Most of my travels are in Central America; if that's the blog you're looking for, here it is: Hopefulist in Latin America.

This is the blog for photos and reflections of my visits to other places, beginning in 2013. Previous blogs are linked on the main pages of my photo collections on flickr.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


We celebrated the 4th of July this year by heading for PDX to start our journey to Scotland. It's a return trip for me - after 35 years - and a 1st visit for Mike. In 1978 I spent 2 college semesters in Great Britain, 1 in Edinburgh, Scotland and 1 in London.

In Edinburgh I lived with Ruth and Norman Middleton and their little ones, David and Val - they made me feel like family. I was able to reconnect with them thanks to the internet and they invited us to stay with them. We started the trip there, with plans to head west to the Isle of Arran for most of a week and catch a Highland Game competition on Loch Lomond before flying to The Netherlands to meet Isaac's host family from his 2004-2005 AFS exchange. Then it's off to Cambridge, England where Mariah and Greg will join us to celebrate with Isaac as he graduates with a masters degree from King's college.

We headed west to Portland and parked our car at our niece's house to save on parking costs (thanks Chelsie and Justin!), then took a MAX light rail train to the airport.

What a great airport! We seemed to be the only clients for these friendly TSA folks.

Our 1st leg was PDX to Vancouver, British Columbia on a prop plane.

We enjoyed the sculptures and a nice meal at the Vancouver airport before getting on a huge 777 for the trip over the pole to London's Heathrow airport.

We were told we were likely to need a 4-5 hour layover to connect with our flight to Edinburgh; 2 hours would have been plenty.
Eventually we boarded and an hour later, there it was! I could pick out the Royal Yacht Brittania, Princes Street Gardens, Waverly Rail Station, Edinburgh Castle, and Holyrood Palace as we circled the city.
We were met at the airport by Isaac and by Norman, the 'dad' in my 1978 host family. So great to see them! So strange to be driving on the left side of the road!
We had a wonderful meal with a smoked salmon 'starter',
chicken, potatoes, salad, vegies, and sparkling conversation.
Pictured from left are Norman, Isaac, John, Val, Ruth, Luke, Paul, and Mike. Val was my wee host 'sister' in 1978; she and husband Paul have 2 awesome boys, John and Luke.
After dinner we had cheese and oaties (pictured with my host 'sister' Val's oldest son, John).
Host 'mum' Ruth describes each cheese to Isaac.
Dessert followed by a wonderful converstion - they made me feel like family all over again. :-)

Happy trails!

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