Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Laura & Chris' Wedding at JCRaulston Arboretum

Friday, August 26, 2011

Where have you been, Kayelily??

Hello everyone. You may be wondering why you have not heard from me in a few weeks. Well, it is because I have been on a wonderful vacation. My husband, Dave, and I  enjoyed a 12 day cruise around the United Kingdom with another couple, Carl and Judy, and then spent 3 days in London. It was a fabulous trip and I wanted to share a bit with you and a few wedding related items with you. Each day our ship, the Crown Princess, would dock in a different port and we would then go explore that place. 
One day it was Edinburgh, Scotland. I loved Scotland the best! When we got off the bus in the city on Waterloo Street, we walked right by the Edinburgh shop of the famous wedding gown designer, Caroline Castigliano! So, I had to snap a photo. There were a couple of tourists posing and taking photos too but on the websitefor the designer almost the identical shot is there--without the tourists of course. 
Well, we set off to explore Edinburgh which is a wonderful city with a castle perched on the cliff right downtown. We saw so many castles. England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland are just peppered with them.
We especially wanted to visit Rosslyn Chapel outside Edinburgh so we hailed a cab as it was starting to rain. By the time we arrived the rain had stopped.Rosslyn Chapel is amazing. Building of the chapel was begun by William St. Clair in 1446 and when he died in 1484, it was not finished and his vision was never completed. We were not allowed to take photos inside but you can see them on their website. The chapel is in the process of being restored (so much of the sandstone artwork has eroded and other sections were eaten up with mold). The process is very tedious but thorough and takes many years, then you start over! You may recall that scenes in the DaVinci Code were filmed here.Then it was a cab ride back to Edinburgh to see the city. 
We stopped first at The Last Drop and had lunch. Judy and Carl are studying the menu but Dave and I already know we want "haggis with tatties and neeps." Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish made with a ground meat and oatmeal cooked in a sheep's bladder and served with a whiskey sauce. The traditional sides are mashed potatoes (tatties) and mashed turnip (neeps) that reminded me of rutabaga. Believe me, it was delicious! Judy and Carl got the "steak pie" which was also a traditional dish and it was very good too. 
Then we headed out on the streets of Edinburgh. Dave and I found a wonderful little jewelry store and bought some lovely Celtic bracelets. He also found a great deal on cashmere wraps.  It was Thursday  August 11th and preparations were underway for a huge street festival that weekend and the streets were so thronged with people we could hardly walk.  Many street actors and entertainers were there. Here is one of a bagpiper on stilts to make him look like Pan. 
Here is a guy sprayed all over with copper paint who posed like a statue. He fit right in! We hurried along because we had to get to our bus stop to catch the coach back to the ship. If you miss it, you get left!
On the way back to the bus, I looked up and spotted a familiar sign--Pizza Hut! Could not resist taking a photo of it. And, Starbucks were all over the place in just about every stop we made. I could take my netbook in there and check my email when we had time. The internet on the ship was soooo slow and they charged by the minute! The ladies room was also always a very welcome sight and usually there was a line, don't ya know!  
When we got back to our bus on Waterloo Street, there was a wedding going on across the street. There was a church there and the wedding party was out front posing for the photographers. I felt right at home and had to snap a few pictures. I could not tell if it was before or after the ceremony.
Does the young man standing next to the bride look like the groom or her escort down the aisle?
I cropped them out but there were many bystanders watching and walking by taking a look. I don't know if the couple were residents of Scotland or perhaps Americans. It sure looks the same as an American wedding. No kilts and the typical Scottish wedding garb. 
The next day we went to Inverness which was my favorite city. The streets were filled with pretty flowers. Judy and I shopped in TK Maxx which is the same as TJ Maxx but just the change of the J to a K. Why? I don't know! 

They had a little "mall" called Victorian Market that was jammed with neat little shops.They even had a thrift shop in there which I had to explore!

Judy and I found charm scarves there that we had been looking for and did a little early Christmas shopping. See the scarves hanging on the wall with the charms hanging from them? We had seen them earlier in Bushmills Ireland and regretted not buying them then so we were on the search.
Then we caught our motor coach back to the ship. The countryside was breathtakingly beautiful. The weather was very temperate at about 68 degrees. We were so fortunate. Someone in Inverness told us that they have 15 days of sunshine a year and we caught one of them! 
So we boarded our "mother ship" and headed out to sea towards Le Havre, France.