London/Scotland 2017

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland

It’s incredible how fast 15 day and nights go by.  In our whirlwind tour of London, Edinburgh and the Scottish countryside, we (myself, Tracy along with friends Kim and Mary) witnessed some of the most beautiful scenery we have encountered on our travels.  Couple that with magnificent castles, gorgeous gardens and the friendly people of England and Scotland, we certainly experienced The Royal Treatment.  Come and join us on our UK journey.

Chapter One: London Calling

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland Chapter One: London Calling Outside of one impromptu wild and crazy night in London…lost forever in the haze of overindulgent history (more on that later)…our spring 2017 London/Scotland 15-day journey is full of vivid recollections.  From gooey cheese toasties in London’s Borough Market to a chance encounter with a royal in Edinburgh to the mind-blowing beauty of the Scottish countryside, once again the UK left us yearning to come back for more. With help of a smoking hot airfare sale on Air New Zealand, Tracy and I coerced Kim and Mary to travel with us (will they ever learn?), which was also advantageous because Kim has become our official UK … Read more…

Chapter Two: Crisscrossing London & The Famed Cheese Toastie!

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland Chapter Two: Crisscrossing London & The Famed Cheese Toastie! DAY TWO: Line In Wait, Sargent Major, Anchors Away, To Pee Or Not To Pee That Is The Question, Short Stop, The Big Cheese, By George, A Dickens Of A Time, Bridge Of The Millennium, That’s The Ticket, How The Hell Did We Wind Up In Florence, The Dark Side Of The Tourist, Art Deco Paradise and Book ‘Em Greeted by a drizzly, gray morning, the four of us, rested and ready to face London, walked across the street to the Pret a Manger for a quick breakfast egg sandwich with prosciutto on a croissant.  Bring these to L.A.!!! Our first … Read more…

Chapter Three: Windsor Castle, A Crazy Night In London Town & Founding Fathers Visit

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland Chapter Three: Windsor Castle, A Crazy Night In London Town & Founding Fathers Visit Next: DAY THREE – Slough Off, First In Line, The Incredible Chapel, Apartment Hunting, Another Fine Mess You’ve Gotten Us Into, Eton Lunch, Standing Room Only, The Wrong Tube Turns Out To Be The Right Tube, Ivy League and Night Of The Living Dead Our long day’s journey into a longer night started innocently enough with a train ride.  From the Gloucester Road Station, we took the tube to Paddington Station and boarded the train (8:22) to Slough, where we changed trains to head to the Windsor & Eton Riverside station.  To start the day at Paddington Station, … Read more…

Chapter Four: Enchanting & Exciting Edinburgh

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland Chapter Four: Enchanting & Exciting Edinburgh DAY FIVE: Platform 9 3/4, Brexit “BoJo” Encounter, On Track For Edinburgh, How Did He Fit All Our Luggage In Here, It’s Miller’s Time, Exhilarating Edinburgh, Church of Hard Knox, Thistle Put You In Awe, No Cigar, Up On The Roof, Hello Dolly, Where’s The Cannonball, “It’s The Most Scenic Part of Scotland” & The Golden Hour One terrible thing about my “being late for the train” phobia is that I don’t sleep well the night before a morning trip.  Last night was one example. I had reserved first class tickets on Virgin Trains from London to Edinburgh, and that was a good thing … Read more…

Chapter Five: Exploring Edinburgh’s Royal Mile

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland Chapter Five: Exploring Edinburgh’s Royal Mile DAY SIX – Pass The Jam, Gorgeous Garden, Get Those Guards Outta Here, The Write Stuff, Is That Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Cone Head, It’s In The Bagpipes, Close Encounters, Knox Knox It’s James’ House, How Much Do We Pay At The Tolbooth, Kirk But No Captain, Controversial Building, Anne Shuts Us Out, It’s The End Of The World As We Know It, Dedicated Dog, More Harry Potter, We Finally Make It In The Castle, The Giant Store and The Best Darned Steak Tartare Ever! A little before 8:30 the four us, bolstered by a good night’s rest, met in Louise’s dining room.  … Read more…

Chapter Six: Paintings, Princes, Peacocks, Pastries, Pubs & Afternoon Tea In Edinburgh

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland Chapter Six: Paintings, Princes, Peacocks, Pastries, Pubs & Afternoon Tea In Edinburgh DAY SEVEN – Magnificent Museum, Not Related To Spiro, Bear With Me, Closed Kirk, Remembering Bob, Unique Ceiling, No We’re Not In Atlanta, It Takes A Village (Sort of), What Goes Down Must Come Up, Climbing Everest Would Be Easier, Any Pub In A Storm, Disheveled Guests, Prince & The Paupers, Our Foursome Has A Tea Time, So This Is What 20,000 Calories Tastes Like, Don’t Fowl Up This Wedding, Sunset Of Our Lives and Happy 500th Birthday! As we sat at the Millers64 breakfast table (loved my porridge), we told Louise about our London friend Brock’s cyder … Read more…

Chapter Seven – Gorgeous Scenery & Views On Our Final Day In Edinburgh

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland Chapter Seven – Gorgeous Scenery & Views On Our Final Day In Edinburgh DAY EIGHT – A Hill Of A Climb, Thankfully Not Open Yet, “Tracy Fell Off The Cliff!”, Edinburgh’s “Folly”, Show Off, Are We In Athens, Honest Abe, Fantastic Foyer, Cheese Please, The Path Less Taken, St. Bernard Without Rum, The Village Idiot, Not Quite As Bad This Time, The Last Supper, Drinks With Deacon, Princess At Princes, The Apple Of Our Eye, Cyder House Rules, Our Favorita Italiano and Cheers To Edinburgh!!! Our our last day in Edinburgh, I started with a great brioche French toast courtesy of Louise at Millers64, while Mary enjoyed a scrambled egg … Read more…

Chapter Eight – In Search Of The Holy Grail

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland Chapter Eight – In Search Of The Holy Grail DAY NINE – Mirror Mirror, Sterling Stirling, I Thought We Were On The English Tour, More Unicorns, The Full Monty, Your Mother Was A Hamster And Your Father Smelled Of Elderberries, Coo-Coo For Coconuts, Always Good To Have A Paper Map, Monumental Find, Boating In The Rain, Idyllic Island, Gorgeous Grounds, Change Of Plans, Callander Girl, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, I’ll Take Manhattan & The Loudest Peacock On The Planet After bidding goodbye to Louise (and those wonderful breakfasts at Millers64), Edinburgh would soon be in the rear view mirror, and as we got to our rental car, we realized we were … Read more…

Chapter Nine – Skye’s The Limit…Our Drive From Callander To Portree

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland Chapter Nine – Skye’s The Limit…Our Drive From Callander To Portree DAY TEN – Mhor Bread Please, Seeing Red, Which Mountain is Which, Are We On The Moon, Scenic Drive, Bonnie Prince Charlie & Harry Potter, White Sands, Ferry Ride, The Skye’s The Limit, We’ll Check It Out On The Way Back, Colorful Town, Our Restaurant Makes A Great Comeback, A Short Walk Becomes Longer and I’ll Buy This One Up early, I strolled around the grounds at Roman Camp, and the flowers were just as beautiful in the morning as they were the prior evening.                                                                     … Read more…

Chapter Ten – Touring Isle Of Skye

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland Chapter Ten – Touring Isle Of Skye DAY ELEVEN – In A Fog, The Old Man And The Can’t See, The Falls Guy, I’ll Never Find Another Ewe, Looks Like We Missed That Turn, Flora Graveyard, Cottage Industry, Fairy Land, Escape Route, Lochside Lunch, Garden Paradise, “Kim You’re On The Wrong Side Of The Road!”, Room With A View, United Nations Of Servers, May I Order One Of These With Breakfast & Do I Need A Tetanus Shot With This Drink? We woke up in a fog, and it had nothing to do with the wine we drank the previous evening. It was a bit chilly, but we had travel … Read more…

Chapter Eleven – Isle Of Skye To Nairn: A Tale Of Three Castles

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland Chapter Eleven –  Isle Of Skye To Nairn:  A Tale Of Three Castles DAY TWELVE: Everybody Must Get Stoned, Come On Eilean, Our Summer House, Monstrous Loch, Lunch By The Locks, Medieval Times, Homey Castle, More Magnificent Gardens, So That’s The Name Of That Yellow Tree, Mind Your Manors, Did You Bring Shorts, A Day At The Beach and Where’s Dick Clark? It was tough to leave the spectacular surroundings at the Cuillin Hills Hotel… …but it was sadly time to say “bye” to Skye and colorful Portree.  We did have a hearty breakfast because we’d be traveling across Scotland in search of castles. Before we hit our first big … Read more…

Chapter Twelve – Elgin Cathedral To Dunnottar Castle: Our Day In Ruins

MaiTaiTom Gets The Royal Treatment…Two Weeks Exploring London and Scotland Chapter Twelve – Elgin Cathedral To Dunnottar Castle: Our Day In Ruins DAY THIRTEEN – Is That One Of The Avengers, “Lantern Of The North”, A Garden of Biblical Proportions, No Whisky For You, Too Early For A Picnic, Not Lichen This Road, A Governor Lived Here, How Many Steps To The Bottom?, Did I Lock The Car?, King For A Day, What Goes Down Must (Unfortunately) Come Up, Steer Clear, Catterline Cuisine and The Sun Begins To Set On Our Trip Walking through the corridor at the Newton, as I was about to enter the breakfast room, I spied a table with a cane and a bowler hat. I … Read more…

Chapter Thirteen – Dunnottar To Falkland: Witches, Outlander & Bad News

The End Is Near! Chapter Thirteen – Dunnottar To Falkland: Witches, Outlander & Bad News DAY FOURTEEN: The Tide Is Out, Glamorous Glamis, Something’s Brewing, Mums The Word, Costumes Party, Pass On The Scone, Peacock Paradise, It Doesn’t Look Like A War Was Fought Here, TV Hotel, Geez No Photos Again, Town Tour, Get In Out Of The Rain, Computer Glitch and We Better Take The Train After a delicious breakfast at Chapel of Barras, our first major stop was going to be Glamis Castle. Since it didn’t open until 11 a.m. we detoured to see the “charming” seaside town of Stonehaven.  Unfortunately the tide happened to be out (again!), so Stonehaven was not quite as charming as the photos … Read more…

Chapter Fourteen – Walking The Course at St. Andrews & A Bloody Mess At Heathrow

Fore and Forearm…Our Last Hours In Scotland Chapter Fourteen – Walking The Course at St. Andrews & A Bloody Mess At Heathrow DAYS FIFTEEN & SIXTEEN: Sneaking Into Church, Missing Links, Our Foursome’s All Here, Walking A Famous Bridge, A Cathedral In Ruins, Narrow Minded, Neuk Neuk Neuk, Saving Next Time For Bruce, Go Forth, South Dakota, Last Supper, Everything’s On Track, Don’t Sleep In The Subway and A Bloody Mess At Heathrow We woke up to blue skies in Falkland on our last full day in Scotland.                                                    While Kim and Mary collected our rental mobile, Tracy zipped around town taking a few photos of the village, which after last night’s heavy rain took on a new look. … Read more…