Thursday, May 22, 2014

First hike day!!

We survived day one of the East Highland Way. No rain, yay!! Though lots of clouds were present.

Miles walked: 11.8 (or so)
Steps stepped: 27,265 (or so)
Temps: low 50s (perfect hiking weather, not too hot, not too cold - and a brisk breeze to keep the midges at bay)

Adventures here and there, but one clearly cosmic moment of the day - hiking angels arrived just when we needed them - see in photo narrative below.

At the Distant Hills Guest House in Spean Bridge getting ready to go to dinner nearby. Thinking we might have a little scotch to celebrate the first day.

Enjoy the photos below and cheers to all from across the pond.

Retaliatory photos as we start out on the East Highland Way.

Yikes!! Road flooded?? 

Oh, phew, a footbridge.

Some very Hobbity looking forest views, lovely moss, ferns and foliage.

That yellow blurry stuff is gorse, all over the place! Linda is the botanist on the hike.

Lunch selfie:

Lumbering nearby:

And then the cosmic hikers came, just as we were worrying about a bull we had come upon in a field:

They said, yes, he does look menacing, but they are harmless. We were actually considering backtracking and walking around the field, but luckily the hikers from Switzerland arrived just in time. Cosmic!!!

Additional cute animals:

Spean Bridge...

Onwards to day two! And good luck to the team of Alaina and Laath (Daisy Me Rollin') in the final round of the Mario Kart Tournament!! Adventures all over the world!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Edinburgh and a Remarkable Train Ride

Some fun signs and photos from a lovely, long walking day in Edinburgh on Tuesday and then shots of the spectacular train ride from Edinburgh to Fort William today (Wednesday).

Cool juxtaposition.

We are all artists - the canvas is life.

Bussman's holiday at the Morningside Library:

And that train ride...

In Fort William getting ready to start the hike tomorrow. Hoping for decent weather. Wish us luck!

Onward and cheers to all!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Day one and a half in Scotland!!

Lovely Long trip across the ocean starting with a sweet sendoff by one friend, interrupted with an amazing layover in Boston with dear friends from my youth!! That Mt. Auburn Cemetary in Cambride is a great walk this time of year!! There were three legs of the trip (and a desperate - yet successful - dash in the Dublin airport). A leisurely caffeine filled wait in the cute little Edinburgh airport for Linda arriving from London.

!!!Warning, warning, I have not slept for over 36 hours, so my non-linearity is running rampant!!!

The bus ride to town was fun, then we sat in the park and fiddled with various electronic devices attempting to contact our wonderful airbnb hostess, Sally. Eventually we connected.

And, OMG, check out what is just ACROSS THE STREET from our place...


Before Linda arrived I availed myself of the tooth buddy in the loo (do they call it that in Scotland too?)

(it was yummy!)

You can tell with some signs that you are not in Kansas anymore, like this one on the stairs to the RyanAir airplane.

We did lots of walking around town (more on that tomorrow) and lucky for you most of my photos are stuck on my camera till I get back, but there are a couple I took with the I device.

Whiski was the name of the amazing restaurant we went to. Here are some shots.

Happy Linda at the table:

Happy Sarah in the loo:

And another shot because it is just so much fun (and there I am in the mirror again).

OK it is 10:20 and it is finally dark, and this post took way longer than it should have. 

Oh, and I walked 8120 steps today...can't wait to see how many there will be on the 21 mile day!

Sweet dreams, everyone!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Yet another test...

OK, now the iPad is getting tested...a little challenged on the photo front here, but easier to type... As someone said earlier, such first world problems. These are not so much problems to me, but puzzles to parse. First world puzzles?

Test, this is only a test!

Seeing if and how posting with my phone will a must, right? iPad too old? Stay tuned...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Catching up on Adventures and anticipating...

There have been so many adventures recently, it is really quite astounding! If I go backwards:

1.  My mom turned 90 years old on Monday, May 5, 2014, a mere week ago today!!!  WOW!! (and, oh by the way it is my bro's birthday!!). Here is a photo of them in Toronto the day before her birthday at Dan and Jasmine's wedding Sunday brunch. My sweet cousin Libbeth (Dan's mom) made sure there was a cake:

2. We (my mom, my bro, my niece and I) went to Dan and Jasmine's wedding in Toronto the weekend before the big 90th which was one adventure after another including a Chinese Tea Ceremony, DRAGONS (!) and dining at Hogwarts! So much fun with cousins was had including LOTS of boogying and Toronto is a cool city.

Fuzzy one of the newly minted married couple (gorgeous and delightful, both!):

And my mom taking part in the amazing Tea Ceremony (also fuzzy):

3. My second three week residency at VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts) in April (mostly) - good work was accomplished, I walked every evening after dinner (thank you, Martha) and met some old friends and a bunch of new ones. There is no way to summarize the astounding value of VCCA, so suffice to say, it is STILL paradise!!

No way to capture in a couple of photos, but here are two anyway:



4. I had yet another beach adventure with my dear friend who gets me to the beach in the fall and in the spring. I would never see the ocean if not for her.  Thank you, Diane!!

(not Diane):

I should be posting photos galore for each of these adventures, but internet is slow and time is tight. If I find some moments I'll add visuals...(those here are symbolic tips of the proverbial icebergs)

BUT the NEXT adventure is why I am reviving this now and again blog. My friend of 30 years and I are going NEXT WEEK to Scotland to walk the East Highland Way. Here is some info about this walking holiday if you are interested:

I was determined to have a walking adventure to celebrate turning 60 this year (essay at the end of this all will have this catchy title: Sarah Celebrates Sixty in Scotland...with Linda). I told Linda and she said, "Oh, I've always wanted to go to Scotland!" I stopped, thought a moment, and said, "OK." And thus this adventure was born.

We are both doing blogs (Dueling blogs?). She already wins with the photo at the top...not that it is a competition. I will be posting some dry info (weather, how many steps that day, etc.) as well as some wet info (photos, hight points, low points, an anecdote or two) and then writing a piece for AARP with the aforementioned title...

Oh and her blog is here:

Stay tuned for more...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

VCCA - Virginia Center for the Creative Arts - AKA Paradise.

Just back from an astounding three week writing residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) in Amherst, VA.  Working on the biography of composer, pianist and pedagogue, Louise Talma (1906-1996), who did some composing there. Got some great work done. 

So grateful to have had this opportunity to focus.  So readjusting to the Real World. It is not bad, actually - I do like my life (what a relief)!! 

Here are a bunch of photos so I can amazingly cute studio, the gorgeous setting (rolling hills) and an assortment of creatures.  I met some wonderful, creative folk who will continue to inspire me after connecting at this place, which is truly a treasure!

Thank you to all the people who made this possible - you know who you are!



Sarah (who actually managed to keep the number of photos posted to a minimum this time)

Here is my sweet little studio known as the Corn Crib.  It was paradise!

at night

My second day there it snowed! 
I was utterly delighted, of course!

too many photos...

(yes, it is a theme of mine)

And my cute studio in the snow...

Emma, created right outside my studio (not by me)

OK, enough with the snow, how about VCCA creatures (non-human)?

The famous cherub with the gazebo (more on gazebo later)

Horsies (triangle)

from afar

up close


cows from afar...

lying down

So many gorgeous, singing birds - cardinals, blue jays, blue birds (oh, the colors!) and those miraculous imitators, the mockingbirds (and lots more...I'm not a birder like some of my fellow fellows) - such a delightful soundtrack! Photos, not so many.

But who could forget the ever present...

Back to the gazebo. It grabbed my gaze on the walks back and forth between the residence and the studio...

by day

and by night

And that amazingly craggy tree outside the barn

With the promise of spring approaching (in spite of all the snow and ice), the same bunch of daffies went from this

to this!

If you've made it this far, you've had a taste of paradise.

OK, now back to...