A year ago I drafted this post — the intent being to journal during my 10-day trip to Scotland and England, a trip made to attend TEDSummit Edinburgh. I had intended to add more photos, and in the end I got so busy I never wrote another blog post after the first day, and never posted the one below. Even though it’s now a year old and I won’t be doing any traveling anytime soon, I thought I’d post it now. It’s nice in this time of self-quarantine to remember the lovely trips I have made over the years, and when my biggest travel worry was whether or not my flight would make it off before a rainstorm.
A gamble — re-route, or risk it?
An email from Delta arrived the night before our departure, advising that weather may play havoc with our flight and offering to waive fees if we wanted to re-route or cancel our flight to JFK. It was the night before a long-planned trip to Scotland, when all airports on the Eastern seaboard were light up red, so re-routing didn’t seem like a promising option, and cancelling was not in the cards. We risked it, our flight took off amid lightening just in front of the worst of the thunderstorm, and seven hours and one Ambien later we arrived in rain-soaked, historic Edinburgh, Scotland.
You Never Know Who You’ll Find!
Just before take-off, browsing Facebook one more time before I lost my connection, I saw that Kim, a woman I’d worked with two years ago and hadn’t seen since, was in Edinburgh as well. One text exchange later, we shook off our jet lag long enough to meet up with her family just a few blocks from our Airbnb. We hadn’t seen each other in San Diego for years, yet through the magic of Facebook posts we managed to reconnect while both of us were passing through Scotland, and I met her (wonderful) family for the first time.
A short walk along a cobblestone lane led to our Airbnb for the week, a one-bedroom unit in a Georgian townhome in New Town that is perfect. It’s quiet yet a 5-minute walk from a variety of restaurants, a grocery store, a pharmacy, pubs, whiskey bars, the Leith Walk, the Convention Center and more! Our living room is fit for a Queen, and it will be a shame if we leave before having some new-found friends over for a drink and conversation around the fireplace.
We quickly unpacked and settled into our comfy bed and settled in for a well-deserved sleep before the Pre-TED event hosted by Virgin Money scheduled for the next day.
Pre-TEDSummit Gathering, aka “Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You”
Richard organized us for a pre-TEDSummit gathering to get to know one another before the huge group arrives later in the week, and we spent the morning introducing ourselves and bonding and preparing for the week ahead. Thank you Virgin Money for sponsoring and Richard for organizing! I snuck out for a Book Lover’s Tour over lunch, and only after we started walking to our first stop did I realize that I’d done this very same tour four years earlier. Oh well! I know should be very well-versed in the locations associated with Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson, and the cafe where J.K. Rowling sat to write. After the walk I toured the Writers’ Museum with its exhibits on the aforementioned Robert Louis Stevenson as well as Walter Scott and Robert Burns. Inspired, I made a pit stop at Waterstone’s Book Shop and then met my husband for dinner at Makar’s – The Gourmet Mash Bar Company. They have a full menu of mashed potatoes, a great selection of beers, and won UK TripAdvisor Best Everyday Restaurant 2018. Go in and check it out!