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Final Good-Bye AA Y&J, FR, SN,OS J. LH-J

Final Good-Bye AA Y&J, FR, SN,OS J. LH-J

Old Mar 30, 19, 4:51 pm
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Final Good-Bye AA Y&J, FR, SN,OS J. LH-J

First off this report is both a healing and celebration. My mother died 5 years ago and my father last June. So I decided to take some of their ashes to the homeland of their ancestry my mother was Irish and Scottish my father was Italian. However, the airline ticket used to fly from the US to Dublin was purchased before my father passed away so it was a convenient way to get to Europe. AA had a sale PHX-DUB RT in PE with taxes for $1,005 PP. So I had to piece the other flights, we needed to get from DUB to EDI, only FR (RyanAir), Aer Lingus and BA fly that route. I choose FR because of the cheap fare even paying for carry on bags, reserve seat and check luggage it was half of what Aer Lingus wanted and BA well I didn't want to fly DUB-LON-EDI... For the EDI-NAP-DUB flights, I used some Chase points not too sure what happened but I could not find anything leaving EDI at a decent time (after 8am) or arriving the same day leaving EDI. So I chose the SN (Brussel Airlines) which connected in BRU to OS (Austrian) to VIE then to NAP, 8 hours of travel we arrived in NAP.

We spent 3 days in EDI, rented a car and drove the countryside, did the same thing in NAP, the people of Naples are insane drivers, however, I must have gotten the courage to drive like them and now can get around the city without problems, except for the fact my husband is screaming in the car all the time, more of this to come.

So please sit back and enjoy this trip to three counties one I fell in love with and have a true connection to, and one that I know I could live in.
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Old Mar 31, 19, 3:41 pm
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Before we got to the terminal it was interesting to see that WN and AA had a couple of parked 738MAX at the airport. It was a beautiful day in Phoenix,





So traveling with my parents in a box was little unnerving, having read the TSA page about tracking with human remains and contacting AA before heading to the airport I felt a little more comfortable. Our flight to PHL was to depart at 0959, we arrived at the airport about 0730, we could not check in for the PHL-DUB flight, I figured it had to do with our upgrades using Co-pay + miles. When we arrived at the airport the check-in area was a zoo, standing in the queue, we were not moving, however, there was a huge group of ASU students going something and two agents just standing there talking, talking about what who knows but they didn't seem wanting to help anyone.



Maybe talking about hairstyles?? They stood there the entire time we were at the check-in desk, we were there for 45 minutes, something happened to the mileage certificate that was in my account and the ticket agent had to call someone to get it fixed, again 45 minutes. The agent was incredible with a little chit chat I told her what the trip was for when everything was done boarding passes in hand, she escorted us up to TSA, gave me a hug and said good-bye. Not knowing how the TSA was going to take human remains their web site talked about how its tough and sensitive time but the TSA aren't known for being gentle and respectful. When it was my turn to show my passport and tickets, I told the TSA agent about the remains, she escorted me to the line and informed the agent working the line, he asked me to take the box out, he went and got what looked like a baking wire rack, placed the remains on it and watched it go through for me. I cleared TSA, the same agent wanted to wand the box for explosive it was cleared and on our way. I have to say they really did treat the remains and me with respect, I was shocked so was my husband.

AA654
PHX-PHL
A321
Seats 6C-D

Departed 0957 (2 minutes early)
Arrived 1702 (27 minutes early)

No photos, I completely forgot but nothing exciting happened, but I did have the Zoe's Kitchen Hummus Duo, it was excellent, fresh tasting, nothing artificial about it would order it again.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 8:45 am
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So sorry to hear of the reason behind the trip, but you sound very positive in your introduction.
So, thank you for sharing it with us - and I, for one, look forward to reading the rest of the TR.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 9:26 am
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I'm sorry for your loss
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Old Apr 2, 19, 3:37 am
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so sorry for your loss... having been thru that myself, I can completely understand how you are feeling
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Old Apr 2, 19, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by roadwarrier View Post
So sorry to hear of the reason behind the trip, but you sound very positive in your introduction.
So, thank you for sharing it with us - and I, for one, look forward to reading the rest of the TR.
Thank you, it was time to move forward and figured this was a great way in doing it.

Originally Posted by keepforgettingpassword View Post
I'm sorry for your loss
Thank you

Originally Posted by fotographer View Post
so sorry for your loss... having been thru that myself, I can completely understand how you are feeling
Thank you
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Old Apr 2, 19, 1:31 pm
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So arriving 27 minutes early meant we have more time in the AC, too bad AA does not have Flagship Lounge in PHL they have plenty of International flights with Business class departing and arriving. So we found the old Envoy lounge, its big and airy and has a great view of the runway. Ate some guacamole (ok a lot of it) some soups and just chilled. We got two drink tickets (each) when we arrived, but the bar tender was pouring some strong drinks that day, was able to give away 2 tickets. We left the lounge at 2045 since we had a long walk to gate C24 and not having to walk that part of the airport we wanted to safe. OK, it is a very long walk from the Lounge to C24, it took about 15 minutes to walk it. I PHL has plans on updating this part of the airport, it's dingy, dark and smells, the domestic side is light, bright and airy. We arrived at C24, which is the very last gate. When I looked at the seat map when we arrived in PHL the flight showed about 33 open seats. Flight went out full, it seems this is an employee dream flight if you want to get to Europe, 2 employees got J seats, some got PE seats rest in Y. Boarding started as soon as we arrived at the gate 2105.

AA772
A332
Seats 3 C-F
Dinner- Breakfast

Departed 21:42 (13 minutes early)
Arrived 07:56 (34 minutes early) talk about tailwind

Group 1 called, and boarded via 2L, I made a left turn and hubby went through the galley, on our seats were bedding and Bose headsets and menu's.

It's been stated before that you can tell what kind of service you will have right away and this was going to be a great flight, serving my side was Christian (the purser) who just came back from his 2 weeks in South America, he was great, we had a choice of Cava, OJ or water, Hubby and I had Cava and the FAs keep that flowing until they ran out (3 bottles sorry no photo of the brand) So these A332 have the older version of the Business class seats, they are missing some of the features of the newer business class seats (like, bigger screens for the entertainment) but they are just as comfortable. One of the issues I have is, with the bedding there is no place to really store it unless you place it in the overhead bins.


Hubby and I


I had to go through 3 different headsets before getting a pair that worked, no new B&O headsets for us, I hope AA takes the Bose headsets and uses them in PE, that would be a nice feature.


The amenity kit in blue vinyl very cheap looking and feel, it did come with socks which was great and eye shades (which really helped to sleep) but a pretty cheap kits. Going for Greatness?

Meal orders taken on the ground, and service started 40 minutes after take off, I was wondering why kind of service was going to happen since dinner wouldn't happen until 1045pm or so.














OK Showtime American Style.




Glass of the Bouchard Pere & Fils Macon which was excellent, nut nice and warm.



I had the Crab and Shrimp Cannelloni with a Lemon Shallot Butter Sauce, over all an excellent meal, one of the better ones I've had on AA, the Salmon was good., So it's a watered down service, more like Domestic First. IF you like seafood, get this, Real Carb meat none of that fake crap.. Hubby had the Southern BBQ Chicken which he liked, the chicken was a little dry but the BBQ sauce (there was a lot of it) made up for the dryness.



For desert I had the Irish Cream Mouisse Cake it was good, it looked much better then how it tasted.

Dinner service was done in about 45 minutes, during this time, it was very hard to watch Bohemian Rhapsody since the Bose headsets keep dying on me (went through 3 headsets). But finished the movie brought back a lot of memories for me I remember Live Aid very well, my Fraternity (Kappa Sigma) had a fundraiser for the event, we raised 2K for Live Aid and remember getting up early so we could blasted through out the house (oh to be young and hear that well again.)

Was about to get a solid 4 hours of sleep, Christian woke me up (hubby was up already) and breakfast was served,




Broccoli and Red Pepper Strata it was a very weak strata, had no flavor at all, that was until I had some cholula sauce to it and wake it right up, the chicken sausage was excellent the potatoes were good too,. We started our decent when the plate was handed to me. We arrived a full 30 minute early didn't take long to finish.

From the time we deplaned to the time we cleared custom and got our check back was about 45 minutes, we found the bus we needed to take us to the Intercontinental Dublin the bus stop was right across the street. Here are some random photos of our drive from the Airport to the hotel





So we stayed one night at the IC Dublin, it was a 4 Seasons before changing to an IC, not too sure if the rooms have been refurbished but our room was very purple, I wonder if Prince stayed in this room



So we walked to the hotel, this photo was taken about 30 yards from the bus stop, so it's a very walk. When we got to the reception area to check in I was told our room isn't ready and wont be for a few hours. The day before I received a email from Reservations sale agent asking me what time I'll be arriving, in the email I told them we would be at the hotel about 1030am, and we did, the desk agent tried to up sell me to a suite, I declined, a manager came over, I explained about the issue, the manager, gave us the suite and said enjoy.

Again, Prince must have had a hand in decorating this room













Once we settled in, we both decided to take a nap, we were to meet some of my hubby ex co-workers later. Hubby worked for Amex (computer side) and while working there Amex brought over many UK personnel, and Hubby volunteer to help them settle in the US. He helped 7 families, and have stayed in contact with them all, some have returned to the UK and some have stayed in the US.We were to meet Cliff and Diane, I have never meet these people only via FB and will be staying with them at there house in Dongale Ireland. After we woke up from our nap, I found my welcome fruit plate and water in the room, kinda weird that someone came in the room while we were sleeping....

We meet Cliff and Diane in the lobby and had Cream Tea and Scones.

Have to say it was very good, not like the scones I have gotten here in Phoenix. It was a great way to reunite with people my Husband hasn't seen in person in over 20 years, and a great way to meet new friends. It was wonderful to sit back and chat. We then took off and headed to center city of Dublin.




I thought it was fitting to take this photo, name of the place is Thunderroad, and a picture of a Harley Davidson V-Rod on the window but a scooter is sitting outside.











To say that it was cold was understatement, we are desert dwellers and what we call a jacket did not work very well in Dublin.

So it was time for our first pint in Dublin and Cliff took us to his favorite pub in Dublin, for a couple of hookers (cliffs words)





I had a Bilmers Cider (no hookers for me)



By this time we were talking about Dinner, again, Cliff had a place picked out for us, and who is going to argue since we have no idea where to see. We hopping back into their car and off we go we ended up in Howth Ireland to a place called The Deep



It's a very small place but let me tell you, he food was outstanding...



I had the paella and it was excellent lots of seafood in it.



Open fish Pie, I was going to get this but Diane did and she told me I could try it, it was EXCELLENT...



Hubby and Cliff both got the Fish and Chips, they both stated it was excellent.

A excellent place to sit back and talk and catch up again, the food was excellent but the company made it special.

On to travel day from Dublin to Donegal Ireland.
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Old Apr 4, 19, 12:06 am
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So our friends stayed at the Clayton Hotel next to IC Dublin, hubby and I walked over to the Clayton and breakfast there, I was introduced to black pudding, and have to say I like it, there are many first for me on this trip when it comes to food of the UK. After breakfast we parted ways went to our rooms to get read for the long trip (about 4 hours) to Donegal, Donegal is located in northern west of Ireland I was taken on how green the country side is. If you haven't been to Ireland, there is a reason why it's call the Emerald Isle. I've never seen that shade of green so consistently throughout Ireland. Not many photo were taken on our trip to Cliff and Diane's how, I was taken back on how green the rolling hills were and still a little out of from the travel day. We stopped at a gas station/dinner/grocery store on our way, I found a few things interesting there.



For those Monday morning commute to work.



Pancakes in the bread section



The UK loves their chocolates.



You too could do your laundry, have your car washed, fill the tank, your stomach and drain your bladder at the same location.

I was surprised on how well the roads are maintained in Ireland.

After arriving at Cliff and Diane's house we relaxed and unpacked, waiting for their daughter to arrive from work so we could head out dinner, Dinner would be in LondonDerry Northern Ireland. so I drove with Jenna, Cliff and Diane's daughter, I have been known to have a lead foot at times, but man, this young lady can drive, it was dark out and no street lights on this country 2 lane road, she averaged about 100kph in her diesel Audi A4. It took us about 50 minutes to get to the restaurant. This place (Brickworks) if you happen to be in Londonderry is a must to stop at, the food was amazing and very reasonable.for what you got. We had starters , they have a special 3 starts for 15 pounds we ordered 2 of these, we had Salt and Chilli Squid (this was OUTSTANDING), Dragon chicken wings (not very spicy) and Kimichi Chicken crispy filo rolls, Ribs, Mussels, and a second order of Squid.


I'm not much a beer drinker these days, but love a good cider.






I had the fish and Chips which was excellent,



Everybody else got one of the special, steak and Squid with bourbon sauce. Yeah, the squid looks like worms, but let me tell you I could have eaten a nice rice bowl with that squid it was just perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty and heat.... It was an interesting place, the music selection for the evening was interesting, I mean, here we are sitting in Northern Ireland and the music was late 80's to late 90's R&B, I was rocking out to it, Jenna had no idea who the bands were, not many others people around our table either, infact the waitress asked me if I knew who he artist were because was singing the songs.

Afterwards we walked around the wall and some of the sites, it was pretty cold that night.











We made it back to the house in one piece it's just odd to side in the right seat and not have a steering wheel....
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Old Apr 4, 19, 12:54 am
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So today is the day I spread my mothers ashes, and the place is Glenveagh National Park very scenic and the perfect location. My mother loved castles, lakes, mountains. It took about an hour drive from Cliff and Diane's house. The weather was iffy on the drive out, it threatened to rain but didn't until we arrived at the park,it only lasted for 15 minutes.





It was very windy there, the white caps are from the wind the wind gust had to up to 40 mph, but the weather was clearing up some.













Once the ashes were spread we headed back to the car, it started raining again on the drive back to Cliff and Diane's house, I feel that my mom sent me a message with this double rainbow.



After seeing this double rainbow, I knew I made the right choice... Thank you Mom...



The drive back was very cheerful and happy.
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Old Apr 4, 19, 4:46 am
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Just a helpful reminder that Ireland is NOT part of the UK. Also, the AC between B/C is just a spacious as the A/C by A15. I realize you probably checked in at Terminal A-West. PHL is really scattered. It's a shame you couldn't stroll through Terminal B as it has gotten rave reviews as a result of it's renovations.
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Old Apr 7, 19, 12:50 pm
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So the following day we were heading back to Dublin for our flight Edinburgh, the drive was just as incredible as the others in this part of the country the drive took roughly 3 hours.




One thing we learned was farmers share fields so the sheep, lamb or whatever they own with different color paint.





Of course it started to rain it wouldn't be Ireland if didn't.



Another small town we came across.





Just a random shot on our drive, this is why Ireland is the Emerald Isle, the shade of green is amazing.

We stayed at the Crown Plaza Dublin Airport, it was nice enough but nothing over the top, we meet some locals at the bar, the hotel is located among apartment so it was interesting evening, of course we got asked about Trump, and we asked about Brixtit. Always interesting when politics gets thrown into the mix.

The next day we are flying from DUB-EDI, now, when I looking for flights there are three ways of getting to EDI from DUB, Ryan AIr, Aer Lingus, or BA. FR is the cheapest, Aer Lingus was the most expensive, and BA makes you fly down to London first then to EDI. So I chose FR, if you haven't seen the UK comedy show "Come Fly With Me" you are missing out, it's portrays FR perfectly... I don't have much photos as I got yelled out multiple times from FR personal I guess they do not want documentation of the fact they are truly a HORRIBLE airlines.

We arrived at the airport 2.5 hours before our flight. Now, if you DO NOT check in the night before your flight you are charged to check in (...) so we check in 2 days before our flight, on FR you can check in 2 weeks before your flight. At the airport we went to the bag drop off, a lovely agent helped as I had some questions (I was hoping not to get charged for these questions) she answered them, one question was was my roller board OK to take on board (they have strict rules on this) she stood up from behind he counter and my roller board ad said, Yes. Now I had purchased 2 checked item (it was cheap like 8 Euro) so in case it was too big I could check my roller. We checked one bag, and headed to the gate with my roller bag, I had purchased Fast Track, which was a breeze, but man, I miss our TSA Pre-Check, we had to take out Laptops iPad, belts, and shoes. Got through security repacked everything in my backpack, and we headed off to Priority Pass lounge T1 Airside - pass through Security Checks and follow signs to the lounge. The lounge is situated on the 2nd Level and access is via the stairs or lifts located in the center of the Security Check Area. It was much larger then I had expected, they out sandwich, salads, pastries and self pour booze.Must better spread of items then I would have assumed. After an hour we headed to the gate,

When we arrived at the gate people had started to line up, we had priority boarding so we got into the line, as we approached the gate agents, one gate agent asked me to see if my bag would fit in the sizer, when I saw it I knew it wasn't going to fit. When it didn't the other agent yelled out, that will be 50 pounds, when I asked a question she yelled back at me "IF you want to make this flight it will be 50 pounds to check your bag" I think stated I purchased 2 check bags and one of your employees saw my roller bag and told me it would fit. I got back 50 pounds if you want your bag on this flight. She was just as rude to another american passenger. She wouldn't even look at my reservation... So I paid the 50 pounds, got on board. I was in 1C and Hubby was 2D. FLight was delayed 25 minutes because no one ordered fuel for the plane. I had my jacket on my lap and was yelled at by the female FA saying that I can't have my jacket there because she can't see if my seat belt is secured. I asked her is it mandatory to have your seat secure while the cabin door is still open? She just walked away. Hubby had his seat belt on, and the same FA yelled at him for having his seat belt secured on the ground why the plane was being refueled!! So what is it ? Now, with FR you board via the planes own air-stairs no enclosed jetway, so basically if you are in the first couple of rows you will FREEZE your butt off. Remember FR does not give water out for free everything you pay for.

Once airborne the first thing that the FA tried to pawn was lottery tickets, 30 minutes into the flight in flight service started, I don't think they finished the service and once the pilot the started his decent (about 15 minutes later) the two FA's put the carts away and sat down. They were not the friendliest crew I've had...

We arrived in EDI on time, once we got to the gate and the planes stairs were deployed door open we were told we can not deplane because they can not get the doors to the terminal open.... We waited 20 minutes for that to happen. This was truly a miserable flight...



I was able to get a couple of photos, my seat, BTW it was only 40 degrees in DUB and the same temp in EDI so row one really did freeze.



Air stairs




BA flight to London, I'd take that flight over anything FR offers. My worse experience on AA or anything airlines in the US does not match the horrible experience of FR..

So next the start of our Scotland experience.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 2:06 am
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Welcome to the world of Ryanair! LOL After flying twice with them last year, I would take a long routing with BA over the shortcut with them!

Nice location for you to say bye to your mum (sorry about your losses) in Ireland. Thanks for the heads up about that restaurant too, I'm off to Derry next month so I will check that restaurant out.

Looking forward to hearing about your Scottish adventures once you've recovered from flying Ryanair!
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Old Apr 8, 19, 11:36 am
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Hahahahha I love "Brixtit" - I am going to start using this now!

Great report!
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Old Apr 15, 19, 11:01 am
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So after our fun flight with Ryan Air and waited for someone to get the key to unlock the gate doors so we could deplane and walked to get our check luggage we then following the signs to rental car area, I rented from SIXT, with my Prestige card you get Premium level which gives you a free upgrade, and according to the rental car forum many people say that the upgrades are nice, so at Edinburgh they have a category which is called "Lucky Dip Car" it's a low rate and you are offered cars between certain categories. The walk is a long one, and it's 40 degrees outside. When we arrived at the counter, the agent found our reservations saw I was Premium, and offered use a choice of three cars, Audi Q2 petrol, BMW 118d (too small) or a SEAT Arona. Since we didnít know what the Seat Arona was, we took the Audi Q2, itís a compact SUV which is not imported to North America at this time. It was a smart choice, it worked well for us, I grew up on manuals and have only driven a right hand car once in my life, so another adventure begins. What I found was, if you follow someone then it makes it easy to understand how things work and I was getting the hang of shifting with my left arm (I only went from 2nd to 6th once). We were staying at the Hilton Edinburgh Carlton, now one would think getting to this place would be fairly easy, I mean, our Audi has Navigation, the Nav system couldnít find the hotel or the address but finally was able to coax the nav system to recognize the address and off we go. So the drive to the hotel wasnít all that bad, like I said before as long as you follow someone itís almost like driving in the US. When we got to the hotel I was extremely lucky to find a spot in front of the hotel and it was good to park there until 6AM the follow morning, now the hotel does not have onsite parking, and I knew that, was given direction to the parking lot but decided to leave the car there unpack some and walk the area, the Hilton Carlton is right next the Royal Mile, and ľ mile to the Waverley Train Station.

Check in was a breeze, I had checked in on line, just needed to get our keys and off to the lift now getting to our room was a bit of an exercise, once off the lift then you need to go down some steps (4) and there you are at the room. I used point and cash for an King Executive room with Lounge Access, the room was huge, but the couch (sofa bed) was hard as a rock and VERY uncomfortable, but the bed was excellent and just a standard type bathroom, but was impressed to see a soaker tub in the bathroom. The floor was very uneven, as in the building has settled (long ago) type of uneven.










The area in which the Carlton is truly in the heart of Edinburgh you can walk to many of the major attraction of the area but lots of tourist shops get your cashmere sweaters, Kilts, and everything Scottish. We are to have dinner with a friend that night, but we didnít want to eat too much, went downstairs and talked to the congeries to find a place to eat and he directed us to this class that was less than ľ mile from the hotel called The Tron lunch for 5 pounds, everything on the lunch menu is 5 pounds and they an extensive menu we shared a pull pork Sammy, comes with chips and coleslaw, plus 2 drinks. It was perfect (sorry no photos, some how they got deleted) I highly recommend this place if you are ever in the area. After eating Rick and I took off and explored the area, itís the first time for both of in Scotland and was taken at the architecture of the Edinburgh so not many photos at this point we are just in awe after about an hour of walking around, he head back to the hotel, get to the room, and relax some, meeting our friend Janice who in lives in saline fife, Scotland itís about 25 miles west of Edinburgh. At 6pm we head down to hotel bar and Janice is there, we had a couple of drinks to catch up, and off we go (walk) to the restaurant (itís about 35 degree). The walk is amazing, seeing many of the building lite up at night truly gives the city a different look and after about 30 minutes we made it to the restaurant itís called Mussel Inn, itís a cozy place, and you do need a reservation. So Janice made Rick eat Haggis.

Haggis Bond Bonds in a roasted red pepper puree not much of a Haggis taste to them




Rick and I order the same dish Seafood pasta (shrimp, Scallops, Mussels) in a in a shellfish bisque simply outstanding.






Janice got a half kilo of steamed Mussel in a white wine, shallot and butter sauce

https://photos.smugmug.com/Dub-Edi-N..._0651-1280.mp4






.

Dessert Edinburgh style





We walked around the area and back to the hotel, here are some photos.









When we got back to the hotel, I decided I should move the car to the car park, so off I go and wasn't really that hard to fine, it's about 1/2 miles from the hotel. I saw this gem of a car parked there







Back to the hotel, we have a big day tomorrow.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 12:44 am
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Wow at that ye olde car, you don't see many of them around these days!

Good to hear your adventures of Edinburgh. Nice to hear you tasted haggis too although I have never had it with red pepper sauce before, usually haggis bon bons are served with a whisky based sauce.
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