Beauty Products I Love

My friend Candice posted about some of her favorite beauty products, and I thought that was a great idea! My friend Molly also did her own version on her blog, so check them both out for some new beauty products you might love!

My first and newest favorite beauty product is a OTC shampoo and conditioner.  L’oreal Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner. I have used both the Bodifying and Hydrating, and I love them both! My hair felt silker from the first day I tried it. I brought as many from the States as I could on our past two trips. It is worth it! Best of all, its only about 7 bucks per bottle, so not all that expensive for some really great hair care!

In keeping with Haircare, another product I really love is John Frieda’s Secret Weapon. I always feel like my hair is messy and out of place, so I needed something to tame that. This is a finishing creme that really smooths out my hair and tames all frizzies, and flyaways. I really love it!

I decided pretty recently that moisturizer is super important for my skin, because I need to keep it protected while living in the desert! (And even when not living here). I still swear by Oil of Olay, pretty inexpensive and one of my favorites. I like the one that includes an SPF to protect my fair skin from the sun.

Along with protecting my skin, I also need to protect my lips! Last year, I was introduced to L’Occitane, a store that sells really great beauty products. I am pretty addicted to it. I discovered it in Doha, but to my surprise, there was one in Shadyside (Pgh, PA) and also at the Pgh Airport. So you ladies in Pgh should go check it out! I bought this lip gloss a few months ago, and I love it. It really moisturizes my lips, and adds a nice gloss too!

While in Pittsburgh this past August, I realized I had forgotten to bring a comb with me, which I need after I shower. So I stopped by Ulta to pick up a cheap comb. Surprisingly, its turned into one of my favorite products. It claims to add volume to fine hair, and while I haven’t noticed a huge difference, I do notice less static due to it being an ion comb.  Plus, its under 2 dollars!

Another beauty product I currently love is Rimmel’s Glam Eyes Mascara. I am blessed with long lashes, but this really makes my lashes fuller and longer! Plus its Rimmel, so I believe its pretty inexpensive. (I bought it here, so not sure what the cost is in the States). I am hoping to try Maybelline’s Falsies soon though, and see if it will take the place of my current fave mascara.

That’s all for now! I might do a second post later with a few more of my faves (Razors, Foundation, etc). What are your favorite beauty products? Feel free to share in the comments!

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Second trip to Edinburgh

I have been meaning to post this, but have been procrastinating on typing it all out. Luckily, I realized I journaled it, so I all ready have it written out, and can just copy and paste the basics.

I think I mentioned that Dave got to perform in a street show the second time we were in Edinburgh to pick up his passport. He was pretty mortified, but he did a great job 🙂 I’ll try to give the overview, with some pictures to help along the way!

We were wondering along the Royal Mile, which is a street full of shops and restaurants. We walked pretty far up, and decided to head back, as it was getting late. As we began to walk back, we saw a street performer starting his show. Dave asked if I had ever seen one, and I hadn’t, so we decided to stick around and watch.

The street performer was really entertaining and had a dry sense of humor 🙂 He started out by juggling machetes and in order to show how real they were, he put an apple on a little boys head! (he was kidding of course!) he started joking about his parents just leaving him there, and him being the babysitter. Instead, he gave a cucumber to a woman in the front (and of course made some sexual innuendos about that!) and sliced the cucumber with the machetes to show they were sharp. He then juggled them which was quite impressive!

After that, he said he needed an assistant from the audience and his eyes somehow found Dave. (I should mention here that Dave hates this kind of attention, similar to getting sung to in a restaurant on his birthday).Of course, he asked him to come forward, and throw an apple on to the bed of nails he was planning to lay on. So Dave threw it and it landed on the nail bed!

Then he asked if Dave was willing to help with the rest of the show, and he said sure. Next they played with fire torches, and the street performer told Dave to do as he did. So first, he moved the torch around a little and Dave did the same. Then, he threw the torch in the air and caught it! After a little hesitation – Dave attempted the same, and he succeeded! It was awesome! Then the SP took the flame and rubbed it in his arm….Dave did not do that! 🙂



The crowd was still gathering and he found another guy from Ireland, Robert, that he asked to help him with his show. Before the finale though, he said he was going to swallow a 20 inch stainless steel sword. After some joking around, he got serious and explained that sword swallowing is a dying art and that he is one of the few people in the world that can still do it. It was so weird/crazy/shocking all at once! The worst part was that after he got the sword down, he bent over to show everyone! I shuddered just thinking about how that must have hurt!!!

Before the big finale, he went into a little spiel about how he does this for a living, and if we enjoyed the show at all, toss some pounds in his hat. He said that if we were to buy him a drink, give the equivalent if that. Then he joked that a drink in Edinburgh cost 30 pounds, and then under his breath said shh, the americans might believe it 😛

The big finale of the show is where Dave was helping. The SP said he was going to lay down, put the bed of nails on top of him, and Robert, the Irish guy, was going to stand on top of that, and then he would eat fire. Originally Dave was going to stand on top, and I think he was glad to be relieved of that duty!

It was pretty scary and nerve wracking to watch the whole thing. There was quite some buildup and joking, but he finally got to it. He positioned the nail bed just so, and asked Robert to climb on top, with Dave helping to keep him steady. He went up one foot at a time, and then handed the flame torch to the SP, and he ate the fire while this man was standing on top of him. Insane.

After Robert stepped off, there was a moment where the SP was slowly pulling the bed of nails off of his stomach. It was really scary – but he was fine. Did I mention he didn’t even have a shirt on? Ouch.

After the show, Dave and I decided to give him 10 pounds since we had a good time, and since this is his job. He really appreciated it. We’d had a fun time, so we wanted to reward  him.  Although I had really wanted to get back on the road, for the three and half hour drive ahead of us, I am really glad we stayed and got to watch this show! If you ever find your self at a street performers show, stick around 🙂 They are worth it!

All about Whiskey!

So while in Scotland, we visited a LOT of whiskey distilleries. I can now expertly tell you how a single malt, Scotch whiskey is made! The ingredients and process is pretty identical, with other a few things that change the flavor of each whiskey.

I have never really had a taste for whiskey, but since we were in Scotland, and receiving free drams on all our tours, I did my best to try them out along with Dave! Almost all of them were pretty good, and I am starting to enjoy some whiskeys. More importantly, I am learning to cook with it, and seeing that it adds a great flavor to many things (including ice cream!).

So it is very difficult to rate the whiskey distillery visits, because they need to be rated on many different scales! I will try to do a brief overview of each, and at the end will talk about my favorites 🙂

1. Glenfarclas Distillery

This is a small, family owned distillery that was right on the outskirts of Aberlour.  This was our very first distillery visit and it was good. We were welcomed with a nice dram of whiskey, and then given a list of other options, and told they would pour us a dram of anything else we might like to try, while we waited for our tour.  It was a really nice welcome! The tour was nice, but unfortunately, Glenfarclas, like many other distilleries were in silent season, so no production was occurring. We still had a great tour guide, who showed us around, and explained the process to us. The tour guide was a nice elderly gentlemen, who was really knowledgeable and happy to answer our questions. It was a great tour 🙂

2. Aberlour Distillery

They are located right in Aberlour, and we passed it often as we drove around the town. They only do two tours a day, and we had to book in advance.  The tour met in the gift shop, and left from there to head to a room where they showed us a small powerpoint slide show about what makes Scotch whiskey what it is. There are rules and regulations necessary in order to call it a Scotch whiskey, one of them being it has to be aged in a cask, for at least 3 years, in Scotland. Then it was off to tour the distillery. They were not in silent season, so everything was in full swing. After the tour, it was off to the tasting.  We walked into a room with tables set up, with 6 whiskeys to taste per person. There was also an option to pour your very own bottle straight from a cask, which set you back about 60 pounds! A few people did it, so it was fun to watch the process. We also met some other Americans, who had spent some time as ex-pats, so it was fun to chat with them. Another fun, informative tour 🙂

3. The Macallan

This is one of Dave’s favorite whiskeys, so we had to go to the distillery.  Macallan was also in silent season, so the distillery was quiet! (And cold, it was a rainy day!). It was a good tour, we had a nice tour guide, named Jennie, who showed us around. Along with the whiskey process, Macallan also talked a little more in-depth about how their casks are made. It was interesting. They use a lot of American wood, which I would not have expected. After the tour, we received a free dram, and explored the souvenir shop. This was also the first place we had whiskey ice cream 🙂

4. Glen Grant

We stopped by here on a Sunday morning when we were switching cottages. Luckily, the day we went was a gorgeous, summer day in Scotland, unlike all the rainy ones we had had the past two weeks.  This distillery is gorgeous, and definitely one to spend some time at.  First, we browsed through the gift shop, and signed up for a tour. We had an hour to wait, so we headed to the coffee shop, where we had a really good cappuccino. After relaxing outside in the sunshine, it was time for the distillery tour. It was good, although it ended up just being me and Dave, with our tour guide.  So that was fun 😛 At the end, we got to try 2 drams of the Glen Grant, and it was quite good.  My favorite, by far! After the tour, there was a lovely, sprawling garden to explore. It was green and lush, and even had a big waterfall with a bridge to walk all around it! I think we spent about an hour exploring the garden and just enjoying the weather.

Cool hut at the Glen Grant garden!

5.  Glenfiddich

This is probably one of the more widely known whiskeys in the USA, and its distillery is certainly a tourist haven.  It was no doubt built for tourists, they offer free tours 7 days a week. We stopped by on a Sunday afternoon and it was packed. We stopped in to see if they had tours available, and they did, we just had to wait about half an hour.  Again, we browsed around the gift shop until it was time for the tour.  It started with a brief film about the history of Glenfiddich, and then they split our group into smaller groups to go through the distillery. No silent season here, and everything was in motion! We were allowed to take pictures and you could see a large part of the process of the whiskey being made. After the tour, we got to sample the 12 year old, 15 year old and 18 year old whiskeys. They were good, but I think the 18 year old was my favorite.  Also, we learned that Glenfiddich means Valley of the Deer. (Glen in a whiskey title means valley of, and the fiddich means deer in Gaalic I think).  A lot of whiskey names start to make sense once you know this!

6. The Glenlivet

This is another popular, well known whiskey in the States. Their facility was new and very tourist friendly.  We walked right in and were offered a free tour, which would be leaving in the next 20 minutes. So we headed to the cafe for some coffee before our tour.  We had a good time on the tour, and our tour guide, although young was quite knowledgeable about whiskey and answered our questions.  At the end of the tour, they showed us 3 whiskeys that were available for sample, but we were only allowed to try one.  They had a 12 year, 18 year, and a cask strength called N’Adurra. I selected the 18 year old, while Dave selected the cask strength and then we shared.  Both were good!  We browsed the gift shop and museum downstairs, and had some ice cream before heading to the next distillery.

7.  Strathisla Distillery

After The Glenlivet, we decided to head to Strathisla, which is a smaller distillery, but is considered the home of Chivas Regal.  We read that we would be welcomed with a dram of Chivas, but since we arrived just as the tour was leaving, they said we would receive it afterwards. The tour was 10 pounds, and it was a decent tour. The Strathisla distillery is a small one, compared to some we had seen, but it was still neat. (I included a picture of the pagodas, instead of the Strathisla sign, because they were so pretty). After the tour, we were offered drams of Chivas 12 and 18, as well as the Strathisla 12 year.  We had a fun tour here, and enjoyed having some Chivas, since in a blind taste test, it was Dave’s favorite blended whiskey.

8. Cardhu Distillery

This is also a smaller, lesser known distillery, but it is considered the spiritual home of Johnnie Walker. It’s also one of the few distilleries that was owned by a woman.  For 6 pounds each, we purchased a tour with a free gift glass afterwards along with our tasting.  This was a fun tour, they had a neat model that displayed the process of the malting floor for the barley. Most of the distilleries have their barley malted elsewhere and brought in, so we heard about this process but never really got to see it (until our final tour coming up next). After our tour, we tried a Cardhu, an Oban and Knockando (I think!).  We enjoyed them all.  Since they are the home of Johnnie Walker (meaning Cardhu is used in all JW blends), we had to pick up some JW mementos for a friend!

9. Balvenie Distillery

Let me just start by saying that if you are in the Highlands of Scotland and can only visit one distillery, make it this one. This is an intensive tour, that lasts 3 hours and is 25 pounds, but is absolutely worth it! We had to schedule our tour in advance, and they keep the groups small, so you need to be flexible!  Balvenie is owned by Glenfiddich, so we actually were told to go there to meet our tour guide. Balvenie is still working on their visitor’s center and parking, so meeting at Glenfiddich is easier, and then the tour guide drove us to the site.

First, we started out with coffee, tea and shortbread while our tour guide talked to us a little bit about what we would be doing. After that, it was off to see the barley malting floor. Remember how I said most distilleries don’t do it on site? Well, Balvenie still does! It’s amazing! Long story short, they take the barley, run water over it, and let it sprout. Then to stop the sprouting, they put it on a floor, which is heated and steamed from below, in order to stop the growth process. The pagodas I showed from the earlier distillery? That is the roof top of the malting floor. We were able to touch, feel and even eat the barley. It was really neat!

After that, it was off to the distillery where we learned about the process, as usual. Unlike most distilleries, Balvenie also has a cooperage right on premises. A cooperage is where coopers work to build and repair the casks that will hold all that whiskey! Sadly, my camera was malfunctioning, so I don’t have as many pictures as I would like :-/ After the cooperage, it was off to the tasting room!

We got to try 5 different Balvenie whiskeys, all very different. We tried a Double Wood 12 Year, Signature 12 Year, Portwood 21 Year, and 2 others that I can’t remember 🙂 All were good in different ways, and they told us about a whiskey that is aged in whiskey casks, then in Rum casks the final few months. Sounds good to me 🙂

That is all I can think of for now….if you have any questions about the distilleries we visited, feel free to ask! And if you can, experience it for your self. It’s really fun! (Even for non-whiskey lovers!)

Ramadan

So I realize that I sort of glazed over Ramadan last year, and briefly posted about it once it was over. The beginning of Ramadan is just about to start, and that means a lot to the Muslims (and non-Muslims) in this country, and many other countries.

Here is a quick, but basic overview of what Ramadan is, and how it affects Muslims and non-Muslims living in Middle Eastern countries. (Some of this information is taken from Time Out Doha’s article about Ramadan in an interview with Mohammed Ali Al Ghadimi, director of the Qatar Islamic Cultural Centre.).

Q: What is Ramadan?

A: It’s a month to concentrate on the revelation of the Q’uran. Allah says: ‘Ramadan is the month in which the Q’uran was revealed as a guidance and clarification to humankind and a distinction between right and wrong…(Q’uran 2:185). During the holy month, Muslims will read the Q’uran more, and focus on the lessons it teaches.

Q: The main element of Ramadan is fasting. Why do the Muslims do this?

A: Muslims do not only fast, they also abstain from sexual relations, and bad habits such as swearing and smoking from sunrise to sunset. From the Q’uran: ‘O believers! Fasting has been prescribed for you in order that you may become more conscious of God'(Q’uran 2:183). Fasting is something that is only known to you and God – no one is aware if you cheat during the day or not. Also, the feeling of being hungry makes you feel empathy for those that feel hungry daily through out the world. This helps us to feel closer to humanity and appreciate the many blessings in our lives.

Q: What is Iftar?

A: Iftar is the evening meal at sundown when Muslims convene with friends and family and break the fast together. A date is usually the first thing to be consumed before the big Iftar meal. Non-Muslims are welcome to join in on the Iftars, and even fasting if they want to understand what its like.

Q: How should Non-Muslims act?

A: Non-Muslims need to respective and understanding, and not eat or drink in public during the day. They should also dress more conservatively than usual, as this is a very serious, religious time for Muslims. Most restaurants and coffee shops will be closed during the day, but then will have late hours once open at sunset. If you are found drinking water, eating, or chewing gum, you could get a ticket or be put in jail for the month. So be careful!

Q: Ramdan ends with an Eid al-Fitr celebration. What is this?

A: Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of the month of Shaw – the tenth month of the Muslim calendar. This is a joyous occasion, as Muslims celebrate all the blessings that Allah has given them for fulfilling their promise of fasting and other good deeds during the Ramadan month.

Hope this helps a little to explain the holy month of Ramadan that occurs in hundreds of Middle Eastern cities and countries around the globe. If you have questions, feel free to post in the comments! And if you know any friends celebrating Ramadan, be sure to wish them Ramadan Kareem!

Craggen Mill Restaurant

Dave and I spent two weeks at a cottage in the tiny village of Craigellachie, and then moved to a larger town called Grantown-on-Spey. While staying in Craigellachie, we toured the Abelour whisky distillery, and met some really nice Americans, who had also spent some time as ex-pats, so we had fun chatting with them about their experiences.

At all the distilleries, there was a cookbook called The Whisky Kitchen, 100 Ways with Whisky and Food.  We had looked at it a few times, and thought it was interesting, but never really looked much more into it. Our new friends from the Aberlour tour told us that the author of that cookbook, Graham Harvey had a restaurant in Grantown-on-Spey called Craggen Mill, and that it was the best meal they’d had in Scotland. We knew we had to try it!

I called to make reservations for a Monday night, and we were all set to go. We showed up a little early, and they showed to a table where they gave us the menu, and took our drink order. The table itself was a outside the seating area, this was just a place to look over the menu, and relax before you were taken to your table. (Warning: Lots of descriptions of yummy food coming up – do not read while hungry)! 🙂

The menu was fabulous – everything was locally sourced, and really sounded amazing! It was hard to decide! I ended up ordering lamb layered with mint, black pudding with goat cheese cromesquis, garlic and rosemary mash, with a red wine reduction. Dave ordered due of duck and pork: roast belly of free range pork, confit duck leg in cassoulet, hand cut chips with sauce bigarade. He said it was so good, and had such different flavors that it was almost like two different dishes on 1 plate!

After we placed our order, and our table was ready, they led us into the dining room to a table with a pitcher of water, and some fresh bread and butter. Oddly enough, there were only 2 tables in the restaurant including us, so it was a very intimate dinner.  We were also well taken care of by the waitstaff, and Chef Graham was constantly checking in on us, talking to us about where we were from, etc.  It was awesome!

It started with an amuse bouche of broccoli cheddar soup that was yummy! Then Dave and I had both ordered appetizers – I had a twice baked goat cheese souffle with red onion marmalade, and Dave had roast pepper stuffed with halloumi cheese, pesto, olives and tomato. Both were fabulous – really amazing flavors all put together.

Our entrees arrived and they were perfect. I had a hard time finishing mine but I knew it was not something you take home, so although I took a long time to eat, I was able to finish everything on my plate (which is very unusual for me!). Dave cleaned his plate as well, but was too full for dessert. I am never too full for dessert 😛

So while I ordered the summer berries dessert, Dave consulted with Chef Graham about a nice whisky to finish off his dinner. My dessert came out, and it was light and delicious. I had a scoop of strawberry ice cream and a berry kissel (kind of like jello with fruit in it), along with some fresh strawberries with whipped cream. Delightful! The chef also brought Dave out a little piece of chocolate to go with his whisky – there really is a correlation between the two! He talked to him about how to eat the chocolate, and then take a sip of whisky to savor the flavors in your mouth. It was excellent 🙂

It was sad that our amazing dinner had to come to an end, but we had all ready decided to return on the Friday before leaving Scotland – so we could have an amazing meal to remember our trip by!

Our second dinner was just as great as the first! The amuse bouche this time was a Thai butternut squash soup. It was creamy and sweet with a hint of coconut, but also a hint of spice. It was nice. Dave and I split an appetizer of scallops that were really yummy. Here’s the description: Dived scalops baked with spinach, creamed potatoes and sauce mornay. The dish was fantastic! Scallops were cooked perfectly, and with the potatoes and spinach, it was really creamy and good 🙂

Dinner was fantastic again 🙂 Dave ordered the beef, which was a fillet of nairnshire aberdeen angus cooked over 25 year old whisky staves and sweet gale, cask potatoes, sauteed wild mushrooms in a madeira jus. Yum! I had free range chicken – roast supreme of killara farm free range chicken, haggis pithivier, mushroom cream, new potatoes and market vegetables.  Omg, it was so good! The chicken was moist, and the skin had a nice sea salt rub on the outside. The mushroom sauce went perfectly with the dish, and I enjoyed the haggis too!

Then it was time for dessert 😛 This time I ordered the Chocolate Truffle Tort, laced with Glen Moray single malt whisky, and bramble coulis. Dave opted for the Sticky Toffee Pudding with ice cream, and asked for a suggestion of whisky to pair with it. Chef Graham suggested a whisky for him, and he had it with his dessert. Did I mention both desserts were to die for?

After we had finished our amazing meal, we bought his cookbook, and he happily came out to sign it for us. How cool is that? He also gave us the menu for the evening, since we were the last customers, and he said it would change tomorrow anyway 🙂

We had two truly amazing meals here, and cannot wait to go back and have more! (Maybe next summer….) If you’re ever in Scotland, and in the Grantown-on-Spey area, you must go to Craggen Mill! You will not be disappointed!

Oh, and we’ve tried one recipe so far from the cookbook – a vegetarian haggis with vegetarian gravy. It was really delicious, and I can’t wait to make more recipes from this cookbook!

Passport Saga

We left for Scotland on July 4th and it was a very long day of travel for us – including an overnight flight that left Doha at 2:30 AM, a very long wait at UK customs, and finally another flight over to Aberdeen. After our flight, we had about an hour’s drive ahead of us – on the other side of the road, and the other side of the car!

We got settled in our cottage once we arrived, and then we promptly passed out because we were so exhausted. (We even skipped dinner because even though we were starving, exhaustion took priority.)

At some point the next day, Dave mentioned he was unsure where his passport was. I figured it was around somewhere, and that we’d certainly find it in the cottage or our luggage.

Well we started to search for it, and it wasn’t anywhere to be found. Wee searched our luggage, carry ons, car, and the cottage. It was completely gone. So we began the process of calling the airline, airport, and even the car rental company – anyone we could think of. After two days of trying to call everyone to locate it, we hit a dead end.

The airline said we could go to the Embassy in London to get a new one – but we were NO where near London. After a little research, we discovered a U.S. Consular General in Edinburgh that issues passports. Although 3 and 1/2 hours away, it was still our best bet.

We had no internet or local phone in our cottage, so we were not sure how to proceed. We finally called our friend Scotty, who is a post-doc at Oxford, and had access to the internet. He scheduled an appointment for us online, and sent us the forms we needed to print out. He also called the London Embassy to ask some questions. We would probably not have been able to do all this without Scott, so we are really grateful to him that he could help us!

We started our journey early Tuesday morning at about 5:30 AM. The first hour or so was a pretty easy drive, mostly one lane highways that were practically empty due to the time of day. As we got closer to Edinburgh though, lanes got wider and there was a lot more traffic. We found a rest stop with a Costa Coffee about half an hour outside of Edinburgh, so we stopped in for some caffeine. They also had free wi-fi which was a pleasant surprise. So we checked email and things, and then got back on the road.

We arrived in Edinburgh around 9:30, and Dave navigated me through the city. We found a place to park, and headed off to find one of the picture places listed on the Embassy website. We headed down Elm Row, which is where it said it was located, but we could not find it anywhere.

Luckily I had copied and pasted three other photo sites from their website, so we headed back to the car to drive to another one. We found it pretty quickly, again, thanks to Dave’s great navigation skills and we did not have to wait long for Dave to get his picture taken and developed. We were doing great on time and headed back to find the Embassy.

It was pretty easy to find and the building itself had an American flag out front! We went in, only to be told by the security gentleman that we should wait aside for a bit, since the waiting room was tiny and full at the moment.

We were half an hour early for our appointment, so that was no big deal. It was a lovely day outside so we sat in the sun, and waited for it to be our turn to go inside!

Shortly there after, some people left and they called us in. They took us thru a metal detector and took our phones. Then they gave us a number, and we headed into the waiting room, which was about 8 seats or so, and they were all taken.

We waited a long time (at least it felt like it – maybe half an hour or so?) before they finally called our number. So we went up to the window, told them the story, and that Dave needed an emergency passport. I showed them our itinerary which showed we are staying until July 24. They said their turnaround time is 1-2 weeks, so we could pick it up before we leave. So we said okay, they took the paperwork and credit card, and then we had to wait to see the Consular General who would be checking to verify our story.

He finally called us to the window and he was a very nice guy. He asked us about our trip, Dave’s time in Montana, and recommended some places we should visit while in the UK. Then he asked Dave about previous addresses to prove he was in fact David G. We passed, ha ha, and were told they would call or email us when the passport was ready.

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On Monday, July 12, not even a week later, Dave received an email that his passport was finished! We were pretty shocked that it was such a quick turnaround. We were also relieved and decided to head back to Edinburgh the very next day to get it over with!

Another three and half hours later, we were in Edinburgh again, parking and walking to the American Embassy to pick up Dave’s passport. We weren’t in such a rush this time, so we did not have to get up so early, and we left about 9 or so.

When we got to the Embassy, it looked closed, but we rang the doorbell, and told them what we were doing there. They came out with Dave’s passport and checked to make sure it was him, then gave it to him. Randomly, there was apparently a gentleman waiting who needed a witness to sign some paperwork, so they asked Dave if he wanted to do it. So he did! There was a Scottish man buying property in Florida, and he needed a witness. What cracks me up is that it could have been anyone! But the guy had been waiting a long time, so I am glad we were able to help!

If you’re still reading, thanks! There is probably more to the story, but its all ready too long and exhausting to re-tell! Moral of the story – don’t lose your passport when you’re staying in a remote village in the UK!! 🙂