I took a nice long soak in the tub and then put my work-out clothes. Instead of going back to the gym, I just put down a towel and did my pushups on the floor.
Luckily, the Balmoral has a 12N check-out instead of 11AM, so we had plenty of time to get ourselves re-grouped and packed. We called down for a porter, which took awhile, and one reminder call, to arrive, but showed up eventually. Check out was somewhat traumatic, although it’s still more reassuring to look at the bill in Pounds, without having to think about the real amound we spent in USD.
We had them hold our lugguage and took a cab to the other side of Calton Hill to find the PC repair guy. This provided us with the incredible juxtaposition of a small homebrew shop, which had clearly been there forever, and a guy inside who also fixed P Cs.
He assessed our problem and didn’t look super optimistic, but said he would work on it and talk to his partner, David, who was good at thinking outside the box. The big problem was that the thing was wedged into the disk drive so that the only way to get in was probably to break it and that would mean invalidating my warranty so it couldn’t then be fixed by Dell. We’d have to leave the laptop, possibly over-night, which meant I’d need a way to do Drabble-A-Day/MMOM and check email to see if there was any answer from the American consulate in London about the passports.
I was trying very hard NOT to panic or be a bitch to Hubby, since he obviously felt bad and stupid enough, but it was pretty hard. Because, really…how do you get a photo card stuck in a disc drive? Anyway, the area wasn’t exactly teeming with activity, although there did seem to be a LOT Of beauty parlors and barber shops. We finally found a small place called Bumblebee. Not bad and at least the weather was getting really nice. My Tuna Melt was much better than I expected from the look of the place and Hubby had a Scottish breakfast. Of course.
After a leisurely walk back to the hotel, we picked up our baggage to make the switch from a 5 Star hotel to Castleview Guesthouse. It’s always a shock to go from a place where you’re spending the money to have people kiss your ass and do things for you to one where you’re getting what it says on the tin: Bed and Breakfast. Period.
We went out to see the new neighborhood and to try and track down an internet café that would have computers available to use. I was really starting to freak out about posting my drabble and getting pissed at Hubby for creating a non-computer situation. I was pissed, but trying not to act pissed. Never a good thing.
So we wandered down side streets looking for anything that looked remotely internetty. Instead we found 21st Century Kilts.
Hubby was still on his quest for the Muir Tartan and this place was very nice, including a picture of Alan Cumming in a full tartan kilt and jacket on the wall. They shop wasn’t at all touristy and they had access to Muir Tartan. I had many, many reservations about Hubby actually getting a kilt, but I couldn’t complain too loudly because they also knew where an internet café was.
They sent me to the Southern Cross Cafe on Cockburn St.
Naturally I thought this was spelled “Coburn” until I saw the street sign. Now every time I see a particularly dickish senator named Tom Coburn, I imagine his name being Cockburn.
Cockburn Street is wonderfully hilly and twisty and full of cool little shops, restaurants etc. It was just like San Francisco. Southern Cross was great and had, as promised, computers. 1 pound for ½ hour. Not situated really comfortably and the European keyboards are slightly different, but it was a working computer w/internet. Halle-bloody-lu-jah!
I sent Hubby off to shop and get out of my hair, while I checked email and discovered that the American consulate in London was being deliberately obtuse about my passport problem. I rephrased my query and sent it back, this time with an URGENT in the header.
I wrote and posted a drabble and did some other email. I also had my first ever experience with Irn-Bru
It’s this soda sold all over Scotland, apparently originally developed as something for the ship-workers in Glasgow to drink was the water was disgusting it wouldn’t be a good thing for them to be drunk on the job. It’s orange-pink and tastes exactly like Juicy Fruit gum in liquid form. Of course, no one in Scotland seems to have experience with Juicy Fruit gum, so that description got me nothing but blank stares.
With my internetting accomplished, I was able to sort of relax, so Hubby and I headed back up to the Royal Mile and checked out St. Giles Cathedral. It’s gorgeous, with a world of history to be absorbed, although we mostly skimmed it. In Scotland, at least in Edinburgh, the sense of history is kind of over-whelming. You’d need a lifetime to study it all and remember who did what to whom and whether the Catholics or the Protestants were in control at any given time, and how that affected things.
I have developed a deep dislike for John Knox, that’s for sure.
We meandered back up the Mile and then down to Queen St. looking for dinner. I wanted a really good sit-down meal to take away the Curse of the Chips. I had Italian on the brain and we found a place called Giuliano’s.
OMG! Great food. My filled pasta with ricotta and mushrooms was SO GOOD! Best dinner of the trip so far. Also…soda water with lime. Very nice.
Long after-dinner walk including part of the Leith Walk and then back for first night at the B&B. Smaller, firmer bed. Shower, but no bath. However, our TV worked and there was some good stuff on BBC4, including a show about the history of kitchen. I fell asleep during that, slept for about an hour and a ½, then woke up and didn’t get to sleep again until 3AM, even with no computer.