Free Ferry Ride and a Statue

New strategy.  Let's try shorter blogs with less pictures and less words.  Maybe then I won't ignore it for months and months at a time.  Maybe.

Last year we went to New York!  Like almost a year ago.  We did lots of things in New York.  One of the things we did was take the Staten Island Ferry, which is free.  I do love things that are free.  Here are some pictures from the Staten Island Ferry! 

Plenty more New York pictures to come.  Actually plenty more from this very ferry.  Let's keep this slow and steady.

Summertime in Scotland

Oban was not the final stop in our Scottish tour, but it will be the final stop in the blog section… until our layover in Iceland.

Oban - Scotland, 2014

Thanks to a great tip from a co-worker, we sought out the local Wetherspoons pub in nearly every city we visited (except Portree).  I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this yet, but this was a huge part of our trip.  Wetherspoons is a massive pub chain throughout the UK which offers very reasonably priced and decent food, many items on the menu even include a beer!  It was love at first sight, and in the end I think we made it to about 7 of them.  A real culinary tour of Scotland.  But seriously the food was so expensive most places, Wetherspoons was a godsend. 

But you probably don’t come to this site looking for restaurant reviews (if you do, here is another one from earlier this year in Calgary…), so all I need to say about this photo is that it was the best located Wetherspoons we encountered, right on the water in the harbour, which really reminded us of Victoria.  And it was steak night.  This actually did qualify as our first hot day too, something that made Lindsay very happy since she finally got to wear some of the summer clothes she packed for our “summer” vacation.

Wetherspoons, Oban - Scotland, 2014

Aside from the Wetherspoons visit, our time in Oban was basically just a gorgeous summer evening spent walking around the harbour eating ice cream.  Here is a little of what that looked like. 

Oban - Scotland, 2014

Oban - Scotland, 2014

Oban - Scotland, 2014

Oban - Scotland, 2014

Oban - Scotland, 2014

Oban - Scotland, 2014

Oban - Scotland, 2014

For whatever reason I was not inspired to take the camera out at all during our time in Glasgow, so you’ll have to take my word for it that we were there.  I promise we were.  Our time there was mostly spent just hanging out at more Wetherspoons and drinking Irn Bru anyway.

The final stop on this tour was 24 hours in Reykjavik, Iceland.  I like Iceland.

Reach for the Skye

We finally made it to the Isle of Skye.  Doesn’t it just sound majestic?  It really is a fitting name.

Neist Point Lighthouse, Isle of Skye - Scotland, 2014

Our home base was the Town of Portree, the largest on the Skye, which doesn’t say much since it is one of only a few “towns” on the island.  Portree was incredibly scenic, and as you can see, one of the few places we saw the sun on our trip.  Not entirely sunny, but we saw it…

Isle of Skye - Scotland, 2014

Portree, Isle of Skye - Scotland, 2014

Portree, Isle of Skye - Scotland, 2014

We stayed at a fantastic B&B called Milivaig House.  It was a short walk from the center of Portree, and the hosts Dolly and Angus were amazing.  Great porridge too.  If anyone knows where I can get some true Scottish porridge in Edmonton, please let me know.  Here’s what the back deck looked like.  If only there weren’t so many flies maybe we would have actually sat out there and maybe I would have taken more photos.

Milivaig House, Isle of Skye - Scotland, 2014

The Scottish Independence Referendum was a few months away, and it seemed like we saw plenty of propaganda everywhere we went.  Most noticeable was support for the Yes vote, but apparently advertising isn’t everything.

Isle of Skye - Scotland, 2014

We spent our only full day on Skye driving around to different spots along the north of the island, stopping when something looked stop-worthy.  Here is a handful of what we saw that day.  There were a couple sights that were a bit of a bust due to the periods of fog/mist/rain, but we made more than enough good ones to make up for it. 

One particularly fantastic stop was a place called Fairy Glen, which we were lucky to find since the road signs seemed to completely ignore that it even existed.  With some direction from Dolly at the B&B, we only managed to miss the turn once before getting it right.  Clearly it was tough to find because there was only a handful of other people there, which made it even better.

Our final stop of the day was a long drive along progressively narrower and rougher roads, out to Neist Point Lighthouse.  All day we had been driving along two-way roads wide enough for only about 1.3 small cars, with little pullouts every couple hundred meters for passing oncoming vehicles.  The way out to Neist Point was even more extreme with winding “roads” no wider than a bike path, becoming less and less paved the further we drove.  We were surprised to see some bulky RVs at the lighthouse and were happy not to have encountered one along the way.

That was the Isle of Skye as I saw it.  It’s the kind of place I could spend weeks exploring, and I’m sure we could go back and have a completely different experience. 

The verdict on Isle of Skye is that if you haven’t been, you should go.  And if you have, you should go again. 

Also this is the final week for Movember, click on the robo-stache below and help make this month of embarrassment worthwhile!  At the very least just check out how gross I look.  This madness is almost over…

Kristen and Alex: The Wedding

I need to put the Scotland blogs on hold for just a minute because there's something I've been meaning to show you.

Way back in September, I attended a wedding.  It was a lovely wedding at the Interfaith Chapel of the University of Victoria.  The dinner was also lovely, at the top of the Chateau Victoria overlooking downtown and the harbour.  After dinner... things got weird.  The reception was to take place in a penthouse suite of the hotel, and there was no DJ or band, no dance floor, just a karaoke machine.  All night.

When I first found out about this plan, I will admit I was nervous.  What if nobody wanted to sing?  What if only one person wanted to sing?  Would there be lots of awkward pauses?  Awkward songs?  Awkward dancing?  Am I making you feel awkward just reading this?  The wedding only had about 30 guests, so with a relatively small pool of potential rockstars, I think the concerns were valid.

It is my hope that these photos illustrate just how much of a success the karaoke wedding reception was, I think just about everyone got involved in one way or another.  It isn’t something I would recommend for everyone, but on this night, the right crowd made for one of the most memorable weddings I will ever attend. 

I guess what I said earlier about there being no dance floor wasn't entirely true.

Alex and Kristen - Victoria British Columbia, 2014

And in case you’re wondering, yes I also participated.  My night was capped off with a scandalous performance of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady”, directed at the Mother of the Groom. 

Yeah, she was impressed…