And also, castles!
And so many other things that I'll get to see, do and consume while on that small island. Here are a few of the things I'm more-than-I-should-be excited to encounter while I'm traveling. They are in no particular order. Mostly I just started with chocolate because I am pretty much always thinking about chocolate.
2. Petrol station, aka "Services"
There is a song that David and I sang when we approached "Services" (It goes SER-vi-ces!! Sing it loudly, a descending Perfect 4th: dotted quarter, eighth, then half note. You're welcome!). Services essentially means, like, a truck stop. Except it's somehow clean and pleasant, and I've only occasionally seen a truck (I mean, lorry). There is usually a Marks & Spencer, filled with delicious and healthful road snack options. Also, even the low-end service stations have thousands of Cadbury options.
3. Tea sets.
It's not just grabbing a cuppa that I miss. It's that even when you just pop in for a cuppa, it comes with a lot of dishes. At home, I do everything I can to avoid having to wash extra plates, spoons, etc. Somehow, even in a country where most people do not have dishwashers, there is no dish spared when it comes to the serving of tea. Sugar bowls. Sugar spoons. Personal-sized teapots. Saucer. Plate for used teabags. Such luxury!
I could go on for years about the amount of cheese available at at 1/10th of the cost. I will likely buy a huge wedge of Brie at the Services for $1.50. Then give myself a bellyache, but it'll be worth it because BARGAIN.
|Inveraray Castle, Scotland.|
I said it already, but CASTLES. Everywhere. Ruined ones, inhabited ones, ghosts of where surely a castle once was. Places where Bonnie Prince Charlie hid, places where princes were entombed alive, and places where dragons once roamed freely! It's way more fun to play Castle Collecting than Cows-in-the-Graveyard.
I spent the majority of time living in Scotland pregnant and then nursing round-the-clock, so I didn't get to enjoy the mindblowing selection of whiskies available everywhere. I had great plans to try a new one every week -- even started this defunct blog, wherein I got one drink in before getting knocked up. (Have just revisited that blog, and I now want to restart it. YUM YUM YUM.) I know I'm a Kentucky girl at heart, but I am also a single-malt convert. To order a Laphroaig Cask Strength for $5 ... oh my goodness oh my goodness.
|Macaroni & Cheese with|
French fries/steak fries/whatever you call them. They taste more delicious when consumed in dark, basement pub. Also, they come with everything. They accompany deep-fried veggie burgers, curry, etc. I especially love it when "macaroni & cheese & chips" is the vegetarian option. CC: +Dan Canon .
8. Baked Potatoes as a meal.
My first meal in Edinburgh almost 20 years ago was at the Baked Potato Shop. I only have a day to spend in this fair city, but you better believe I will have a baked potato with vegetarian haggis.
9. Vegetarian Haggis.
|Vegetarian haggis at the|
Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
I want to call this "Scottish Breakfast," but my English friends will revolt. And vice versa. We shall stick with "fry-up." A plate-full of grease is good for the whisky-soaked soul. But I won't feel guilty because of that old adage: Breakfast like a king. Lunch like a prince. Dinner like a pauper. I tend to forget that rule by noon, but it's a good justification for fried eggs.
11. Cream tea.
Americans will think this means "put half and half in your tea." It does not. It means you get tea, but it's not the tea that is the star. It's the scone. And the clotted cream. The jam is good too, but oh, the cream! Savor. Or savour, if you are really feeling it.
12. Old graveyards
Maybe I'm a weirdo, but I love kirkyards. I think it goes back to just a love of history and respect for the past, but I love reading the dates on the tombstones -- and thinking about how many other people have stood on that same hallowed ground, saw the same mountains ... oh, I get all weepy just thinking about it. The graveyards in the UK are beautiful, even with the ghost stories. I love the Edinburgh ghost tours that take you through graveyards.
13. Stone Circles
I don't think I'm susceptible to time travel, so I wasn't worried. There are stone circles everywhere, so I can't wait to find one and frolic. The one pictured is just hanging out on a golf course in the Hebrides Islands (Islay).