Around the World in 180 Days

A journey across the Atlantic and into matrimony

Pollok Country Park February 9, 2010

Filed under: travel — rhet @ 1:12 pm
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My maid of honor from the the wedding and childhood best friend (we’ll call her B) stayed a week longer than the rest of my family to see the sights of Glasgow. While I’d done my best to show them all the coolest stuff in the city and the castle of Edinburgh, B had come to Scotland expecting a bit more country, rolling hills, sheep, the lot. So to this end, we set out to Pollok County Park and the Burrel Collection (an art museum) on her last day here.  This is what we saw!

highland cows!

I have a slight obsession with Highland cows and think they are the cutest thing on the planet. I took lots more pictures of these adorable ginger beasts but will move on to more interesting things..

Wildlife Garden

The Wildlife Garden was closed, but I’ll go again over the summer and try again!

Clydesdale Horses

I turned a corner and there were these mammoth horses! They were having their hooves..reshoed? Is that the proper term? Probably not but I’m no horse expert. I stood and watched them for at least 5 minutes, quite taken by their huge, beautiful and muscled bodies.

the stable house front

Let’s pretend there are old fashioned carriages instead of cars there.

a lovely stone bridge

Pollok House

I had no idea this house was even in the park, so when we walked past it, B and I were flabbergasted!

part of the house gardens

This place made me feel like I was in the movies Secret Garden or Black Beauty! The inside of the house is equally extraordinary as its full of the original family’s personal collection of mostly Spanish art. Because of the art, I wasn’t able to take pictures of the inside of the house or the Burrel Collection but highly recommend both!  B and I indulged with a personal guided tour around the Burrel Collection which was absolutely fabulous! I learned so much more about what I was seeing than if we’d just wandered around and read the plaques.

 

Take A Walk on the Wild Side January 19, 2010

Filed under: travel,us — rhet @ 10:39 pm
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reindeer!

Alright, so Christmas is long gone. But I think having just gotten married (yep, the girl is now the wife) is a good enough excuse for a late post. Here it goes!

As excited as I was to spend Christmas with the hubby for the first time and see the family traditions he had grown up with, I can’t say it was easy to spend the holidays away from my own family.  Especially since it seemed that each approach to the holiday could not be more different.  Where we have 20-30 people over for dinner, theirs is never more than 5. For me it was an eerily quiet and calm day.

One of their most cherished traditions turned out to be the most challenging part of the day for me, however. After the typical wrapping paper shred-fest, the gang gets their winter gear on and heads out on a walk through a reindeer park. Which sounds pretty awesome right? And it would have been if Manchester hadn’t been hammered with snow for the past 2 weeks which left all the pathways solid sheets of ice. That combined with the fact that I was the only one who had absolutely no decent shoes for that kind of weather made the experience dreadfully frustrating. Teeny..tiny..steps..for miles..on Christmas. Eek. Luckily, at the end of that walk was a pub!

After returning to the house, I was glad to have scheduled some Skype time with my fam to get my spirits back up. Hooray for the power of the internet!

My next initiation into British Christmas traditions was the Christmas cracker. Exhibit A:

Apparently what you do is, two people pull opposite ends of the thing and then it splits and makes a loud noise (hence calling it a cracker). Inside, one finds a random cheap toy (i got a miniature tape dispenser), a silly joke and a paper crown. You then wear said crown for the remainder of the day.  It made me feel like Max from Where the Wild Things Are but it was quite funny to see the hubby’s parents in pastel coloured paper crowns!

Both of our family’s follow dinner with a round of games. The only difference is that with the hubby’s family there is a lot more alcohol involved which is a great improvement on the tradition I say (though in recent years, the less conservative of my family members have been easing glasses of wine into the days festivities here and there).

Speaking of alcohol, when I have my own family and the hubby and I start making our own traditions..there will definitely be mulled wine involved! I’d heard of the stuff in the States but I’m typically not fond of red wine so I never tried it. But now after giving it a taste, I’ve decided that mulled wine is liquid Christmas Spirit. I’ve never felt so jolly as when I’ve had a few glasses of mulled wine.

And on that holly, jolly note, I hope you all enjoyed your (long gone) holidays as much as I did!