|A Few Antique Cameras|
It’s difficult to write a travel and photography blog when I’m not traveling and I haven’t had the camera out for a month. I do have a couple of stories and some photos from past travels that I’d like to share. I will have some new material in a few weeks—when we get back from Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and Zion. Until then, I hope you enjoy these:
|Local residents, Amulree, Scotland.|
|In the far northwest corner of Scotland, this gang of ducks pecked our car until I got out and paid ransom.|
Our Scottish niece, Ailsa (adopted by us after living with the B&B family since she was three years old), has the good habit of working hard on her studies and thus being tired often. She also has the bad habit of not being easy to wake up. Jim and Elizabeth often stay and run the B&B when Ailsa’s parents are away on a trip. This particular evening Jim was teasing Ailsa about missing the school bus (a bus from her private school picks her up in front of the B&B six days a week—rigorous school program) the last time her folks were gone and he had to drive her the forty minutes to school. She promised, promised, promised that she’d be on time for the bus in the morning.
|A Canby jay|
So, the bus pulls up the next morning at 7:00—we can see it out our bedroom window—and waits for about three minutes. No Ailsa, the bus drives away. Two minutes later Ailsa screams, “Oh, no!” and hurries downstairs and out the front to no avail. Jim had an early appointment, so this time Elizabeth had to take Ailsa to school. Believe me, Liz was not happy about it as she was supposed to be fixing breakfasts for the guests. The only thing that saved Ailsa’s hide was that Anne and I and our friends the Gordons were the only guests and we were okay with fixing our own breakfasts.
Ailsa made me promise, promise, promise not to tease her about sleeping in. I’m just terrible about keeping promises.
|A Fur Coat and a Winter Snack|
|Osprey, Cullen, Scotland|
|I think this is Mrs. Jay.|
|Anne at Gurnsey Broch in the Orkneys.|
Defending the Dinner Table
Anne and I had had a full day of touring in southwest Scotland. We’d played 18 holes at Stranraer GC, visited both Corsewall and Killantringer Lighthouses (thirty miles of single track road), and wandered the seaside village of Portpatrick with its own old lighthouse. We stopped in at the Crown Hotel for a beer and some writing time.
|Exterior of the Italian Chapel in Orkney.|
|Interior of the chapel made by Italian POWs in World War II.|
|Dueling Spires, Minnesota|
The Crown Hotel’s pub, we discovered, had been recently named Seafood Pub of the Year by one of the foodie magazines. We felt good about our drinks and writing, the menu looked very inviting, and the kitchen smells were extremely enticing. It was still too early for dinner and the restaurant didn’t take reservations, but we did want to eat at the Crown tonight and we didn’t want to give up our great table. Anne devised a killer plan—time killer, that is. As she worked on her journaling and nursed her most recent drink, I wandered the village for some photos. When I came back to the table and my by now rather warm ale, Anne walked to the car on the other side of the village to get more for us to work on. With fresh drinks after she got back we worked a while longer successfully filling enough time to be ready for dinner at our window-side table.
|Sunset at Portpatriek harbour, Scotland.|
|The Town Hornblower (Ripon, England): a horn blower has signaled that the town's night watchman is on duty for the past more than 900 years.|
The Crown Hotel lived up to its awards. Dinner was fantastic. After a shared starter of bacon wrapped scallops, I had a beautiful fried mackerel (I guess it’s okay to call a dead fish beautiful) and Anne a wonderfully prepared North Sea Cod. It felt sort of gladiatorial to have had to defend our table for dinner. Veni, vidi, vici!
|Horsetail Falls, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon|
|A replica of Stonehenge on a hill above the Columbia River in Washington state.|