Moving to Holland is not easy, but it's worth the effort. This blog tells the story of shifting from American life in Pittsburgh to Expat life in the Netherlands,
and all of our European adventures that follow.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Glasgow, Scotland - November 25-30, 2008

Thanksgiving in Glasgow with the Pittsburgh Expat crew

As most of you know, the same time we moved to The Netherlands, our good friends Kyle and Karen moved to Glasgow, Scotland. They had an added adventure with their move, which was that they had a baby in August, after they arrived. A beautiful, healthy girl, named Brennan. Ever since she was born, we had been eager to make a trip up to Glasgow to meet her for the first time. We finally got our chance in November, for Thanksgiving! To make things even better, Joel & Jill were also able to make the trip up from Cambridge, where they now live. So it was really a Pittsburgher-Expat reunion. For starters… Oh Man!... Brennan really is such a cutie! Even at only a couple months old, she had such a little personality (no idea where she gets it!). She was also making a lot of faces already, and smiling quite a bit. We even got to hear some of her first giggles. How cool!

OK, I could spend this whole post writing about Brennan, but, we did really enjoy seeing Scotland, too. It's such a beautiful country. Very different than Holland because everything is green, with rolling hills and even mountains in the distance. It reminded me a lot of WV, actually. Our first day there, Karen took us around to see the University buildings, and some other interesting areas of town. There were some really nice buildings in Glasgow. The architecture is very old, and sort of midievil/gothic. Karen did a good job navigating the stroller (or pram, as they call it in the UK) up and down the hills & cobblestone streets.

We also went to a really neat museum in Glasgow, and had dinner across the street at a fabulous Scottish restaurant, where Chad and I tried haggus for the first time. It wasn't as bad as everyone says it is. We tried it a couple times during our trip, and some are better than others, depending on how they serve it, and the sauce that it comes with. Another day we walked around the main shopping area, and got to see a different side of the city, including a festival they had set up for Christmas time. It was a cool atmosphere with all of the holiday lights and decorations. It was also freeezing out, so we couldn't spend too much time outside. We did see a really cool Scottish Highlands band performing on the street, though. They had kilts, bag pipes, drums, the works. We liked them so much we bought their CD.

The last day we were there, we took the train to Edinburgh (pronounced Ed'nbura). This city is sometimes described as the "pretty sister" to Glasgow. It really is a beautiful city, and I would like to spend more time exploring it (but maybe in the summer!). At the top of the main hill is the Edinburgh Castle, which is impossible to miss. We lucked out and happened to be in town on a holiday, so entrance to the castle was free. Once you are inside the outer walls, you realize that it's not so much one castle, but rather a whole tiny village. There were several different buildings you could go in, and a display of the crown jewels, but the best part was the view of city. You could look out on the city from all sides of the castle, and it was beautiful, especially at sunset.

The Crew at Edinburgh Castle (can you tell it was cold!)

Of course I said we went there for Thanksgiving, and no Thanksgiving would be complete without a big feast. Kyle and Karen had prepared an awesome menu for Thanksgiving, that Thursday. We all chipped in to help with the preparation and cooking. It was fun to have everyone together, and the food was excellent. We even managed to make some pumpkin pies with the pumpkin filling we found at the American food store. Yum! The best part was really just being able to hang out with our old friends from back home. There never is enough time when you are visiting good friends. I feel like our trip was so short, even though we were there for 4-5 days. It was great to be able to see Brennan when she was so small. When we see her next time I'm sure she'll be crawling or walking around. At least we can keep in touch via Skype. Thank goodness for technology!


Pics from our fabulous trip to Scotland:

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