Scone Palace…..

Scone (pronounced Scoon like Spoon not Scone…sorry River, it’s a palace name today here in this instance) Palace is where the Kings of Scotland are crowned.

This is actually the back of the palace. I did not get a good photo of the front, just from the right front corner… You entered in the door you see there and the tour begins. OMG………it was wonderful….I happily spent 3 1/2 hours exploring this..14 Scone PalaceNo photos are allowed inside the palace but you can take photos outside to your hearts content. Also no one is allowed upstairs in the palace as the family still lives there. But the downstairs? WOW…… To see the inside, click on the link above.

This is the front of the palace (to the left hidden by trees) and the side facing the tourist parking lot. The lawns were just awesome too.14-1 Scone Palace
The grounds were just gorgeous. I was so happy just wandering around outside for over 2 hours.14-2 Scone Palace
If you look ‘in the back’ of this photo, you’ll see a couple of white benches. This was a flower garden and I just sat peacefully there for almost a half hour waiting for my friend to pick me up. So serene….


14-8 highlander cattle
14-6 Scone highlandersI took these photos of the highlander cattle for Val. Knew she would enjoy them.


15 Scone Palace white peacock
This is a white peacock. Their tails were not spectacular. I don’t know if they molt this time of year or what but NONE of them had all the feathers like in the gallery photos…
17 Stone of Scone abby
This is the abby and the Stone of Scone where the King sits as he is crowned. They are not sure if the one in Edinburgh Castle the real one or not. They think it is….This one was placed here sometime during the 1300’s as a replica.(so still WOW) And there is another stone in a throne in the Lennox Room (beams proudly at the name)

16 Scone Palace stone of scone
So much history here.

23 Scone gate
This is the original gate to the palace.The king was NOT happy that the towns people were living so close to this portal. They literally could walk off the street and onto palace grounds. In the photo below, this is all that remains of the original town. The King, in his infinite wisdom, was upset about how close the town was to his place, dismantled all the homes and moved the town 2 miles away. *snortz*

14-9 memorial
I’m standing with my back to the gate and snapped this. It’s part of a cemetery. Guess the king couldn’t move it ALL…….

14-3 Scone Palace tree
Just one of the cooler trees on the grounds.

14-5 Scone gateSorry for the blurry photo….see the palace in the background?


14-7 palace grounds
I really enjoyed my time there. I wandered around the palace and grounds for almost 4 hours. It was wonderful.

Find the rabbit……?14-A See the rabbit14-C wall14-B TREES



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Wandering in Downtown Perth…..

Just some shots of some buildings I thought were pretty cool looking. Old, and with character.11 downtown Perth12 downtown perth

My friend took me for supper and a movie. She had salmon and I had chicken with mashed taters, parsnips (actually YUM!), carrots, I think those were little sliced thin mushrooms and a huge onion. Beyond FEE NOM!! omg it was good!13 The Bothy meal

Walking along the River Tay …. Some of the homes on the other side were like….WOW…28 River Tye bridge

I love water so here’s the gratuitous water shot.29 Perth Bridge

More shots of the architecture of Scotland. A lot of the buildings have ‘converted’ their first floors to giant sliding glass doors. So you need to look ‘up’ to see the beautiful craftsmanship of these buildings.  30 from the perth bridge

This was cool….but they still didn’t widen it enough. But then their cars are MUCH smaller….31 Perth bridge sign

From Wiki: Perth (/ˈpɜːrθ/ (About this sound listen); Scottish Gaelic: Peairt [ˈpʰɛuɾt̪])[4] is a city in central Scotland, located on the banks of the River Tay. It is the administrative centre of Perth and Kinross council area and the historic county of Perthshire. It has a population of about 47,180.[5] Perth has been known as The Fair City since the publication of the story Fair Maid of Perth by Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott in 1828. During the later medieval period the city was also called St John’s Toun or Saint Johnstoun by its inhabitants in reference to the main church dedicated to St John the Baptist. This name is preserved by the city’s football team, St Johnstone F.C.

There has been a settlement at Perth since prehistoric times, on a natural mound raised slightly above the flood plain of the Tay, where the river could be crossed at low tide. The area surrounding the modern city is known to have been occupied since Mesolithic hunter-gatherers arrived more than 8000 years ago. Nearby Neolithic standing stones and circles also exist, dating from about 4000 BC, following the introduction of farming in the area.

The presence of Scone Abbey, home of the Stone of Destiny (Rightfully known as the stone of Scone) where the King of Scots was crowned, enhanced the early importance of the city. Perth became known as a ‘capital’ of Scotland, due to the frequent residence of the royal court. Royal Burgh status was soon given to the city by King William the Lion in the early 12th century. The city became one of the richest burghs in the country, doing trade with France, the Low Countries and Baltic Countries for goods such as Spanish silk and French wine. The Scottish Reformation also played a big role in the city with the sacking of the Houses of the Greyfriars and Blackfriars, after a sermon given by John Knox in St John’s Kirk in 1559. The Act of Settlement later brought about Jacobite uprisings. The city was occupied by Jacobite supporters on three occasions (1689, 1715 and 1745). The founding of Perth Academy in 1760 helped to bring major industries, such as linen, leather, bleach and whisky, to the city. Given its location, Perth was perfectly placed to become a key transport center with the coming of the railways, and its first station was built in 1848.

Today, Perth serves as a retail center for the surrounding area. Following the decline of the whisky industry locally, the city’s economy has now diversified to include insurance and banking. Due to its location, the city is often referred to as the “Gateway to the Highlands”.[6]

I went to Scone Palace. More on that in it’s own post……..

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Blair Drummond Safari Park


OMG it was a bit nerve racking to be in this little Citroën C4 Picasso (2 adults and 3 small children – we were packed in there. The other adult is barely 5′ tall on a good day.) driving THROUGH these animals.


Yes, he is on MY side of the fence. And they are HUGE animals!! It was magnificent! 8 Blair Drummond Rhino

When Nick and I were in Edinburgh in April 2004, the giraffe exhibit was under repair. So Mama and baby (not this crew) were in a building to keep them safe. We were literally THISCLOSE to them and I absolutely fell in love with ‘raffes that day.

Seeing this bunch brought such a tear to my eye. I had a hard time breathing for the memories it brought back of that trip.9 BD giraffe

This weird one was just standing there. The horns on him were massive. It was amazing. I could have gotten out of that tiny car and walked up to him but he probably could have picked up that car and thrown it over his shoulder. 10 BD bull

Ya, he’s having lunch. Ugh. But it was cool to see him up close and personal like. I have a video of one lioness wandering between the cars. The one that was ahead of ours. Yes, you drive right through their living rooms.THI53 lion at lunch

This guy was back in the shadows. And HUGE. But SO beautiful. 54 lion

There were antelope, lemmings, seals, mercats, zebras, monkeys and lions and tigers and bears….oh, wait. No tigers or bears. Although it was a good safari park, I preferred the one in Edinburgh. More natural. This one was a bit nerve racking waiting for a monkey to jump on the car, or a bull to gore it. And that lion? was as tall as the hood of our car…..eeeeeeeeeeeeek!

They have a cafeteria, a play park for the kids to swing, slide, play in a huge sandbox. Ice cream treats and ‘shows’ about the animals all the time…..

It is worth the trip.

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Well? Let’s get started….

The clouds………..Heading to Keflavick, Iceland. The color is beyond words to describe…..

1 Clouds from the sky

Sterling Castle. We didn’t get to this one. Not enough time. Next trip.2 Stirling Castle

We took the kids to see Atia’s father in law. While there we walked to a park. The kids stayed with G’pa for a bit while we did a walkabout.

I loved this cemetery. We were in Killearn Scotland. The dates on the headstones from the 1600’s and newer. I could have happily spent HOURS there checking dates and quotes on the headstones.3 Killearn Church

After leaving the above church, we walked around Killearn by the park and came across this church. I think you can tell what caught my eye.4 blue door church killearn

The most stunning blue doors. Never expected them on a church. Date? 1880. The building was beyond beautiful. The grounds were perfectly manicured.5 blue doors of church

Two things I will NEVER use to get to Europe again. FlightHub and IcelandAir. OMG what a joke.

My ticket(the one FlightHub sent) clearly stated: Personal item: FREE – Carryon: FREE – 1st Bag: FREE – 2nd bag $95.

Nope. First bag $95. Each direction. IcelandAir told me they have REPEATEDLY told FlightHub to NOT put 1st bag free on their emailed itineraries.

So far NEITHER place will refund my money. Their ‘fight’ about this is NOT my fault but guess who is paying. So I do NOT recommend either place for flights.

Flight out from Minneapolis to Keflavick was 60 minutes late leaving. I had a 90 minute layover at 7am which was cut to little more than 30 by the time I got there. They were late flying out then. Luckily I had almost 4 hours to wait for my flight from Gatwick to Edinburgh.

Keflavick Airport coming back was a disaster area. Four major flights (Minneapolis/St.Paul, Denver, Newark, and Washington/Dulles) all going out of an area less than 25′ wide. There were 200-300 people per flight so you can IMAGINE the chaos. We were to leave at 16:45pm Sunday afternoon. At 16:40 they are announcing final call/closing the doors and MOST of us were NOT even thru the gate heading to the plane! People kept budging in line, tempers were flaring….it was a MESS.

I would LOVE to spend a week in Keflavick. But I will NOT use it as a hub to transfer to Europe. Non stop from Minneapolis to Milan next time. Or London Heathrow. Gatwick was almost as big a joke. Try to find IcelandAir check in desks at that place. HA! WAY back in a far corner with NO sign. Gatwick is NOT well marked. So make sure you have PLENTY of time between flights.

I didn’t. But I think I have buns of steel (chink chink) now from all the running in the airports. Who are we kidding? Really fast walking. I don’t run. Not even when something is chasing me.

All in all, it was a great time in Europe. Just a bitch getting there and home.

More to come tomorrow….Jet lag is hitting again and it’s not even 1pm here.



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omg you guys!!

I have a CRAPTON of photos from Scotland and Italy to post and it’s gonna take awhile.

If you want to see some, I have them on my Facebook pages. If we are not connected, contact me thru my contact me page on here and I’ll let you know where to find me over there.

Or just wait till I them transferred.

I took about 600 pictures.

I put the best of them in each post about things.

I had a great time…..

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a lot of widows feel they have betrayed their spouse by continuing to live

How long do I use that as my relationship status?

That question just hit me.

sometimes allowing ourself to cry is the scariest thing

I do a lot of surveys. And that is always one of the questions.

sacred tears and what they say

I may have to look into that. I know they used to wear black for a year.

It’s been two years.

What am I now?

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Dear God,

OMG I am sitting here in tears…………………..

Welcome to my little corner of the institution...

I know it has been almost 3 years since our cancer journey began and over a year since he died, but I’m still not real happy with You yet. It may take me awhile. You can’t get mad about that. You made me this way. Deal with it.

I was looking at a photo last night. I keep it on the head of my bed. He was so healthy. And handsome. And loving. And fun. And OMG that body. And my other half. Neither of us were complete without the other.

Nick at the dells 1994

And we became more inseparable as the years went on. Sure we broke up more than once only to get back together again. Remember ‘each other’s other half’ thing? We simply could not live apart. You must have had some kind of plan for us, right? Otherwise his first two marriages and other relationships would have lasted longer than…

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I may need to change the name…

Some of this is so difficult to read……

Welcome to my little corner of the institution...

… MY journey thru recovery. I’ve barely started.

The moment  you left me

I miss Nick. Desperately. I always will. We were the other half of each other. So incomplete when we were alone. Even when we were fighting and broke up…only to get back together.

Will I ever find a love like that again? That intense? That frustrating? That fulfilling?

Will I have that kind of friendship? I don’t know. I’d like to find out……but on my terms. I find myself thinking “I gotta tell Nick about this when I get……home.” There are times when this hits me like a brick wall and I simply cannot breathe.

And yet, I’m finding being alone…..isn’t so bad at times, because right now I have so much to do, it’s keeping me busy. As long as I stay busy, I’m OK.  Maybe I’ll make it thru this……

But when it’s dark out, and I can no longer…

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Days, evenings, and nights

I still crawl into bed and night alone.

…and miss him………..

Welcome to my little corner of the institution...

Days … I do alright most of the day. I have my job and phones, co-workers and customers that keep me occupied. Some want to tell me they are sorry for my loss. And during the day I can take it. We chat a bit about Nick and they go on their way. I go back to work and think about what they’ve said, look at our photo on my desk.

And miss him.

Evenings … I have so many things to do to get my house back in order after 8 months of not being able to do MY stuff. I was so focused on caring for Nick that my house is a disaster. I’m getting 3 new windows installed today so I have no CHOICE but to get the dining room done tonight. So many things to sort thru and throw away.

And miss him.

Nights … those…

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