Well it has finally happened.  Gene has connected with his 17% Scottish roots.  Only one day in Edinburgh and he has joined a clan (we call them gangs in the US).  We sit down to our first group dinner and every time the waitress walks behind Dad, I start laughing.  Dad quirks his eyebrow at me and I finally give in and tell him he is wearing the same tartan as the wait staff.  He turns around and starts laughing.  Our waitress is very cooperative and dies laughing when I tell her I’m going to tell our children that Dad has found “his people.”

Our train trip was nearly everything we hoped for.  A few snafus along the way.  It is practically impossible to get change in the UK and all public toilets require a 50 cent fee.  We found a change maker at the Tower of London which has saved our life (well, at least reduced the laundry fees). We left our water bottles in the cab in London, so will have to purchase new ones, but they are several years old, and it is an opportunity to sport some new cheesy souvenirs. 

We enjoyed the first class waiting area while waiting for the train.  You can tell from the photo that Gene is truly enjoying retirement and travel.  We find leaving the train a lot easier than navigating to the train terminals.  The masses of people all walking wherever they want and tripping you with their suitcases is much like a big airport over the holidays, but if you follow the crowd, you will eventually find an exit.

Still, we saw some beautiful country and truly enjoyed ourselves and the first class is the way to go.  I texted Steven at one point and said, “It has been at least 30 minutes since someone served us some food.  Something must be terribly wrong!!!”  I just piled up the shortbread cookies and “crisps” (chips) and water bottles on the table in front of us.

The tour welcome dinner was quite interesting.  The choices were salmon pasta, lamb chops, and Vegetarian Haggis.  I handed Gene the menu and said, “Start eating the bread.”  LOL.  He ordered salmon, I got the haggis (I was one of two people who ordered it, and I won.  No one read the description to realize it was vegetarian haggis, which just meant a bunch of chopped up rice and veggies in a puff pastry, served with beets and goat cheese.  Like I said, I won.)  Gene says he is going to lose weight in the next 9 days.  He did order whiskey gelee over some kind of mousse for dessert.  I got smoked cheese.

Tomorrow is a tour of Edinburgh and some free time.  We are skipping the Haunted Edinburgh Tour and going out to dinner on our own.