26 November 2015

My First Scottish Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday: time off from work or school, good food, no stress.  There is nothing to do but eat and spend time with friends and family...except perhaps a turkey run.  Of course, Thanksgiving is only a holiday in the US but, since Pat does not start work until 7 December and I do not have a job, we are off!  So, this year, we are able to celebrate Thanksgiving in Scotland on the actual day.

We are planning a turkey dinner for two around midday.  Then, this evening we will go see the lighting of the City of Aberdeen's Christmas tree at Castlegate.  This begins the local Christmas festivities which also include an outdoor Christmas market and a reindeer parade.  Side note: there are Black Friday sales here too, hmm...

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends and family from here in Scotland! 

23 November 2015

Waiting Again

I have not read recreationally in months, but I am on my third novel since arriving in Scotland. We have no TV (until tomorrow), no internet in the house, and limited data on our phones.  I am not complaining.   We have been exploring and shopping a lot too, mainly buying things for the flat.  Also got a nice wool coat, very Sherlock-ish.

We were told in Quincy that our shipment of personal items could take up to three months to arrive. We have been tracking our ship online--Bremen Express at marinetraffic.com.  It has already been through the English Channel up to the North Sea, making several ports along the Continent. It is expected to make port in the UK later this week. Then, customs and overland transport. 

We hope to open a bank account today--we have had to wait for particular documents; long story.  Anyway, if that happens, we will be able to move forward with a few other things like home internet and changing to the UK iTunes store.  Fun stuff!

I hope to post photos soon.  I have taken a lot!

20 November 2015

Walk On...

Pat and I do not have a car in Scotland.  This is by plan and by choice.  First, cars are expensive--purchase/payment, insurance, fuel, maintenance, parking, etc.  Second, Aberdeen and Scotand as a whole are generally pedestrian-friendly and buses, taxis, and trains are easy to access.  Also, we lease a flat near to the most important commercial areas.  We live about 1.25 - 1.5 miles from a commercial park containing Asda (Wal-Mart), Sainbury's (nice, big grocer), B&Q (Home Depot), Boots (Walgreens), and Currys PC World (Best Buy).  The near end of Union Street, Aberdeen's main commercial and retail area, is about a mile from home in a different direction.  There are several other small shops closer than that too.

So...we walk a lot, several days so far as much as five to eight miles in a day.  It is a great way for us to explore and get acquainted with the city.  We see so much while on foot.  Of course, the weather is a challenge on occasion.  In fact, I got quite wet one day this week walking back from Sainsbury's--I look forward to my waterproofs arriving with our other belongings.  It is also helpful for our general health and fitness, having consumed a lot of rich food and drink and been out of our usual exercise routine even several weeks prior to leaving the US.

Thus, we are embracing our new pedestrian lifestyle and do not really miss our cars.

05 November 2015

Travel and Transition

A pictorial--we're busy!!  So far in Scotland, we have been visiting close friends and family and managing a few details:  getting our mobile phones and attempting to open a bank account--I will spare you the frustrating details.  Anyway, here are some photos documenting what we have been up to:

Inside one of our shipping crates
The outside of the previous crate and our 1/2 crate
Just about to leave our Quincy home
St Andrews Cross in the sky as we leave Quincy--a good omen
Lunch time cocktails in Chicago
My mole trio at Frontera, Chicago
Haunted Chicago Tour, site of the Eastland disaster
Haunted Chicago Tour, site of St Valentine's Day massacre
Haunted Chicago Tour, Death Alley
View from our hotel in Chicago
Getting closer...
Greek sampler at Santorini, Chicago
"Lunch" at The Cheesecake Factory, Chicago
Lunch at O'Hare Airport
...with cocktails, of course
Our plane to Dublin
Our turboprop to Edinburgh
In Scotland!!!
Costa Coffee--visited 4 times in the first day and a half!
Kirkcaldy High Street
Kirkcaldy harbor
Lunch in Kirkcaldy
EXCellent chocolates!
Our first Indian meal

Off to Aberdeen tomorrow to move into our flat and get my immigration documents.  More fun stuff to come; Pat does not start work until 7 December!