St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland, November 26-30, 2003
My friend Krista went to college all four years at St. Andrews in Scotland, so the year that I was abroad in Germany, I made plans to hop up to the U.K. to visit her for Thanksgiving. At some point in the summer or fall, five of our other best friends from home decided they’d come to Scotland for Thanksgiving as well. Thanksgiving is HUGE in Scotland! Or not at all, but it was a great excuse for a trip. Today’s Old-Timey Tuesday is a brief photo essay of that visit…
Above, the invitation. Krista also mailed each of us a travel packet with a detailed calendar, packing tips, directions, a treasure map and a bus schedule. The cover page read thusly:
An American Thanksgiving in Scotland!
Josephine as the paranoid traveler
Lindsay as her able traveling companion
Mary Jacob as the one emerging from the bubble
Abby as the usual world traveler
George as the only boy per usual
Kathleen as the German
Krista as the hostess
Here’s the gang from home (minus Josephine, who was under the weather) drinking enormous White Russians at Ma Bells the day before Thanksgiving. Apparently we had just missed Prince William there — doh!
The next day, Krista started turkey prep.
Which George took over later when it was time to carve it. (I seem to remember we cooked it with the bag of giblets or whatever still inside… oops.)
As you can see, we were cooking for a crowd. I think we ended up with more than 20 people in this tiny flat. In fact, if you wanted to get from one side of the room to the other, you had to crawl under the table. We decorated the paper tablecloth with classic American hand-turkeys; George and Tammy gave theirs a kilt.
Here’s the whole Atlanta contingent after dinner (wreckage in the foreground). On the far right is another high school classmate who went to St. Andrews for college who was among the ginormous group Krista and her flatmates hosted.
Another thing we did with the paper tablecloth was play MASH. Here, MJ explains the game to Ali the Scotsman. From the looks of it, MJ was going to marry her college boyfriend in a dookie-colored wedding dress, live in a mansion, have three kids, drive a BMW and be a lunch lady. I also found the piece of tablecloth that my round was on: I was predicted to marry Rodney (a guy from high school choir) in a white dress, honeymoon in Italy, live in an apartment in Greenwich, Conn., have two kids, drive a Winnebago and be a famous person. None of these things have come to pass.
The day after Thanksgiving, we all packed up and headed to Edinburgh for a few days — everybody was departing at different times, so it was easier to be near the airport. Here we are waiting for the train in St. Andrews.
When we got to Edinburgh, we did some sightseeing. It was quite windy out.
We stayed in the lovely Castle Rock Hostel there and were assigned a dorm where the beds were named after kinds of underwear:
We kicked around Edinburgh for a day or two and then said our goodbyes after our ridiculously fun holiday together. It was the first and only time I’d been away from my family on Thanksgiving; I still remember calling Grandma and Grandpa’s house from the phone in Krista’s cramped kitchen and being passed around to all the relatives on the other end of the line. I certainly missed being in East Tennessee, but subbing in my best friends and a charming Scottish setting for the usual (and beloved) routine was the best possible alternative.