It is currently Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:43 pm

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 450 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:58 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
The UK was a total BLAST! I'll start at the beginning and try not to bore the teeming masses too much with a report. I aim to tell you what we did and also supply practical info in case anyone is thinking of visiting the UK for the first time. I'll put the price tag at the end of however many posts I make.

I'll start stateside. I flew out a few days ahead to adjust to the 2 hour time change and basically hang out.

We departed Newark International Airport (Shades, that's Newark International Airport) the evening of Sept 25th on (god forbid) United. I haven't been through the United terminal there in perhaps 4 years, mainly because I despised it every single time I went through the meat grinder that was the United TSA. Always felt like I was going to be either verbally abused or shoved around physically--I've been both. This of course is somewhat understandable given 9/11 but there's no reason to act like mongrels to patrons of the airport. American and Southwest TSA staff manage to act welcoming towards guests, what the hell is wrong with the power grabbing customer and animal abusing monopoly that is United, right?

Everything has changed!
TSA was unusually congenial and accommodating to the point where I questioned whether or not we were actually in the United terminal in actual Newark in actual Jersey. The terminal itself has been completely overhauled. It's fully updated with self serve check out food places. The whole place had a light and airy, relaxed feel to it, plenty of seating areas and charging stations. Game things--terminals?--on the tables for players I guess. Healthy food choices and fresh food everywhere with not a McDonald's in sight! (McDonald's used to be the food court focal point of the United terminal.)


We flew out on a red eye. My sis wanted to be able to sleep overnight and I met her request when I made all the arrangements. The only thing is that I have *never* been known to sleep on a red eye and this was no different. I might have slept a couple of hours if any at all. Also she was drugged, where I wasn't so there's that, too. The plane was equipped with a whole charging station, movies, audio thing, one part of which showed the flight progress including air speed (560 mph for the duration)--I'm fully fascinated by such things so I kept checking in with it from time to time. For those of you who like my sis want to fly over the pond but are afraid of flying over the pond itself, nope, they do it just like they always did. They head north and follow the coast of North America up over to Iceland or what have you, and so you're never far from land--so just go do it.

The approach into Heathrow at 9 a.m.-ish was AH-mazing! We flew south to north right over the Thames, I have video of the whole entire approach with all the well known landmarks visible on it including Buckingham Palace!

Heathrow. As I mentioned earlier, I had help from two posters here planning this trip and sorting through issues. I was warned that once at Heathrow there would be a lot of walking and holy hell they weren't over stating it! You get off the plane and follow corridor after corridor and all there really IS in the corridors are huge posters of folks (often dressed in Royal garb) welcoming you to the UK--also restrooms. It's almost as if it follows the course where otherwise a tram or airport train would be in our US airports. We were so extremely tired by then (sleep or no sleep, the travel day wipes you out) but like two good Jersey Girl's we trucked on when as if on cue, the heaven's opened wide and an angel from God driving one of those airport transport golf cart things came up behind us and offered us a lift with his other passengers and so of course we gratefully took it! He took us zooming through the corridor and into cargo type elevators to passport check in (they stamp your passport and scan it because now you're just a bar code) and zoomed us over to baggage.


Finally made our way to get two round trip (get round trip--it's good for a month) tickets for the Heathrow Express train which is 15 minutes non-stop into Paddington Station in London. On the platform the HE runs every 10-15 minutes I believe so you'll only wait a few minutes before the next one is already loading and oh yes, "mind the gap"! The gap is the gap between the platform the actual train, you have to lug your baggage over it but we did it, so can you. The train was pristeen and simply gorgeous. Free wifi, smooth ride. No sweat, it felt like luxury after the long flight!


Paddington Station. The station has all manner of food places in it. If you're somehow starving, you have a chance to pick up food. This is where we stopped at the ATM to get more pounds then made our way out to the street to get a cab to the hotel. Inside and outside on the street, we were approached by non-state cabbies basically whoring themselves out like appliance sales people in Sears. We told each one that we'd already arranged for a ride. Lied a little, but got them off our backs. I had my heart set on a London Black Cab and we got it. It was so fun waiting for the cab (I have simple tastes, it doesn't take much for me to think something is fun) watching folks being directed into the queue for a cab and when it was our turn the man said "The lady is next". :-)

The Black Cab was just like I thought it would be. Immaculately kept and comfortable. Driver dressed neatly and professional. I was so freaking tired by then but still felt like I was going in style. Just how I wanted it to be! I loved it! You pay with a CC (Credit card-Shades) and I do think there was a tip involved, but I can't exactly recall.

Once to the hotel in Covent Garden, we noticed the long exterior stair case and wondered how in the hell we were going to get our luggage up that thing (short girl problems--but we would have done it because Jersey) when the driver said, "You watch my cab and I'll take care of your bags" so that's what we did. We stayed with the car running while he hauled our ____ up the stairs for us.

We stayed at the Travelodge in Covent Garden. I chose this for price and location. The choices in accomodations are a bit overwhelming. My advice is to familiarize yourself with the map of London, noting the neighborhoods and where the sights you want to see are clustered and go from there. There are plenty of independent and chain hotels you're familiar with. The Travelodge was okay. Basically a queen size bed (posted as king), a little desk thingy, coffee making station (very nice!) and a wet room. A wet room is the toilet, sink and shower. The shower splashes out onto the floor. You do your appliance things--hair dryer, etc. in the bedroom.

Covent Garden is bordered to the north by the theater district. Shaftsbury Ave. and such as that. To the south, once you get walking, you're headed towards Westminster which is basically central to all the sights we wanted to see, though we had other locations to see as we branched out from there.

If you're making this type of trip, be sure to plug in what I call a "die day". Don't kid yourself into thinking that if you've done a red eye out from the East Coast (or further inland interior state) that you're going to get up and go the first day. You. are. not. We got ourselves checked into the hotel, went down to the restaurant, ate some not-so-great hotel food and promptly fell asleep until the next morning--probably 12- 14 hours sleep. Give yourself the gift of a good die day, you won't regret it.

So that's "getting there".

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Last edited by Jersey Girl on Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:42 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
Two days before I left out for Newark International Airport, I got a phone call from my sis informing me that the week before she'd sprained her ankle. "Are we still going?" "Yep!" so we packed up her ace bandage and icy smeary stuff for her ankle and spent the entire first day out (a good 12 hours) walking the city and seeing sights around Westminster.

FULL DAY 1

Westiminster

We started out in a café across from the hotel for food and then from Covent Garden we walked down through Leicester Square then down through Trafalgar Square into Westminster. Trafalgar Square has the National Gallery, huge fountains and I don't recall what all else. We walked through this area multiple times day and night. We skipped every museum in sight. Just not into it for a short trip.

Everywhere you go in the main areas, there are "you are here" maps on the corners so if you're in doubt, you can always check those. I had the map in my head for months beforehand and we managed to get everywhere we wanted to without problems.

First major stop was Westminster Abbey as per sis's wishes since it was tops on her list. We took an "audio tour" which I failed to appreciate. The building itself is impressive just from the outside however, I don't think you can truly feel the expanse of the building if not from the inside. It's all Gothic, has 600 graves inside as well as multiple memorials, one for FDR as I recall. Check this out in advance if it's important to you to see the grave of certain notables. We were happy milling through each area seeing what we saw, and did meander back to find particular graves such as Elizabeth the first and Mary Queen of Scots, various Henry's. I couldn't find Stephen Hawkings grave but figure that it's probably not finished yet. I sure didn't see him around Isaac Newton where he's supposed to be located. We stopped in the gift shop--very nice stuff--some very affordable and also what I think of as high end. Just browsed at that point.


Outside of the Abbey there was a street musician on violin. We're sitting there on an exterior rock wall and I blurt out "Is he playing the Star Spangled Banner?!?!" and darn if he wasn't. Virtually every other song was the SSB. When we left I dropped a US quarter in his violin case. I know, I'm evil like that. ;-)

Walking down towards the River Thames, we passed by 10 Downing Street the Prime Minister's residence and also Horse Guards. Various gorgeous and old-old buildings with architectural features that rival anything I've ever seen in the states.

London is unlike Manhattan. For comparison, no sky scrapers. It's all old-old buildings with a few modern renovations crammed in here and there. If you are looking at a map of London and think it's a grid map that resembles New York City, it is NOT. It's a grid with catty corner angled streets coming at you from every direction to the point where crossing the street is taking your life in your hands, so "Cross with the people." :lol:

So there we were on the North side of the River Thames facing Westminster Bridge and I am about to pull my hair out going where in the hell is Big Ben? It should be RIGHT. HERE. When my sister looks over my shoulder and up and says, "What's that?" I turn around and am standing right in front of it only it's blanketed in steel scaffolding for maintenance and restoration with only the clock face itself peering out of the huge mesh of steel! :lol:

Right there at Westminster Bridge is the launch dock for river cruises. We go down there to check out the prices and promise ourselves a "hop on/hop off" river cruise--but we never do it.

The river cruises are an awesome way to get down to Southwark and see the sights. You can get tickets for one way, round trip, hop on/hop off, and evening cruises. The hop on/hop off are the better deal at right around 18 pounds if memory serves.

Having walked all over hells half acre all day, we decide that since the sun is going down we need to head over to our first pub that I had picked out in advance based on reviews, The Sherlock Holmes on Northumberland street--write that down, you want this. So we wiggle ourselves up and over northward, checking the "you are here" signs just to be sure and sure enough there it is!

It was gorgeous! An old pub originating in the 1800's filled with Sherlock Holmes memorabilia (JB would have loved this) and DAMN. GOOD. FISH 'N CHIPS. Holy hell, people. We both thought we died and went to Pub heaven. Keep in mind this is two Jersey Girl's who were raised on the coast having eaten fish and chips all our lives. This was different. I don't care if you've had "English Fish n' Chips" in your stateside restaurants, I don't think you've had this. HUGE piece of cod, batter fried, side of "mushy peas", and a paper bag pocket of fried chips--french fries. Oh. my. GOD. The fish was divine! Peas are fresh and smashed-very tasty, and chips were heaven. Put this pub on your list, you'll never regret it!

We were fascinated by the social scene regarding pubs. They're on virtually every street and once the sun is going down, folks are stopping there from work. Milling outside with their glasses of ale (I wanted SO much to taste it but I refrained!) smoking their cigs, visiting with each other in their business clothes and what have you, and leaving their empty glasses outside on the tables--very much akin to the gasthauses in Germany--and this is something we are totally missing in the US--a sense of community gathering. No, over here we're more likely to see sloppy drunks in our bars. Over there, it was a total sense of community, folks unwinding after the work day chattering away and enjoying each other. I guarantee you if someone walked out of a bar in the US with a glass, the owner would have your ass for dinner.

Why are we Americans so uptight? What would it be like if we adopted that attitude of community where we actually know each other and get together instead of getting all up in each other's business over stupid ____ that doesn't matter?

So following that we made our way back up to Covent Garden to the hotel around midnight and called it a night!

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:16 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
FULL DAY 2

I'm on a roll here, better keep going. So the second full day we had plans to go see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and a tour, but sis needed to sleep in so I dare not wake her and let her get rested up. The schedule for changing of the guard is online. If you're going, check there and see if there's going to be a full band during it or not.

I don't think we got out until after noon-ish that day. Sis's ankle is killing her and I'm kind of wiped out from the previous hiking all over London, so I make a command decision to engage UBER for the first time ever to Buckingham Palace. Worked out great! From this point on, we UBER when we need to get from Point A to Point B to save us time.

You can take the Underground/Tube, city buses and/or Hop on Hop Off buses, and state/independent cabs, but we decided that UBER was quick and dirty, and easier to do for our purposes. I'll spare you of the UBER ride stories, some of them were a bit crazy!

Once we got to the Palace, we milled around outside, took pictures and when we learned that the tour was 2.5 hours, we decided not to do it. This is exactly how we planned our trip to be. You can purchase tickets in advance online for various attractions, but I say don't lock yourself in unless it's the height of tourist season in summer.

The Palace was totally bling! All decked out in gold trimmings with a HUGE fountain outside and a gold topped statue. The flag was up--the Queen was home. The guards and Bobbie's around the Palace mean business. There's a huge iron and ornate fence around the Palace and when people approached the cops (armed with AR's, I ____ you not) they physically blocked them from going through the gates. I suppose that this is SOP however, I do know there was a taser incident just days before we arrived so there's that, too.

We walked around the Palace to find various shops and cafe's. We chose a café across from the Royal Mews where we had Margherita Pizza for two--the cheese was crazy good--Buffalo Mozzarella, I think? Sat on the sidewalk to eat and people watch--a horse and carriage with folks all decked out in Royal-ish garb passed by that was actually a realtor's advert--(ticked off another item on sis's wish list--sidewalk café. :-) and then UBER'd our way back to Dear Abbey ;-) to shop for real in the gift shop--by then we knew were we wanted to pick up mementos and things to gift to our people.

Went through the gift shop and picked up all our good stuff. I dropped a boatload of pounds there with art for myself and bling for my ladies, but you know, you might never go back so get serious about it, right? :lol:

On the way out, the most wonderful magical thing happened! As we exited the gift shop at sundown and were standing around outside deciding what to do next, all of a sudden the Abbey lit up with church bells pealing and echoing all over the area! It was SO amazingly unexpectedly breathtakingly beautiful! We stood there and just listened for a good 20-30 minutes, taking in the sights on the street around us--pedestrians, buses, cabs, these little rickshaw type conveyances, people on bicycles-- and the sound of real church bells--I made a few videos of it on my phone to take the sound home with me. :-)

If I recall correctly, we ate dinner that night in the hotel. Hotel food again. Whatever. It keeps you alive. Sort of.

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Last edited by Jersey Girl on Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:36 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
FULL DAY 3

UBER down to Southwark or the South shore of the River Thames. Our day started at Borough Market. MY.GOD. I was told in advance how incredible the London Markets were but I think it's one of those "You have to go there" to fully comprehend what the person is trying to tell you.

Borough Market is foodie heaven. It's nothing BUT food. As we entered, we noticed bushel baskets of fresh produce with cups holding slices of each item for folks to sample. Samples are everywhere. The market is filled with fresh produce, meat, fish, cheeses/cheese wheels, herbs and spices, olive oils, cooking wines, my god, and around the food counters/booths are MORE food booths specializing in "take away" ethnic meals of all origins known to mankind ;-), desserts to die for--pastries, candies, all freshly made and ready for you to run off with it!

It was Saturday, so the place was packed with people. We made our way through and around all of the food places, tried samples, and decided on pumpkin ravioli with still water for lunch. We were able to take a seat outside on a structure of bleachers--had a chance to sit with other patrons, eat and chit chat, and just take it all in.

We made our purchases (I brought home spices, edible flower buds, freeze dried fruit powders for my people) and decided to take the Queen's Walk up the River Thames.


The Queen's Walk essentially goes from Southwark to Westminster Bridge. Once we made our way to the river, we walked north to see the Tower Bridge (my favorite!) Shakespeare's Globe Theater (a replacement for the original that burned down), jumped into the gift shop there, walked a little more and then hopped into an UBER to take us up to yet another market, Camden Market.

As you are getting into the area of Camden Market, you already sense that something is different. The streets become crowded with shoppers and folks milling about, with various shops lining the street. We got off and went into the Camden Lock Market. It's basically clothing, jewelery, some art, fashion accessories...much of it Boho type fashion but not all. Beautiful dresses, leather boots and purses, scarves, that sort of thing.

The shops lining the streets are another story altogether. It's all touristy and would put you in mind of a combination souvenir type things and Canal Street knock offs in New York City. In between there are shops with MJ paraphernalia and every so often you get a wiff of MJ wafting through to the street. ;-)

I've never seen MJ lollipops before. Where have I been?

:lol:


From Camden Market we UBER'd back to...The Sherlock Holmes Pub for one more dose of Fish n' Chips. We had with us a whole list of pubs in every neighborhood but we both agreed we wanted to return to SHP for dinner. Once again, it didn't disappoint!

Back to the hotel, packed and got ready to leave out the next evening.

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:06 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
HALF DAY 4

Because we had an evening flight and wanted to get out and about again, we desk checked our baggage and checked out of the hotel before venturing off to Covent Garden Market which was always within easy walking distance of our hotel but we decided to wait until this last day when we had time to linger before departing the London scene.

Each market that we visited (and I am told all others) in London had it's own atmosphere, it's own flavor and it's own personality, if you will. Where Borough Market and Camden Lock Market were loud and packed full of people and activity, Covent Garden Market was calm and relaxing, it's own brand of fresh air.

Approaching the market, there are street performers of various kinds--would put you in mind of Times Square--but as we walked nearer to the market itself, the sound of street musicians and their vocals took you straight down to serenity level. At least it did so for us.

This market was like an oasis in the big city. A little hidden fortress of peace surrounded by city activity where you could sit down, listen to music and just relax. There are various food places in and around the market from classy dress-your-best-to-be-seen to total casual come-as-you-are-but-just-come. We opted for a food stand outside of one of the markets--German cuisine which sis (who is German just like me) never had before and she loved it!

This day was unlike any other day we had there. It was relaxed, we took our time and weren't planning to dart off in one direction or another. No UBER, no nothing, we enjoyed our walk over to the market and once there we sat for a long, long time, people watching and listening to street musicians. Went inside the market to browse and shop then back out to sit a bit more and talked about what great visit we had, how not one thing went wrong, and how much we want to return. :-)

Later, we caught an UBER back to Paddington Station. Well, part the way there. I inadvertently canceled the first trip after a mile or so (don't ask questions you don't want to hear the answers to) so the first driver promptly stopped and put us and our ____ out on the street! Called another UBER and made our way to Paddington to catch the Heathrow Express, back through Heathrow (departures was easy street) and on to Scotland!

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:38 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
On the home stretch here! :lol:

Evening flight from London to Glasgow (or LHR to GLA as I now call them :lol: ) was an hour and twenty minutes, hop, skip and jump you're in Scotland. We stayed in Travelodge Glasgow Airport Central (it's across the street from the airport which is actually in Paisley). Same type of room, restaurant, etc.

Scotland is the reason we made the trip to start with. It's where our maternal roots are. It's where our great grandmother was born, raised, and where she departed from Glasgow aboard ship (Caledonia) as a widow with four children in tow (including our grandmother), to the US. Due to family circumstances, I grew up around a group of old Scots where sis really did not. I knew three of the four children who immigrated, where she had known one. I was the one who heard the family stories all my life and later after she found me and we were reunited, I shared them with her.

FULL DAY 1

Our relatives picked us up the next day and took us literally to every single address and landmark that I had put on our wish list for Paisley! We started with the family castle which is actually in Kilmarnock and perhaps a 40 minute drive from Paisley. Rowallan Castle was home to the Muir Clan. Today it's a sprawling country club and golf course venue.

We are Muirs and so is Nightlion a Muir. ;-) Variations of Muir, are Moor and Moore.

We spent a rainy cold morning exploring around the castle, the mist seemed to etch out the stone clad castle and make it more vivid to the eye. The road into the castle itself is a winding road lined with deciduous trees and bushes decked out in fall colors. Where we left London on the heels of summer, it was definitely already fall in Scotland!

I have never seen such lush green-green rolling hills and pastures in my life. Contrasted with the dark gray of the rock walls around it and crimson leafed trees growing up and around it, it was impressive! The castle has it's own restaurant inside, we opted out, and another building for hotel accommodations on the property.

So. I have photos of me actually standing at and on Rowallan Castle and it's grounds. Never thought I'd see the day and yet, I have photographic proof!

Apparently while I was running around taking photos and having photos taken, my sis talked to our cousin about me and said "You have NO idea how happy she is right now. This means the world to her."

She was talking about me and she was right. :-)


Next we drove back into Paisley and visited for a tour. Paisley Abbey (more than 800 years old!), Paisley Town Hall, Oakshaw Trinity Church (this parish is relevant to family history), I could see Thomas Coats Memorial Observatory from the church, we drove by the old textile mills where our ancestors had worked (JP Coats/Coats & Clark thread was manufactured in Paisley, as well as the silk weaving and the Paisley pattern itself, Tartans, and Paisley was once the international supplier of thread to the rest of the world) and we visited every. single. address. where our great grandmother was born, raised, and where she departed from when she left for the States!

I put my feet in front of the building where my great grandmother was born!

We got out at each stop, me running around in the rain with flip flops on that day, getting soaking wet, but curiously in my element! :lol: At Paisley Abbey, I left something from my mother in a creek type body of water that goes past the textile mills and feeds into the River Clyde that divides Paisley from Glasgow Centre. <3

We topped off the day by eating in a Paisley Pub called Hamishes' Hoose where the carpeting and chairs are covered in tartan.

I ate haggis.

I didn't plan to eat haggis. I swore I would never eat haggis. It was almost a dare. It was right there in front of my Steak Pie and damn, I said "okay give it to me" and I ate it. I did.

It wasn't bad! If I had to compare it to something familiar, I would say crispy (?) Thanksgiving stuffing that had been broiled on top--or something?Anyway, I can say with all truth and honesty, that haggis has passed through my lips however likely will never pass that way again! :lol:

Our family folks gave us a gift bag of all sorts of Paisley treats--special soda, toffee, short bread, other assorted sweet goodies! We enjoyed each others company so much. The younger cousin (granddaughter of the cousin I'd been corresponding with) has already been to the States, loves it here, talked about all the US food she loves, and made the trip so easy for us because she could often relate a thing to an American equivalent. We laughed like crazy and it was SO much fun!

My sister...my sister...was dumbfounded almost appalled (!) that I could understand our Scottish relatives. She could barely decipher what they were saying while I went along my merry way conversing. At one point we were driving along the countryside, green rolling hills with herds of black and white sheep (beautiful sight!) and the younger cousin said "Maybe you'll see a heffadcoo!" and I said "Oh, I hope so!" where my sister looked at me all wide eyed :surprised: and said "A WHAT?" and I answered, " A Hereford cow" and she's like "How do you KNOW that?!?!?" "Because she just said it.". :lol:

Later she takes me aside multiple times and asks me "Jersey, how in the hell can you understand them? I can't understand hardly a word they're saying!" and the only thing I could think of was that I was raised by those old Scots who told the stories of their youth and Scotland in their Scottish brogue accents and well, I guess that explains it!

FULL DAY 2

Bus from Glasgow Airport into Buchanan St. bus station to catch another bus on our way to Edinburgh!

So you're winding along high ways resembling our Interstate roadways, finally getting into Edinburgh when you start to get the feeling that you've just been transported into another world mainly because that's exactly what just happened to you.

Edinburgh is old. Old-old. Older than old-old.

Nearing the Queen St. bus station, you catch sight of Edinburgh Castle--oh my god, a foreboding, looming over you, darn near "I just landed in a Harry Potter flick" feeling comes over you and yup, you did! JK Rowling wrote the first of her Potter series as a depressed single parent mother on state welfare in Edinburgh--Elephant House cafe--and to this day resides in Edinburgh. In Edinburgh you are surrounded by hints of Harry Potter. Sure, there's hints in London, but Edinburgh? You just jumped straight into the thick of it. They're everywhere--if you know where to go. ;-)

Anyway, dropped off at the Queen St. bus station, made our way over the bridge to the Royal Mile which was our main goal for the day. The Royal Mile is 1.2 miles of touristy Scottish Nirvana. Tartans for days and days and, whiskey shops, gifts, pubs, rinse, wash, repeat. If you are Scottish, the tartan shops alone make it worth your while and I have the mother of all tartan scarves haul to prove it! :lol:

What none of the blogs or online websites tell you is that the Royal Mile is 1.2 miles of toursity Scottish Nirvana and from the Old Town Holyrood end to the Castle is all. up. hill.

We simply couldn't manage the whole thing. We got into Edinburgh late in the day because we slept in again and just couldn't go one more freaking home stretch marathon mile so we jumped into The Worlds End Pub (tartan rugs and chair coverings again) for good eats (Mac and Cheese, served with fresh salad--super good!) and then trapsed in and out of various shops near by and then back out to the bus station. We'd had it. Literally had it. Done. Finished.

Best things we bought: Tartans and shortbread. Again, if you are Scottish (and a non-drinker) Tartans and Shortbread are what you came to conquer and if you happen to be a drinker, just add some whiskey to the package and you've won the Scottish trifecta! :lol:

Next day, we made our way back to Newark International Airport on a day flight--during which-- I slept like a baby!

:lol:

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Last edited by Jersey Girl on Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:37 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
Wrapping it up now...going to ramble a bit and with some practical advice.

London vs Scotland

Where London was exciting, Scotland felt like home. Londoners were polite to us however, when we asked questions of folks, we were often met with shoulder shrugs that led me to believe that in terms of tourists--they're over it. Although, I have to say more than once, they did us kindnesses, a couple of ladies took time to explain things to us, and one gentlemen carrying his briefcase stopped me on the street to compliment the hat I was wearing. "It's lovely, actually". Made my day!

The Scots wanted to know us. Everywhere we went, in a shop or pub, they asked us where we were from, wanted to know exactly where in the states we came from, knew about our politics (they are keeping up with every move that Trump makes, trust me on that), many had been to the states but most knew the states through our television shows. One shopkeeper in Edinburgh learned we were from Jersey and he about died--a huge Sopranos fan! He wants to visit the US (he's already been to upstate New York) and visit all the filming locations from the Sopranos! Another young person wants to visit New York City because she's a fan of Friends. :-)

Where London folks mainly seemed to keep to themselves though they were never impolite and I guess, that's city folks for you--I mean Manhattan is the same way. Scots were so like the folks I was raised by--kind and welcoming to us and with that wry sense of sarcastic dry humor that is so familiar to me. Those were much smaller towns and cities though.

Besides all the outstanding landmarks we visited (and have yet to see) what I liked most about London was that there was an overall sense of acceptance. Gay folks openly being themselves with no hint of stigma so far as I could see. Young and old, posh and not-so-posh. I would say it was sort of a "live and let live" vibe which I found appealing and the sense of community involving the pubs--I only wish we had it here folks.

One disappointment for the UK overall: I noticed nearly a total absence of accommodations for the disabled. One night, we were outside the hotel in London when an elderly couple arrived via cab. They had to be in their upper 80's. The woman dressed in a long dress and proper coat, the gentleman in his blazer and kilt. They had the hardest time navigating the steps into the hotel with their canes. There was a young man at the top who said, "You want me to carry you, love? I'm a strapping guy I'll come get you." But they were already near the top by then. The buses and trains were wheel chair accessible, but I just didn't see that in the buildings we visited nor in the restrooms.

What we'd do again: Everything. I'd spend a full week and a half in London and two full days in Edinburgh and two full days in Paisley/Glasgow. We want to return and take the tours that we didn't get to this time, see more markets in London, and get over the Kensington which we'd originally planned to visit. We were never disappointed by any aspect of this trip. Nothing went wrong, everything went right or better. Not one attraction or landmark failed to please and/or delight us.

Hotels and Flights: $1200.00 each person originating out of Newark International Airport and off season. This is totally do-able for you! Book your main flight over and return flight as one trip separately from hops between countries, it's cheaper that way. Mess around with those itineraries until you see good rates and skip the travel agents, you don't need it. Ask people you know who have travelled there like I did, to give you tips and advice. Don't bother making reservations for tours in advance before you leave, your plans might change. London is pricey, Scotland much less so. Put in that "die day" and just go! Go in fall, weather was great except one rainy/cold day in Paisley and Edinburgh was windy and cold. London weather was fine, only one hoodie/sweater/jacket type day. You will regret exactly nothing!

Now from the heart and lessons learned. You know we asked Cam when he did his AT hike to tell us what he learned on his journey. I hope he does that still. For me, where London was for fun, Scotland was for love. When I first mentioned this trip I said that I wanted to see if there was anything of me in Scotland, if something resonated with me. Yes. Yes, it did. Hearing the accents of the people talking around me, their friendliness, their sense of humor, their hospitality, even when they were obviously and good naturedly screwing with us, no, especially that part or casually weaving swearing into their language the way that they do and thinking nothing of it--took me straight back to my childhood and all of the people who raised and loved me.

Is there something of me in Scotland?

Yes. My roots are there. My inner self is there. My early influences are there. I see where they came from and how they shaped me. I couldn't have known that or made the connections had I not gone there and experienced it for myself.

I have to go back! I've been pinning more info...

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Last edited by Jersey Girl on Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:15 pm 
Founder & Visionary
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:07 pm
Posts: 13815
Location: Shady Acres Status: MODERATOR
Jersey Girl wrote:
How is it that after all these years you cannot discern my meaning in a post where I used a short hand version of a phrase in context?

Because I thought you were referring to a magazine or a news website. You know, like "TMZ" or something.

_________________
"Belief is driven by psychology, not intelligence."

--Analytics, 09-11-2019


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:45 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
Dr. Shades wrote:
Jersey Girl wrote:
How is it that after all these years you cannot discern my meaning in a post where I used a short hand version of a phrase in context?

Because I thought you were referring to a magazine or a news website. You know, like "TMZ" or something.


Nah, I was just cussing in context out of a recurring sense of frustration.

And...thank you.

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:10 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:02 am
Posts: 19280
Jersey Girl wrote:
You know we asked Cam when he did his AT hike to tell us what he learned on his journey. I hope he does that still.


Well, I know this isn't a TSS guy posting, but I appreciate you posting your experience. It was a super read, and I'm genuinely happy to see your trip mean so much to you and by extension for those of us reading about it. Fantastic write up.

I'll think about posting my thoughts about the hike.

That said, I just got back from summiting Mt. Olympus for the second time, and this time my wife joined me. Super taxing, but it was worth it even though it snowed on us. Boooo.

- Doc

_________________
Honest conflict has more social value than dishonest harmony. People must be in conflict in good faith in order to wrest the truth from a stingy universe.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:58 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
Back! Just cleaned up some of the typos in my travel posts. (First born thing). I noticed that I made it sound as if there were no tall buildings in London. Not true.

Here's The Shard. I used this a few times as a landmark to find my way around.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shard

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Last edited by Jersey Girl on Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:06 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Jersey Girl wrote:
You know we asked Cam when he did his AT hike to tell us what he learned on his journey. I hope he does that still.


Well, I know this isn't a TSS guy posting, but I appreciate you posting your experience. It was a super read, and I'm genuinely happy to see your trip mean so much to you and by extension for those of us reading about it. Fantastic write up.


Thanks! It was such a good trip!

Quote:
I'll think about posting my thoughts about the hike.


Okay, think about your thoughts and see if you think you want to post them or not. It's okay if you don't feel like it.

Quote:
That said, I just got back from summiting Mt. Olympus for the second time, and this time my wife joined me. Super taxing, but it was worth it even though it snowed on us. Boooo.


This one?


Mount Olympus, at 7,980 feet, is the tallest and most prominent mountain in the Olympic Mountains of western Washington state.


My house sits at 7600 feet. Sorta takes your breath away, right? :lol: Well, we're used to it and just recall that I work out at this elevation--who does that?

How long did that take to do?

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:24 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:02 am
Posts: 19280
No, it's the Mt. Olympus in Utah:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Olympus_(Utah)

Today was particularly scary because the dicey scramble to the top was covered in snow and mud. We really shouldn't have done it, but we did and now I'm ____ posting again. It was very, very unnerving. But yeah, it took 8 hours with rest.

- Doc

_________________
Honest conflict has more social value than dishonest harmony. People must be in conflict in good faith in order to wrest the truth from a stingy universe.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:46 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:19 pm
Posts: 3334
Location: The Mahonri Young Academy of Art
Thanks for giving the time and care to share this, Jersey. It'll help others to plan their own great trips. It looks like you had a fantastic time and are living life fully and well.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:18 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
Morley wrote:
Thanks for giving the time and care to share this, Jersey. It'll help others to plan their own great trips. It looks like you had a fantastic time and are living life fully and well.


Yeah thanks, Morley! I don't know if you check in on this thread but we've also got a really nice travel journal here from Cam about his AT hiking experience this summer.

Also tons of fitness stuff on these pages. Check out the rest if you haven't seen it.

Overall, it's been a great thread here. A little island of peace and goodwill in the middle of the usual MormonDiscussions.com rough and tumble.

:cool:

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:22 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
No, it's the Mt. Olympus in Utah:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Olympus_(Utah)

Today was particularly scary because the dicey scramble to the top was covered in snow and mud. We really shouldn't have done it, but we did and now I'm ____ posting again. It was very, very unnerving. But yeah, it took 8 hours with rest.

- Doc


I can't believe you guys went up this time of year. We've had snow on our Peak for probably a month now. I assume that stuff is treacherous. 9K is a big difference from the 7K I thought you did!

____ posting? Yeah, me too.
;-)

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:04 am 
God
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:02 am
Posts: 19280
Jersey Girl wrote:
I can't believe you guys went up this time of year.


Well, it's been four days since the hike, and today is the first day I can actually walk semi-normally. It's really bizarre to be at the age where something like this costs me a few days of recovery. Getting older sucks ballsack.

- Doc

_________________
Honest conflict has more social value than dishonest harmony. People must be in conflict in good faith in order to wrest the truth from a stingy universe.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:29 am 
God
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:02 am
Posts: 19280
This is for you, Jersey Girl. Animal made it.

Image

He ____ made it. :cry: :cry: :biggrin: :mrgreen:

- Doc

_________________
Honest conflict has more social value than dishonest harmony. People must be in conflict in good faith in order to wrest the truth from a stingy universe.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:31 am 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
This is for you, Jersey Girl. Animal made it.

Image

He ____ made it. :cry: :cry: :biggrin: :mrgreen:

- Doc



God bless him!!!! Wow!!!

**standing ovation**

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:40 am 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:16 pm
Posts: 31933
Location: Planet Perfume
Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Jersey Girl wrote:
I can't believe you guys went up this time of year.


Well, it's been four days since the hike, and today is the first day I can actually walk semi-normally. It's really bizarre to be at the age where something like this costs me a few days of recovery. Getting older sucks ballsack.

- Doc


Getting older? Tell me about it! I have never done anything as physically demanding as you have but I do have my own challenges and had a few little triumphs on the UK trip as well.

My major challenge taking this trip was getting on a plane with a heart rhythm disorder and saddling up for a 6.5 hour flight. I think maybe later I'll write about what it's like to live with this condition because it's no picnic and it ____ with your head. Ever since I developed this, I set off on a journey (without even thinking about it much) to challenge myself. This time I had to deal with "what if my heart flips out mid flight?".

Anyway, the other thing that was sort of a triumph was that my sis nearly every day would talk about how she was wiped out from walking so much (aches and pain) and I was still trucking along, and that I'm 11 years older than her. I really don't know what to say to that but it made me feel pretty good.

So...I'm sorry that you have aches but remember that you did something extraordinarily challenging. I marvel at what you and your wife do.

Try to enjoy your well deserved recovery period because what a cool thing you did!

_________________
Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.
Chinese Proverb


Last edited by Jersey Girl on Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: The score so far (Health & Fitness)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:12 pm 
God
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 9:49 am
Posts: 2443
Jersey Girl wrote:
-snip-



Awesome write up, holy cow. Im back in London saturday and you have inspired me to spend some non-work realated time in the city this weekend before heading off to eastern europe for the rest of the week. I probably spend a month of each year in London and forget how amazing that city is so thanks for the reminder!

_________________
"your reasoning that children should be experimented upon to justify a political agenda..is tantamount to the Nazi justification for experimenting on human beings."-SUBgenius on gay parents
"I've stated over and over again on this forum and fully accept that I'm a bigot..." - ldsfaqs


Last edited by schreech on Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 450 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Revival Theme By Brandon Designs By B.Design-Studio © 2007-2008 Brandon
Revival Theme Based off SubLite By Echo © 2007-2008 Echo
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group