Arthur's Seat

Taking advantage of the beautiful day (by beautiful, I mean sunny, windy and 50 degrees out!), Ian and I decided to hike Arthur's Seat. It isn't exactly a grueling hike, but it provided us with spectacular views of the city we call home. Oddly enough, when I was up there, I thought for just a split second that I was in San Luis Obispo. Apparently my brain was playing tricks on me! Of course, after the hike, we rewarded ourselves with ice cream cones from an ice cream truck in the parking lot! I still can't decide which is better, the ice cream or the view from Arthur's Seat! Here are some of the pictures from our hike:


Now, I understand everyone does it, but what I don't understand is why everyone has to do it at their local Starbucks! Today two of our four public toilets got blocked due to excessive amounts of poop. (On a side note, in case you are wondering, I didn't unblock them, but left a note for the supervisor in the morning...aren't I so nice?!? Also, I thought about posting a picture with this post, but thought it might disturb most of you to your very core!) This got me thinking...why exactly do people do their business at Starbucks so much? Is it due to coffee acting as a laxative, clean toilets, free toilet paper, or for the sheer satisfaction of pissing the baristas off? Yesterday a guy came in right before we closed, walked straight to the bathroom and spent about 15 minutes in there. On his way out (mind you, he wasn't even a customer), I decided to stare him down. Finally, feeling extremely uncomfortable, he said "thanks" and quickly walked out the door.

Call me weird, but I am one that can only do my business in the comfort of my own home. And, after talking to various people, it seems about 50% of you are just like me. Now, I just need to get into the brain of the other 50% of you and figure out exactly why and how you can poop anywhere. Also, when you do poop anywhere, why you have to do it at your local Starbucks!

Any answers?

Talk Like a What?

Yesterday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day, only the second best day of the year (with Christmas being the first, of course!)! Being the huge pirate fan that I am (or maybe just a fan of all things crazy) I knew I had to celebrate. And to make things even better, I was working which meant I could more easily spread the pirating cheer! The first coworker that got to work though I was making the whole thing up. Then the second one came in and was excited that I knew about it too! Greatness! I tried telling some of the early morning customers about it, but they mostly looked at me like I was crazy. Then, one of our "younger" regulars came in and not only had he actually heard of it, but he was excited too. By the end of the day, I had almost all of my coworkers talking like a pirate, though they made fun of my version of talking like a pirate, but most of the customers thought we were crazy. All in all, it was a good day. It is nice to have some random thing to celebrate and some random reason to put a smile not only on my own face, but on the faces of others. So, mark your calendar for September 19, 2009...when International Talk Like a Pirate Day will return again! I expect you all to celebrate next year!

A Visit with the Parents

I just finished up six days with my parents visiting Ian and I in Edinburgh. They got to see where I live and how I live. They also got to experience the "wonderful" weather in Edinburgh. It was rainy and cold most of the time while they were here, though they did get one nice day. While my parents were here, Ian and I took advantage of getting to better know the city we live in...we figure if we do this every time people come to visit, we will eventually see all the sites/tourist attractions in the city. This time we hit up the castle (for a second time this year), walked the Royal Mile, took a reformation tour, went to the Edinburgh Zoo and got in some shopping. The zoo was quite the experience for my mom and I. It was perhaps the wettest day in Edinburgh yet. It was pouring down rain the whole time and about 50 degrees out. But, we braved the weather and enjoyed ourselves. The zoo does an "optional" penguin parade (meaning the penguins aren't forced out of their enclosure to participate). At our parade, there were only two participants. It was totally cute. They walk right in front of fact, they have us block the walkway so the penguins can't escape. I would go back to the zoo again just to see the penguin parade again. The parents should be touching down in San Francisco about now. Hopefully they enjoyed their trip and Riley enjoys her present from Edinburgh! Oh, and click here if you want to see more pictures from my parents trip.

The DVD Player that Was

This evening, Ian and I experienced an explosion in our house...don't worry, I lived to blog about it! We hooked up one of our American DVD players in our room, so we could watch movies. About 15 minutes into the excursion, the larger electricity flow proved too much for our dear old friend and it exploded. Unfortunately, I was not there to see this happen, but I did see the aftermath. It was smelly and smoking all over the place. Quickly, we unplugged it. Then, I realize my very important Friends DVD was inside the player! We tried to pry open the player to no avail. So, I went in the old fashioned screw at a time. At this point, the DVD player was still smoking and pretty stinky, so I had to cover my nose. Finally, I rescued my DVD from a most certain death by asphyxiation. As for the DVD player, it didn't make it through the explosion. But, I still have some fond memories of my dear friend! Sniff, sniff...

1 Year

One year ago today, I got off a plane and began a "new" life in my new home. At that point in time, I had no clue what to expect. Even now, it is hard to say how the reality has lived up to my expectations. Honestly, I don't think I expected much. As far as living goes, we have adapted quite well...though this doesn't mean that from time to time I don't pine after having a car! Having a job has been key. I have been able to network with so many people this way, and even make a couple friends. And, it has worked out nicely for me to keep my Foursquare ties. This has given me the joy of feeling like I am working for a purpose (not that serving coffee isn't a purpose...ha, ha), and allowed me to continue to work with a very neat group of people in the states. My diet has changed, as there are different foods available here and we don't have a barbecue (Ian's favorite way of cooking). Also, we eat at home quite often, as it is very expensive to go out to eat. In fact, most things are quite expensive here. This has caused my consumerism to take a nosedive. Though I do think this is a good thing, I still very much miss the shopping and eating out! Our days off look nothing like they did in the states. If the weather is nice, we will try to get outside, otherwise we stick to indoor activities. Life in general seems to be a slower pace over here.

The hardest part of living in another country really has been the relationship aspect. Though I don't talk to my friends as much as I did when I first left, I still hold them near and dear to my heart. It is hard to not be able to pop out for coffee or lunch with my friends. It is hard to not be able to jump in my car and be home with my family whenever I feel like it. But, this isn't a forever experience and because of that, it makes it bearable. Also, after a year, I am finally making a couple good friends. Good friends are hard to come by and it takes time to make them, but it is happening.

Ian and I talked about making a list of all the places we want to see before we move back to the states. That list really is long. Even with five weeks holiday a year, there is a lot to see. We want to go to Dublin, Amsterdam, Disneyland Paris, back to Germany, skiing somewhere, over to visit some friends in New Zealand (yes, I know this is closer to the states than Scotland) and more. It will happen. And, these are adventures we will remember for a lifetime.
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