Travel Tuesday # 17 – Robert Burns

Today I am once again sharing scrap-book pages from my September 2009 trip to Scotland.  These pages reflect a day at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and nearby area.  I remember it was real Scottish weather, rainy and cool.  One of the unplanned highlights was listening to a piper outside a church and watching the people, dressed up in their finest — many a man in a kilt, walking in for a country wedding. 


Travel Tuesday # 16 – Back to my scrapbooks

Over the years the way I have saved (or not saved) travel photos and mementos has changed.  Today I pulled a scrapbook / album  of our 2009 fall trip to Scotland and England off the shelf.  At that time I noticed that I had used software to make photo collages that I then printed on regular paper.  The quality and color maybe a little off but I still like the images.  Here is a page from a Sunday spent in Edinburgh that includes exterior shots of St. Giles’ Cathedral, also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh: 

Travel Tuesday # 15 – You do not have to go far

Sometimes you only need to go down the road a few miles for a few hours to get away and feel treated.  Family gatherings for the holidays did not exist in my husband’s family, and on my side they had been important but they fell apart about 12 years ago.  So we have done many a trip at holiday times.  Sometimes it doesn’t work out to go away, like this past Easter.  We went to a favorite restaurant in Brandon, VT –  Cafe Provence.  It is not far away but it felt like a holiday.  For me it was a big holiday off from counting calories and limiting sweet treats.  This plate of mini desserts was heaven —Clockwise, starting with the baby chick cookie, a lemon square, chocolate cake, chocolate case with raspberry mouse, and vanilla cheesecake with kiwi.  Believe it or not there were a few more dessert choices that I passed on (fruit tart, flour-less chocolate cake, & tiramisu that I can remember.)

Travel Tuesday # 14 – Fish and Seafood in Boston

As the only landlocked state in New England there are not many (any) Vermont restaurants that focus on serving fresh fish and seafood.  So when we make a trip to Boston we want what we can not find at home. Usually that means a meal at one of the Legal Seafood Restaurants.  They are good, moderately price for city eating, but also pretty predictable.  Now my husband loves predictable but me, I like something different now and then.  We had planned on trying Jasper White’s Summer Shack on Sunday.  It did not disappoint and the prices were right in line with what we normally shell out to eat at a Legal location.

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I started my meal with one of the blackboard special appetizers, a trio of mini seafood salad rolls, one each lobster, crab, & shrimp.  Very tasty, although I would note that the bread part of the roll was cute but not special –  served cold & dry.  My husband enjoyed his crab cake appetizer from the regular menu that was accompanied by a corn & bean salad.  I ordered the “lazy man” lobster casserole entry which featured the meat of a one pound lobster in a Newburg sauce (?- different from the Newburg sauces of my past), topped with garlic crumbs and cheese.  My reasoning was I wanted lobster but did not want to fuss with the shell but I would not order the lazy lobster again.  There was nothing wrong with it except that it was quite rich (caloric) and the lobster did not need it (OK, me either).  Eating it without splashing sauce, given that the tail & claws were whole was not that simple either.  My husband also select a regular menu item for his main, crisp fried Ipswich whole belly clams with fries and coleslaw.  Now one little oddity occurred with making this order.  The online menu said you could sub sides for $2.  One husband did not want his coleslaw but would have been happy to pay the $2 for broccoli.  Our waiter said he could not sub the coleslaw.  So I piped up that my husband could have the broccoli side I had ordered, and I would take my husband’s coleslaw.    All and all Summer Shack was a nice change.  The decor and atmosphere are casual.  The waiters wear some clever T-shirts:  one said Lobster, oysters, and clams, Oh my”  while another said “We don’t gamble with our clams”.   I am sure we will go back to Summer Shack, but that we will also continue to patronize Legal Seafood too.

Travel Tuesday # 13 – New Mexico

Back in the summer of 1997 I made my first (and thus far only) trip to the American South-West.  I was tagging along with my husband who had some professional meetings in New Mexico. 

After the trip I have never attempted to grow hollyhocks again.

The sky, the mountains, and fields are all strikingly different from my home region.

These sunflowers caught my eye.

Although I don’t have a photo that is a good illustration I do remember coming home from the trip with a much more vivid idea of what the term ‘plateau’ meant after seeing geographical plateaus first hand.  And while it was nice to visit this part of the country I was positive I would not be happy in that climate for any more than a week or two.

Travel Tuesday # 12 – Butchart Gardens

If only every abandoned quarry looked like this. Butchart Gardens
800 Benvenuto Avenue, Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada

I want to go back.  My husband was experiencing allergies on the day we went to Butchart Gardens so I did not get to see as much as I wanted or to have as much fun as I expected.   But I did get a few glorious photos and the ability to say “been there.”

Travel Tuesday # 11 – Flying U

While traveling by train in British Columbia a woman & her daughter got off at this flag stop.

The Flying U has a website that says it is a “Working Cattle Ranch”, offering an authentic ranch holiday complete with horseback riding, fishing, hiking, canoeing & hayrides.  Not something I would sign up for but if you love the outdoors and do not have access to it in your everyday life it could be a dream vacation.  I do like that farms and ranches can diversify like this stay viable.