Another Year

We grieve with Great Britain at the passing of beloved Queen Elizabeth II on her death yesterday. Shedding tears here. It was her appointed time dying at Balmoral, a place that seemed to bring her lots of comfort. We have no idea how the grieving period in Great Britain will impact our trip this coming week but our time will be historic. 

Today is Dear’s 69th birthday.  We will be celebrating his last year in his 60’s tonight and tomorrow, too. All these photos I’m sharing today are from 2006 when he was in his 50’s. We recently copied the photos from a disc from our trip with friends on what we called a Walking Tour of Great Britain. We were in Conwy Wales, The Lake District, Oban, Edinburgh and York from May 2nd until the 12th, 2006.

We flew into Manchester. There were six of us on this trip. We rented a vehicle and headed to Conwy, Wales.

The view from our bedroom at our Bed and Breakfast in Conwy.

The 2nd day in Wales we attempted to climb Mt. Snowden.

Still smiling at the beginning of the hike. It really was a difficult ascent and much more difficult descent because of the slipping steep shale path. Jan and I made it 2.6 miles and we decided to turn around and head back. The other 3 troopers carried on for another mile but had to turn back because of the high wind. It was windy enough to move our bodies. In total 5.2 miles for Ellen and Jan, 7.2 miles for Bob, Dear, and Jody. We were sore and our knees suffered for the rest of our trip.

The very bright side to this day was our dinner at Bistro Conwy. One of the best meals we’ve ever enjoyed at a restaurant. Leek soup w/potato and bacon, Casaba salad with melon-strawberries-kiwi-with a raspberry sorbet sauce-mushroom tartlets-lamb shoulder in reduction with potatoes and vegetables. Sticky toffee pudding with chocolate sauce for dessert.

From Wales we traveled to the Lake District and stayed on a working farm. We had a few Derwent River walks.

While Bob, Jan and Jody scaled this path to the top of Cats Bells, Dear’s knees stopped here on this grassy knoll and we made our way back to our Farmhouse B&B.

From the Lake District we traveled to Oban, Scotland.

From Oban we took a ferry to the Isle of Mull and traveled across the island to catch a ferry to the little island of Iona.

From Oban we traveled to Edinburgh.

In Edinburgh we visited Elephant House with ties to the writing of the Harry Potter books.

Our last stop was York and we enjoyed our favorite Sticky Toffee Pudding here.

We won’t be enjoying Sticky Toffee Pudding today but hopefully within a weeks time we will.

Edinburgh and Monty Python…

This will be my second to the last post on our 2004 literary tour with our daughter Katie. We traveled north by train from York to Edinburgh. We made arrangements at a self catered apartment for our days in the city and beyond.

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We walked from the train station to the street where our rental was and found no one there to answer the door.  We finally were spotted by some neighbors who happened to have the key to the flat and they let us in. It was nice to have a tea tray waiting for us.

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We toured Edinburgh Castle and walked down High Street where St. Giles Cathedral stands.

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We ate at the Royal Mcgregor where Katie had her favorite hamburger on our trip.

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Our main side trip from Edinburgh was by bus to Stirling with a connecting bus to the little town of Doune where you’ll find Castle Doune. Castle Doune is the sight of some of the filming of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This was a must stop for our daughter Katie. We were the only people at the castle (it was part of our Heritage Pass). To those of you who are familiar with this film you are handed coconut shells to walk around the grounds with. We were throwing out lines from the movie (Run Away, run away!) and making horse clip clop noises (with the coconut shells). They even take a picture of you here and post it on the official web page for Castle Doune and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Hilarious fun.

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img432From Edinburgh we took the train south all the way to London where we would finish off our literary tour.

We are entering a busy week leading up to Easter. I love Easter and all the preparations that it involves.

E is for…

Early posts on the letter E! This post was from February of 2008 with some additions.

E is for…

This is a sitting room in a Model Home in our temporary neighborhood in Camarillo when Dear was working in Thousand Oaks from 2006-2010. I was tempted to nab the pillow with my initial on it but I controlled myself and resisted my Evil side…

 Ellen b. and one of our favorite Saturday walks at Emma Wood State Beach in Ventura, California during our sojourn in Camarillo.

E is for the Ebb of the tide

E is for Edinburgh

Dear and Ellen B. in Edinburgh in 2006. Ten years younger and 20 pounds lighter!

The elephant house in Edinburgh of author J.K. Rowling Harry Potter fame.

An Epitaph for J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife in Oxford, England. This was during a trip with our daughter in 2004. This was part of a literary tour that we put together as a graduation gift for our daughter. It was excellent!

I’m adding an early photo of ellen b. from 1958 where I would soon be seven years old.

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I’m on the rug in front of my sister Vera, sister Kathy holding our new baby brother Tim and our brother Fred with the accordion. Love my goofy expression! Our family grew from 4 kids to 8 kids from 1958 to 1963. Number seven and eight were twins, a boy and a girl!

Don’t want to forget to acknowledge that today is Shrove Tuesday, also called Pancake Day and the day before Lent begins. Here in the states it’s Mardi Gras. I think I’ll make some pancakes for breakfast!

I’m linking up to ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and carried on with the help of Roger and others.

I’m also linking up to Tuesday’s Treasures with Tom the Backroads Traveller with these treasured memories and destinations.