Thursday, May 29, 2014

Aberdeen City - Food, Flowers, Whiskey Tasting, and Other Sites

When my aunt and uncle came for a visit, we spent some time just seeing Aberdeen. Here we are in front of our house!

We HAD to go to the baker on Church Street (Open from 21:00 - 18:00 the next day.. yep) They have terrific fried pies!

I like the lasagna one best. Steve likes the cheeseburger pasty!
We spent one morning going to Herd's Butcher for some sausage, bacon, eggs, and black pudding!

Me frying the black pudding for breakfast. So yummy!
Loved walking around downtown! Lisa kept saying, "Everything is so gray!" I told her, "Yeah, people always say that you can't tell where the buildings end and the sky begins. I like the gray."


Jim, me, and Steve in front of Marischal College.
For dinner one night, we took them to the Albyn. They have excellent haggis. At least they did. They took it off the menu! Fortunately, they had fried haggis and fried black pudding balls, which were really good, and Chicken Rob Roy (Chicken stuffed with haggis).

Coconut chicken

Pan fried sea bass

Chicken Rob Roy

Chicken with truffle cream sauce
After dinner, we took Jim and Lisa to The Grill where you can find the largest whiskey selection in Aberdeen. It's also one of the oldest pubs and has the longest match striking strip (I'm not sure of it's proper name) running along the side of the bar.

You can have a whiskey tasting of 4 different types called the tour of the regions. 
Our last stop was Seaton Park. At the top of the hill in Seaton Park there is a garden. It's like the secret garden! It's walled in and has lots of lovely flowers! It's just beautiful at this time of year. There is free parking at Seaton Park that can be found via Don Street when traveling on King Street from the City Centre toward the Bridge of Don.

Starting to rain...
Starting to pour...
We weren't deterred. We carried on to Brig O Balgownie, the oldest bridge in Aberdeen. It crosses the River Don.

Thanks to Lisa for some of her pictures, and for a great time! We really had fun. :o)

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Heineken Experience and Greek/Spanish Tapas - Amsterdam

Here are pictures from the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam. Get your tickets from a tourist desk to skip the lines and get an extra beer. Beware the free gift. It's a tiny Heineken glass, so it's cute, but you have about a 20 minute walk to the Heineken store away from the Experience to get your glass. The good news is that there are many restaurants and pubs in that area so if you plan it just right, you'll have a spot for dinner. :o) This really is an experience. It's something you can do if you have kids because there are lots of games. I particularly like the area where you walk across the floor and can kick around the stuff projected onto the floor. hehe.

You don't actually see the brewing process. You just get to check out a mock brewery.

At the tasting. That glass is the size of your free glass that you get.

Yes, there is a "ride" here. You stand on a moving platform and watch a video. There are some surprises! It's cheesy but fun. Great if you are going as a family.

Want to stop for some PS3? Yep... they've got it.

For dinner we went to Oresti's. The food was FANTASTIC. The staff were so friendly, and the owner was so nice! He made sure I had a taste of ouzo before leaving.

Blue cheese fondue with chips and bread for dipping! Yum!

Fish egg salad and octopus. That fish egg salad was really yummy! Steve didn't want to order it, but then he ate half of it after tasting!

Just for fun:

My aunt Lisa took these pictures to recreate this event. When we first got our tram tickets, we weren't quite sure when and where to swipe the cards. At the stops in the suburbs, there were two card swipe machines that we, of course, couldn't read. Steve, Lisa, and I got lucky. We all swiped ourselves in using the correct reader. Jim used a different one. I think it was the one that just gives your balance. Anyway, Steve, Lisa, and I went to a worker and were asking for directions. He pulled out a map to explain. Meanwhile, unnoticed by the rest of us, Jim was stuck behind the gates waving his arms and yelling to get our attention! He couldn't get out because technically he never checked in to the tram! LOL.

Steve said, "Uh.." and pointed. We ran to help and couldn't stop laughing. I said, "Steve, you could have told us he was stuck!" Steve said, "Uh.. I tried." We said, "What happened?" and Steve responds, "His thing wouldn't work," which immediately sent us into more hysterical laughter. We are so mature.