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Great, great, great, incredible, life-defining sort of vacation. I am truly blessed to be able to do things like this with my happy family.

Scotland Wrapup-

First week, we stayed in a castle. Yes, really. They rent them. They actually rent castles. It's called Saddell, and here is its wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddell_Castle. Sadly it had no internet, but who gives a flying cracker. It was a castle. I was staying in a castle. There were battlements. It was right on the World's Coldest Ocean, but there were ducks and birds and evil spiky plants and just the most wonderful, wonderful air of timelessness. 

After that, we stayed (limited internet again) at a lovely little lodge on the River Ness, and went down to the loch and saw their castle and the museums, though no Nessie.  I have crosstiched and plan to make bookmark gifts for various relatives.  There were more ducks here, and birdnests.

I am still slightly jetlagged, but hopefully updates soon on comics, pets, and those essays I talked about, which are almost done and rambling but interesting.
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 Today we have seen: double decker bus rides, Trafalgar Square, lots and lots of historic buildings from the outside, the best porridge I have ever had, a neighbor's cat out hunting pigeons, and an authentic-type pub.

Soon we must see: The Tower, the National Portrait gallery, Madame Tussaud's, Sammy, more yummy food, and a boat ride on the Thames.

Notes:

I am sharing a room with my sister.  This is not very fun at all.  She stays up hours later than I do, is even grumpier than I am in the mornings, and has no sense of "this messes to hell with my OCD, stop leaving your dirty stuff everywhere before I completely freak again."  Why yes, there was an incident.

We genuinely have wireless here, but I have to kind of hunt for it.

We only have two English plug converters, and Sister has taken one of them hostage.  

Nowhere here has screens.  Why does noone in Europe have screens?

I keep being gripped by this feeling that "I AM IN LONDON."  It is even stronger than the feelings from the previous two cities, and probably has a lot to do with my British history obsession.  I may collapse into a trembling mush when we actually go to the tower.

It is very nice to no longer have to try to translate menus for my family whilst the poor waiter looks on.

Speaking of "whilst," signs here keep using that word.
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 Me, of course.

It is quite lovely here.  We've been on a bike tour that did NOT obey traffic rules, seen the Eiffel Tower, and, most importantly, I have eaten crepes au fromage.  It is fun being the only member of my family who speaks any French at all- sort of.  It can also be kind of annoying.  But I'm able to actually order food without pointing, translate things on signs- it's nice to be useful.

I'm also reading a series of urban fantasy novels involving vampires.  Please, someone hit me.  I'm scared for myself.
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 It is rainy here.

Feels lovely to be off of the plane, of course, and back on somewhat solid ground.  We got to ride a water taxi from the airport to our apartment.  Siblings refusing to shut up/stop arguing, even though we're in the part of the vacation that Sister chose.  (I chose Paris, though I think I will prefer the two weeks in Scotland).

We're also facing the should-have-been-anticipated problem of nobody speaking a word of Italian- don't look at me, okay, I've been boning up on my French and got an A even.  

You can see canals and old buildings and boats out of the windows, and the living room in particular has a lovely view of a red roof and a tall carved building that I think might be a church.

Also birds.  We've heard horrible reports of aggressive pigeons, but all I've seen so far have been wet seagulls.
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...Four weeks an' I'll be back again.

Should arrive in Venice at 9 o'clock tomorrow, their time. 

Still a little nervous even with Plane Medications, whatever prayers and good wishes y'all have got would be more than appreciated.

Tidbits

Jun. 18th, 2010 04:51 pm
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A few random thoughts:

Tomorrow I leave for Europe.  Very, very nervous-making, but I am looking forward to this trip.  I am.

Arizona: I understand that you are trying to beat out South Carolina as the Crazy State.  You aren't going to succeed.  You're merely starting to try to pass unconstitutional laws on citizenship.  SC started the Civil War.

Speaking of SC, last week a guy in the town my grandmother is from saw Bigfoot and claimed it had "beautiful fur."  Arizona: behind and falling.

My cousin in Florida is getting two horses.  I am happy for her.  I am not bitter and jealous.  Really.

Well, I am happy for her.

Speaking of cousins, continue to face the difficulty that me and more than a few of my relatives have really, really different political views, including some of the ones I feel strongly about.  This can be kind of difficult to deal with at times.

Speaking of relatives, my grandparents are taking care of the dog and taking her to their house while we're gone.  I expect to return and find a much heavier Boston Terrier than we left.

That's all for now, I think.


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Tuesday: Bring a Friend day at the stable.  I got to teach Daddy how to ride Case.  Have I talked about Case?  Bigbig pretty horse, former showjumper, and several tons of attitude.  He is basically a cat in big bay horse format, and spent most of the time before riding thumping his feet against the stall door to protest the entire idea.  (his feet are fine, btw.  Silly boy.)  He is my silly boy (though the stable owns him, not me) and I lovelovelove him though I kind of doubt the feeling is mutual.  Daddy sort of got him to trot when the instruction ran alongside yelling, which is about what I did my first time on him a few weeks back.  He's kind of learning to respect me, though.

Wednesday (today): Comics!  DC is putting out three books I was willing to venture into a crown for.  Marvel says that one of my favorite characters had an OOC adulterous relationship with someone I don't care about.  DC wins this week, which is good, because they were seriously losing ground.  Anyway, I got Generation Lost, Booster Gold, and Birds of Prey.  Good times.  Good writing.

Future: We're actually setting up stuff for Europe- we've got tickets, we've got reservations, etc, and I continue to be nervous.  Venice, Paris, London, and then two weeks in Scotland.

Oh, and today was mom's birthday.  Happy birthday, Mom!


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