Friday, January 8, 2010

Photo links here are broken but...

You can find most of them on under the photos. This blog has also been turned into a pdf book. (VERY LARGE) and can be found there as well.

Friday, June 15, 2007

June 15 - Sugar Creek - Lindesfarne pics

We're back from Britain - invasion successful. We had a ball and it's a vacation I'll never forget!

Here's some photos from Lindesfarne that I haven't had a chance to post yet but thought you'd like to see them.

And for my final image I'll leave you with this one. (Thanks Hannah for taking it - Terry was already asleep)


Thursday, June 14, 2007

14 June 2007 - Chicago

We're almost home. The flight from Glasgow to Newark wasn't too bad. We each got seats that were window or aisle with no one in the middle seat. I'm afraid I'm in the dog house though, I got bumped to first class PURELY BY ACCIDENT, I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT I SWEAR! Terry and Meg were not so lucky. Then someone gave her the wrong time and we ran to the next gate only to figure out when we were out of breath and feeling the burn that they were off by an hour. We are waiting patiently for the next flight...Home is within reach.

Now about Hannah, since she is sitting next to me whining that I'm leaving her out. So she got the middle bulkhead seat in coach and had a really fun time talking with the gal next to her and picking on me in my big wide leather seat while I drank wine and had a nubile young cabana boy peel me grapes (that last part is a lie...the grapes were not peeled)...We'll be home in awhile talk to you later...gj

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

One more thing

We're back in the land of $15.00 per mb of data so no more photos till we get home I think. Then I'll post something from Lindesfarne (for you ruined priory fans) and the cheviots.

Later gj

13, June 2008 Glasgow Scotland

Tomorrow we leave for home. It's been a whirlwind in spite of our best intentions to have it remain restful. The last few days have been especially busy.

Today we walked through the shopping district that starts (from our perspective) on Sauchiehall street. We had originally planned to do museums and such but we're all kind of museumed out after yesterday.

Hannah bought many textile objects and a shiny new red suitcase to hold her purchases. Meg finally found a particular tartan she was looking for and I bought a diet coke so I could break a 10 pound note to get into the bathrooms at Central (train) station. We had lunch at TGIF - a sure sign of travel fatigue. We also managed to find a way to avoid the 20% grade hill back up to our hotel. That would be 18 degrees of elevation in one city block for you who are keeping score. We also found another Tardis but someone was selling coffee out of it. There was a guy painted up like and egyptian kings tomb - an interesting choice of busking art - who we gave almost all our copper to in exchange for an elegant bow.

Yesterday was a travel day but having not yet learned the lesson we went out in the morning and hit the museum (having bypassed that the day before for Falkirk and the wheel). It was a great museum and we finally got to see the Lewis Chess Men. There was shopping in a great many kilt / woolen shops and a wonderful lunch at the Tower Restaurant in the Museum of Scotland afterwards. The winning dish was the carrot and fennel(or was it caraway - I can't remember now) soup. About five we headed back to the B&B to cab with our mountain of luggage to the train station and head out from Edinburgh to Glasgow.

Getting the four of us and the 9 bags onto a crowded train rachets up the stress levels and an hour later when we debarked at Glasgow we were already tired. We were collected at the station by a bossy taxi driver (not at all encouraging like our favorite driver Derek from Alnwick) in the rain. He managed to get us and our luggage into the taxi (not that we had any choice as he wedged us and our luggage in the back of a traditional black cab. He then did the usual quiz to make sure we still knew where we came from and how long we have been in the country. His brogue was quite heavy but we were able to keep up by picking out key phrases we were able to understand. The rest we nodded said Oh Aye, and when completely unsure what he had said laughed nervously. That last part usually works regardless of the language. He was quite a character, he thought Ronald Reagan waved his hand like a poof.

A foggy taxi drive later arrived at our latest mountaintop retreat. The Old Schoolhouse Hotel. Incidentally the picture on the website for the OSH is not the hotel itself but we suspect the old school house that the hotel is located somewhat near. That mystery has not yet been solved. These Scots are certainly wily when it comes to marketing their properties. Don't get me wrong each has been a pleasant facility with accomodations that met our needs and in most cases exceeded our expectations for service but there seemed to be a little slight of hand going on at any rate.

Once we were properly settled we set out for dinner in the rain by trudging down the hill where we found an italian restaurant that appeared to be owned/operated/staffed largely by Greeks. One of them in particular had a grand time poking fun of my pronunciation of water which is apparently more like wadder. Well, we got back at them good. About half way through dinner Hannah wasn't feeling well so I walked her back to the hotel (I get triple bonus points for walking up that hill at full speed TWICE last night). When I got back both the apparent owner and his manager had very worried looks on their faces and wondered what had happened. We were very tempted to tell them it was the wadder. Other than that dinner was very good with a nice sangeovese to accompany. There was really awesome bruschetta with tomatoes and basil and then I had a penne pasta with a creamy tomato and pesto sauce while Meg and Hannah each had calzone and Terry had a pancetta pizza.

That brings you up to date from our day at Falkirk I think.

Tomorrow we leave around 10am for the airport and the flights back home. Here's fair warning for those of you who may be eager to talk to us once we get back. We leave at 12noon Glasgow time which is 5am Kansas City time. Once we get to Kansas City (assuming everything goes as planned) it will be 10 pm then another hour for each of us to get home. So that's 18 hours travelling. I for one will want to sleep VERY VERY VERY LATE. I have two Dr. appts on Friday as well so give us until Saturday to get our brains back on Central Daylight time and our brains together before expecting a recount of our adventures. We can't wait to give you the 17 hour slide show presentation with charts, maps, books, videos, and 3700 8x10 color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us...... gj

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tuesday June 12. Day Twenty

6/12/07 Day Twenty. Tuesday.

A good breakfast, another 44 bus ride, and a walk of 7 or 8 blocks put us at the National Museum of Scotland this morning, where I finally got to see the Lewis Chessmen. I don't know why I am fascinated by these figures, but I just am. After staring at them for a long time, taking several pictures, and running to the museum shop to purchase a little book about them, I finally tagged along with the rest of the crew to look at the rest of the museum. It's an excellent museum. I was struck again with the sense of time travel while looking at the prehistoric Scotland exhibit. A large rock sits near a plaque which states that this country is founded upon Lewisian Gneiss approximately 3400 million years old. Somehow it seems poetic or something that we four started our own journey to Scotland sitting, walking, admiring and climbing on this same Lewisian Gneiss in its home turf, or bog, more appropriately.

This rock, with its smooth sides and mysterious ripply markings crashed itself into my heart when our trip began. I cannot look at it without also seeing huge waves crashing on cliffs, seabirds soaring overhead, feeling ocean spray on my face, smelling peat burning, hearing sheep bleating and watching the sunset from the most beautiful place on earth. This rock has formed my first and most lasting impression of Scotland, and I think it is indeed a most poetic and perfect coincidence that this rock is the foundation of the country itself.

A country built on this rock cannot help but be rugged, strong and beautiful. A person who treks across this rock cannot help but be changed forever.


We split up for a few hours in the afternoon. Terry went off galavanting by himself while we women just walked a bit down Princes Street, finally stopping at a coffee house and just doing some people watching.

Once we met up again, we went back to Melville and gathered our belongings, taxied to the train station, and hopped the next train to Glasgow. After getting our rooms and dropping off the luggage at The Old School House, we went for a short walk to a fine Italian restaurant not far from here. Hannah wasn't feeling well, and ended up going back to the hotel before her meal even came, but the rest of us (after making sure she was home and safe and alright) stayed and stuffed ourselves and enjoyed a nice Sangiovese before returning and heading to bed.


PS I think all of Scotland is uphill. I don't know how they do it. Everywhere we go though, we have some huge hill we have to walk everyday. This time it's where we're staying. Renfrew street is just one block from Sauchiehall, (pronounced SokeeHoe) the main shopping street, but to get back to Renfrew to go home, we have to walk pretty much straight up.


Quick Post on Falkirk for photos

Just a quick post before we leave this morning to post a picture of Falkirk Wheel. By the way it is the very coolest thing ever. I got lots and lots of pictures (Dad) and a CD presentation so we'll be able to give the full effect.

For the Joneses in the bunch -

Can you believe it - I ran out of battery half way through the trip. But not before I got this one of the locks at the top of the wheel.

And this lock below the wheel...