Scotland 6: Day 10

03.08.18 | Ayr Hotel | 22:01

Ayr is a nice little town! When I woke, the sun was actually out (first time on this journey) but I could see that the clouds were rolling in. I wanted to take the opportunity to get out of the room and see what I could see, just in case these clouds decide to bring rain- I wanted to get my hair cut (and colored?).

I called a couple of salons but it didn’t seem like any were open. I finally found one that was open and I asked her about a cut and possibly a color. So- I don’t dye my hair a whole lot, and usually, when I do, I’m traveling for fun, and don’t have to board a plane for work in weeks or months. My folks probably view it as an act of rebellion? Do 42-year-old guys still rebel? Or have they just decided on the person they want to be? I’m sure Freud would have something to say on this subject.

The lady on the phone told me that she had a chair available but then told me about the skin test they have to do. They want to make sure that you’re not allergic to the coloring chemicals, so they spot a little bit behind each ear. Then they make you come back in 48 hours to (I’m guessing) make sure your ears haven’t fallen off. I told her that I wasn’t going to be in town for 48 hours, but asked her if I could just sign some kind of release or something so they’re not held liable. I’m sure that’s the way they would do it if I were in America right now… so here’s my questions- is this something that is done in the states? Those of you who get your hair done… please let me know. The girl on the phone tells me that there’s no such thing as a release for me to sign. So I try elsewhere.

I decide to walk to town and ask someone face-to-face. I find a salon that is open and they have the same kind of 48 hour waiting period. She asks me where I’m going next and I tell her Glasgow. She tells me that they are part of a chain and have salon locations in Glasgow as well- so can do the skin test here, and note my account (I have an account in the U.K. now. That’s how posh and worldly I am). Then I can simply go into one of their Glasgow locations and they’ll be able to do my hair coloring (that is, again, if my ears haven’t yet fallen off). I decide to not wait for the haircut part, and she gives me a very cool mohawk. It’s not way different from how I usually cut my hair, but I haven’t colored it yet.

After getting my head fixed, I headed over to Ayr beach and sure enough, the clouds and the wind were there to meet me. It was still a lovely morning and an amazing beach! I only wished that I’d have brought my bigger jacket. I chatted with a few passers-by, most of them with a dog in tow. Of course, I had to stop and pet every dog.

I took this quick video… you can check out my hair and the lovely beach! It was so cold!

 

After some more wandering on the beach (I think I was out there for over two hours), I headed back into town and found a fish & chips for lunch. While in the restaurant, it got even colder, because the winds were really kicking in. I decided to duck into the cinema and see a flick. The movie was called Finding Your Feet. It was sort of inspiring! Kind of a second-chance-at-happiness kind of movie. I hope it comes out in the states.

Dinner was at the hotel again. They have special where you pay one price for three courses. The first course was the salad with prawns and some kind of pepperoni in it. The main course was a chicken crepe with a cheese sauce and mushrooms. Dessert was a brownie sundae garnished with a tomato… yeah… a tomato- which I did eat. So I guess I can count it as “healthy”.

Scotland 6: Day 9

03.07.18 | Dumfries > Kilmarnock | 11:58

First off, I want to give a shout-out to everyone who complimented me on my new hat. I did a live video yesterday from a cemetery in Dumfries and many people thought it looked good. I actually picked it up at an H&M in Edinburgh, mostly because Scotland is cold and rainy right now. I can’t help it that I am the height of teen fashion. Seriously, thank you for your compliments!

I checked out of my hotel this morning and headed to the train station. I had plenty of time, so I headed further into town, back to the restaurant where I got the pancakes yesterday. I ordered a traditional Scottish breakfast, minus the black pudding and the haggis.

I am off to my next destination- yet another location that I’ve never visited, so I don’t really know what to expect. I’m sipping hot chocolate (shocker) on a train, and have about an hour until I will make a transfer in Kilmarnock, then head to Ayr, on the coast. Jonny texted me from Chicago and told me that I should do a hot chocolate collage and frame it. He may be on to something.

The countryside is beautiful! The temperature has finally risen to about 40°, so it’s actually turning into a beautiful day! I don’t yet know if the sun is going to actually make an appearance, however.

12:28

Ok- I’m the idiot who just missed his station. I was lost in thought and didn’t realize we’d reached the transfer. This has never happened before! I hope the next stop is soon so I can backtrack! It wouldn’t be so bad if I was in the city, the next stop would probably only be moments away. Since I’m traveling through the countryside, it may be awhile!

New Cumnock > Ayr | 13:03

I got off at the next stop and checked Scotrail for the next train that would take me back to make my connection to Ayr. The website said the next option wasn’t until after 16:00. I walked into a station cafe and told two ladies my situation. After they were done having a good laugh at this lost American, they told me that there was a bus that left to Ayr in about 15 minutes. I ran over to the bus stop and now I’m back on track (not literally, since I’m not on a train at the moment). This little “detour” should only set me back about half an hour or 40 minutes. Not too much wasted time. Zero stress: I am embracing the adventure!

Ayr Hotel | 21:28

The good news is that I was able to find my hotel very easily- it was probably only about a 10-minute walk from the bus station. Ready for the bad news? Come to find out, I hadn’t missed my stop when I thought I had. I did more research when I got to the hotel and it dawned on me that I still had two stops to go! The moral of the story is- be present and don’t mentally drift off!

This Hotel is awesome! It’s not huge, but some of the decor and furnishings give it a ritzy, almost Downton Abbey vibe, that is, if Downton Abbey was set in modern times. Maybe it was the way the bellman carried my bags up the stairs and called me “sir” (a little bit creepy- I’d prefer ‘dude’). I hereby promise to not act like I don’t deserve to stay here. I just need a bell that I can ring so “the help” can bring my tea…

Tonight I’m laying in bed, deciding what movie to watch. I had an amazing dinner at the hotel here, which was a three-course meal. First, they brought me some chicken skewers in some kind of peanut sauce. It tasted very “Thai”. The second was the main course, which was a pulled lamb over couscous, and dessert was a really good caramel Oreo cheesecake.

I can’t wait to explore the area tomorrow!