September 6, 2005

Scotland Chronicles – Day 2, August 21 - The Fringe Festival

When departing each other’s company on Saturday night I asked my dad what time he wanted to meet up on Sunday morning to venture out to the city center and explore the street performers of the Fringe Festival. Not surprisingly his answer was 9:30am since breakfast at the B&B was served from 8:30-9:30am. Poor Stephen, he had just told me how he wanted to sleep late. I convinced my dad that 10am would be good and that I would walk over to their place in order to give Stephen some more sleep time. When I arrived everyone was still head to the pillow and they had missed breakfast. Even the best-intentioned Type-A East Coasters can’t beat jet lag. Stephen was able to stay in bed until noon.

Packed into the Stephen-mobile, that seats five comfortably but we pushed to six, our driver dropped us off on Prince’s Street and searched for a parking space. Poor Stephen ran back to meet us as we all began to wander in different directions like little mice turned free into the world. And so was the beginning of Stephen corralling us through Scotland.

With Grammie in her rental wheelchair and the rest of us on foot we pushed along to the Mound and were instantly tantalized by the various performances. With hundreds of others we viewed indigenous flute players that Stephen insisted were from Alaska but we all agreed were from the Indies, a woman painted gold and an exhibitionist painfully laying on nails while a innocent but willing audience member stood on his stomach.

Having missed breakfast and pushing desperately close to dinner we had to take the food situation into our own hands. You see, my dad hates stopping for meals because it is really just a distraction from fun and adventure, or being a tourist. We broke into groups with me, the grands and mom lunching at the world’s slowest and most expensive Italian-want-to-be-café and poor Stephen venturing off with my dad to see more acts of Fringe humiliation. Sorry, no food for the dad companion.

We ended the day back at Stephen’s folks. Mum prepared a Scottish dinner of homemade soup and chicken for the group. That cheese at the end of the meal thing confused us all but we made room for the customary dessert. Day two was safely completed with minimal trauma and practically no family tension. Maybe we’re finally growing up or just too old to get into it?