Sunday, January 6, 2008



With the weather turning wet and cold. And I am more less stuck at home. I am now and will be getting cabin fever. It started me thinking about how much I used to be able to go out running. Also when we were able to travel.
Besides being an Artist of some kind, my second wish was to travel. To go to Europe to see great historic places and museums for art . I'm not sure if there were specific destinations at first. But to just go. Anywhere, that I could get to.
So, at last in July- 1970 we had saved enough money for our first trip. There was a group called; The British American Club. A group for British people so they could go back to visit relatives. So, we joined it, because they were able to bulk book and get a great discount for the flights. Also discounts on hotels and tours.
The way we were able to join, is that I am mainly British in ethnicity. Even though my family has a few generations here since immigrating.
Our first destination was to Great Britain. The trip was for two weeks. And my very first flight was, I think, ten or twelve hours. A half day. The Sun goes down, then comes right back up. What a sight.
We had signed for a three city tour. Wow. Our first stop, Glasgow, Scotland. I got to experience my first culture shock. Delightful. The first time someone spoke to me, I wanted to cry and hug them. The people at the airport, seemed to mainly speak Brit English. So, a Scottish accent let me know, 'you are not in Kansas anymore'. Was I gauche? probably. Did I care? Not a whit! I just reveled in having my feet somewhere besides Home. To realize my feet were walking in another land was an exciting experience.
We had a room in an older hotel. Very much like a 1940's up scale hotel.
We stayed there 2, maybe 3 days. Oh, yeah. You can't get anything to eat after 6:00PM. Because, EVERYTHING CLOSES. We had forgotten to consider that. What a joke on us. But, we welcomed the added adventure and adjusted as quickly as we could. Either that, or go hungry for twelve hours. However, the service people at the hotel, were up to it. There were serveral of us newbies. And the concierge, went to the bar kitchen and made cheese sandwiches and tea, for twelve. We all laughed about the situation. Took it in stride, enjoyed the experience.
For breakfast, we discovered: Scottish bannock and scones. Scottish breakfast biscuits, called 'Baps' are wonderful, with creme and marmalade. Oh, gee, yumm. Just only eat one though, they do add up the calories. Considering the size. One is enough. British marmalade is the best. I only ate it when I was there. The stuff that's made here is pap.
We spent two days in Glasgow. Then took the train to Edinburgh. Actually my first time on any train. O(ne happy thing after another. Mostly we never had a problem about finding accommodations. We spent one night at the old Railroad Hotel 19th.Century style. But, with central heating. Oh, so neat. Like time travel. a step back in time. We were only able to stay the one night at that wonderful 19th century hotel. They had found us a room in one the NEW modern hotel. Very up to date. We should like it. -NOT- . It was one of the worst hotels I've ever had the misfortune to stay at. The room was just big enough to contain a regular size bed, a closet and a night stand. English showers leave a lot to be desired. The bathroom is probably 3' by 4'. Small. But, at least there was a shower, that WORKED. British plumbing was very iffy. We spent three days in Edinburgh. I then became acquainted with the British version of coffee. Remember, they drink tea. When they make coffee, they call it french style coffee. Because it is made quite strong, because over there, coffee is taken: half coffee, half milk. Viola-cafe au latte'.
I told the server, that in my part of the USA we call coffee that strong, 'cowboy' or 'ranch' coffee. She was quite amused and I made her laugh. Anyway, she said, Americans, are served the coffee with a small pot of hot water to dilute with. Perfect. I don't do milk in either tea or coffee. Just sweetener.
This is just the beginning.

No, no photos. I don't believe in them.

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