We have VISITORS!!

Nothing beats having family fly all the way from good ole Texas to Aberdeen, Scotland for a visit!!! My older brother,  Jesse, and his wife, Leigh Ann, arrived just over an hour ago and we are so happy they're here!! They flew first class (my brother works for American) and showed me the menus they ate from... marinated cheese antipasto starter, salad cart, bread basket, beef fillet with red wine onion sauce, rosemary garlic shrimp. Tough flying, right? Plus, they literally got "breakfast in bed" thanks to the super-sized cubicle-like seats that fully reclined.


They are taking short naps (you can't oversleep when you get here, or you'll be off schedule for days with the six-hour jump forward) and then we're headed to dinner! Ferryhill House Hotel (http://www.ferryhillhousehotel.co.uk/) has become my new favorite place to eat and drink. Firstly, their food is really really good. I've written about their Cullen Skink soup but they've also got an amaaaaazing fig and goat cheese bruschetta that'll just knock your socks off. And the bar area looks exactly like a Scottish restaurant should: warm and cozy with tartan colors and worn wooden tables and chairs. Thirdly, they serve McEwans on draught, which we love, and their wine is just as good as any. Fourthly, their cheesecake is heaven. The end. I'll take some photos at dinner tonight to post later so you all can get a look at the place. Can you tell I'm excited about eating there?!


We've got lots of fun things and eats and drinks planned for the week. I will do some homecooking like salmon and guinness stew (a winning recipe with folks thus far), take them on tours of Union Street and all the local shops and pubs, tour Crathes castle over the weekend and explore Aberdeen in general. We've been here long enough to nose our way around town, so it'll be exciting to show it all to someone new! Not sure how that'll feel after the 2385734583975489 visitor, but it'll do for now. :)

Jesse was also kind enough to bring me ping pong balls from home. They do. not. have. ping pong balls here. I just don't understand why... Don't they know how much fun beer pong is!?!? We've been jonesing to play and Steve's kitchen table offers the perfect setup. We actually went over one night with the intention of playing only to realize no one had a ping pong ball. We scoured every store we could think of but no luck. They're either in hiding or the Scots are missing out on one of the greatest drinking games ever! (Or Steve guessed the ping pong balls are illegal here.)

We spent a night at Soul a few weeks ago playing Quarters with our group. They'd never heard of it... you bounce a quarter off the table into a glass of beer. If you make it, you designate who drinks the beer. Except that here, we have to call it Ten Pence since that's the closest thing to an American quarter we've got. Thankfully we're used to the beers here, so the next day wasn't as painful as it would have been two months ago. Come to think of it, perhaps the overall need for drinking games doesn't exist in Scotland. Most of the fellows we've met have been imbibing since the age of, gasp, 13. And the legal drinking age is 18, which turns out to not be quite as big of a celebration as your 21st in the US. And now the goverment has passed the law prohibiting alcoholic promotions of any kind--which means no happy hours, no alcohol ads and no promos. They're supposedly also working on yet another law of raising the price of alcohol. What about just raising the legal age to drink?

I must sign off for now, there's so much to do and talk about with my brother! I will post updates as often as possible this week, expect plenty of smiling faces!!

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