Thursday, December 18, 2008

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Scotland 2008

My big trip this year has been to Scotland for the second time. I traveled with Beth's family once again. Like my 2005 journal, I have formatted this to be read from top to bottom so ignore the post dates. The actual dates of the trip were August 6 - 22.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 1 - The Scotland Adventure Begins

The trip tried to start out stressful with a last minute issue at work, but I made it to the airport in plenty of time. All three flights - Tulsa to Chicago, Chicago to Manchester, and Manchester to Edinburgh - went off without a hitch. I watched the movie "Made of Honor" on the long flight but didn't like it because it disparages Scottish traditions. About half the service people in Manchester were sour, and it was hard not to be sour back on no sleep. I wasn't able to actually sleep on the plane and only managed a couple of hours of "shut-eye."

Once I finally arrived in Edinburgh, I still had a long wait at the airport because it had rained giant buckets over the city the night before. Several roads and trains were closed due to the high water. Beth, Laura, and Molly had been trying to get across town to pick me up since about 9:30 in the morning -- a good 4 hours before I arrived. They didn't reach me until 4:30 or so in the afternoon. The highway they had tried to take wound up being closed after they had sat on it pretty much not moving for a good long while. They managed to get off and find a train into Edinburgh city centre and a bus from there to the airport. I was so happy to see them when they finally arrived. We got a bus back to the train station. There they told us the train we wanted wasn't running due to water on the tracks so we took another bus to another train station where we managed to navigate the chaos of the situation and find the right train. We took the scenic route home and it was nice to see the Scottish coastline. Upon arrival (finally!) it was nice to be welcomed into a little Scottish home and meet Beth and Laura's uncle George.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 2 - Dublin Day

I got up at the crack of dawn to fly to Dublin. Jim and Laura were gracious enough to get up to take me to the airport. Once Alvina and I met up in Dublin, we tooka bus into the city centre. We got ourselves oriented, and Alvina enjoyed a nice Irish breakfast. (I had eaten a Cornish pasty in the airport earlier.) After breakfast, we walked to Dublin Castle taking in the sights along the way: the Dublin Spire, the General Post Office, the O'Connell Statue, the River Liffey, and the Ha'penny Bridge.

When we got to the castle, I was ready for my lunch so we sat for a short while in the cafe. Then it was off to explore the castle grounds. We didn't feel like taking the guided tour so we didn't go into the actual castle. The castle garden had a thin celtic knot maze brick path laid out on the lawn. I enjoyed walking that.

Then we went over to Christ Church Cathedral. It was beautiful and had lots of interesting artifacts including a mummified cat and mouse from the church organ. The cat and mouse were referred to in James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake.

Next we walked several blocks to see the Book of Kells display and some other similar works like the Book of Armagh. Upstairs was the Old Library which had the lovely scent of old books. There were several glass cases displaying more historic texts. The oldest known existing harp in Ireland is housed there too. It was a wonderful setting with all those tall shelves full of old texts and those neat spiral staircases.

After Trinity College, we caught a bus out to Sandymount Beach. I got a little turned around but we eventually found it. Unfortunately it smelled so bad that we didn't stay very long. That gave us more time to shop along Grafton Street where we saw the Molly Malone statue. Then it was back to the airport to go our separate ways.

Friday, December 28, 2007

52 Weeks Later

I thought it would be interesting to fill out the exact survey I filled out on December 29 last year every year to see how things have changed. I took a few out that I doubt will ever change. Here's the link to last year's:

1. Name one person who made you smile today? The sacker at Reasor's because he was so careful with my ginger beers.

2. What were you doing at 8 this morning? Sleeping, but I don't remember what I was dreaming about this time.

3. What were you doing 15 minutes ago? checking Facebook

4. What is something that happened to you in 1995? I went to ORU's High School Math & Science Camp.

5. What is the last thing you said aloud? '96

6. How many different things did you drink today? So far just one, water, although I have a mind to get some white grape juice in a little while.

7. What color is your hairbrush? Which one? I have 5.

8. What was the last thing you bought? Shortbread, a can of cream of chicken soup, fettucine florentine, and freezer bags

9. What was the last gift you received for your birthday? Ribena and a frozen pizza

10. What color is your front door? Dark green.

11. Where do you keep your change? In my purse.

12. What was the weather like today? partly cloudy

13. What is the best ice-cream flavor? At the moment, I am quite fond of Cold Stone Creamery's cinnamon flavour.

14. What is something you are excited about? My new digital camera

15. When was the last rainbow you saw? I'm not sure if I saw any this year.

16. What size shoe do you wear? 8.5

18. Are you very random? Caramel coloured 7-Up bubbles

19. Do you want to cut your hair? Probably soon. It's in its tangly stage.

23. Does your screen name have an 'x' in it? no

24. Do you know anyone called Steve? yes, do you know anyone called Joe

25. Do you make up your own words? yep, such as "scrumptumtious"

28. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter 'A': Annie/Annica

29. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter k. Kristen

30. Who is the first person on your missed call list? Alvina (that's the same as last year :P)

31. What did the last text message you received say? It's a party invitation, but I won't quote it exactly since it has semi-private info.

34. What is the next concert you're going to? The Edinburgh Tattoo in August

36. What is something you say a lot? fiddle 3

7. What is the last thing you ate? sunflower seeds and ranch dressing

40. Is marriage in your future? well, the tarot cards said yes, but my star chart says no... (kidding, for anyone who doesn't know me well enough to know I don't subscribe to such nonsense) Seriously, I don't know yet, but a positive would be nice.

41. When was the last time you said 'I love you'? Either this morning or last night.

42. What should you be doing right now? fixing dinner

43. Do you have a nickname? Sideways

45. Are you a heavy sleeper? Apparently not, what with bats and distant earthquakes waking me up this year.

47. What is the best movie you've seen in the past two weeks? Holiday in Handcuffs

48. What kind of mobile phone do you have? Samsung

49. When was the last time you did the dishes? Be honest! Last night

50. Name 3 things in your purse/wallet: receipts x 3

52. Name 3 favorite fruits: clementines, red grapefruits, red plums

53. Three names you go by: Sarah, Sarah5, Sideways

54. Three things you are wearing right now: sweatshirt, jeans, long thick green socks

55. Who did you last talk to on the phone? Alvina

57. Where do you wish you were right now? Scotland

58. Where do you live? United States of America

59. Where do you sleep? in a loft bedroom

60. Where did you get the shirt you're wearing? Eighth grade pep band - what are the odds? Shirts both from around the same time so many years ago both times I've taken this survey.

61. What is the closest item near you that is blue? my jeans

62. What is your favorite color? Green

63. With whom did you last see a movie? My mom and dad

64. What song are you currently hearing? None, hey I need to go put some music on.

66. When did you last go to the mall? Way back in mid-November at the Riverwalk mall in San Antonio. That's when I hurt my foot, and it hasn't been up for mall-walking since.

67. When/where was the last time you bought a pair of pants? Last January I think.

68. When did you last burn a candle? During the ice storm when the power was out, so December 11.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

2007 in Review

((( End of 2007/Start of 2008 )))
Calendar Year Review…
JANUARY: How did you ring in 2007? Details! Where, who, kiss, etc???:Listening to Prairie Home Companion New Year's Eve show on the radio.
FEBRUARY: Were you in a relationship for Valentine’s Day and what'd you do:Yeah, went to McNellie's and As You Like It
MARCH: Did you celebrate St. Patty’s Day by getting drunk?:Of course not.
APRIL: Did you have to walk in the rain (or any month in 07)?:Mist and mud at the Remnant project at the Victory Dream Center - close enough.
MAY: Did you fail any classes?:Not applicable.
JUNE: Did you buy a new swimsuit?:Not in June, in April.
JULY: Did you party on 4th of July?:Yes, in Haskell. It was a blast, literally and figuratively.
AUGUST: Did you go to the beach?:No.
SEPTEMBER: Did you start school again?:Nope.
OCTOBER: What did you dress as for Halloween?:A medieval peasant lass.
NOVEMBER: What did you do for Thanksgiving?:Hobbled around my parents house with crutches. We spent much of the afternoon playing Rummoli.
DECEMBER: What do you want/what did you get for Christmas?:A digital camera.
Personal Reflection
Did you reach your goals for 2007?:Not really.
Beside your set goals, what else did you accomplish?:Something, I'm sure.
What is something you learnt about yourself?:I'm a poor communicator.
Did you do anything you’d never though you’d ever do?:Run screaming out of my apartment half dressed and being chased by a bat.
In 2007, Did You…
Change your appearance?:I went all out and changed the shape of my glasses. Oooh.
Move to a new place?:Nope.
Go to a concert?:Robert Randolph & the Family Band and Switchfoot
Go to a sporting event?:Oh yeah! The PGA Championship! And the LPGA event in BA.
Get a new job?:Nope.
Get a new addition to your family?:Nope.
Gain new friends?:Yeah.
Loose old friends?:I hope not.
Get into a fight (verbal or physical)?:Verbal.
Puke from drinking too much?:Never.
Travel?:To Anaheim for a tax conference and San Antonio for fun.
Go to a wedding?:No.
Go to a funeral?:Sadly, yes.
Go to the hospital?:Not for myself, but for my dad.
Have any run-ins with the law?:Not personally, just remotely.
Start a relationship?:Yeah.
End a relationship?:Yeah. :(
Spend over $1000 on something?:A ticket to Scotland for August 2008!
Favorite 2007…
Month?:Possibly November.
Holiday?:4th of July
Memory?:Being in the 1st tee starting tent for the golfers and caddies Thursday afternoon of the PGA Championship.
Party?:4th of July
Event?:The PGA Championship
Moment you laughed so hard that you cried?:I can't remember what it was about.
Movie?:The Water Horse
Worst 2007...
Memory?:Mary's passing.
Day at work or school?:We're not gonna go there.
Embarrassing moment?:If anyone had been around, it would have been when the bat chased me out of my apartment.
Fight/Disagreement/Argument?:Driving back from San Antonio.
Pain you felt?:Trying to walk on my foot after speedwalking around downtown San Antonio in flip-flops.
Person you met?:Hmm, I don't know.
Movie?:I was fairly discriminating in what I watched, but of what I did I guess the worst would be Premonition
Place?:Lost in North Anaheim/South Fullerton.
For NYE 07-08…
Where will you be?:I do not know yet.
Who will be there?:See above.
Do you want to kiss someone at midnight?:Not at this point.
What are you wearing?:Maybe a black & white sweater with silver sparkles.
In 2008...
What are your goals?:To declutter my apartment.
What do you look forward to?:Scotland and the Edinburgh Tattoo.
Take this survey Find more surveys
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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Oklahoma: A Travel Journal

Howdy! My name is Nikki. I have decided to write a blog about my recent trip to Oklahoma with 5 friends from the Glasgow Line Dance Club.

The flight was loooong. We finally arrived at the Tulsa International Airport a little before 21:30 Tulsa time on the 8th of June. Lottie, our dance teacher, rented a van. We all piled in and headed to our cute little cottage on Route 66 in a place called Bristow. The cottage even had a cute name: Hummel Hide-a-Way Home. Since it had been a long day, we fell fast asleep as soon as we got to the cottage. I shared the sofa bed with Tom & Lottie's daughter Emily.

We started Saturday out a bit slow getting used to the time change. After lunch, we headed to Oklahoma City. In the daylight, riding in a van on the "wrong" side of the road seemed pretty weird, especially when we got into the busy city. After a few wrong turns we found the Bricktown District where we did some preliminary souvenir shopping. We took a ride in a "Water Taxi" down a canal to the mega outdoors store Bass Pro Shop just to look around and see what it was like. The boat driver acted as a tour guide telling as about the history of the area as we went along. For supper, we simply had to check out Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill. The menu was a bit pricey so we stuck to the sandwiches, but it was well worth it. We enjoyed a live country band while we ate. Besides the pound to dollar exchange rate is great, so we didn't really have to worry too much.

On the way back to Bristow, we ended up on Route 66 sooner than planned so we took the opportunity to stop at the Old Round Barn in a little place called Arcadia. The barn was closed up for the night so we just got out to look around for a little while and snap some photos before heading back to the cottage for the night.