Yes, Thanksgiving was nearly 2 weeks away now, but don't hate us too much, it's been a little busy around here!
So busy, so stressful (not anymore, thankfully!) that we had to sequester ourselves to random forts in the middle of the living room.
And eat copious amounts of pizza and drink wine.
All just for a little destressing. Yep, tough life.
Anyways, back to Thanksgiving.
Well the week of Thanksgiving held many opportunities for us! The weekend before Thanksgiving we took the train over to Glasgow to spend the day there seeing the sights (other post for later!) and then see Death Cab for Cutie in concert!
This, of course, was a great lead up to Thanksgiving week.
We were afraid that it might prove a bit difficult to do many things that resembled Thanksgiving considering the fact that we live in a country and on a continent that does not celebrate it. Hmm, who woulda thought?
But turns out we were wrong!
On Wednesday we went to our small group's potluck dinner which was just a gathering of about 20 people with lots of food (Scottish Tatties!) and, well, we considered this to be our first "Thanksgiving" celebration, even though no one there even knew much about Thanksgiving, much less knew that we were pretend celebrating it that night. Delicious and fun nonetheless.
Then on Thursday we had our real Thanksgiving! Since we both still had school and work we made sure to wake up early to tie up all loose ends so we could celebrate as soon as possible. One of these loose ends included spending two hours waiting at the Council building for a bill we needed to have cleared (short story, they charge everyone here a Council Tax, like a local tax, but since we are students and from abroad, we don't have to pay it but for some reason we got the bill anyways, so we had to go clear it up. All is well now and we no longer owe £785 to the Council. Good news, indeed.) The entire time we were there we joked that this would be a Thanksgiving to remember, especially considering this place was as exciting as the DMV...
Once we were finished we went to the grocery and picked up the foods we needed. A perk to the country not celebrating this holiday - no lines at the grocery!
After finishing our usual responsibilities it was time to celebrate! We went downtown to see the Christmas tree lighting. I did find it odd that it was scheduled on a random Thursday for this ceremony, perhaps they were secretly celebrating Thanksgiving..?!
The tree lighting itself was quite eventful. It involved a woman virtually floating mid air with Edward Scissorhands and fire shooting everywhere...I mean, you know, your typical tree lighting ceremony! Check the video out and maybe it will make more sense to you, but probably not.
And yes, that was me complaining about the Christmas tree. heh. I just thought, at first glance, that they could maybe have done a better job at dressing it up. I mean, after all, where are the huge giant ornaments. Perhaps I am spoiled by Disneyland, but they really were such a tease with the lady on fire and then a huge tree with lights chucked over it.
Okay, sorry, *reverse* I'm sure it is very difficult to decorate a large tree like that. And, truth be told, it's starting to grow on me and I can appreciate its beauty now. Thanks.
After the ceremony we walked down to Princes Street Gardens which sits just below the castle, you know, that 'ol castle we have hanging out here.
Every year Edinburgh has a HUGE Christmas fair that transforms Princes Street Gardens into a type of Winter Wonderland. There are little booths to shop at that are set up to look like tiny cottages or log cabins, a giant giant ferris wheel, several carnival-type rides, huge ice skating rink, etc. It's quite the sight to see and goes on EVERY DAY for 6 weeks!
|Please ignore my hideous hair - it was windy! But we had delicious mulled wine - warms the tummy!|
|This sideways picture brought to you by Natalie not wanting to go back into Picasa to edit it. Thank you.|
|This is a life-size snow globe people can go in and play with fake snow and a photographer snaps photos of them in it. This little boy in here was having soooo much fun!|
After our grand celebration downtown with a zillion other people, we went home to have start cooking our meal!
In between cooking we decided to get a little festive!
Let it be said, we are not "cheap" people, we just like to recycle. We picked this cute tree up our fist week here. It was sitting by the side of a rubbish (trash) bin in a box and was completely unharmed. So we took our little friend home, named him Harvey and called it a day. The past two months he's been sitting naked near our fireplace so it was nice to finally dress him up a bit.
We topped the night off by watching It's a Wonderful Life. Don't hurt us, but for some reason, neither of us had ever seen the whole thing from start to finish. What a sweet movie! We loved it!
Following our grand Thanksgiving at our house, on Friday we went to another potluck. This time it was actually meant to celebrate Thanksgiving! But, ironically, it was put on by a bunch of Europeans!
We had soo much delicious food, met lots of great people, and had an amazing time altogether.
I can tell you, the one thing the US will never live up to as it does here - the houses. These flats people have are sooo elaborate and beautiful, yet it is commonplace here. Every place seems to have so much beauty and character. For instance, this house had what we would call a sunroom, they in fact, call it a Conservatory. Yes, they win, we lose. The end.
We have many things to be thankful for this year.
Our faithful friends.
The opportunities we have been blessed with this past year.
Our full hearts.
Natalie & Christopher