Scotland at Last and an Accidental Trip to Inverness

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Sunrise at West Sands, St Andrews.

I drove north across the border of England and Scotland a couple of weeks ago, and it was a milestone moment.

My family is from Scotland and I’ve grown up with movies, music and food from here. I’ve wanted to visit for a long time and through several twists and turns didn’t until now. Being here means a lot.

So I’ve enjoyed Scotland, and have so far visited Dumfries, St Andrews (where my grandparents met), and Edinburgh, and — accidentally — Inverness.  Continue reading

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A Brief Travel Update

I’m in Wales now, after flying from Dublin to London and spending six days there in a city filled with treasures. I saw:

–Westminster Abbey
–The world’s longest-running play, The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie
–Tower Bridge
–Portobello Market
Wicked
–An exhibition of Star Wars costumes in which I could create my own Star Wars avatar
–The Globe Theatre
–Double-decker buses (and rode in the top deck at the front once!)
–Telephone boxes (which I have continued to see in driving around Wales)
–Hyde Park
–St. Paul’s Cathedral
–Millenium Bridge (the one that was destroyed in Harry Potter)
–The outside of Buckingham Palace

The list could grow beyond that. I was amazed in the British Library by works in the hand of Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. In walking around the city, I found several authors’ residences.  Continue reading

A Few Thoughts from the Philippines

First, here is a picture of a bird standing on my head:

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I was visiting Davao Crocodile Park, and a man held the two birds and asked, “Picture, mahm?” I thought he meant that I would be in a picture with the birds while he held them, but then he explained that they would perch on my arms. Readers may remember my previous adventures with birds in New Zealand, and I became ridiculously excited at this chance for another up-close wildlife encounter.

One even gave me a peck on the cheek while it sat on my shoulder.  Continue reading