Dating My Mom

My mom always says "You'll never find a better date than me." And no offense to those (very few) of you who have ever taken me on a date, but she's totally right.

This weekend, my mom visited me here in Edinburgh, and so we were able to go on countless "Mom and Leda dates," as we like to call them. There was lots of food, walking, and even some relaxation over the three days that she spent with me.

The best part about going out with my mom? The fact that she's a travel writer. She mostly writes books about Massachusetts and New England, but also writes articles about the many different places we've visited over the years. This means that she often gets perks when she goes abroad- complimentary hotel rooms, free dinners, and loads of unique experiences. I am so incredibly grateful for all that her job has been able to give my family in terms of travel opportunities.

While the perks are nice- and I mean really nice- it's easy to forget that the life of a travel writer isn't all that glamorous. When my mom is trying to make a deadline, she spends night after night working- writing and rewriting, editing, and spellchecking- until everything is absolutely perfect. Oh, and she walks 7 miles a day, cooks the best meals around, and raises four kids while she's at it. In the end, I think she really does deserve all of the free wine and cheese she could ever want.

Now, onto our fabulous weekend. It was a bit weird for me to stay in a hotel in the city that I've been living in for the past three months. But Visit Scotland booked us in one of the swankiest spots in the city- the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa. Call me crazy, but I think it was at least a smidge better than good ol' Pollock Halls.

When my mom arrived, the first thing we did was take advantage of the spa at the hotel. The "Escape at One" experience was definitely something different for the two of us. Usually when we go to spas (which isn't that often), we'll just get our nails done or have a facial. But this was an 11 step process that included multiple saunas, showers, and pools. While it was certainly calming, this kind of spa day wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I kept laughing at how awkwardly quiet it was and making sarcastic comments while other people attempted to enjoy the peace and quiet. The whole process was supposed to take up to three hours, but we rushed it and spent only an hour there- we clearly had lunch on the brain.

The hotel also provided us with a lovely lunch at their restaurant, One Square. I had a flavorful crab cake to start, a tender steak for my main, and a warm brownie for dessert. To say I took advantage of the fact that I wasn't eating in the dining hall is an extreme understatement. Let's be real, though. I don't eat like this every day.

This dish contained avocados so I just had to order it. 

Not the dining hall for sure. 

Another highlight of the trip? Our visit to the Edinburgh Christmas Fair on Saturday *cue "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"*. I am a huge Christmas lover. While I grew up in a very Jewish town and did appreciate Hanukkah, no holiday (not even my birthday) will ever beat the joy that Christmas brings me. And to now live in a city that takes Christmas as seriously as I do? Now that's a dream come true.

The St. Andrew's Square Monument transformed into a bar and ice-rink. 

First, my mom and I made our way to the ice skating rink. It was quite the disaster for me as I have the coordination of a toddler, but enjoyable nonetheless. After a few loops around the rink we warmed up with a hot apple toddy, which is basically a fancy (and alcoholic) version of hot apple cider.

Note how close I am to the railing in this picture. 

Once we managed to take off our ice skates (yes, mom did need my assistance with hers), we met up with the head of press for the entire Christmas Fair production named Fraser. Fraser showed us around the market portion of the fair, and we got to try out some tasty treats from the different vendors. This included organic mutton soup from Whitmuir Farms , some divine Scottish cheddar cheese, and the meaty delicacies from Macsween Haggis. Oh, the haggis. Now I've had this lovely stuff before, but never in the form of haggis spring rolls or haggis pakora. While I love haggis on its own, I think these fried finger foods were just heavenly (they even sell haggis nachos!). It was fair-food on a totally different level. I promise that anyone who tries haggis from Macsween will immediately be converted.

I've never seen so many different flavors of fudge in my life. 

Gin and beer wrapped up all pretty for Christmas. 

Any flavor of cheddar you could possibly want. 

How adorable are these handmade chocolates?

Our day ended on the best note possible as we watched the incredible acrobatics of the Scotch & Soda Show. While I generally don't enjoy circuses, this one was far different from anything I've ever seen before. Not only do the performers play live music, but they do high-flying tricks all in a unique fashion. It was edgy, intimate, and one-of a kind.

The unmistakably cool musicians of Scotch & Soda. 

There are certainly more Christmas Fair adventures to be had. But since this was the first weekend it was open for this year, my mom and I only got a taste of it.

While I was sad to see my mom go on Sunday morning, I look forward to seeing her and the rest of my family in December. I know that being away from each other is going to be hard on the both of us this week come Thanksgiving, but I am ever so thankful that she was able to spend a few days with me here in Edinburgh and take me on so many wonderful dates.         


1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...