Our Scottish Adventure Part 1 | Edinburgh

After arriving in Edinburgh, we took the airport tram exiting at St. Andrew’s Square and wheeled our well-balanced luggage the half mile to our first hotel of the trip. We were not the only tourists in town. The revamped Iron Throne was also touring the UK to coincide with the release of House of the Dragon. Lucky for us, its last stop was Calton Hill a beautiful vista point in Edinburgh which was only a short, although entirely uphill, walk from our hotel.

We hiked up the winding path and after a brief wait, my husband got his turn on the Iron Throne. We also got to enjoy the beautiful views of the city from this elevated spot. Arriving during a garbage strike took a bit of the shine off the experience but it was still a wonderful view. I knew immediately we were going to love the city.

After working from our hotel lobby the rest of the day, we headed to Hoot the Redeemer for some pre-theatre drinks. Walking down into the basement level bar, you’re immediately met with an art deco speak-easy crossed with a carnival vibe. A repurposed arcade claw machine sits against one wall where a three breasted temptress beckons you under a Pinch‘n Sip sign to let fate pick your drink flavors for the evening.

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Virtual dinners from Wine Wise provide a way to connect from a distance.

The current measures to fight COVID-19 are devastating for many local businesses. But I am also amazed at the creativity I have seen come from these stressful times.

Local businesses have shown impressive adaptability. Many businesses have found ways to pivot, seemingly instantaneously, from textile artisans who have transitioned to making masks or the rapid move to curb side pickup at some of my favorite breweries and restaurants. I know these changes can’t make up fully for the economic stress businesses are experiencing but it is impressive.

Recently, we took advantage of one such reinvention.

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#AtoZChallenge | Q is for Quince Sorbet and getting our Sugar Rush on at Gross Confection Bar.

The Netflix algorithm that recommends shows based on your previous viewing history notifies me the millisecond a new dessert cooking show is available. I have my niche. Repeated viewings of the Great British Bake-Off, Sugar Rush and Zumbo’s Just Desserts make me a pseudo expert on anything sugar based.

When my husband and I were out for dinner recently at Chaval, a local Portland restaurant, the waiter mentioned that their Morcilla Puff appetizer was made with choux pastry. My husband looked at me and said, “Honey, it’s choux pastry” and we promptly ordered two to try. He’s been sucked into my candy colored world too. The appetizer was delicious. The chef might have even gotten a handshake from Paul Hollywood if they had baked it under a tent on the grounds of a beautiful rural estate in England.

When my oldest was home for college break over January, we streamed the latest season of Zumbo’s Just Desserts. We enjoyed seeing all the amazing creations these not-so-amateur chef’s came up with during each of the challenges.

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#AtoZChallenge | L is for Lobster and a delicious attempt at a how to video tutorial.

I have eaten lobster longer than my memory goes back. Probably not a good metric, since my memory seems to only go back a decade or so. It may be more accurate to say that I’ve been eating lobster for over a half a century, but it freaks me out a bit to think that I’ve been alive that long. So I’m just going to say that I’ve been eating lobster for a long, long time.

It’s my favorite food.

I recognize that if you did not grow up eating lobster it can be intimidating. Lobsters are strange looking with a few too many legs and those large, menacing front claws, held closed with rubber bands. They have a hard outer shell that you have to navigate before you get to eat the delicious meat inside. You have to do a little work before you get to enjoy them and that may not be for everyone.

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#AtoZChallenge | G is for Greens and planning ahead for our summer CSA.

I have an internal battle going on. It’s subtle but it’s there. I want to be something that I may have to acknowledge I am not. I want to be someone who passionately loves her CSA share and uses every single vegetable in creative and fun ways for my meals throughout the week.

Yuval Noah Harari wrote Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and the sequel Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. His books are fascinating and I definitely recommend you read them for a better understanding of his ideas but today I’m focusing on one of them in particular.

He talks about the concept of the narrative or remembered self versus the experiential self.  You can learn more from his podcast appearance on Armchair Expert. Dax and Yuval talk about the concept of these two selves starting at 44:48.

The way I understand it is the narrative or story telling self, is the part of ourselves writing the story of our lives. The experiential self is how we actually act and spend our time. They can often be in conflict. For example, my narrative self may have a vision of me as a blogger but if my experiential self doesn’t post or do any blogging related activities for a year they are in conflict.

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