The holidays are upon us! Where the hell did the year go? Curse you, Father Time.
Jo and I have spent the last few weeks recovering from illness. Honestly, I got sick of Jo dragging me everywhere to get photos, so I dressed up as Kathy Bates from Misery and broke Jo’s legs so she couldn’t go to another tourist attraction, not one more museum, not one more freakin’ dog statue. I quickly regretted pulling a Kathy Bates, however, as I soon found out Jo needed my help to go to the restroom.
I. Have. Seen. Things. Man. Things that can’t be unseen. I still have flashbacks whenever I hear a toilet flush.
And as Jo and I start to feel like our right ol’ selves again, we are reminded of how the holidays bring everyone together…together as a swarm to mow over your puppy paws as you try to enter the metro, or trample children while trying to board Star Wars Space Mountain at Disneyland Paris (but more on that in later blogs).
Way to go, humans. Santa Paws just tossed your hairless asses on the naughty list.
Seriously though, the holidays are truly about coming together…and pretending to listen to your family as you laugh and nod, and ram turkey and ham down your gullet. That’s why all that food is there, right? To keep everyone’s mouths busy so they don’t say anything they’ll regret. 😉
Anyway, this year is really different for us. Jo usually cooks Thanksgiving dinner and slaps some lasagna together for Christmas. And my job is to eat it.
Unfortunately, our family has really fallen apart over the last handful of years, and there really isn’t anyone left to cook for…or pretend to listen to. 😀
So, this Christmas Jo and I are in Paris. And we are nostalgic.
But, uh, we’re in Paris! So we told nostalgia to take a hike, and Jo spent a magical, snowy couple of days at Disneyland with Gpa, while I did some hard time in the Disney kennels. Apparently, dogs can’t go on rides there. Uh, whaaa?
We had an amazing time with Gpa, and we thank him so much for visiting us (it went by way too fast). Now we anxiously await Gma’s arrival tomorrow, and we wish our remaining family and friends…and whoever may be reading this…a very Hairy Christmas and Happy New Year, wherever you may be. 🙂
September – October 2017
As much as we loved the Lake District of England…
along with the roads that switch from two lanes to a single lane out of nowhere, then cross a bridge, where you can’t see if there’s another car coming straight for ya’, so you’re driving 30 mph, and a motorcyclist going 70 mph squeezes between you and the wall of the bridge, and your life flashes before your eyes and you scream,
“I’m sorry I stole that pack of gum when I was threeee!”
Then the motorcyclist is gone, the lane opens back up to two, and you miraculously find the pair of balls you thought you had lost back there on the bridge as you say, “Heck, that wasn’t so bad. Now let’s open this baby up and see what she can really do!”
And you proceed to drive 40 mph.
…and as much as we loved the town names which conjure up the notion there might once have been an old-timey law firm which dealt strictly in horse n’ buggy accidents (I’m looking at you, towns of Giggleswick and Wigglesworth)
…it was time to move on to Edinburgh, Scotland.
So, our last night in town, Jo said goodbye to kind-hearted Daniel, the part-time pilot whose house we were staying in, and she drank a Jack Daniels with Paul and Alfredo, her roommates for the past month.
Paul: A goofy guy who shared Jo’s love for cheesy 80s horror movies, and who was dealing with a recent loss and preparing for the next stage of his life (and marvelously so, I might add).
Alfredo: A guy from Cuba who moved to France with 50 francs in his pocket, learned French, then moved to Spain where he met his wife. And now he was working in England for 9 months so he could practice his English. Good on you, Alfredo!
It was also Alfredo’s birthday, so they had another drink to celebrate that too. 🙂
Close Encounters of the Cabbie Kind
The next morning, we hopped into a cab on the way to the train station, Jo manhandling the door as we got in.
Cabbie: “You handled that door better than many of the young local guys!”
Jo: “Well, that’s because I’m not a pussy.”
Jo and the cabbie had a good laugh at that one.
I elbowed Jo as if to say, “Uhhh, did you forget about the wimpy motorcycle-bridge moment you had?”
Jo gave me the ol’ squinty eye and said if I ever wanted another belly rub again I should just go along with her tough act. Well played, Jo.
Jo asked the cabbie if he ever has to drive any weirdos around. He answered, “You mean like a girl traveling for 2 years with a dog? Haha!”
Touché, cabbie. Touché.
“Nah,” he continued. “The weirdos are the best part. Don’t get enough of’em!”
Turns out the cabbie used to live in Edinburgh, and he wondered why the hell we chose to stay in the Heysham/Morecambe area. He said it as if they weren’t popular places to visit, but we thought they were pretty cool. “Hiking and drinking beer,” Jo replied.
Cabbie: “Ahh, well, most of us here forgo the hiking and just drink beer.”
Jo: “Well, the hiking’s for my dog.”
The cabbie told Jo she should do the Royal Mile pub crawl while in Edinburgh. Something like 285 pubs! Who knows if that’s true, but he said the two months we would be there would be plenty of time to do it. I don’t know about pubs, but I wouldn’t mind attempting a 285 kibble crawl!
Cabbie: “When I was younger, me and my boys would do the crawl in 3 days!”
Jo: “Jesus, how did you have any money?”
Cabbie: “We didn’t! That was all our wages!”
Jo: “Geez, I would need a liver transplant. Do you still talk to those buddies?”
Cabbie: “Well, most of them are dead.”
Jo: “From all the drinking?” (laughs)
Cabbie: “Yeah.” (laughs)
Jo (pauses): “Shit, seriously?”
Needless to say, we made no attempt at the Royal Mile pub crawl.
Auld Reekie, She Be a Callin’!
Finally, we had arrived back in Edinburgh, or Auld Reekie as she used to be called. Ya’ see, back in yonder day, if you were walking down the streets of Old Town and heard someone yell, “Gardyloooo!” you best take cover. That meant someone was tossing their waste outta the window.
And you humans have a problem with me pooping on your front lawn?!
Anyhoo, the streets were covered in the remains of the humans’ day! And it all washed down to Nor Loch, over time turning it into the Bog of Eternal Stench!! Okay, okay, so the David Bowie movie has nothing to do with this loch, but the pungent aroma of Nor Loch and a healthy dose of smog did give rise to the city’s cuddly nickname, Auld Reekie.
The loch used to be situated next to the castle, where Princes Street Gardens sits today, and coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally) was also a popular spot for suicide attempts. Well, I’d probably wanna bite the big one, too, if I lived next door to the Devil’s anus.
Another cozy Edinburgh bedtime story starts with once upon a time in 1628, a guy confessed to incest with his two sisters. The clergy was like, “Oh, hell, no! Feed him…to the dinosaur!”
But someone intelligent reminded him they didn’t have a dinosaur. “Well, we should really look into getting one. We could use it as a tax write-off. Okay, off to the loch then!”
The youngest sister was spared, but the guy and the older sister were shoved into a chest with holes drilled in it and tossed into the loch to drown. Two centuries later, workmen rediscovered the chest, along with the skeletons still inside!
What a heartwarming tale, huh, kids? Sweet dreams!
Needless to say, a lot has changed. Edinburgh cleaned up its act and, in the 19th century, became known as the “Athens of the North.” Robert Louis Stevenson even went so far as to say, “Edinburgh is what Paris ought to be.” Now, to some, thems are fightin’ words! And soon after, Mr. Stevenson was found dead…with a baguette through the heart.
Hey, I never said dogs were good historians.
We absolutely loved Edinburgh!! We lived like locals and got to explore nearly every inch of this beautiful city. From marmalade-on-toast ice cream to the guy who declared Jo’s name to be “loinful…”
to the businessman unicycling down a hill on his way to work, to the burlesque tattoo artist…
to the construction workers who completely ignored Jo yet whistled at me as we walked by…to the other construction workers who sang the “More Than Words” song while remodeling an apartment…
to me almost plummeting to my death while hiking Holyrood Park (or so Jo dramatizes)…and to Jo actually plummeting down a flight of stairs…
We loved it all. Edinburgh has been our absolute favorite place to call home thus far. So much so, we’re going back for another couple of months next year!
Enough blabbing…here are some pics. And Merry Christmas!! 😀
* I don’t always wear plaid, but when I do, I like to blend in with the furniture
* Here it is, folks: Proof that a man with feeling did, in fact, at one time exist. 😉 Just kidding, all you men out there!
* The resemblance is uncanny!
* Just scoping out the dessert menu at Maison de Moggy, an awesome cat café in the Grassmarket section that serves drinks and cakes whilst you snuggle up to some furry (and one not-so-furry) felines. Moggy is slang for cat! 🙂
* DIED: Just in case there was any question that he was still alive.
* We settled right in and Jo attempted to make her kickass lasagna. Due to different ingredients, it wasn’t exactly the same. We scarfed it down anyway.
* Sleeping off the calories while I let Jo clean up the kitchen
* I literally thought this dog made of sand was real, and I immediately had to go over to investigate!
* I think this guy said it takes him 5+ hours to sculpt a dog. He deserves more money!
* Victoria Street – Inspiration for Diagon Alley from Harry Potter
* The Witches’ Well marks the spot where over 300 women accused of witchcraft were burned at the stake!
* Camera Obscura, Latin for “dark room,” this museum is the oldest purpose built attraction in the city and still houses a camera obscura, which gives the viewer a real-time image of the city…great for spying on the tourists!
* View from the top of the museum
* Fun (for Jo, not so much for me) exhibits inside
* Apparently, this is what we’d look like as chimps
* And Manga characters…
* Jo was really laughing her ass off at this one! *growl*
* Some “cheeky” illusions
* Even the garbage can lids were awesome!
* Jo found an Autowed machine and forced my paw in marriage. HELP. ME.
* Found a strange, quirky pub called “The Doghouse,” resident English Bulldog named “Hero” included!
* Jo tried to hit on an Irishman at the bar. Awkwardness ensued. Better luck next time, Jo!
* Random, crazy shit hanging from the ceiling…Guinness beer, hot wings, fries…and Chevy Chase in “Fletch” playing on TV. This was our new favorite haunt!
* Jo couldn’t resist buying another pair of earrings and…wait, what fresh hell is this? Socks with CATS on them?!
* See? It does exist!
* Peeny longing for some fresh air on his face. Soon, Peeny…soon.
* During much of our time here, Jo was a slave to work. So I entertained myself by perfecting my Instagram face. You can check me and my adventures out here! @penny_jack.russell.terrorist
* I also spent much of my time giving Jo the stink eye while she worked. Are you done YET?!
Up Next: Sex vs Hiking in Edinburgh!