Having just returned from Southern California a week ago (much more about that later…), and here we are on our way to Scotland. Steve has work to do at RAF Lossiemouth for the week. After a very stressful and emotional three weeks in California taking care of my parents and having some quality time with them, this week away couldn’t have come at a better time.
We decided to break up the drive to Lossiemouth – an eight hour drive which is really ten hours with stops – by stopping for the night in Edinburgh, one of our favourite places in the UK. We left Lincoln a day early to allow for the stopover. We have learned to ‘stop and smell the roses’ on driving trips since we moved to England. There are so much to see in the beautiful countryside filled with lovely villages along the way.
We had a gift voucher for a complimentary night stay at a Marriott and chose the Edinburgh Marriott. We have stayed there before, and being a gold member we get the ‘Royal’ treatment, including an executive room with a view and access to the Executive Lounge, where you can go anytime for complimentary drinks and snacks as well as breakfast each morning. I find that these extra perks just add that much more excitement to the stay – after all I am a ‘Kid at Heart’.
We arrived mid-afternoon, checked into our room, freshened up, and set off for city centre, about four miles from the hotel. We went for a nice walk around our favourite streets – we have not been here in two years and it was so nice to be back.
We popped into The Dome, a restaurant that we always go to when in Edinburgh, to make reservations for that evening. We made our way back to our hotel for a quick rest and to change our clothes for dinner.
All dolled-up, we drove back to city centre for dinner. Edinburgh is not one of those cities that is easily mastered when it comes to finding your way around in a car. On top of that, they have been building a tram network around town, creating havoc with the roads. There are countless restrictions on turning left or right, unless you are a bus or taxi. The Sat-Nav (GPS) was just as bewildered as we were. We managed to get to Queen Street, which borders the shopping and restaurant area. In spite of it all, we ended up with a great parking place on Queen Street, and since it was after 6 pm, it was free!
We walked a couple of blocks over to The Dome, and then up the red-carpeted stairs to the main hall, arriving just at the time of our reservation. The former bank building, built in the days when money was no object, has two main restaurants, the Grill Room is under the building’s famous dome, and has an incredible circular bar at the centre.
The Club Room is more of a private club atmosphere, with dark wood decor. We were not able to get reservations for the Grill Room at this late date, but were perfectly happy to be in the Club Room. The two rooms share many of the same menu items.
After an elegant and delicious dinner, we took a slow walk back to the car. The weather was fabulous – warm with a slight breeze – rare for Edinburgh. It stayed light until 11 pm due to the fact that we are so far north and it is early summer.
After a good night sleep we got up early, even though it was Sunday, to have a relaxing breakfast and pack our suitcases, ready for our three hour-drive to Lossiemouth, Scotland.