Scott and Holly's Blog

Scott and Holly welcome you…

Today we spent the day in Lake Placid with friends, Steve and Jan.

The leaves are changing and looking good! A frost is due tonight so there could be more changes this week!

Our first stop in Lake Placid was the Olympic Ski Jump. There were young adults jumping into the pools. Wonder if we were watching a future Olympian.

Steve and Jan took the chair lift up to the base of the jump towers, then we all took the elevator to the top of the 120 meter ski jump. Awesome view!!!

We had lunch in the Arena Bar & Grill, across from the Olympic Sports Center. Jan and I had steak sandwiches which were good. Steve had a wrap which he liked but said our Philly Steaks were better!

We walked through the Olympic Museum. It is collection of mostly winter Olympics memorabilia. There is a collection of torches; clothing; skates; posters… Let just say everything Olympics! They even had an Emmy which was on loan from a local cameraman. It was earned for the 1980 Winter Olympics.

We drove up Whiteface Mountain! Wow! Amazing views! We were in a cloud, above the tree line, with superb views of “90 miles”!!!!

We had supper in Jimmy’s 21 in the village! Great seafood and steak plus a very attentive waitress!

All in all a great way to celebrate Steve and Jan’s anniversary!

It was one year ago that my Dad (Floyd Martindale, Sr.) went to be with Mama (Mary Martindale).

He would have loved seeing Ireland – the rolling green hills, the farms, the farm machinery, seeing me sheer the sheep, and just talking with the locals.

We miss you, Dad.

Today we are to leave Edinburgh on a noon flight to Newark.

I shower, dress, and finish packing while Scott showers. I am thinking we are ahead of schedule.

Scott goes to take his medication and asks where I put them … I inadvertently took his Edarbi instead of my Metformin.

Edarbi is a new blood pressure med. A quick Internet check reveals it can drop blood pressure, etc.

Scott decides I should try to vomit … Calls our PCP in New York … It is 2 am in NY … Lynn is on-call and tells us to go to the ER as my blood pressure may suddenly drop and to start drinking water.

So Scott calls Peter (guide) for assistance. Leaving our suitcases at the desk we take a taxi to an urgent care center.

We met Christine who is a Nurse Practioner. She checked and felt that because Edarbi is a slow release pill and since I only took one I should be okay. However Edarbi is a beta blocker and I have had a severe reaction to beta blockers in the past…

She checks with the doctors. We are to stay for two hours and if my BP reminds okay we can fly but the question is will we be in time?

Scott tells me to stay calm as he will do the worrying. .. Like calling United, getting the suitcases brought to us, finding taxis …

My blood pressure did go up and down but in the end we made our flight and all is well.

I must report the hospital visit was free – Christine said you first visit is always free. Scott’s response was we won’t be back.

The rest of our day went well – the plane left Edinburgh early, arrived in Newark fifty minutes early, our shuttle was waiting for us.

We had an awesome trip!!!!

The plan for today is a bus tour and walking tour of Edinburgh including Edinburgh Castle.

We meet our local guide, Anne, who will show us around Edinburgh.

She points out many buildings and places of interest.

We go on to Edinburgh Castle and hear it’s story.

The views from the castle are beautiful as we are now above most of the city. Yes, Scott took lots of pictures!

We are on our own till 5:30 pm do we start exploring on our own.

We have lunch in the Hard Rock Cafe. It is Scott ‘s turn to select a guitar for our collection of Hard Rock Guitar pins. He finds two he likes – one with Edinburgh on it and one with bag pipes.

There are the usual collection of rock memorabilia, such as a cool Woodstock Poster, Beatles stuff, etc.

It is a beautiful day – it only rains for five minutes and we are inside the Hard Rock!

We find an outside Cafe. We sit and enjoy a cold drink and the warm weather.

Our final celebration dinner is at Orocco Pier in Queensferry. We are on the sea so we enjoy sailboats and mirror images.

It is Caroline’s birthday so we celebrate!

Happy Birthday Caroline!!

We have become friends so there is lots of hugging and well wishes as we depart to our rooms to prepare to leave.

Our hotel in Edinburgh is the Apex European. There is no air conditioning but we have a fan, a safe that is broken, twin beds which need new mattresses, and a great walk in shower. (We have had several hotel rooms with thin high tubs which you had to step up into for a shower.)

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is held each summer for three weeks in August. It is know as one of the world’s spectacular shows.

It is the reason we took vacation in August! We are attending tonight!!!

This years show is celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

We are told to that doors open at 8:15 with the show running from 9:00 pm till 10:30 pm. And it will start on time as it a military show.

The doors actually open early. The arena is actually smaller than I imagined but after seeing the show it is perfect.

The show opens with Scottish Pipes, continues with Scottish dancers, Military bands, drill teams, and more.

We are told that the groups that participate must apply and be selected.

This years the groups come from Scotland, Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, and other European countries. The United States is represented by one of the military bands stationed in Europe.

There are over a 1000 performers from children to adults.

Superb!!! What else can I say – massed pipe and drum corps with massed military bands mixed with dancers, fire works, video superimposed on Edinburgh Castle. Simply spectacular!!!

After the show, Scott was so impressed that he thinks we should see the local drum corp competition next year!!!!

Our lunch stop today is at St. Andrews Golf Course.

We have all watched the British Open, the Senior British Open, and more being played at the St. Andrews Golf Course. We all have golfers in our family or friends who will be envious of our visit.

Peter asks us how many holes of golf can be played at St. Andrews. We guess 54, 18, 63… There are actually 99 holes of golf!

Peter suggests that we spend a pound to putt on the putting green so we can say we “golfed” at St. Andrews.

Our first stop is the putting green. We both putt one hole and take pictures. We return the ball and putter.

Scott asks if can walk closer to that famous Swilcan Bridge that all golfers get their picture taken on when they play golf at St. Andrews. The gentleman says just go this way and that is okay to walk on the bridge if there are no golfers. We got our picture taken on the same bridge as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, and so many more. A bridge that is over 700 years old.

We have lunch in the pub in Dunvegan Hotel. I have the best BBQ chicken sandwich!

Thanks, Insight! This was a blast!!!!

It is Monday. We are leaving the Highlands and heading to Blair Castle. As it is an optional, Scott and I and four other couples have opted to walk around the village of Pitlochry.

Pitlochry is like many Scottish villages with a main street of shops, pubs, cafes, banks, and hotels.

We wonder among the shops. We visit a golf shop and meet a friendly clerk who has time to chat. He tells a story which I thought I would share…

He has cousins who are potato farmers. During one season their potato crop was very successful, earning them lots of money.

So with money in an old suitcase and dressed in their usual (overalls, rubber boots) they go to see their banker. He advises them that this a lot of money and someone will think they stole it. He suggests that they use the money to purchase something they need.

They think we could use new motor transportation. They walk into a Rolls Royce shop and ask the clerk for two shiny deluxe black cars. He responds that they aren’t for sale as they can’t afford them.

Click! The suitcase opens to reveal over 300,000 pounds. They ask for the manager. The clerk is fired. They go on to the next car dealer and purchase two cars!

So don’t judge a person by his looks!!!!!!

Tonight we toast the three couples who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Best wishes to:
Richard & Diane of Newbury Park, CA
Lamar & Ellen of Louisville, KY
Bill & Dot of Nacogdoches, TX

And Happy 25th to Larry & Mary from Penticton, British Columbia.

Congratulations!!!!

Today we are going to explore the Scottish Highlands.

Our first stop is Culloden Battlefield. It was the scene of the last major battle fought on British soil.

There was a hut with a thatched roof. We are able to walk inside and see how a thatched roof is made. It is a support of one to two inch twigs, then grass and mud, and then straw thatched together with about twelve inches thick.

Our next stop is Loch Ness which the largest lake in the United Kingdom. We walk to the north end of the lake. The water is cold. The only monster we see is a clay one sold by the local artist.

Loch Ness is 23 miles long, 2 miles wide, and 1000 feet deep at the deepest.

Our lunch break is in Inverness which is the largest city in the Highlands.

Inverness means at the mouth of the river Ness. Inverness has a pedestrian street with souvenir shops, pubs, stores, and more. It is a beautifully warm day. It is 68 degrees at 12:30 pm. It is say 5 without rain!

Next we travel to Tomatin Distillery to see how they distill whiskey. After we see a video, we are given a wee dram of whiskey.

We each given a glass with whiskey. Then we are instructed as to how to drink whiskey:

1. Switch the whiskey around in your glass and smell with your nose with your mouth slightly open.
2. Take a swollen of whiskey.
3. Switch it around in your mouth.
4. Swollen
5. Some people believe you should add a few drops of water to the second swollen to experience the full flavor.

Tonight is the “Highlands Dinner”.

Let’s talk about our hotel first. It is a old hotel. Our key is a “church key”. We have three single beds – all needing new mattresses but then so far most hotels have needed new mattresses. We have both a shower and a tub but getting the shower to have hot water is a challenge.

We are on the first floor with windows that open, no air conditioning. Plus there are no screens. It is another beautiful day. So the question is how safe is it to leave the windows open?

Since we have had four nights in four hotels, we need to rinse out clothes but in this room hanging is a challenge…

There are four coaches here so dinner tonight will be with over 120 people.

Haggis is … A Scottish delicacy … We think it is lamb with oatmeal although some one heard it was made in sheep stomach. The presentation of the haggis begins with a Scottish Bagpiper. A waiter brings in a plate with a mound of haggis with huge onion and olive eyes, tomato brows, and lettuce hair.

It was served with mashed potato and turnip on top and gravy. Personally I did not like it. Scott, however, ate the whole thing.

I do need to say bravo for the wait staff. They fed us quickly and efficiently!