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The Ensign's Dream

We wandered all the way up the street with the large nose on it until the cobblestones poured out onto the Royal Mile. I couldn't fully understand why it was called the Royal Mile at the time but the explanation would present itself the following day.

We hadn't been walking long when we stopped for another drink - this time something a bit stiffer. The two of us wandered into a place called Ensign Ewart, where I marveled at the 1600's date above the window next to the name. Dumbfounded, I didn't know what to say. I stupidly asked if it had always been the same pub and the swift "yes" still surprised me.

Robert ordered what he calls Jack Daniels and Lemonade, but much to my surprise Lemonade turned out to be the word for Sprite or 7-Up in Scotland. It was a good drink, though quite strong for what I was used to. While he ordered, I sat at the table and reviewed photos in my camera. As I sat waiting for the drink and Robert's return, a familiar sound reached my ears. A couple from the Southern United States were talking to another American couple at the table next to me. They were discussing how to operate their camera to not focus on the background but rather on the people in the foreground. Here I sat with my rather impressive looking DSLR camera in my hands as they glanced over in my direction. What was I to do? I offered some tips to the couple, who were equally surprised that I shared an American accent with them.

Robert returned to the table with two drinks just as I was explaining how the flash wasn't needed for some shots and to turn it off was a simple function. I explained that the shutter time would last longer, leaving the lens open and making a steady hand or solid placement of the camera an absolute must if they didn't want blurry pictures.

It turned out the couple was from Virginia and had come over to Scotland on a cruise ship with a tour. They were only in Edinburgh for the afternoon and were shortly heading up to the castle to do the tour of the infamous structure still in use by the Royal Military. Finally they packed up their items, Robert got a second round, I took a few photos, and we decided to move on to the next location. As I stood up, my brain swam around in my skull like a life jacket in a bath tub. I shook it off, took a breath, grabbed the arm of the man I loved, and bravely headed out the door. It was only the begining of the long evening to come and the massive hang over I would discover in the morning.


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