Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Month?

I can't believe its been pretty much a month since I wrote something here. Seems to be a bit of a theme lately. This time I feel a little bit guilty since it feels like most of it was a whirlwind two week and 3 night holiday/visiting/relaxation trip to Scotland, the last known place where most of my blood originates. And then three nights in the middle was a whole other getaway over to Amsterdam.

Hee hee.

Yep, Amsterdam. Mostly just within the inner main tourist hub but still, that's the best part, right? Well if its me, and it was, and its your first time in Amsterdam, and it was, the inner hub is really the only place you need to go. Non-stop picturesque scenery, canals, languages, people on bikes, food choices, sex options, history, new smells, intimacy, art, solitude (somehow even solitude), fashion (in shops and on people), and good lord the coffee shops (pot-friendly and otherwise). Very cool.

Interestingly, to me at least, we (my excellent personal guide, the sister of my brother's wife, and I) stumbled across an Occupi camp late on our last night there. At one point early on I had been wondering if there would be an Occupi-Amsterdam camp so it was a little disappointing to just stumble across it rather late when most protestors would have been in the few tents clustered there. I didn't even take any pictures as I found the idea felt a bit intrusive, seeing as people were sleeping. In another way, though, there was kind of a (I hate to say) false feel to the scene...kind of a theatrical feel. They weren't out in any of the bigger open square type of places so they just seemed like part of the "show". I was tempted to try to get back in the morning, if even for a few minutes, before the flight back to Scotland. No time though, and that was honestly no big deal to me.

The main reason for the trip was just to see my brother and sister in law, and my now year old niece for the first time. Plus, everyone else in the family had had a chance to visit the "old country", so my brother wanted to be sure I had the chance as well. I am very lucky to have such a generous younger brother, especially given some of my behavior as an older brother when we were young.

I didn't spend much time running about the countryside of Scotland, beyond two weekend excursions to cool old castles just outside of Aberdeen. A gazillion pictures were taken at both. Some may well make their way on here. The rest of the time was spent in sheer relaxation and time with family, hanging out at their home or seeing some great restaurants and cool areas in Aberdeen. It was fascinating to spend plenty time with my niece and I just have to say, she is one brilliant little girl that I think might just grow up to rule the world. Seeing as there is already one Queen Sophia, I think she has a good start just in her name.

So yeah, sorry I ran off with no warning. I hope you all can forgive me.