head off to Inverness, even if I couldn't finish it. Lots of love from Edinburgh!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Really, Really long first few days... and a long post to go with it.

We arrived in Scotland on Saturday night and it is now Wednesday evening. I am exhausted. Completely. First off, getting here was a full day of flying and airport hassle which is always fun. Actually, flying out of Seattle was not bad at all and the flight went a lot faster than I had thought it would. London was not great, it was an airport. That and I was hungry and couldn't find a bagel anywhere. I didn't even know that the second flight really happened because I slept from the gate until touch down in Edinburgh. Much needed sleep.
After we got our bags we left the airport on a few little buses and headed towards our apartment. At this point the only thing that told me we weren't at home anymore was the fact that people were driving on the wrong side of the road and actually, I had in fact tried to get into the bus/van thing on the driver's side as I had to sit in the front seat. Embarrassing, but funny. Our driver, Liam I believe his name was, was very funny and told us things we'd want to do while in Scotland and things we also wouldn't want to do (like crossing the street against the light, which we quickly learned not to do anyway, they drive absolutely crazy here).
When we got to our apartments we all lugged our bags up the skinny spiral stairs and into our tiny apartments to get settled in. Allison and Kelsey and I had a good time laughing about our apartment's little quirks (don't worry there will be pictures).
I have to admit that not everyone was in the best of moods. Most of us had been up for over 24 hours with the exception of our little naps on the plane, and we were all starving. Although we probably all would have preferred to skip dinner and go straight to bed had we known that dinner would consist of something greasy, fried, or a combination of the two from a combined pizza, kebab, and fish & chips shop. (Surprisingly though, we've seen a number of the same combination restaurants) We got our food, retreated to our own apartments for the night and watched some british version of funniest home videos that were, in our current moods at least, not all that funny. We headed to bed and soon realized that they have a wide variety of emergency sirens on their firetrucks and ambulances here. Allison and I woke up at 3:30 and stayed awake, sitting on our window seat and watching people outside (yes, that early) until 6am when we finally fell back to sleep.
The next morning we woke up without really a clue what time it was but we figured (maybe from the wrong clock in our living room) that it was around ten. The three of us showered, got ready for the day and headed out to find some food. This put me in a better mood. Now that I could actually see the city and it wasn't just dark and rainy, I was able to see how gorgeous it is. Everything is so old.
After we wandered around a bit we found this cafe called Espresso Mondo. I ordered the most amazing Mocha I've ever had and figuring it was after noon, we all ordered lunch. However, when Kelsey asked what kind of soup they had the guy just looked at her kind of funny and after a moment he said "Um, welll... it is 10 in the morning." Haha, that was a great way to start off our first day here.
So we all talked over our brunch and kinda got to know each other a bit more. We took pictures of the pretty mocha and then we walked around the city a bit. We saw the castle for the first time in the light, which was pretty amazing. I was really starting to warm up to this city.
After Allison and Kelsey and I had walked around for a bit, we met up with everyone else at the apartments and walked down to Princes Street, along the gardens and up to the Royal Mile. It is so beautiful here, I don't even have any way to describe it. Well, I have put up some pictures so far on Facebook, but I don't think they even do this city justice.
I apologize for this really long post, but I've been so busy and so caught up in everything that it has been difficult to keep up and write every day. Although the longer I wait the longer it takes to remember what we did every day.
So anyway... The Royal Mile was AMAZING!!! So gorgeous and old and just, wow. (I like old places if you haven't caught onto that already.) We took a REALLY long guided tour of the Royal Mile which got to be a bit difficult after awhile for a few of us because it was freezing outside and we really didn't spend anytime inside. But, it was interesting even though it was cold and we learned a lot we never would have noticed had we not taken the tour. Needless to say though, the first day wore us out and we thought we were going to sleep really well. Key word there: thought. We hear EVERYONE walking outside at night. Haha, people are soooo loud here. Especially the drunk ones. I imagine it is just because I've never actually lived in the city before, but I was so not used to it at first. We all woke up several times during the night and I guess Kelsey and Allison saw some stuff going on outside that they wish they hadn't. Haha.
The next day we got up early and met up with everyone to walk up to the castle. Wow. I have to say that it was probably the most amazing view I've ever seen. The castle itself had some pretty neat things to look at, like the crown jewels. I wish we could have actually seen more inside the castle. Buuuut, Kelsey and Allison and I did make a new friend: Jim. Jim was a guide inside the chapel and he told us some ghost stories and told us where we could find a street that had 27 pubs. He also told us that if he found out we had visited 27 pubs, he'd call our parents and our dads would probably all be very proud. Haha. Jim was funny.
Well, then the three of us walked down the mile and had lunch at Deacon Brodie's Tavern or Pub or Bar or something like that. Haha, apparently we hadn't broken ourselves of the time thing yet because we got in and asked about lunch and they informed us that the restaurant was not actually open yet but that we could eat in the bar (odd?). Well, we had some interesting food. Oh and apparently when they ask if you want white or black coffee they just mean coffee with milk and without milk– save yourself the embarrassment by not asking.
The next day we had a lecture at the university and were confused by the fact that the building had a ground floor, an upper ground floor, a first floor and an upper first floor, etc. Our classroom was on the second floor. We took stairs. Luckily, I don't have to worry about fitting in workout times here.
Later we did the Haunted Underground tour in the vaults (where actually we will be spending the night tonight doing an investigation). The tour was kinda entertaining and I will admit it was a little spooky at points but I'm sure it will be a little spookier tonight.
Lets see... Wednesday we had two Spiritual Mediums come to our apartments. They told us what they were about and they did some readings. It was interesting but I'm still not quite sure what I think about it all. One of the ladies will be with us in the vaults tonight. Should be interesting...
Yesterday... we had another lecture at the university and on the way there it snowed (so pretty!) and by the time we got there, we were all soaked. After that we walked up to the Royal Mile where Allison, Anthony and I had tea and coffee at a little cafe and talked about our majors and about the trip. Getting to know new people has been fun, by the way.
After that we had a tour of Mary King's Close. The place itself is amazing!!! It was neat to explore and hear the history. The only problem I had was that it has been called the most haunted place around here and the whole thing was very theatrical so it made it really hard to believe and if it had been an eerie place, I don't know I would have been able to tell. Although I can say that at points I felt a bit uneasy. But again, that can be explained by any number of things, ie the fact that we were pretty far underground, temperature changes, it was damp and stale, etc. Anyway, we'll see about actual "uneasy feelings" when we return to the vaults under the south street bridge tonight (midnight to four am).
Then last night the guys wanted to have a "boys night" haha so six of us girls went out to a tavern, had some drinks, and then went to a bar/club with live bands that were pretty good. Anyway, Katie and I had an amazing time, met one of the guys in one of the bands we saw and eventually dragged ourselves home. It was lots of fun. And then turns out that our evening sounded (at least in our opinions) a lot more eventful than the guys' evening. Haha, and they didn't want us around cause they didn't feel like they could pick up on girls with us there, hahaha... I'm kidding, mostly :)
I know we've done a lot more in there, but of course after a bit it all kind of blends in together. We've been to some cool bars, taverns, and pubs (there is a difference). We went to this bar called The Frankenstein, but that is a story for another post. Basically I wanted to get all the big stuff in on this post so people back home could have an idea of what we are doing here.
Today I'm sitting in an internet cafe as in my apartment we only get internet sitting in the window seat of our living room and it isnt super comfy. Oh well, haha. Anyway, today I'm trying to relax as tonight we will be up late looking for ghosts. More posts later! Miss you all!!! xoxo

Friday, January 4, 2008

Okay... I'm leaving for Scotland tonight at 6:30 pm!!! I have a lot to do, but it will all get done, I'm sure. My main focus is just enjoying every minute with Colin before I leave.

I'm excited