Stamina, Schmamina

Jill’s Tips for Traveling: Eat often. Sit down when you see a seat.

Stamina n., enduring physical or mental energy and strength that allows somebody to do something for a long time

Stamina is not one of my strengths. In fact, if I could re-roll this character, I’d make stamina my primary trait, as its lack is something I miss constantly.

We spent about four hours at Edinburgh Castle yesterday. Four cold and windy hours. But I don’t want to complain, I want to tell you how beautiful it was, perched up on its rocky peak, amazing views everywhere you look, century upon century of human history underfoot. I want to show how awed I am by touching stone walls touched by some hard working mason four-hundred years ago. Some dude, who probably went down the pub that night and complained about repairing walls his great-grandfather built.

Almost looks as cold as it felt.

I want to tell you about all the people I saw, all the different languages I heard, and how the staff were all so patient and kind. Well, all except one guy…

In the Scottish National War Memorial, they have two dozen or so books listing the names of all the Scottish soldiers who died in the two world wars, arranged by regiment. It has a somber air, and is the only place where no photography is allowed. But the books have heavy covers, edged in metal, and the first time a new visitor opens one, they inevitably drop the cover onto the pedestal holding the book with a loud crash. And then they slink away, embarrassed by the noise they’ve made, afraid to touch the book again. At this point, the staff member, a wiry, middle-aged man with a quick, nervous step, rushes over to the book, and with a frown and a sigh, closes it. As I sat, resting, I watched him dart from book to book, closing each one, and sighing every time.

I would have giggled if I’d had any energy. The War Memorial was about as far as we got on the tour before I had to call it quits. The sun was setting, even though it was only 2:30, so maybe that had something to do with it. My brain has always had a strong connection to daylight.

Despite all that, Will has remarked often thus far how positively chipper I’ve been. But a few hours later, after a nap and some shopping, we started to search for a place for dinner, and my crabby side emerged. In my defense, we walked for an hour around the supposedly ‘quaint’ in-between streets of the New City (or is it new town?) before giving up and heading back to the Old City where our hotel is located. Rose Street in particular, I had read, was supposed to be a good place to find a restaurant, but all we saw was a lot of the same bars, over and over, and a lot of drunk barely 20-somethings, not at all dressed appropriately for the near-freezing temperature.

Now don’t think this was just my crabby-induced intolerance speaking, Will is the one that said it reminded him of South Street in Philly on prom night.

When we finally sat down to eat, my cheerfulness returned instantly.

Eat often, Sit when you see a seat. Stamina, schmamina.