Saddest, weirdest, 'funnest', trip ever

Old Jun 9th, 2012, 06:55 PM
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I agree flying west is worse than flying east tuscan.

Janisj, can't wait to hear more.
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Old Jun 9th, 2012, 07:22 PM
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Please give us an outline of where you went.

Me too waiting for your Report.

Yes flying west if worse because you keep putting the clock back and back and back..and.....
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Old Jun 9th, 2012, 08:37 PM
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Just checking in -- don't want to miss the report! Four weeks -- how great.
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Old Jun 9th, 2012, 11:19 PM
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You certainly had some 'mixed' weather whilst over here!
I too am looking forward to your report, especially the Dales bit. But I want loads about La Collins too (and her handsome husband if he was there)- is she REALLY that good for her age close up etc etc.......
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Old Jun 10th, 2012, 01:52 AM
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jj

Rest up, we want details!

Can you top your Cotswolds trip?
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Old Jun 10th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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Hi all . . back among the living but need to put my notes together. Have not one but two weddings plus the first two days of the US Open this week plus trying to calm a <i>most</i> upset cat after being boarded plus yadda yadda yadda . . .

"<i>Please give us an outline of where you went.</i>"

Here is the readers Digest version:

Edinburgh one night (just for recovery and to meet up w/ my brother who flew in separately)

Kinlochard (near Aberfoyle/Lake of Menteith). After 3 nights, dumped brother at Dunblane to catch train to London to fly out.

Two nights staying at Traquair House. Let me tell you -- having a whole castle to oneself is SUPER cool Plus a surprise visit from a fodorite & hubby

Two nights in Carsethorn south of Dumfries/New Abbey

A drive along Hadrian's Wall to two nights in Rothbury (where a flat tyre ate substantially into my mad money)

Three nights in Aysgarth (and that hairy bike ride). Morgana: - you are right, the Yorke Arms is wonderful.

Then I dropped the car at Leeds/Bradford and flew to Jersey for three nights. Was upgraded from the small, non-water view single I booked to a wonderful king sized full water view double!!

Then flew up to London for the last week and the Jubilee. Stayed at B&B Belgravia because I couldn't find a flat for my dates. It was great.

"<i>You certainly had some 'mixed' weather whilst over here! </i>"

Ya think?! 6.5C raining buckets, 3 days later 28C and sweating bullets, Fogged in on Jersey, then the rain on Jubilee Pageant Sunday.

"<i>Can you top your Cotswolds trip?</i>"

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Old Jun 10th, 2012, 12:25 PM
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ttt
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 01:19 PM
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Lovely holiday janisj!!
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 01:54 PM
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Ooh, sounds lovely!! *tapping my foot, waiting impatiently*
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 02:40 PM
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I'll get on it tomorrow morning - promise
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Old Jun 11th, 2012, 03:04 PM
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Now, now, Janisj. Do you really have to keep us all in suspense like this until morning? We are at the edge of out seats to hear more.
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Old Jun 12th, 2012, 02:48 PM
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janisj:

Looking forward to more.

Sandy
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Old Jun 12th, 2012, 05:36 PM
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Sorry for the delay . . . 'stuff' happens

<B>Background</B>

My Mom passed away in December at age 87 (Dad died back in 2006). They were native Californians but both came from predominantly Scottish ancestry, plus some English, and a Finn thrown in just to confuse things. They met attending a rural 2 room school when mom was in kindergarten and Dad was in 2nd grade and except when Dad was in France and Belguim during the War, they were together almost every day for 77 years until Dad died.

When I lived in the UK, Mom & Dad visited often for up to 6 weeks at a time and toured w/ my ex and me and on their own. They enjoyed England but loved LOVED <B>LOVED</B> Scotland. They had very special feelings for the Lake of Menteith (Mom was a Graham) and stayed there probably 8 times back when the Lake Hotel was a simple, family run place. They became friends w/ the owners. In later years they stayed many times (for a week each time) at Forrest Hills which is a hotel and timeshare resort on Loch Ard up the road from Aberfoyle.

When deciding about Mom's services/memorials/etc my brother (he lives in eastern Europe) and I decided to to take some of both their remains to scatter in the Lake of Menteith in May (both had May birthdays).

So that was the beginning of things. He would only had 5 free days and has never been to Scotland, while I basically had unlimited time. So the plan developed to meet up in Edinburgh for one night, head out to Forrest Hills for 3 nights. Bro would train down to London and fly home and I would head out on a meandering journey to places I love and few new ones.

<B>EDINBURGH</B>

May 15/16 I flew AMF > DFW > LHR BA code share on AA and LHR > EDI on BA. Got all three boarding passes at SMF. Caught some fitful sleep DFW > LHR and made the T-3 to T-5 transfer w/ no problems/hassles at all. The walk was the long bit - immigration took all of 45 seconds.

At the VERY last minute (like when SuperShuttle was pulling into my driveway) I decided to take gloves and the zip out liner to my jacket. BOY - am I glad I did - 7C and raining when I landed at EDI!!

Travelodge has a brand new location on Queen St across from the Gardens and because I booked before they were open for business, I got one of those £19 deals PQ is always on about. (Bro booked several weeks later and got a £35 rate - still very cheap for Edinburgh). What can one say -it is a TL and NO frills. But being brand new it was amazingly clean.

I've been to Edinburgh many times and love the place. But for me this was just a 'sleep off' the jet lag stop and I really did nothing in the city except take a walk, look at the construction on Princes street, buy a road atlas, have dinner and crash for the night. After we ate dinner Bro went out and explored and took tons of photos.

<B>May 17 - Falkirk Wheel, Stirling, Forest Hills</B>

We checked out and took a cab out to EDI to collect the car. Were going to hike to the airbus stop but it was cold and raining off and on so we said heck w/ it and hailed a cab. AutoEurope booked us w/ Hertz and we got a Vauxhall (can't remember the model name) w/ 800 miles on it. (It would have over 2000 when I turned it in)at Leeds.

First Stop the Falkirk Wheel. What an amazing thing. We took the boat tour to the upper canal. Even being a cold/rainy day there were lots of folks there and also 2 other boats (besides the tour boat) traversed it while we were there.

http://www.thefalkirkwheel.co.uk/

Then on to Stirling. Colder/rainier. Not sure if having the outside temps show on the dash is such a good thing. How can you pretend you are on summer vacation when the blasted thing shows 9C???

I know my way around Stirling and found Mar Place (the approach road to the castle car park) no problem. But THEN there <i>was</i> a problem. This is a very narrow two way rd and it was bumper to bumper / stopped / chockablock. (Where do all these people come from on a cold rainy Thurs. afternoon??) Just as we got past the point of no return, down comes a car park attendant to put out a "Carpark full" sign - right behind our car We were stuck - couldn't go forward and there was no way to turn around. So we sat, and sat, and sat. Inching forward when ever a car left the car park. 40 minutes/200 yards later we pulled into a parking bay.

The castle is amazing of course. I've been many times but there is always something new to see. I knew Bro would want to explore every nook and cranny so we to meet up in 2 hours. I mainly concentrated on the Palace -- Great Hall, the Heads, Kitchens etc. the <u>indoors</u> stuff because it really was miserably cold/wet. Then tried to get into the cafe - 30 minute wait!. So back to explore and tried the cafe again an hour later. No wait at all . . . But they had completely sold out of everything except a couple of slices of cake and one bowl of carrot ginger soup. So that was my lunch. The girl said they were caught completely off guard w/ so many customers.

Eventually met up w/ Bro - he loved the place but was soaked to the skin. And I had the last bowl of soup so he couldn't even warm up that way.

http://www.stirlingcastle.gov.uk/

We had considered hitting Doune - but we were cold, wet, and hungry so decided to go straight to Forest Hills. This is a very nice MacDonald property but not as posh as say Cameron House. I've stayed there several times (time share trades) - but never in one of the smaller, 2bdrm units so wasn't sure exactly what to expect. Not to worry! paid £140 a night and for that we got: A two story, 2 (large) bedroom, large balcony over looking the loch, large kitchen w/ dishwasher and full sized fridge/freezer . . . and three full baths including a SAUNA and jacuzzi tub!! Let me tell you, having a sauna after a long cold day heals everything.

We had planned on stopping in Aberfoyle to pick up breakfast foods and basic provisions. But instead we went straight 'home' and had dinner in the clubhouse. It was still cold but had stopped raining so Bro went out for a long walk - while I hung around the bar and had a couple of drinks - then back to the unit for that sauna.

unpacked, fell into bed and slept like a baby.

<B>Next: Lake of Menteith, wonderful memories, Inchmahome Priory
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Old Jun 12th, 2012, 08:05 PM
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oops: "May 15/16 I flew SMF . . ."

Last edited by Moderator1; Jun 30th, 2020 at 09:39 AM. Reason: Removed broken html
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 01:56 AM
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"May 15/16 I flew SMF . . ."

I caught that. A and S are adjacent on the QWERTY keyboard. On with the story!

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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 03:06 AM
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The first time I saw a photo of the Falkirk Wheel, I thought it was a photoshop prank. Amazing.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 04:59 AM
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Wonderful! The Stirling Castle link is amusing. More please!
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 01:56 PM
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Great!

I spend 6 years in this silly place, deregister and have 2 months peace and quiet. It rains all today and I get bored, only to poke around and find that Janis has been to Carsethorn. Time to register again..

Janis if you spent two nights there I only hope that you didn't have huge portions of Scampi each night at the Steam Boat Inn, as I did on Sunday. I also hope you managed to see the Basking sharks which have been around recently.

Looking forward to the D&G report. Few make it to us, which makes it all the more special.
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Old Jun 15th, 2012, 06:52 PM
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belted_Galloway: Not only did I eat two nights at the Steamboat . . . They rescued my ass when I checked out of the B&B. I opened my wallet early in the morning only to discover I had a LOT less £££ than I thought. The owner rang up the Steamboat's owner and we met her at the pub and I charged a 'fake' £70 meal and gave me the cash to pay my tab at the B&B

Just got back to my room from the 2nd day of Open and am too beat to go out this evening so will work on the TR some tonight.
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Old Jun 15th, 2012, 08:58 PM
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<B>Lake of Menteith, wonderful memories, Inchmahome Priory</B>

This first part of the trip and especially today was really mostly about Mom & Dad plus showing my brother some of the places they loved so much.

We got up bright and early. Well early anyway, it was dark/overcast/cold and threatening rain. The folks at the Menteith Fisheries (they own the fish and all the small boats that anglers use) had been wonderful to work w/. They set us up w/ a boat and helmsman and we spent about 45 minutes out on the lake scattering mom and dad's remains and sailing along the shore. After tying up on shore we walked next door to the dock for the Inchmahome ferry. We went out to the island and spent maybe 90 minutes exploring and Bro took just scads of photos. This is probably my very favorite picnic place - but it sure wasn't picnic weather! But we were lucky -cold/cloudy to be sure, but the rain held off pretty much all day.

We took the launch/ferry back to shore and walked to the Lake Hotel (all 3 of these places Fishing lodge, gov't launch, and hotel are essentially next door to each other) and had a wonderful lunch in the glass walled restaurant looking out across the lake to the Island/Priory, a lake full of fishermen, and the usual swans at the bottom of the garden.

http://tinyurl.com/7nksvwy
http://www.lake-hotel.com/home.aspx

It was now mid afternoon and was beginning to look more like rain so instead of going to Doune or other sightseeing, we headed over to Callander so Bro could shop for some gifts to take to his girlfriend. He bought a couple of cashmere sweaters and a scarf - my favorite jewelery shop has closed so I had total sales resistance and didn't buy anything except some basic provisions from the co-op.

Then we drove the slow/scenic/gorgeous 'Duke's Road' up and over and through the park past lochs Katrine, Achray and Venachar, and back to Forest Hills. Dinner again in the clubhouse - a couple of single malts and back 'home' for a sauna.

<B>Next: Saturday - Crieff, Loch Earn, Falls of Dochart, Glencoe, Kilchurn Castle
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