By Megan Mack | June 25, 2018

Everyone always wants to know what you did on your vacation or what the highlights were. As a book/theater nerd, my highlights fit nicely into a library blog post. The two best parts of my vacation were the long weekend in Inverness, Scotland, and the Saturday matinee of the show “Hamilton: An American Musical.”

I spent the Memorial Weekend holiday in Inverness which is in the highlands of Scotland. Despite the fact that they have a pollen count up there that is so high it landed me with a raging sinus infection, I cannot imagine a more beautiful place to vacation. There is a lot of water as it sits on the River Ness which is fed by Loch Ness (Yes, I did hunt for Nessie, but sadly I did not drink enough Highland Hot Chocolate to see her.) and mountains all around.

For all of us “Outlander” fans, Inverness has even more meaning as the place where Claire and Jamie’s (the main characters of the best love story in literature…argue with me … I dare ya) story begins. It is also about 5 miles from Culloden, where the last Scottish uprising occurred and the end of the highland culture began. I walked the Culloden battlefield and got to see the Fraser Clan’s memorial stone. If you are an “Outlander” fan, I cannot say loudly enough how powerful it is to go to Inverness and Culloden in person (Or if you’re a history buff of some variety or you just like to travel). I seriously cannot wait to make a return trip!

The last Saturday of my vacation was spent at the Victoria Palace Theatre in the West End of London. I paid a small fortune to see “Hamilton: An American Musical” performed by a cast of primarily British actors (No, they did not use their accents. They sang in American accents!) The basic premise of the show is the story of Alexander Hamilton and his beginnings as an orphan in the Caribbean, his rise as George Washington’s aide in the Revolutionary War, becoming the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (You know … that guy on the $10 bill?) and finally his infamous duel with Aaron Burr. If you’ve never listened to the soundtrack or read anything about the show, then you are certainly missing out. It is one of those incredibly well-written and well-performed shows that do not, honestly, come around that often. I was moved to audible sobbing more than once during the 2-hour and 45-minute show. There is no dialogue, just beautifully performed music and great choreography. It was such a unique experience and made me more than a little proud to be one of the random Americans in the audience that day.

If you are reading through this post and thinking to yourself, “I don’t know about any of the things she is mentioning?” Do not fear, as your public library has got you covered!

Here are some places to begin:

“Outlander-y” ItemsOutlander book cover

“Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon (First in the Series)

“Outlander, Season One, Volume One”

“Outlander, Season One, Volume Two”

“Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook”

“The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel”

Hamiltonian ItemsHamilton: Original Broadway Cast Recording CD cover

“Hamilton: Original Broadway Cast Recording”

“Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow

“Hamilton: The Revolution” by Lin-Manuel Miranda

“Hamilton: One Shot to Broadway”