Photoblog: Rice versus Texas

Looking back at the blog, I just realized that I hadn’t posted any pictures from the season-opening Rice-Texas game. So, here they are, very overdue.

We have new seats this year, lower deck, west side, next to the south end zone. I certainly don’t miss the long walk to the upper deck, but the view is very different.

On the upper deck, we could see everything well all through the game. With these seats, it’s either a very good view, …

Photoblog: Cardiff

After the Scottish Highlands tour, our next stop was Cardiff, Wales. This meant a long train ride.

If we caught the 6:07am train out of Edinburgh, the ride was six hours long with only one change of trains. Otherwise, the trip would be much longer, with several changes.

We got our tails out of bed in time to catch the 6:07am.

We headed due west to the coast of England. In Crewe, we were to change trains for Cardiff.…

Photoblog: Scottish Highlands

After we explored Stirling Castle, it was back in the tour bus for the ride into the Scottish Highlands. Again, our tour guide did a great job telling stories the entire trip.

Our first stop was Doune Castle, which gained fame as the shooting location for several scenes in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I actually would have liked to have explored the place, but it was really just a potty break.

We stopped at a number …

Photoblog: Stirling Castle

For our second day in Scotland, we did the Loch Lomand and Stirling Castle tour from Rabbie’s Tours. Our first stop on the tour was Stirling Castle.

The is the castle that overlooks the battleground of the famous Battle of Stirling Bridge from Braveheart. Of course, reality was nothing like Braveheart, but that’s a story for another time.

Of all the castles we visited on our UK Holiday (and I think there were six total), this had the most …

Photoblog: Edinburgh

After our road trip around County Durham, we jumped back on the train and headed up to Scotland.

Our first destination was Edinburgh.

We dropped our bags off at the hotel, and then walked up to Edinburgh Castle. We walked around the back side, toured the castle (after standing in the longest line of the entire trip), and then walked back down the front side of the castle (through the touristy section of town).

It’s imposing, to say the …

Photoblog: Raby Castle

Our second day in Durham, we rented a car so we could get around. The top priority of the day was to visit Sockburn, but we weren’t going to be able to access that property until the afternoon.

So, in the morning, we headed to Raby Castle.

Raby Castle was built in the 12th century by the powerful Neville family. Joan Beaufort married Ralph de Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland, and Joan is my half 3rd cousin, 21 times …

Photoblog: Durham, England

Our third morning in the United Kingdom, we took the train from London Kings Cross Station to Durham, England.

This is where the extra we spent for the first class BritRail Pass paid off. The standard class cars were packed and seemed to be standing room only, while the first class had plenty of room.

And free coffee. Delivered to my big, comfy seat.

I’m referring to my chair. My posterior is neither big nor comfy. And I rarely have …

Photoblog: London

Today we’re jumping backwards in our trip. Our first stop on our United Kingdom tour was actually London. We spent two days there before heading up the east coast in a train.

It’s amazing how much you can see in two days with an unlimited London Underground pass.

We went to Kensington Palace, but it was mostly closed due to renovations being made for the impending move-in of Prince William and his bride. There was some kiddie tour (find the …

Photoblog: Conyers Chapel and All Saints Church

The origins of All Saints Church in Sockburn stretch back to antiquity. Higbald was crowned Bishop of Lindisfarne in here in 780 or 781, and Eanbald was made Archbishop of York here in 796.

The majority of what was the church is now in ruins. The still standing portion, called Conyers Chapel, is considerably younger. It is named after John Conyers, who lived in the 13th century, and is my 27G Grandfather.

His stone effigy can be found in the …

Photoblog: Sockburn, England

Sockburn is a village in County Durham, near Darlington. It is contained within a loop of the River Tees. Today, it consists of little more than a 19th century mansion and the ruins of an ancient church.

The history of Sockburn goes back at least as far as 780, when Higbald, Bishop of Lindisfarne was crowned there. Soon after 1066, it was settled by Roger de Coigniers, my 33G Grandfather.

Earlier this month, my wife and I were honored by …