Friday, October 9, 2015

Subtitles Required

My Grandfather is from Scotland and sailed across the sea to land in Eastern Canada where he knocked up my Gram and my Dad got himself born.
While planning the trip to England, it was decided that Erik and I would take a day to drive up to Scotland so I could see the home my Grandfather lived in.  Dad was pretty stoked and while providing me with Grandfather's Scottish address, requested I take lots of pictures as he had never been to Glasgow himself.  "Nooo problem!" I replied cavalierly.

On the way to discover my heritage, we stopped at this incredible, beautiful, broke-down castle.  I can't recall the name of it but I do remember trying repeatedly to pronounce it and sounding like the equivalent of a drunken southerner with a mouthful of marbles.

After wandering around and realizing how incredibly tiny people were back then, I naturally knighted myself Towering well nourished bad-ass of the Ginger clan.  I think the pink really brings out my menace.

After a couple of U-turns and some positively terrifying round-a-bouts that are even more troublesome when happening on the wrong side of the road, we managed to find the street in Glasgow my Grandfather lived on.

I was ecstatic and elated and other e words that mean happy.  These feelings were swiftly replaced with confusion and crushing disappointment.  Precisely where my Grandfather's house should have been, was now a parking lot.

 I immediately started frantically scanning the area looking for a quaint house that would be an ideal stand-in for the lie I was already forming in my mind to tell my Father.  But no such luck.  It was a strictly industrial area.
We pulled into my Grandfather's former home, paid for an hour of parking, and with a thoroughly dejected air, walked along the River Clyde until we found a coffee shop run by a charming fellow whose accent was so thick I needed subtitles to understand him.

The next day, Erik's Sister Jean and I dragged everyone through the streets of London visiting all those iconic Londony things you see on TV.  And it was glorious.

Erik was obsessed with the architecture of the Gherkin.  I've decided not to delve into the multitude of questions this brings up for me.

Tower Bridge.  Not to be confused with the far less remarkable and more than mildly disappointing London Bridge, which probably fell down out of sheer boredom with it's own design.

One of Erik's amazing shots.  This was a view of Big Ben from the side opposite the Thames including the architecture of the Houses of Parliament.

The Tower of London.  Bad things happened here.  Very bad things.

And then, just a typical day of Velma getting her ticket for the tube while Erik's Dad looks on in bemusement. 

It started pouring so we made our way to the London Eye thinking we could take refuge in the covered bubble thingies and see the city from above while we waited out the rain shower.  Only to realize there was a minimum two hour wait...while standing in the rain.

I was curious to know how many people had to have been kicked or bitten before putting up that plaque. Tourists are fun.

The lunch I grabbed for the train ride back.  Apparently convenience stores in London don't believe in providing utensils.  Or I'm blind.  Coffee stir sticks worked just fine getting those olives and feta into my face. 

 At the end of our second day exploring London, we made it back to our hotel room at The Thistle.  Erik threw himself on the bed and stretched out like the weirdest over-sized cat to ever sport a man bun.  Upon comparing the soft comfort of the hotel bed to our concrete slab back home, Erik stated: "That's it. We need a new mattress."

Me: "Want me to check Craigslist tomorrow?"

Erik: "No."

Me: "KSL?"

Erik: "Only if it's king size and new."

Me: "What if there are minimal splooge stains and they give us a good deal?"

Erik: "NO."

Me: "You have no sense of adventure."

Erik: "Whatever. I chose you didn't i?"

Me: "You're equating me to splooge stains?"

Erik: "Not at all. I'm equating you to adventure. A highly volatile unpredictable ginger adventure."

I'm pretty sure he was still suffering from jet lag.