Armchair Travel

All my life I’ve been an armchair traveler.  The farthest I’ve stepped on foreign soil is Ensenada, Mexico.  But in my mind I’ve been to China, Afghanistan, Patagonia, Teheran, Prince Edward Island, London, Florence, Paris and Edinburgh.  My favorite TV show is Globetrekker.  My second favorite is Rick Steve’s Europe.  Mine is the life of vicarious thrills.

If you have taken a trip, I want to see your photos.  I want details, the stories behind the pictures.  Take your time setting up the scene, I want to drink it in.  After other’s eyes have glazed over, I’ll be there asking more questions. My current favorite photo is an outdoor dinner scene from Croatia.  My BIL and SIL went there to meet my BIL’s aunts and uncles from the old country last summer.  A group is sitting around a wooden table with a field of wildflowers as the backdrop.  The table is loaded with bottles of every shape, glasses, plates, dishes; everyone looks relaxed and sated.  There is something so European about the picture – it is really quite charming.

Last year my neighbors took a spur-of-the-moment weekend trip to Paris.  Mr. Neighbor, a pleasant enough Philistine, had one praise and one complaint. He loved the lack of undergarments on French women, but hated that he had to watch Indiana Jones in French.  Qu’est-ce que c’est?  You have 4 days in Paris and you’re watching movies in the motel? His wife gave more details over the rosebushes.  I pumped her with questions: Did you get out to Versailles?  Left Bank? You go inside Notre Dame?  She finally asked, “Really, Carol – how many times have you been to Paris?”   

, a Xanga feature, counts the hits and tells the state or country of origin of blog visitors. France, Spain, Hong Kong and Japan show up every day.  Less frequent are hits from Quebec, the Netherlands, China and Germany.  I’m am thrilled and give my husband unsolicited reports.  However, there is one glaring omission. Where, oh where, is Scotland?

Maybe I should write about reading John Buchan aloud to my husband last night (he fell fast asleep).  Or mention my passion for a Scottish brogue.  A Scottish pastor spoke at our church family camp and my friend said that the speaker could have read through the phone book and she would have been edified. 

I love the Scots.  People like John Knox, John Muir, Thomas Chalmers, Alexander Graham Bell, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns, David Livingston, William Wallace.  My most favorite, most beloved author is an unknown Scottish woman Anna Buchan who writes under the pen name O. Douglas.   If I have one trip in my life, it must be Scotland.  Take me to Stirling, to Glasgow, to Aberdeen, to Edinburgh, to Perth, to Priorsford, to St. Andrews; take me to Skye before I die.  

I want to see the highlands, the lowlands, the borderlands, the beaches, the firths, the kirks and the castles.  Feed me scones, play me bagpipes, take me to Scotland.  Or at least bring one Scot to my blog.


9 thoughts on “Armchair Travel

  1. Sounds like you would make a good tour guide….sooo knowledgeable 🙂
    Extrapolating that thought, I recommend that you get a group of students together and take that trip to Scotland.  Their fees cover the costs associated with their guide, right?
    But if you must know, I have been to Europe twice:  once when I was fifteen and then again when I was twenty.  So, it’s been a very long time since I have traveled in England, Holland, Germany, Austria, Switz, France, and Monaco.  I dont know that I will be going anywhere very soon 😦

  2. Yes, Scotland here too! Both dh and I could listen to the phone book in Scottish. English is good too!If you want to travel to East Coast, America, I could speak some fine Southern drawl for you!Janie

  3. Carol, I wonder if you know that Audrey Jose’s daughter, Christina, is going to college in Edinburgh?? She has been there a year and a half now, I believe. You might get in touch with her and ask for some photos, either Audrey or Christina, for that matter. Just a thought.

  4. Dana, we can enjoy Donna’s trip, right? Janie, I would *love* to hear some Southern drawl coming out of your mouth!Mel, didn’t you tell me Audrey’s daughter was studying at St. Andrews? I’d forgotten that. It would be fun to reconnect.MNJL59 – I’m eager to see the link!

  5. Your(and my) friend, LVD, gave me your blog address and I’ve enjoyed visiting these few times. I thought it was time I introduced myself. I was also wondering if you have a couple of favorite Anna Buchan books and if you have a good source to buy them at? I learned after doing a google search that she is John Buchan’s sister and my family really enjoys reading his books. I’m excited to start reading hers. Sherry (using her daughter’s xanga account)

  6. Sherry, welcome! Any friend of LVD, the loveliest of ladies, is a friend of mine. My favorite O. Douglas book is “Penny Plain”. I’ve also enjoyed “Eliza for Common”, “Pink Sugar” and “Ann and Her Mother”. Do you live near LVD? I’d be glad to let you borrow the books I have, because they are hard to find and *dear*, in the old-fashioned sense of the word! If you click on “Message Me” we can correspond through email. I’d be glad to mail them to you, also. I’ve bought a few titles through, looking up O. Douglas and Anna Buchan. The biggest problem is that they are usually in Great Britain and the exchange rate and postage makes them around $20/book if my memory is right. I *always* look in used bookstores, just hoping I’ll come across a rare find.

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