I spent my 33rd birthday in London by going to work! It was a Thursday, so I had already arranged to take the Friday off and head to Glasgow for the weekend. When I walked in to work I was greeted with a lovely watercolour from my friend Cris and a muffin from Pret! So sweet! I had a ‘Mexican’ lunch with some co-workers and then a few of us went to the local pub The Horse and Groom (or as we like to call it the Horse and Gloom). I had a really great day. I was wondering if I would feel sad or lonely but I didn’t. I’m really happy living here in London and I had a wonderful Birthday.
I had been talking to my friend Michelle who had recently moved to Glasgow- we decided I should come up and visit and my birthday weekend seemed like a good time (even though I didn’t really think about that as the reason for my visit).
Let me start by telling you I made a classic, ridiculous traveller error. I woke up at 5am and got an Uber to Liverpool Street Station so I could get the Stanstead Express to Stanstead Airport. I was heading to security where you scan your barcode on the little console to let you in to the passenger only area when a message flashed at me as I tried to get in. ‘WRONG AIRPORT’. I could have died. I was really confused. I was supposed to be at Gatwick, but since I bought the tickets a couple months ago I had always thought I was going to Stanstead. I wasn’t panicking which is a bit surprising, maybe I wasn’t fully awake, but I turned to the lady who was working the gates and she said hmm, I don’t think you’ll make it to Gatwick in time. (Seriously? Was that an option?) She said go to the Easy Jet kiosk and see if they can help you. They were terribly nice to me – maybe they felt sorry for the idiot american – and got me on a flight that left only an hour after my original flight from Gatwick. They even upgraded me to a roomier exit row seat. One of the ladies said, this actually happen all the time, you just happen to be the first one today. I got lucky though, the next flight after that wasn’t til 5pm so I would have totally wasted a day!
I made it to Glasgow by 1130am and Michelle picked me up and drove us to her flat near the Glasgow Botanical Gardens. Her flat is really lovely! I walked in and on the kitchen table was a cake, balloons, a birthday card and some prezzies. I was so surprised! I sort of just figured my birthday was over and this was just a fun weekend.
Michelle took me to some Outlander locations and we got drinks at the Ubiquitous Chip before eating one of the most delicious meals I’ve had in the UK – Vietnamese from Hanoi Bike Shop. The next morning I was drinking coffee and Michelle’s door rang – In walks Carla! Those girls planned to surprise me and they sure did! I was really touched actually- people don’t do that kind of stuff for me so it was extra special! We spent the day wandering around Glasgow (and drinking) – before getting a really nice tapas style Scottish fusion meal at Ox & Finch. We then went to a Big Lebowski themed bar where we proceeded to have too many white russians, they have 21 variations!
The next day we made some much needed breakfast: bubble and squeak, eggs and some Stornaway black pudding. We decided to head up to Loch Lomond and see some highland ‘coos’ and have a Sunday Roast. Lovely views up there, chilly and clear. We had great weather the whole weekend. It was cold yes, but clear and some sun! It was an awesome weekend. Can’t wait to go back and see what else Scotland has to offer! Next stop Edinburgh, then the Highlands!