Love Locks on the Albert Docks, UK

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We were walking along the Albert Docks yesterday when I noticed several locks on the chain fences by the water.

My Aunt explained to me that this is what people do in Liverpool; lock the padlock and throw away the key, so your lock remains there as a symbol of your love.

Cool idea, there are many parts in the world that have places such as these. I often wonder if the lock owners are still together?

The answer is yes on Albert Docks

Train bound, my favourite method of transport

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I love trains.

They are classic, timeless, and still one of the most efficient ways of travel. Funnily enough other than transit travel, I have not yet been on a cross country train yet in Canada. That shall be remedied at a later date to be sure.

Today’s journey was to Liverpool and after a few stops and starts, all good and successful.

The clan has gathered, all is right with the world.

Cheers

Visiting Edinburgh

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It has been many a year since I have visited Edinburgh, but it is still as beautiful as ever. So rife with history and pride, the castle stands tall over all the lands below.

I went to visit a fellow Canadian friend who now lives there and had a lovely time.

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While we were there, we went to check out a local restaurant in Leith called Roseleaf that was full of ambience, delicious food, tasty drams and the most amusing host. That, and our dinner table was shared with Mr. Potato Head.

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Seriously.

There were board games on the side boards, hats hung on pegs all over the place and tea pots. In a bar.

We found out the reason for this; you can order their special “Pot-tail” concoctions and share them with a friend. They get served in a teapot and a couple of champagne flutes, and then you get to pick out a hat to wear and enjoy a “Mad Hatter’s T party!

Check them out if ever you find yourself in Edinburgh, highly recommended!

Cheers

Ninja Trip Day three

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~Ach Glasgow, my wee ‘hame away from ‘hame

What a Bonny Day! Flowers are still blooming here, the sun is out and it is such a great overall day!

I am hoping that I will not be suffering from jet lag this time as I had stayed up so late and then went to bed at the proper time. But I feel great so perhaps, and of course the fact that I almost fell asleep several times in my late supper before calling it quits at the ~extremely late hour of……9pm lol.

Had an amazing day with my family sight seeing and catching up, here are a few!

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A “Close” in the west end, full of beautiful and unique shops.

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One of the Glasgow City Chambers Guards. So beautiful!!

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Multiple marble staircases, so seriously amazing and beautiful!

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The Glasgow night market, many delicious treats there to be had.

I love this city 😀

Cheers

Ninja Trip Day two

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So. On day two of the trip aka the continuing day of no sleep, cranky crying children aboard planes and almost 30 hours of not eating we were moseying around the Amsterdam airport in search of coffee and “food-that-would-not-kill-me”.

What a beautiful airport! I cannot even fathom the size of it as it took quite a while to get to it after we landed, it being such an international hub of travel! I know even walking around the gates and finding things were a feat, and not one to be made when one was short of time.

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So alas the full tour of Amsterdam will be another time, but I did get to sample their delicious cheeses, tulips, friendliness, and their beautiful airport. Oh, and of course their cafés, fabulous breakfast at the Panini, Pizza, Pasta place on the second level!

Yum 🙂

Ninja trip Day One

So I am boarded on a flight to Calgary that will take me to my international flight to Amsterdam. I am in the middle seat, but I am over the wings which is good. This flight is just supposed to be a short one and we are flying over the snow capped mountains right now.

My stomach is the only thing that is not sorting itself right away. Oh well, should be good for the next leg of the trip. Now that we are at cruising altitude, I have brought the tunes out. deadmau5 is my jam, love the while(1<2) album.

There is snow on the ground but it's beautifully sunny here in Calgary!

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So now I am aboard the flight and we are cruising at 41000 feet and I am more in the middle of the plane now.
The take off wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it’s not over yet.

*note to self* email the person who booked my flight to have gluten free options to eat. I am starving and probably won’t eat until Amsterdam :/

On another note as well, we are almost flying over Glasgow right now, the end destination. Too bad we have to backtrack! But it be fun to visit a completely different area of the world.

More later!

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3 more sleeps

I haven’t been on a vacation in over 3 years, and the last time was a quick Las Vegas sojourn for my birthday which of course was truly wonderful.

So yes, I am as giddy as could be with my counting down the sleeps! So much to get ready and to plan still.

Do I book my train trips ahead of time, do I wait? Do I have my brief Amsterdam trip planned out well enough, is there enough time? With my mind revving at full speed and still 2 more work days to go, plus packing I need to chill.

This helped.

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Also, it was cold enough to harvest icewine at a few of the local wineries! That is still on my wine bucket list to accomplish, but there is time enough for that.

Cheers

Scotland the Brave, Scotland….the home of Outlander

Ok, T- minus 8 sleeps now for the countdown to Scotland! I have visited the lovely United Kingdom 3 times already in my life, and that I can say is that even that, is not enough times! My Mom is a Scottish Lass so we have family all through out, and I am happy to say that for the first time ever, the Clan is gathering and it will be good.

I love visiting Scotland, everything is so rich with history and even though I am adopted, I feel a great sense of pride when I see my family crest in the Glasgow Cathedral. A verra braw feeling ‘ken?

Scotland also is the home of Single Malt Whisky (more on a later post) and Outlander, born of the brilliant mind of scholastically talented and sharp of wit Diana Gabaldon. Now I have been obsessed with this book series for many years, the first book was published in 1991. The 8th book Written in My Own Heart’s Blood was just released and just this year, Starz has produced a television series based on the book with Diana’s own approval, hereby known as Herself.

(The first 5 books as seen below are probably about the 3rd copy of each, and I have a hard cover of Fiery Cross in storage)

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What a treat. The book series are probably about the best I have ever read, and now there is a TV series with the perfect casting. Check out Starz for all the updates, but I for one as a die hard Outlander fan, fully approve.

Oh, and if you haven’t interacted yet with the lovely Diana Gabaldon on twitter or Facebook, you need to. She is so witty and amusing, I love to read her tweet interactions with the cast *Sheugs aka Sam Heughan and Cat, Caitriona Balfe* aka Jamie and Claire. *swoons*.

And, I am heading to Bonny Scotland in just over a week. *insert high-pitched unearthly screaming and gratuitous flaily fangirling* Yup.

I need to clear my devices etc. of unnecessary fodder so that I may enjoy and post all of my trip, I will post a few here and then link to my photobucket or my flickr account. Wish me luck on the flight, I am not a fan of flying…..like that will stop me

Cheers

Preparing for travel, with technology in mind

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As I gather my list together for what I need to pack and items still to get for the journey, I notice that there is one big difference between when I last travelled to Scotland in 2006 and now in 2014.

Technology has blown up, or rather I have come to rely heavily on smartphones, gadgets, devices, and tablets. That, and I must begrudgingly admit, 2006 was a heck of a long time ago.

One example is that I purchased a purse today, not just based on what it looked like, but that it was big enough to hold my tablet and my phone along with miscellaneous other crap that I cannot seem to survive without. In my defence, I can also use my purse as a weapon, I pity anyone on the other end of that receiving brunt haha 😉

When I think back to what I had packed backed then; I had a magazine, a Sudoku puzzle book, and a Canon Sure Shot camera with a few rolls of film. That same camera is still in my possession, but it has resumed its post as a reprised dust collector. It is far more convenient to whip out the phone and snap a shot then it is to pull out the camera, focus it, and snap. ~That, I find a bit sad, but C’est la vie.

I spent about an hour today after my work day researching and pricing out a portable battery charger that could charge an iPhone, an Android, a Tablet, and any USB device that I had. I picked one out, will review it once I put it through its paces, but it seemed like the best value for $40.

Now that I have the “charging-when-I’m-not-near-a-power-source” scenario covered I need to worry about data. My local provider is so not the way to go when you are overseas. So scratch getting a plan for my phone, no upgrade either at the moment.

An unlocked phone that you can put various country SIM cards into and add different plans seems like the smartest way to go when you are international in many countries. If the person you are travelling with has one, even better! There is always wifi when you look for it, and the personal hotspot. FYI, you can get an unlocked Google Nexus 5 from Google Play for about $350 and it is great to travel with.

So I am not fully packed yet, but I am scratching a few more items off my list, only 10 more sleeps until the big day!

Cheers