1 Shot Wednesday: Urquhart Castle

My annual summer trip abroad with students and family was outstanding. We went to London and Scotland. We got back yesterday, so as I organize my photos, I will offer one today. Our group went to the Highland Mountains and visited Loch Ness. From Wikipedia: “Urquhart Castle is a fortress that sits beside Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland. The castle is on the A82 road, 21 kilometres south-west of Inverness and 2 kilometres east of the village of Drumnadrochit. The present ruins date from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though built on the site of an early medieval fortification.”

Dark waters caused by peat deposits obscure Nessie the monster and the actual depth of the loch. We enjoyed our visit exploring the ruins including a boat ride. I haven’t been to Scotland since 1984 when I was in the Navy and stationed above the Highland Mountains at Thurso, the northern tip. It was a homecoming. More photos forthcoming.

Urquhart Castle

Five Shots: Off the Grid & Family

Where have I been? Like millions of other people, summertime is for adventures and catching up with family. I have been working hard at revisions for my second novel and forbade myself to blog until they were completed. Additionally, my summer days have been full of grandchildren, reunions, and glamping. Yes, Jim and I are glampers. Too old and spoiled to sleep in tents and on the ground, not a fan of RVs or its parks, so we bought a teardrop camper. It feels like a crime that we have lived in AZ for seven years, and we’ve rarely been to our neighboring states. All those National Parks waiting for us. All those lakes to fish and kayak. Here are some shots of our first glamping experience, a three-night trip to Eastern Arizona to the Mogollon Rim and the White Mountains.

Rim Glamping
Cindy Watching the Sun Set
Kayaking Woods Canyon Lake
Blue Heron
Lake Hawley
Kayaking on Lake Hawley
Campsite at Lake Hawley
Herefords at Hawley Lake
Horse and Wild Iris
Monsoon Coming
Clouds over Hawley Lake

Grands and Children and Siblings and an Uncle and Mom. Hope you are getting your fill of family and adventure this summer!


Next week, off to London & Scotland. 🙂 


Five Shots: Kauai, last batch

We’ve been back from our trip for almost a week. Back to a routine that doesn’t include tradewinds or waves lulling me to sleep at night. But I do have pictures. This is the last round of pictures, I promise. Which one do you like best? 

1. Sea Cave

We signed up for a boat and snorkeling tour up the Na Pali coastline. Our craft was able to back up into the sea caves along the way. What it is about the volcanic rock that makes water seem so unearthly?

2. Sea Turtle

She swam up to a public beach and lay there napping. Soon it will be time to lay her eggs. I was happy authorities wouldn’t allow the public to get closer than fifteen feet to her.


3. A river runs through it.

One day we went on a four-mile hike into the interior of the island. I kid you not — no bugs!  There are seven major rivers and 66 reservoirs. Next time we visit, I would like to kayak down a river while Jim fishes.

4. Waterfall
5. Homeless in Paradise
6. Jim’s last drive

We signed up for a sunset tour via golf cart on a fancy course at the north end called Makai Golf Club in Princeville. The green fees are predictably high and out of our price range. We listened to the Golf Pro, Tim, who told us all about the mythology and history of the island. The course hugs the coastal cliffs. Albatross and Red-footed Boobies accompany you as you drive around the lush green fairways. It feels like you are driving through a botanical garden. Jim is semi-retired and works at a Sedona golf course; the perk is he can golf for free. He buddied up to Tim, talking shop, and by the end of the tour, Tim gave him such a discounted rate for club rentals, green fees, and cart, we went back and golfed 18 holes. (I caddied with my six-pack of beer.) It was a heavenly four hour afternoon for us both. I was shocked by how few people were golfing. It felt like we had the place to ourselves.

A lot of people I know have been to Kauai. It was the first time for us. I’m sure we will return as we only did a fraction of the activities during the time we were there. It’s too easy to get there from Phoenix airport and it wasn’t expensive to stay there in our condo on the east side of the island. We’d be crazy not to return.


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