Well we are a few days into our first house sit in a small village called Cambus, in the Clackmananshire area of Scotland, near Stirling. It’s suburban but on the edge of a rural area so the best of both worlds with sheep farms and countryside a step away. We’ve settled into a routine and living life like the local Scots which really isn’t much different from life at home, only the accents are different.
Well it was our last full day in Glasgow and we decided to wander over to The People’s Palace as it is a walkable distance from our apartment on the east end of the city. The People’s Palace is located in the Glasgow Green, a large 136-acre urban park along the river Clyde and within walkable distance of downtown. Its center piece is the Palace and attached Winter Gardens, highlighted by the incredible Doulton Fountain.
One of the top tourist destinations in Glasgow is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Museum and Park. Situated on the northwest end of town on Argyle street by the banks of the River Kelvin it is the most popular ‘free to enter’ visitor attraction in Scotland. The museum opened in 1901 as the Palace for Fine Arts for the Glasgow International Exhibition held that year. It is built in a Spanish Baroque style in the local red bricks, a magnificent building with a grand pipe organ occupying the heart of the museum in its grand hall which is played daily at 1pm.
If you’re in Glasgow and looking for a day trip out to the Scottish Countryside a great option is the Isle of Arran down south. The island is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, often the locals travel here for the day to hike its many trails or ‘walk the hills’ as they say.. If we had more time, I’d be planning some hikes here. The island is divided by the Highland fault line that runs right threw, separating the mountainous north end to the lush pastures of the south and making for some diverse terrain. Cycling also seems to be very popular here as many cyclists had transported their bikes onto the ferry and were seen about the island. We also saw lots of sailboaters and kayakers playing in the bay.
We’ll it’s day three in Glasgow and we’re starting to come out of our surreal fog as the trip begins to feel real!
The few days before leaving it started to sink in that we would be away for a long time and we struggled with the emotions of saying good-bye to friends and family, thinking about leaving the dogs and especially the kids. We hadn’t anticipated it being hard, Janet cried on and off for the two days prior. The word ‘AIRPORT’ became the trigger and the kids and I made a game of it, maybe a bit cruel like tickling but we thought it was hilarious!
My experience with the ghosts of Hotel El Convento
In 2010 while on vacation in Puerto Rico I had an experience that shook me to the core and I’m going to tell you about it. I haven’t shared this story much; I don’t know why it was hard to verbalize. Many of you might think I’m off my rocker, I am hesitant but at the same time feel compelled to tell this story. I don’t know if it was supernatural or maybe my subconscious reconciling the day’s experiences but whatever it was it spooked me and at the same time had me vibrating with excitement.
Why I decided to learn Italian and how to learn another language
Learning another language as I found out requires a lot of determination, some people have a natural affinity for picking up languages but I found out I don’t!
In June of 2007 for our 20th anniversary Janet and I, along with my cousin and her husband went on a 16-day cruise vacation through Europe. It began with three days in Rome and ended with a few days in Venice. Prior to departing for our cruise I had decided to take a course on the Italian language.
OMG, yesterday was the one-month countdown to our trip and excitement isn’t what we’re feeling right now!
All of a sudden the reality of a year away is sinking in and we’re feeling stressed, a high level of anxiety, we’re short tempered and mix that with a little excitement we’re powder kegs of emotions- not how we thought we’d be feeling. My brain doesn’t focus either. Yesterday I went to the bank to make a deposit, got a receipt and walked away. I got to my truck and just happened to take another look at my wallet, something was missing. Shit, I left my debit card in the machine. I ran back to the ATM and it was still open- ‘would you like to make another transaction?’ Thank god I didn’t drive off, someone could have cleaned out my account.
How Long can you travel in Europe or the Schengen zone visa Free?
What is a Schengen Visa? Many people have asked after hearing about our application to remain in Italy for a period beyond the allowed 90 day stay. Most had never heard of Schengen before and commented ‘how would they know’, ‘maybe you are being too diligent at following the rules’, ‘I never heard of that before’ and asked ‘what could happen if you stayed longer’? Well, big brother knows all and you don’t want to mess around, here’s why;
If you’ve had a bucket list dream of traveling a year in Italy as a tourist, slowly moving from north to south, living La Dolce Vita as we have then fugeddaboutit! The Schengen Visa agreement of which Italy and most of the other EU countries are part of, only allow a tourist to enter and remain in the Schengen zone for up to 90 days within a 181 day period making a year long stay virtually impossible! Sorry to shatter your dreams but you’d have a better chance by floating up to the Italian shores in a dingy and claiming refugee status!
One of central attractions of the Calgary Stampede are the nightly Chuckwagon races and Grandstand show, with one ticket you get this doubleheader including admission to the park. The evening officially starts at 7:45pm with the blast of a klaxon, kicking off the GMC Rangeland Derby that features nine heats of four chuckwagon teams. Pick your favorite team and join the crowd in cheering on the competitors! When the last Chuck thunders across the finish line the stage is set for the Grandstand show. The show features the Young Canadians dancing and singing to a different theme each year. This years theme is a salute to Guy Weadick, the founding father of the Calgary Stampede.Continue Reading
Today is Friday, July 8th the official kick-off for the Greatest Show on Earth, the Calgary Stampede 2016. Sneak-A-Peek opens the evening before but the parade is the official kickoff for 10 days of festivities that consume the city and highlight our western heritage. I’m embarrassed to say but I have never been before, as a child no one had ever taken us and as an adult I choose to avoid the crowds and instead watch it on TV from the comforts of home. I had a pre-conceived idea of more hassle than fun, off overwhelming crowds, people deep, fighting for space or a spot to peek thru the masses. I heard people would camp out the night before or head down in the wee dawn hours just to get a premium spot, if you arrived later you’d be out of luck unless one of the lucky few who have company sponsored bleacher seats.Continue Reading
Just back from a couple of days camping and hiking in Waterton Lakes National Park. If you are in the Calgary, Alberta area you need to take a trip here! Banff is the internationally known mountain/park area but I personally believe it is surpassed in beauty and diversity by Waterton. Its variety of flora, fauna and wildlife make it one of the most beautiful mountain parks I have visited and I try to go every summer although there is lots to do here in the winter also.Continue Reading