Thursday, June 26, 2014

Not so lost in Edinburgh

When we last left our intrepid traveler - that would be me - I had spent the better part of an afternoon wandering the back streets of Edinburgh, Scotland trying to find my way back to The Royal Mile. Luckily for me, my next day in Edinburgh I  would have an ace guide - my daughter, who was studying at The University of Edinburgh at the time.  We started our day at an incredibly interesting place, Holyroodhouse Palace.
(Disclaimer - I actually like history and historical places.)

One of the most famous residents of the palace was Mary, Queen of Scots. She married both her husbands there. You can also see the spot where her secretary and supposed lover, David Rizzio was murdered before her eyes.

Holyroodhouse  is the official residence of Her Majesty, The Queen while she is in Scotland. Apparently, she feels more at home at Balmoral so she is usually only in residence from the last week of June through the beginning of July. Her visit is mostly ceremonial with parades and key ceremonies.

The palace was actually built as an abbey in 1128 and you can visit the ruins of the abbey behind the palace. 

Across the street from Holyroodhouse Palace is the very unique Scottish Parliament building designed by one of the world's premier architects, spaniard Enric Miralles. You can visit the building, but unfortunately it was closed to visitors the week that I was there.

We wandered up the Royal Mile and headed to the National Museum of Scotland. Dolly, the cloned sheep is on display ( she was cloned at the University of Edinburgh) along with Scottish race car driver Jackie Stewart's car.

One of the first Scottish flags on display
As long as only one hundred of us remain alive, we wil never on any condition be brought under English rule.

One of the cool things about the National Museum of Scotland is that it's free. And the other great thing about it is there is a rooftop patio with a beautiful view of the city.

Scotland is one of my favorite countries !. The people are warm and friendly,  the scenery is gorgeous (and I haven't even been to the Highlands yet) and there is history beyond measure. I would go again and again!

I'm linking up with so pop on over to check it out!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Lovers Key

Lovers Key State Park is located in Southwest Florida in between Bonita Beach and Ft. Myers Beach. It is made up of four barrier islands and for years was only accessible by boat. Only lovers traveled to the remote beach  - hence, the name Lovers Key.

We rented a pontoon boat at Bonita Beach and traveled to the state park by water, beaching the boat on the sand to take a walk and play in the beautiful aqua colored water. The beach is full of driftwood and has an "otherwordly" look to it.

On the way there and back, we saw dolphins, manatees, a whole bunch of jet skis, million dollar condos and houses and even a bald eagle. Enjoy the beauty of the Gulf Coast of Florida!

Once again, I'm linking up with for Friday Postcards

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Other Cape

Most Americans have heard of Cape Cod, the elbow shaped peninsula off the coast of Massachusetts. But ,unless you're from the Northeast, you probably haven't heard of The Other Cape, Cape Ann. Cape Ann lies along the northern coast of Massachusetts and consists of the towns of  Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester and Rockport. Manchester-by-the-Sea is an adorable little town with cafes next to yoga studios and bucolic churches along the waterfront. Driving to Gloucester you pass beautiful homes along the water and boats tied up in bays. Gloucester is a working class town without all the touristy fan fare of it's neighbor, Rockport. In 1991 a storm hit Cape Ann which was the inspiration for the movie and book, The Perfect Storm. Most of the spotlight of Cape Ann hits touristy little Rockport which was where the movie The Proposal , starring Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock,  was filmed a few years ago. The area of Bearskin Neck was the stand-in for Sitka, Alaska. Before that it's claim to fame was Motif #1, a fishing shack known as the "most often painted building in America." If you want to see rocky coasts, fishing boats, and small town northeastern America, then Cape Ann is where you want to go.

Hop on over to to check out some great pictures of the Pacific Northwest!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mt. Mitchell

Mt. Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi. I've tried many times to see the magnificent views from the top but almost every time it has been "socked in". It's still a beautiful drive up the mountain and it's also free to visit. So if you're in the Asheville, NC area and want to see some pretty views, give it a try. Maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones to see more than fog and cloud cover. You never know.

View from the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center

The view from the top

Another view from the top

Hey everybody! I'm linking up with for Friday postcards!