Thursday, August 8, 2013

I got published!


So whilst I was traveling, I decided to submit an article to the online magazine elephant journal.
What I wrote about was something I learned about myself while I was traveling with the family.
It's called "Pitfalls of the Introverted Traveler," and you can read it here.

I hope you all had a good time looking at pictures and reading little blurbs about my adventures this summer. Thank you for reading!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ambling in Ambleside: The Lake District and Southport

The last week was spent in the Lake District! We stayed at Derby Cottage, in a town called Ambleside. And 'amble' we did! We spent several days roaming, hiking, perusing shops, and exploring the sites. It was beautiful.
We saw the homes of Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth, we ate the best gingerbread any of us had ever had, and we spent whole days walking small country roads.

Ian and Elaine
Lake Windermere
Elaine at Lake Windermere

The view on my hike with dad! Brigadoon!!

William Wordsworth's grave

Beatrix Potter's house at Hilltop

At the Rydal grounds, we ran across a rehearsal of a week-long amateur orchestra!

Garden at Hilltop

Look what we found in Ambleside!

At the Rydal lands

Then we went to Southport for a couple days. Southport is a British seaside/beach town.

This is not the Lake District... the is Southport, where we went after. It's a British beach/seaside town.

About to go into the haunted ghost ride at the Pleasureland amusement park in Southport!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fa Sol La-ing in Glasgow!

We've been in Glasgow the past few days for a Shape Note singing! This was, in a way, the centerpoint of the family trip. Mother gave a 'beginner's singing school' on Friday night. 

There are actually several groups all across the UK that sing the Shape Note traditions, and, just like in the US, it's a friendly, enthusiastic community. But there were people from places like Germany, the Netherlands, North America (4 or six states and Canada), and Poland as well! 

On Saturday, there was a full-day Sacred Harp singing at Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church. 

I haven't really been to many singings in the States, so I don't have a whole lot to compare this experience to. But it was fabulous to be surrounded by so many people who were passionate about this (or at least intrigued and checking it out!). It was great to join in, even though I don't know these songs very well. 

Just as in the States, everyone sang with lots of gusto! Although there were much taller vowels on the whole, since most of the people were Scottish/British. And some delicious rolled Rs. :)

The singers were from all sorts of backgrounds, too. 

On Sunday there was a two hour guided singing from the Shenandoah Harmony, led by Liz Meitzler. Sunday's session was actually on the University of Glasgow campus. We got to see the following sights on our walk there:

Mother with Ewan Paterson, one of the coordinators of the Singing. 

In other fun news: we went to see Glasgow's answer to Shakespeare in the Park, called Bard in the Botanics. Like the name implies, it's Shakespeare in the Botanical Gardens. We saw a production of Much Ado About Nothing. It started raining during the intermission, but it wasn't so heavy that they had to cancel the show! What was fun about this production (which was set in the present day) is that Lady Beatrice became Lord Bertram! But don't worry, you actresses out there; the loss of one delicious lady's role was replaced by making Dogberrry a girl.

When it started to rain, Mamama picked up her stool and took shelter under a tree like the fairy creature she is.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How Elaine was probably the Oldest person to hike up to the Wallace Monument

Well, the family's been here for a week.
We started out in Edinburgh for several days, and then went to Stirling. We've been to: Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, the National Gallery, the National Museum, Holyrood Park, Stirling Castle, Old Town Stirling, and the Wallace Monument, among many other places.

I've got to send major props to the Mamama. Scotland is hilly. You don't walk around a city and find a flat surface. Often, it manages to be mostly uphill, no matter which way you go. And there's a lot of walking here. Additionally, the castles and monuments sometimes require quite a bit of a hike to get to them. It isn't easy for anyone. Mamama, at 85, and just recovered from a fractured pelvis, has hung in with us. 
Of course, she claims that she's in no shape at all, but it's really funny to watch her speed on by those tour groups of younger retirees...

Basically, I want to be her when I grow up. But don't we all?

Edinburgh Castle

HRG and the Mamama at Edinburgh Castle

Caught in the act

At the National Gallery of Scotland

Outside Holyrood House, Edinburgh
 We returned to Stirling Castle, which was probably our favorite castle from the 2008 trip. The exhibitions at the castle had been even further improved since our last visit.

Ian at Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

View of the Wallace Monument from Stirling Castle

The hike up to the Wallace Monument was steep and tricky for anyone. Once we made it there, we climbed the 250ish steps up to the top of the Monument, stopping at various exhibitions conveniently placed every 70 steps or so. 

Ian and JGale at the top of the Wallace Monument

View from the top of the Wallace Monument