Dead Ants

Trip Start May 01, 2010
Trip End May 24, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Monday, May 10, 2010

Today was the day we arrived in Scotland! Our first stop was just past the border at a place called Gretna Green, which used to function sort of like the Las Vegas of the UK. Young couples would leave England (where the marrying age was 16) and go to Gretna Green where they could marry at 15. The weddings all occurred at a blacksmith shop, which is where we went, and Connor and Soroya got hitched right in front of us! :) We also got our first group photo taken here, but I have no idea how that turned out, I didn't order one!
Today was the beginning of Dead Ants, the most loved/hated game ever, I think. Whoever's wearing the designated hat could call out "DEAD ANTS" and anyone from our group within earshot had to quickly lay down on their back and flail their arms and legs in the air. Whoever was the last on the ground got the hat, and whoever had the hat at the end of the day had to "skull" a drink. I also learned today that skulling = shotgunning.
After Gretna Green, we drove back across the border to England and we made a stop at Hadrian's Wall. My dad had told me about stopping at part of Hadrian's Wall during his time over here, but this is NOT the place he went to. It's a long exhausting walk from the parking lot to the visitor's centre, and it's something like 4 just to go up to the ruins, so a bunch of us walked up, took pictures of sheep, and walked back. Just wasn't in the mood for it today, I guess!
We then drove back into Scotland, stopping for a photo stop at the border, where they have a big rock with 'England' on one side and 'Scotland' on the other.
Lunch stop today was in Jedburgh, where I had an amazing panini, then we took off out to Edinburgh!
Our hotel for the next two nights was a Holiday Inn, so very similar to home. The best part was that we had 2 big beds in our room, rather than the tiny single ones we'd had up until that point. Plus we were staying for two nights so we could actually unpack a little bit. Hooray! We just got some time to chill out (after sleeping all day on the bus, go figure...) and then get prettied up for our Scottish Evening.
This is one of the more expensive optional excursions, but I totally recommend it. We took up a whole room in a cute little restaurant, we all got to try haggis (which is not bad! like spicy ground beef, basically), and we got to listen to an amazing and hilarious bagpiper/storyteller named Andy.
Tonight was the first really big night out for us, because we didn't have to get up and drive to a new place the next morning. We first went to a little local pub where another guy named Andy was playing music. Live music in pubs is the best part of the UK, I learned. We stayed there for a little while, then headed to a club. After a little incident involving Maria and Katelyn not having ID, we went in to the club, finally found a dance floor in the basement, and it ended up being SO much fun. We all danced and had an amazing time. There was a few times that Dead Ants was called in the club, and so when 50 people all flipped onto their backs on the middle of the dance floor, the other people there were just a little bit confused!
Maria, Brent, Katelyn and I caught a cab back to the hotel, and luckily we remembered which street our Holiday Inn was on, or else we might have had a problem. We also fogged up the cab windows as soon as we got inside of it, so of course there was some writing on the windows... It was lots of fun!
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