While there was very little in the way of proper Thanksgiving celebration (the closest I came was a dinner hosted by my hall in which we sat with our plates of turkey and mashed potatoes on the couches in the common room), my weekend was eventful and spectacular in many ways.  Two celebrations were in order.  First, my friend Lluvia’s birthday required festivities.  Secondly, St Andrew’s Day involves all sorts of fun here in Edinburgh.  Between the two, I enjoyed a very busy (and not in a school-related way) weekend.

Needless to say, there are benefits to being the one behind the camera.  It meant I got to prompt everyone to make a dorky I Am Eating Food face without participating.  Cunning photographer is cunning.

 Originally, we were going to do Thanksgiving themed food, but we ended up making homemade mac ‘n cheese (and really, is there anything better?) and applesauce (which can be eaten plain, Karen) and mushrooms and tomatoes stuffed with feta and other goodies.  I think it came out quite well.

 Then, I wanted to make the pumpkin pie.  I searched for a can opener, only to discover that Lluvia and Karen had no such device.  This is how Karen opens cans.  It was terrifying to behold.

 Insert Ambiance
 Insert PIE!

Insert “Happy Birthday, dear Lluvia” and a white chocolate/strawberry cake.  We probably ate way too much, but that is what one does when trying to make up for missing an official, proper American Thanksgiving.  We overcompensated in splendid form.

 After church on Sunday, Joelle and Lluvia and I had grand plans to go to a nearby castle, but we did not figure in the amount of time it took to get to the castle with how late church lunch ends, so we decided to sacrifice the castle for a leisurely wander through the German market.

 Soft, plushy reindeer pelts.  There are so many Santa/sleigh/Christmas jokes that could be told.  I will refrain.

 Only in a German market would you find such things as a Sausage House.  Big hunks of meat and sausage links hung inside another nearby stall.

 I would like to point to Hannah and Margaret, the bird enthusiasts, that I discovered birds.  In my professional opinion, they are Fluffy Christmas Birds.

Near the Fluffy Christmas Birds were Holiday Mice and a horde of little Gnome Santas.

And I found a fabulous dragon!!! He is cute and made of painted clay and wants to come home with me.  He had friends too!  If I’d brought cash with me…

 The first of many dangly sparkly things…

 I feel like this overabundance of nutcrackers is rather creepy.  They look like they might form a troop and march in sync down the street and somehow with their mysterious creepy doll powers would proceed to destroy all in their paths…

But maybe that’s just my impression.

 This stall had an excellent supply of glowiness.  I approved.

 Magical…

 You get the point.  I saw things that sparkled.  I took a picture.  I moved on.

 Another dragon!  I wanted one as well.  He’s so pretty!  I hadn’t considered looking in a Christmas market for dragons, but clearly that is where they are to be found.

 Leave it to a German fair to have bags of waffles in this form.

 And chocolate… thingies…

 See? See?  There are dragons everywhere!  Unfortunately, many of said dragons are a mite on the expensive side.  These little guys had serious illusions of grandeur.

 A perfect photo spot which had to be utilized.

 Me, Lluvia, and a ferris wheel.  It was a very good day, indeed.

 Farewell for now, Christmas fair!  I shall return… with money.

We were promised fireworks over the castle.  They started late and our fingers, ears, and toes were beginning to question our sanity.  There is only so much time you can spend staring at a huge flag projected onto a castle wall.

 I wandered, snapped shots, and waited for the promised explosions of prettiness.

 Looking a little cold, but still very happy!

 When the show finally did start, we didn’t get fireworks.  Instead, a man with an accent about as Scottish as they come told us the story of Scotland’s awesomeness.  There were pictures.

 That is a very blurry Mary Queen of Scots.  The pictures disappeared too soon for me to get really clear shots.

 That’s Eric Liddell in the picture above!  Yay!

And then things started to explode, starting with giant thistles.  Only in Scotland…

 …followed by sparkling fountains…

And then the big explosions that we had been waiting for.

 And now you will be treated to what is more or less a photographic play by play of the fireworks display.  What can I say?  I took a lot of pictures.

 The fun thing about this show was that it wasn’t just launching fireworks.  There was music and the fireworks came in very well planned waves.   It was extremely well done.

 Then I started taking blurry pictures in an attempt to be clever.

They are… interesting shots?

 I could not get close enough to confirm, but I believe this is an ice sculpture of William Wallace.

My second guess was the Statue of Liberty, but I somehow doubt it.

It’s always sad to call an end to a truly excellent day, but I think we were all exhausted, frozen (a bit like Wallace here), and ready to get some rest.

I may have missed Thanksgiving, but St Andrew’s Day came in a fairly decent second.