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 …

Carnival Cruise Towel Animals

The wife and I took a four day-three night cruise on Carnival recently to celebrate our first anniversary. We sailed from the Port of Miami, spent a day in the Bahamas, and then took a circular route back. I’ll post more pictures from the trip later, but in the meantime, here are some pictures of the towel animals that were left for us each night.

First Night – Pig

Second Night – Cat

Third Night – Monkey

Photoblog: Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

A few miles north of San Antonio you'll find Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, a drive-through wildlife preserve of herbivores. The Wife and I drove out there last weekend to try out my new Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 lens. As it turned out, the animals were way too close for such a long lens. Part of the entrance fee gets you a bag of feed for the critters, which draws the hungry ones right up to your vehicle. In fact, we even had an ostrich stick its head a foot or two into the Chevy. That's something that doesn't happen every day.

Photoblog: Snake Farm, New Braunfels, Texas

Just south of New Braunfels on Interstate 35 is a reptile park that has been both fascinating people and creeping them out for more than four decades. Opened in 1967, Snake Farm was purchased by Eric Trager in December 2007, Snake Farm has been renamed Animal World and Snake Farm, although the reptiles are still the star attractions.

Photoblog: Punxsutawney, Groundhog Day 2006

During our trip to New York City in 2006, Shea and I took a side excursion to Punxsutawney, PA for the Groundhog Day celebration. What can I say? It was on Shea's bucket list. Let's set one thing straight: it's nothing like the movie. It's not even in the middle of town. In fact, it's on the top of a mountain about twenty minutes outside of town. You have to get up at about 3am to make it there, as much of route is closed down to everything but shuttle buses.

Photoblog: San Francisco Bay, June 2006

After our visits to Half Moon Bay and the mouth of the San Francisco Bay, Shea and I headed into the City itself for a couple of days. Unfortunately, the Bay Area was in the midst of a heat waves. Highs during the day were 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit. While our hotel had air conditioning, almost nowhere else in the City did. Because it was so hot, we gravitated towards the Fisherman's Wharf area. The cold waters of the Bay act like a natural cooling system. We took a 45 Bay cruise, and then took the ferry over to Alcatraz Island.