Crap! I think this is a new land-speed-record for Length of Time I’ve Gone Without a Riveting Blog Post! I am sure many of you have been sobbing into your chilaquiles as you have rigorously checked this page each morning only to be rewarded with OLD POSTS YOU’VE ALREADY READ (or didn’t care about in the first place). Luckily, I have a partially valid excuse, although I sense it being unlikely to stir sympathy…
We just returned from a 2-week trip to Europe, prompted by the occasion of a good friend’s wedding in Scotland. So as to maximize the value from the cost of a flight to Europe, we decided to first spend a week in Spain under the guise of “Now we can speak the language there!” As my classmates might have said during elementary school, “Shyeah, right!” Not so fast. We still aren’t sure what threw off the Madrileños more– the fact that two tall German/Swedish-looking people were speaking Spanish at all, or the fact that the Spanish they were speaking was Mexico-twinged. Let’s just say- we experienced a lot of cringing Spanish faces, but in the end, still managed to execute food/drink orders effectively.
Spain was lovely– we quickly adjusted to its late-nite dining scheme, which we interpreted as +/- 6 hours each evening spent wandering from bar to bar, drinking wine/beer/sherry/cider while nibbling from wee piles of magical serrano ham/marinated olives/manchego cheese/crusty bread. While that may not sound like a heathy diet, we found it almost impossible to overeat to the level we are used to while dining out in Mexico (though that may have been due more to the constant, painful euro-to-dollar calculations going on in our heads…).
We zipped via high-speed train from Madrid to Sevilla, Toledo & back and were well entertained by all 3 cities. Toledo was especially fascinating to John (military buff) as a walled city on a river that was never taken by force. Then it was off to Glasgow for a night of reminiscing in our favorite neighborhood where we spent a week before our own wedding a mere 17 months ago.
The next day, John skillfully maneuvered our rental Prius along the left side of the road to the lovely Balbirnie House in Glenrothes for the wedding of the beautiful Emily & dapper Richard. This was followed by a clay piegon shoot in the countryside the next afternoon, where I started off in a burst of glory (first time shooter, 6 of 6, folks!) and then quickly flamed out under pressure. Many evil pigeons came away unscathed under my watch.
One more night in Glasgow and we were off to Dublin (after getting screwed for £30 being forced to check our carefully-packed carry-on suitcases on Aer Lingus). Friend Emma kindly picked us up at the airport & whisked us off to Newgrange, a fascinating passage tomb built several hundred years before the pyramids in Egypt. Then we did a 2-day tour of Northern Ireland– beautiful scenery & FASCINATING/crazy history. I think everyone’s at least heard of the IRA & the violent history in Belfast/Derry/environs, but to see the on-the-ground impact of “The Troubles” still today was really enlightening. The up-to-25-feet-high ”Peace Lines” running between the Catholic/Protestant neighborhoods in Belfast are a constant reminder.
Of course, we wrapped things up in Dublin with the obligatory Guinness brewery tour. Verdict? Good, but even better when your friend’s friend’s brother works there & you don’t have to pay €15 euros to get in. (Thanks again Alan!!)
Anyway, I’ll now fall back on my traditional “in a frenzy of preparation for MBA classes + final exam this weekend” excuse, and promise to try & kick things back into high-Mexico-gear shortly!! Thanks to all for your patience, and will try to add a few more photo highlights shortly!