Cameron and I took what is now becoming our standard summer trip in August. Headed north and stopped for a short visit with Aunt Jean and Uncle Ken (and co.) in Slippery Rock. We then continued into Canada and had a short visit with my cousin and faux-niece Jenny. Then we headed up to the cottage in Muskoka for a nice relaxing 5-days of cool, sunny bliss.
Happily we mostly missed the hot and humid days that have plagued Canada this summer. My cool aunt and uncle Lisa and Mike and my grandmother were there for part of our trip and we also overlapped for a few days with my folks. This made for a somewhat crowded cottage at times but it was nice to see everyone.
On the way home we stopped in VA for a ride down the Creeper Trail. It was a bit overcast (ok, occasionally drizzly even) but very cool and it’s an easy ride. We bought a little carrier for Nala and Cam obligingly carted her around. Not sure she loved it… she tried to get out a lot but I think she really just wanted to wander around and smell everything.
My little bro Bobby got married this past weekend to a really sweet girl with an absolutely lovely family. They got married up in Portland, Maine so Cam and I took a couple of days up there to visit. It wasn’t really what I expected at all – but then again my last visit to Portland was the one in Oregon (so not the same). This Portland was much smaller and more quaint. And the people were so nice. We also got to do dinner with one of my best friends from college, Mandy, and her new hubby Apples, which was awesome! Miss her so much!
Got some photos here. I won’t lie: there was some drinking. But we had to in order to stay warm. That place has some ocean breezes.
I wanted to write up a recap of the trip. Several folks have mentioned wanting to do a trip like this, so I thought I’d pull together our thoughts and tips. If they’re not helpful for others hopefully they’ll at least remind us what not to do next time… Continue reading The UK Recap
Favorite city/location: Edinburgh Favorite hotel: Oooh… tough. None of the hotels sucked (well, the Holiday Inn the last night wasn’t great) but they all had pros and cons. I guess my favorite room – and oh, the view – has to go to Cameron House. Favorite meal: Another tough one. We ate a lot of good food. Calling it a tie. Waxy O’Conner’s in Glasgow (Bacon, brie, and cranberry sandwich with cajun chips and rocket) and the breakfast in Edinburgh with haggis, eggs, and a croissant (which was also really good at Culloden House, albeit with black pudding instead of haggis). Favorite venue/attraction: Edinburgh High Street, I think. I’m cheating a bit because that covers a lot of ground, including the Edinburgh Castle, but it was all awesome. Favorite transportation: We traveled by boat, car, train, bus, and plane. Train! Place you’d most like to visit again: Kyle of Lochalsh and Isle of Skye. It was so wet while we were there we didn’t get to enjoy it. And there’s apparently an awesome castle in Lochalsh we didn’t even know about (not that we had time to see it). Weirdest thing about UK: Umm… The fact that they don’t use top sheets on their beds. They have a bottom (fitted) sheet, and a comforter or duvet, but that’s it. I thought I was being punked when I pulled down the bedspread in London but none of the hotels had a top sheet. Weird. Also they call lettuce “rocket” which is so much better than lettuce. Best thing you packed: My boots. Love those bad boys and I definitely was able to go place I might not have because I wasn’t worried about mud and things. Also our portable charger.
Favorite city/location: Edinburgh Favorite hotel: the Doubletree in London. Loved the bathroom. Favorite meal: the Bacon, brie and cranberry sandwich (Waxy O’Conner’s) Favorite venue/attraction: Edinburgh Castle (Stirling Castle and Skye are close seconds) Favorite transportation: Train. Buses were cool too. Place you’d most like to visit again: Would love to do Skye again with more history about the island. Weirdest thing about UK: Traffic signs Best thing you packed: Phone. Came in handy all the time for looking things up or when we had downtime.
Well, sad to report that jet lag reared its ugly head last night. Both of us woke up around 1am and took nearly 2 hours to fall back asleep. Since we’d stayed up late hoping to avoid just this situation we really wound up short-changed on rest and dragged our sleepy butts out of bed on Friday AM. Continue reading Train Day!
We started off our second day in England by sleeping. A lot. We woke up around noon – totally missed the free breakfast. And as much as I was sorry to lose so much time in our hotel we really needed that sleep. Continue reading London, part deux (the reckoning)
It’s been a crazy fall and I can’t believe it’s almost November already! We’ve been very busy: moving, redoing floors, selling houses, Oktoberfest, conferences. My brother Bobby recently got engaged to a lovely lady, Nicole – congrats guys! And we miss Greg and Erika up in Boston but we still get to see Mike, Bea, and the nephews, most recently for the Canes opening night.
Cameron, Nala, and I headed outta town for a way-overdue vacation recently. It was pretty low-key: we headed up to Canada to visit with family and hang out at the cottage. Highlights from said vacation are included below and big thanks to Cathi and Jenny, Mary, Peggy, Lisa and Mike, and my grandma for hosting and/or visiting with us!