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Archive for July, 2010

Holiday Part 2

After our western Scottish holiday, we managed an equally short but sweet trip to the north of England.  When Enterprise has rental deals cheaper than what you’d pay to own a car for three days and when relatives have traveled over 6000 miles, what else could we do?  Again, thanks to the hospitality of people we’d never met (relatives of relatives), we enjoyed one night in the seaside town of Whitehaven.  The next day we poked around the iconic Lake District and stayed the night in the 18th century Barton House B&B where the caretaker seemed about as old and full of character as the B&B.  Our little jaunt concluded with a scenic drive on the backroads of Northumberland where we met the longest, straightest, hilliest stretch of road any of us (Julian included) had ever seen.  It’s really too bad this blog can’t share the thrills of those hills. They were roller-coaster caliber, the kind that throw your stomach into your throat as you unexpectedly crest one hill and plummet down another.  And, yes, we were safe.

The view from our first night's lodgings. That's the Irish Sea in the background.

At Whitehaven Harbour with Uncle Aldie and Aunt Bev

First stop in the Lake District was Keswick, home of the Cumberland Pencil Museum. Not sure we'll ever use pencils again, chum.

Traffic stopped for several minutes because ol' Bessie and her family tried to cross the road.

Typical scenery in the Lakes...when the sun was out

Our water taxi on the lake called Ullswater. Not 'Ullswater Lake'; just Ullswater.

From the boat

In front of Barton House, our B&B. Looks like Uncle Aldie has assumed the professor's stance. And, it also looks like Julian is a delinquent student.

Lingering over the full English breafast...it wasn't IHOP, but it wasn't bad either

On the journey back to Scotland we passed this 12th century church.

A 14th century castle turned posh hotel with peacocks (!) roaming the grounds. See http://www.langleycastle.com for more.

This hut is not very old, but it stands on the site of a Celtic settlement dating from about 300 AD.

Yep, those hills in Northumberland were a blast.

At the Scottish border looking toward Edinburgh. Looks a bit ominous!

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Epiphany

You know you’re not in Kansas when a) you go to T.K. Maxx to buy a muffin tin and b) you leave T. K. Maxx with a Yorkshire pudding pan because it was half the price and slightly better quality than the muffin pan.

What's the difference?

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Loch Fyne

They say it’s all about whom you know. We’d humbly like to disagree.  We recently spent a brief holiday, er, vacation, on the shores of Loch Fyne thanks (in part) to people we’ve never met.  To prove the truism, though, if it weren’t for people we know who know people that we don’t, we never would have made it.  As it is, after three hours on the road, including a good twenty minutes on a single-track road with the occasional pull-out, we arrived at a whitewashed cottage with an unobstructed view of calm water and relished two days of no email, no buses, no diesel fumes, fragrant roses, time to read, friends, savory food, and so on.

The route

The cottage

The view

After crashing his car, Juian tries to escape. That top wire is barbed...talk about desperation!

A brief jaunt to a nearby town.

Doesn't the smiley-face utterly compel you to keep the sidewalks clean?

We do things differently in Scotland...

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