My trip out of the U.S. would start with a connecting flight out
of JFK International Airport. Unfortunately, it was raining at the airport and I
waited to take off for almost two hours, part of that was actually sitting in the plane
on the runway. So, my plane landed at JFK at the time my flight was leaving, which caused
me to miss my flight. I knew I had a little time before I had to meet the tour, so I wasn't
completely worried. They put me on standby and after I scarfed down some airport
McDonald's, they called my name for the next flight. The lady handed me the ticket and
said "Enjoy your upgrade." She said it in some what of a rude manner, so I was kind of dumb
found by what she meant by it. Since it wasn't my fault that I missed my flight, I didn't
give it a another thought.
I get on the plane and start looking for my seat and to my surprise, I get a
"Club class"seat. Whoo! Hoo!! I get a warm towl when I sit down,
the attendant brings me a glass of wine and some peanuts in a bowl. I could have had a steak
dinner, but I alreay ate. But, the best part was being able to drop the foot rest,
take of my shoes, slip on the socks, put on the night mask, wrap up in a blanket and enjoy
a comfortable ride to Hethrow airport in London. I wouldn't know just how much better
that was until my trip back.
I waited a while to get on the connecting flight to Edinburgh. I was a little hungry, so
I bought some food and a drink. This was my first experience using travelers checks and
U.K. money. I just hoped for nice people to give me back the correct change.
When I reached Edinburgh, I took a taxi to the hotel. There was a bus going down town,
but I enjoyed the taxi ride a lot more. The driver had a really thick accent and was
talking about how bad the other driver's were. I gave him a tip when I got out, which I
found out later is not the usual custom in the U.K.
After meeting the tour guide, Jaci from Australia, and putting my stuff in my room, I decided to walk
down the street to a pub. When I get to the pub, I meet an older American gentlemen, who
walks back in with me an buys me a pint. Nothing like getting a tour of Scotland off to a good start.
We discuss the differences of European and American woman over another one and I head back
to the hotel to meet the tour group.
I get back to the hotel and meet the group. I also meet my traveling buddy, Justin, who
I will be sharing rooms with on the trip. We find out at the introduction meeting that we
have to move our stuff to another room. Regardless of the inconvience, Justin and I get
along great throughout the entire trip.
Half of the group heads with Jaci to the Hard Rock Cafe. Yes, I travel all the way to
the U.K. to eat at an American Restaurant. At the Hard Rock, I find out why you don't tip.
The service is horrible. I think our waiter forgot we were his table for about a half hour.
Afterwards, Jaci took us to Jekyll & Hyde's pub (which apparently originated in the U.S.).
It is a theme bar and the bathrooms are hidden behind a book case. They have a set of mixed
drinks there called "The Seven Deadly Sins". When we go to Frankenstien's later in
the trip, the group tries to see how many "sins" we can put away.
Justin also had some dinner plan ideas, so we go to this really fancy place to eat later.
I put away a lot of food that night. Some "rock star" types came in while we were eating.
The place was really interesting.