Friday, January 30, 2015

Whisky and Wind

New Year's Day... I'm not going to say it was pleasant. And frankly, anyone who believes in resolutions immediately has their hopes and dreams quashed with the coming of the light of dawn. It was one of those hangovers that just got progressively worse as the day continued and while I knew eating breakfast was a relatively good idea, I couldn't fathom imbibing anything other than downing Emergen-C with my water. I pretended to be awake circa before noon, but then spent another four hours burrowing beneath the blankets of my bed. In my slight (only really meager defense), the weather outside was horrifying. It was windy, pouring, cold, and dark ALL day. So when it was 4pm and we remembered that we had already paid for a whiskey tasting at 5pm, I mainly wanted to vomit slash cry slash laugh hysterically. But the Hot Blonde Cousins ALWAYS rally, so we showered and tromped out into the deluge to pay our respects to the whiskey gods. It was a difficult time for us, I must say. Hard to focus, tricky to smell the booze, almost impossible to take any in without flashbacks to the night before. But we made it through, promising ourselves a grand feast once the hazing was over. That being said, we quickly wandered past a pub called Deacon Brodie's. There is a bar with the same name in NYC so, after feeling satisfied with the look of the menu, we headed inside. We later discovered that Deacon Brodie is the namesake of so many establishments because he was a notorious deacon of trade guilds who moonlit as a burglar for the fun of it. Sounds like a good man! More importantly, we ordered way too much food, could barely eat any of it, and were warmly nestled in bed at the late ole hour of 9pm.

The good news was that by the following morning, we were much better rested and able to extricate ourselves from sleep early enough to see some sites around town before taking a train back to London. Since we had already been to Edinburgh, we decided to visit Arthur's Seat, which is a main peak resting in Holyrood Park. We had heard it offered incredibly views of the city and was well worth the adventure. The day was fresh and bright, cold but full of fervor, so we began our journey up the hill. As we approached the park, the rain began to fall, and our umbrellas were pretty ineffective in the waterfall that ensued. It eventually slowed down, however, and we began the rather steep climb that, at first glance frankly didn't look nearly as exhausting as the reality we came to know well. The wind became fiercer and more treacherous as we proceeded up the monstrous mountain, and I honestly thought I might be blown right off the side once or twice. Despite the many trials, though, we were not remotely disappointed by the decadent view. The worst (slash some might say best) part, however, was the fact that right before we decided to make our descent, it began to snow... A lot. We chose a different path to head down, much less jagged with rocks and sharp drops, but also much more covered in grass and therefore mud, and more than once I slipped and JUST saved myself from taking a mudslide all the way down to the bottom. And of course, the "safer" path brought us a good 20 minutes  farther away from our new destination... which was basically anywhere dry and warm for us to regain use of our frozen limbs.

In the end, we did manage to hobble through the wet and cold to a local Starbucks, where we bought some warm drinks and took turns standing under the heater. Then we stopped by the hotel to change, grab our bags, and pop into a store or two before heading to the train station. As anticipated, Edinburgh exceeded our pre-conceived expectations and more. The train ride home was long and tiring, but gave us the chance to decompress and compare notes on the past few days. By the time we got back to Cousin's apartment, all we really wanted to do was eat some food and chill out. We ordered some delicious Indian, settled in front of a movie, and bathed in the glory of our New Year's success.

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