Better Late Than Never Post
OK... As Andy and I leave for Greece on Sunday I suppose I'd better get on with my last post re Stacy's visit. I'd say I've saved the best for last.
Driving to Glasgow was a rather enjoyable experience. We chatted and sang along to music most of the way while taking in some gorgeous scenery. Stacy was well pleased to pass a farm that was smack in the middle of the motorway somewhere between Leeds and Manchester. She couldn't believe that the owner wouldn't sell up when they were putting the motorway in, and as a result they just built right around him... it is funny to see the sheep grazing in his field. Ironically enough, the camera was in the trunk so she wasn't able to take a photo. Like I said to her 'Anyone wants to see this one, they are just gonna have to get themselves over here!'
We made it into Glasgow center with only a few wrong turns and actually made it to Shawlands (Val's suburb) an hour past our ETA. Stacy was bound and determined we find it without help so we did.
Val of course had the wine chilled and cracked it open within ten minutes of our arrival. Her kids were lovely and Lori of course was still excited to see me after all this time. Val's sister Merril was there as well which was good as I'd not yet met her.
The evening was spent catching up and steadily drinking. Stacy unfortunately wasn't keen on the wine and if Val can't get her hooked, I dare say no one can. So she stuck to Wicked.
There is a photo here of me holding the baby Luke. I couldn't get enough of him while he was sleeping so peacefully. I even rang Andy and repeatedly told him how lovely the babies were... Unfortunately I can barely remember this... it was only upon reflection that I wondered how Val could entrust me to hold her little boy when I was in such a state, but then again, she wasn't any better. Thank God Stacy and Merril had the gumption to stay fairly sober.
Happily Tipsy - Due in part to both baby and wine...
I woke at four in the morning with a thirst equivalent to a lost soul in the desert. My tongue felt like it had sprouted fur and I croaked out 'Good God, not again' After you have drank so much most memories from the previous nights are 'fuzzy' it becomes old habit the 3rd or 4th (or tenth)time. I wasn't worried of course as I normally would have been 10 years ago, as I knew we were safe in the house and I was amongst true friends. Anything stupid I did would be forgiven. Its been a long time since I woke up feeling that way and since it was a long time coming, I've forgiven myself! I of course woke Stacy and we had a good giggle.
The next morning was Stacy's 20th Birthday. We went out for lunch (Stacy and I wouldn't drink of course, but that didn't stop Val and Merril from enjoying a glass of wine) and Stacy had some cards to open and Merril and Val had kindly arranged a birthday cake. Merril then comes out with 'Are we still off to Edinburgh on the train tomorrow?' Come again? When did we plan that I wondered. They immediately refreshed my memory, and true to form we had discussed going to Edinburgh the previous evening.
Unfortunately, the next morning when we were due to set off it was raining, and Merril wasn't feeling so well, so Val dropped Stacy, Lori and I off at the station (she was staying back as the baby might prove to be too much). I happily brought our train tickets as Stacy was once again doing the Amazing Race comparison.
It was 12:10 and a train was due to depart and 12:15... we raced to the automatic machine that takes your ticket and lets you through only to have Stacy neglect to carry Lori, thus ensuing her getting stuck between the computerized swinging doors. We wouldn't make that mistake on the way back.
Edinburgh is the most amazing city I think I've been in to date. What a history and what scenery! Unfortunately we left our digital camera behind and had to buy a throw away. I can't be bothered to scan them so again, Edinburgh is something you will just have to see for yourself. The pictures don't do it justice anyway. So... we toured around the shops and had some lunch before making our way to the castle - what a fantastic view, but the castle itself was a little bit disappointing. We did get to see the Scottish Crown Jewels (I didn't even know they had Crown Jewels) and although they were lovely, they were nothing as spectacular as the English CJ.
After the castle we popped into some more shops before heading back to catch the train. We made sure to buy lots of Edinburgh Rock, a candy that is very sweet and not to my taste but makes good souvenirs.
Our last evening in Glasgow found us happily enjoying a few more drinks with Val. Stacy and I were sitting at the dining room table looking into the flats across the street when Val asked if we could see the guy one floor down that walks around naked. He was there, sat on his couch, but he had shorts on. Val said it'd been awhile since he'd walked around with nothing on, so maybe he'd wizened up. Evidently not cause within moments my little sister managed to catch sight of him buck naked during one of her furtive glances over at his window. It was funny. Val and I missed it, and although he was no Adonis, it would have been funny to see. We all kept glancing over throughout the night but apparently his one moment of unihibited freedom was only meant for Stacy's viewing pleasure - ack!
His is the flat to the right with the light on...
Just Like 'Friends'
The next morning we woke up to rain once again, but this time it was ok as it matched our mood. I don't think either of us wanted to go, and Lori certainly wasn't ready for us to go as the waterworks started once she realized we were leaving. We had a doubtful moment when the car wouldn't start, but that was only due to it not being driven for 3 days - it just needed some gas... So once we began our goodbyes, poor little Lori started to cry. I don't think she was expecting it so soon, and was thinking we were joining them at playgroup. Its always hard saying goodbye to her as she is such a lovely little girl - truly my little pal.
So... leaving from playgroup rather than Val's street threw Stacy a bit off kelter with her map reading. Val had pointed out another route, and I tried to point out the street to Stace that she was looking for off the map, but she wasn't having any of it... she wanted to navigate her way out of the city using her handydandymap. Within minutes she had me swearing like a sailor. We were yelling at each other quite profusely when she recognized the street we were on was in fact on her map. We quickly burst into giggles and promised not to get so wound up again. So, although the directions were very exact, until you've driven in the city of Glasgow, you won't realize that even with an exact map, you still don't know where in the hell your going as the street layout is just, well, fucked up. We ended up taking the scenic route out of Glasgow due to a little bit of map reading from the Atlas and a bit of intuition and an hour later we were safely and happily back on the motorway to England.
I was so proud of the two of us for making that trip and will always, always look back on that road trip as one of my absolute favorites. I think that she and I make a good team.
And that basically puts an end to stories avec Stacy... I miss her still and sometimes find it hard to believe that she was really even here. But she was and it was great while it lasted.
Here's to next year Stace!