07.25.2009 18 °C
Last night (which seems forever ago already. On a side note, today is one of those, 'Ok, so where am I again?' days! I'm in York, England, but it doesn't feel like it yet!) I went on a ghost tour of the city, luckily AFTER it finished pouring rain. It wasn't actually all that exciting or haunting or anything though, but I met a really nice girl, Morgan, from Toronto, and her mom Laurie. We hung out on the trip and made pending plans to meet up in a couple of weeks on the beaches of Spain or southern France. I hope it all works out! Not too much to say about the ghost tour, it was interesting, but even me being the scaredy-cat that I am, would have liked to have a few hairs on my neck stand up on a ghost tour. But it really wasn't scary or anything! Went to bed early, and had a pretty good sleep despite staying in a room with 6 guys on a stag and 3 Irish girls who rolled in at 7:30 am. But that's what holidays are for!
Today I got up, made arrangements at the train station, and followed the masses down the Royal Mile to the 2009 Gathering. And by masses, I mean 40,000 people. And who else would show up but Prince Charles, future King of England!!! Totally was like 20 feet away from him! No good pictures though, other than his backside, but Jasmine got AWESOME ones because of her inside information!!
Jasmine, the highland mom I met at the Balloch highland games, and I met back up at the gathering, where her daughter was dancing. She told me not to tell, but she had gone on a pub crawl the night before with all the moms on her trip. She had an awesome night out, and happened to meet the royal guards for Prince Charles! The only single mom in the group, who was also a cop, got one of their numbers and was texting the guy all night/morning, and he told them exactly when and where to be when Prince Charles was coming in. How cool! You should SEE the pictures she got of him; close up face shots that were sooo funny, I told her to sell them online, they were hilarious! She was like 3 feet away from him, no kidding. Little brush with fame for the day!
Anyways, the gathering was amazing, and the weather cleared up perfectly for it. They had clan tents set up so I immediately found the MacInnes one and bought them out! I bought my dad and I t-shirts, a clan book, pin, button (which I sported all day) and a tie for my brother made out of the new tartan they had done up this year. They threw in a free clan pen because I'm such a good customer. Just trying to be a good clan member! It was really neat though meeting people with the same family history, and the main organizer even spelled his name like I did without the 'a'! Really cool. I believe we all came from the same thing anyways, but for some reason I felt extra related to these people, most of whom were from the states. Was a really cool experience! After that I wandered around and soaked up the amazing atmosphere at the games.
I then went on to the highland dancing, literally fought some old lady for a chair (I so let her win; I'm such a good citizen) and sat and watched dancing all afternoon. As you can probably guess I was in heaven! It so made me want to go back home and either set up a dance school, get my judging certificate and judge competitions, or learn how to play bagpipes and pipe at competitions! I WILL do one of those 3 by the time I die OH and there was a little boy with the same kilt as me! Nobody ever has my kilt, and he was really cute so I took a picture!
After a very quick 2 1/2 hour train ride (I was expecting 4 hours) from Edinburgh to York, I walked half an hour with my pack (quite a feat!) and am now writing this blog and drinking a glass of awesome 2.75 pound wine with ice life is good! AND there's a Thai spa across the road from my hostel, AND the bagpipes are still ringing in my ears. Should have an awesome sleep tonight on cloud 9!
OH and one more thought: I'm really proud to be from Canada, especially since coming over here. I've had people tell me I come from "the good land", and people are always interested in my home province and the landscapes and weather and anything Canadian. Whenever I'm in a group or tour and somebody asks where everbody's from and I say Canada, they always ask more about it. Whereas anywhere else, like the sates or Australia, they're like, "oh cool." and that's it, but when I say Canada they ask about it or talk about where they've been or say, "I've always wanted to go there!" It's really cool. Anyways, off to bed for me!