Friday, September 5, 2014

London Calling

Here are some London pictures, guys.

I successfully turned 40 there!  Better than the alternative.

Once a day, I tweeted some pictures for a few family members and friends who wanted to know that I was still in the land of the living.  On a few days, I would post just one cheesy collage like this to save time.

It's hard to see the number in the mirror, but this is a significant address in my life--221B Baker Street.

Poppies!  A grim display at the Tower of London.  One aluminum poppy for each English soldier killed in WWI.

Affectionately known as Big Ben, but really the clock tower that holds the bell named Big Ben.

A big blue...rooster.

The back of Buckingham Palace, where I spent my birthday.  I hadn't really planned that, but it worked out that way.

My first glimpses of London were from atop one of those open double-decker tour buses.  I got the lay of the land, and a few raindrops on my glasses.

Most nights, I tried to get in by rape-thirty, but after Richard III, I was up for a lot of the night.

At Buckingham on a milestone birthday.

Looks doctored, but this is how Nike really appears.  She's so shiny even on a gray day!  I have a picture of her in the sun, too--I'll try to find and post another day, because she's pretty stunning.

Regent's Park on my last day.  Bye, London!

I thought it was wild to see a street musician who was a piper, until the next week in Scotland, where they were a dime a dozen (but very talented).

I took this picture of the Richard III marquee on my first day from the top of a bus, not knowing that I would see it six days later.  Martin Freeman and Gina McKee were fab, and it was one of my favorite experiences in the theater in my lifetime.

Nice ride--250+ years old and still in use on occasion.

You look up and see that, and think, "I'm a happy chick."

Using the underground was not rocket science at all.  Don't know what all the fuss is about!

Old London and New London.

Always a few of these before you get a winner.

You may remember that I had the same issue in St. Louis.  I could make a coffee table book of windy selfies.

Yep, it's filtered.  Sue me!

I'll post some more pictures, probably, and tell a little about the trip.  Soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Walking Backwards--Edinburgh

Hi, guys!

I'm going to go backwards a little bit on the trip and post some photos from my time in Edinburgh, Scotland first.  I'll probably throw out a few posts of mostly pictures with captions, then maybe a post that's mostly written.  So, for example, if you see something like "Fringe Festival" and don't know what that's about, I'll explain more in depth later.  Twitter followers, you've already seen these.  I'll try to pick out some more that you haven't and post later.  I apologize in advance for the obnoxious selfies that I took throughout the trip.  Traveling by me onesies required it if I wanted to put myself in the action, so there you go.  And, in no particular order (i.e.--in whatever order Blogger loads them), here WE go...

The trip to Edinburgh quickly became all about Fringe Festival on the days that it was still going on.

Alnwick (pronounced "Ann-ick") Castle.  Lots of fascinating history, but they very much embrace their connection to Harry Potter.

Alnwick entrance.  This is over the border into Northern England, by the way.

Hiking day--Edinburgh from halfway up Arthur's Seat.  No snickering!

Down the steps of my hotel, turn a corner, and there is Edinburgh Castle.  When you cross this intersection and forget to look up, it's probably time to go home.

From the other side and closer.  Edinburgh means "fortress on a hill."

Closer, no tree.

If you forget you're in Scotland, you're bound to see something like this and remember.

The University in silhouette.

From the Mound--close to the uni.

The castle again.

The Ferris wheel is usually only up for Christmas, but this year they put it up for Fringe.  To the right is a memorial to Sir Walter Scott.

My walk back to the hotel almost every day.  This picture feels like home.

Yet another angle on Edinburgh Castle.  It's really a beauty--difficult not to take a thousand photos!

Grounds at Alnwick.

The Harry connection--broom flying lessons are held daily.  The instructor takes off!  Notice I took a still and not video.  Ahem.

Hiking and vamping.

Lindisfarne Castle in the distance.

Honest, this one was accidental, but I caught myself grinning like a goon.  I really loved life on this trip.

Walking up Arthur's Seat again.  Oh, shush.

Alnwick grounds.

Last night in Edinburgh--had a pint at the Rose & Crown.

Saw these and more shows at Fringe Festival.  Wonderful!

The End.

I'll continue walking backwards through the trip.  Next stop, London!

Friday, August 22, 2014

What? Too tourist-y?

I'm having a great time in the UK, guys!  When I get back, I'll post some photos (just highlights, I promise).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


July 6th of this year marked my tenth anniversary at my current workplace.  Honey, ten years is a record for me, and it feels great to have accomplished a lot there.  Honestly, if I had to continue in the job that I've had for much of those ten years, I would be bored to death and quit by the end of this year, but within the last few months I accepted a new position.  After my date left, I got a call about a new job.  (Sorry--Karen Walker humor, if you're familiar).  I had a successful couple of interviews, so, in September, I'll be starting a new venture within the same company.

But first!  Today was my last day of work before my sabbatical, a perk given for every ten years of service.  It's not a whole semester as a professor might get, but I'll not return to work until September 8th.  All of this is to set up how I felt on the drive home.  Watch the first twenty seconds of this video to see what I'm feeling...

Here's a link in case the embedded video doesn't work...

So, from this atheist to you, whatever type of believer or non- you might be, Shabbat Shalom.  Whatever kind or length of break you can take, please do so, and have a peaceful and good one.  I will, too.

I think I'll post a few times within the next few weeks, and I may post at least once from the UK.  We'll see!

Good Sabbath!

Friday, July 25, 2014

And That's Me Sorted and Ready

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train."

--Oscar Wilde