Category Archives: Travel

Daily December 19

Nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh nineteen.

So we are still in the mountains for another hour or so, and I’m sitting next to the fireplace, having my coffee and looking through imgur, because I already looked through the news and it was equal parts infuriating and depressing.

Side note: Google Play Newsstand is a great app, and I never would have tried it, because the News and Weather app on my phone opens articles with the most obnoxious, intrusive ads I have ever seen. Seriously, ads that take over the entire screen and want to install shit so I can dismiss them. Come on, Google. 

But yesterday, I was looking to see if there was a Daily Beast app, and it opened Daily Beast as a subscription in Play Newsstand, and I ended up staying in that app for awhile, discovering that it’s really easy to build a great digest to browse in the morning while you’re having your coffee.

Okay, so back to my point.

I’m browsing imgur, and I came across this adorable gif of hockey player Ilya Kovalchuck and figure skater I don’t know her first name Morozov skating a routine together at the KHL all-star game.

It made me smile, and I need to embrace and enjoy everything that makes me smile right now, because the alternative is to put on the lead apron and see if I can find the bottom of the pit.

Because it’s an interesting data point: this is the first post over ever put on my blog that was composed entirely in the WordPress app on my phone. It’s a pretty decent editor, all things considered. Maybe it’s my configuration, but the only issue I had is that it won’t let me upload any media.

Daily December 18

Anne and I snuck away for the weekend. Last night, we watched a movie called Hell or High Water that we both really liked. All I knew going into it was that Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine were in a movie set in Texas about brothers who are robbing banks to save their family ranch, so I won’t say more about it than that. I recommend it, though: 4 out of 5.

We also went for a long walk in the woods, and managed not to get eaten by a bear.

We have returned to Castle Wheaton. Here’s a story about a different castle.

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-9-14-38-amDriving on the left side of the road was nerve wracking as hell. The roads in Scotland seem to be much more narrow than the roads I’m used to, and Anne kept telling me that I was veering close to the left shoulder, almost letting the wheels go off the road.

It took me nearly two full days of driving, but I did get used to it, and I even figured out the proper way to navigate a roundabout, which was not the victory it may sound like, because it was the final roundabout I used before we returned the rental car.

Scotland was the most beautiful place I’ve been that wasn’t in the South Pacific. The highlands were just breathtaking, and for some reason we got perfectly clear skies and sunshine the whole time we were there. The thing I wasn’t prepared for at all, though, was how dark it got at night. There weren’t any streetlights. Now, Americans, let me be clear: I don’t mean that there weren’t a lot of streetlights, or that the streetlights were dim. I mean that there were literally zero streetlights. When we drove back to the house we were staying in after dinner in Portree one night, I could only see as far as my car’s headlights, which wasn’t even 30 feet, before the darkness swallowed up the light.

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Hello from Birmingham

British Industrial Town from the train.
British Industrial Town from the train.

No, not the one in Alabama. The one in England.

We took 8 hours of trains yesterday, from Scotland, to get here for Destination Star Trek, the only Trek convention I’m appearing at this year.

It was an amazing and beautiful ride, and it made me wish that America had a train system that was even half as useful and relevant to where people actually travel as the British Rail System is (I don’t know if it’s supposed to be capitalized, but it earned it, so there.)

We are now in a hotel, and I said to Anne this morning that it feels anticlimactic to be here. After several days in the Scottish Highlands, sleeping in cottages, and driving down tiny sheep roads to get from place to place, it just feels … plain. It’s nothing against the hotel or anything, but if you have an opportunity to travel, even though hotels are familiar and predictable, I highly recommend giving the alternative a try.

Scottish countryside, from the train.
Scottish countryside, from the train.

I’m going to miss Scotland. In fact, I already miss Scotland. It was so beautiful, and it was such a wonderful experience for me, I feel like I recovered a lot of HP and Mana that I didn’t know had been depleted. I’ll have more pictures to share and more words to write about it once I’ve properly processed and reflected upon the time we spent there.