San Diego Scooter Jam 2015

It’s nearly the end of a “short” Labor Day work week for me, but let’s face it, I’m still wishing I had something as exciting as the San Diego Scooter Jam to look forward to this weekend. Last weekend the event was hosted by none other than The Scooter Farm, and boy, was it a fantastic turnout. Cody and I made the hour and a half trek down to San Diego, and once we got there, we never stopped moving! Cody joined the masses (200+ riders!) on the “trolley”, adventuring from spot-to-spot, while I opted to spend all of my travel time in my air-conditioned car (it was 90 degrees out).

The day got started at the first location, right underneath the freeway near the Trolley Station. Lots of eager riders had shown up early, ready to throw down some bangers.

DSC02896sdjamBW DSC02903sdjamBW DSC02908BW

(Cody clearly being thoughtful about the bangers being thrown down)DSC02912sdjamBW

Eager to get the party rolling, everyone trekked over to the second spot, at the Sports Arena. By this time, the sun was rising high and it was getting hot. I had barely gotten out of the car before the Arena’s security had everybody scrambling all over the place. Apparently, you cannot ride the steps of the Sports Arena on swap meet day. Or any day, really. It wasn’t until this spot that I realize how many kids had shown up. No wonder they wanted us out of there!


The third spot was at the Recital Hall in Balboa Park. Finding parking there was chaos. Balboa Park on a weekend? Terrible. Balboa Park on a holiday weekend? Nightmare. As soon as I got to the spot (after traversing the parking lots for 25 minutes), the cops showed up. I think however, that the “holiday” spirit had put them in a more relaxed mood. They simply cleared the roadway of riders, and then took a step back to watch and let everyone have their fun. A small gesture, but greatly appreciated by all. There were plenty of rad tricks thrown down, and after a good half hour when the group was dispersed by the authorities, everyone promptly left.

DSC02958sdjamBW DSC02969sdjamBW

We’re skipping the fourth spot in this post because I couldn’t even find a place to park before the Hilton Hotel staff was on the kids’ butts. They got the boot faster than you can say “concierge”. I secretly think that they enjoy it. Who doesn’t want to be able to say that they got kicked out? B.A., dude.

Anyway, the fifth and final spot was a total hit. They had definitely saved the best spot for last. We headed to an 18-stair at a ‘local’ school, and things got heavy, fast. There were so many riders throwing bangers. It’s a miracle that nobody got seriously injured, considering that helmets were conveniently nowhere to be found.

DSC02976sdjamBW DSC02980sdjamBW DSC02987sdjamBW DSC02990sdjamBW DSC03000sdjamBW DSC03011sdjamBW DSC03071sdjamBW DSC03080sdjamBW DSC03082sdjamBW DSC03087sdjamBW DSC03099BW

Overall, the event was a massive success. There was a major product toss at the end of the day, and I think more kids got injured fighting over the new pairs of shoes and bars being thrown at them, than they did from riding. There was definitely a strong showing of talented street riders, and it was fun to see all of the filmers and togs around, as well.

Cheers, till next year!


Ten Things I Learned While Traveling Internationally with (Scooter) Boys

For those of you that have traveled with your scooter-riding companions, whether a brother, boyfriend, or otherwise, I hope you can appreciate this.

And for those of you that slowly and vacantly nod your head when I tell you why I am traveling to (insert location here), and ask again “now what sport does your brother do?”, I hope this gives you a bit of a clearer understanding of what it means to travel with teenage boys. Here are Ten things that I learned while traveling internationally with (scooter) boys.

1. Public transport is king.

sat_52BW edit

Because nothing beats having a seat like this


and a view like this


2. Everyone loves to sight-see when they travel. However, when you go sight-seeing with Riders, do not be mistaken: Riders do not sight-see the grand cathedrals or major tourist spots. No, their type of sight-seeing really requires nothing more than a creative eye, and perhaps the random rail or bump in the road. You see, Riders sight-see the streets for spots to ride. And fortunately, almost anywhere in Spain is a street spot worth riding. Here are a few of the spots that we went sight-seeing to: Barcelona Waves, Besos Bumps, Canyelles, Green Indoor Park


(barcelona waves)

fri_43BW edit

(besos bumps)

sat_55BW edit



(green indoor park)

3. The Spanish attitude of ‘manana’ is no joke. Oh, practice starts in 20 minutes? Guess I better start painting all of the ramps, then….(and cue the immediate toe-tapping and nail-biting as an aura of anxiety settles upon every rider waiting in the stands)


4. On that same note…The LKXA Barcelona Extreme Games really do know how to take care of their athletes. Free Mountain Dew and Rockstar? What more could a teenage boy ask for?

sat_36BW edit

5. The only thing more that they could ask for is McDonald’s or Subway. Because really, as a teenage boy, you really don’t have the time, or the taste buds, to bother with a traditional Spanish meal. As long as you can find the nearest Macca’s or Subway, who cares about trying traditional Catalan Bread?

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

(it was delicious, by the way)

6. When rooming with boys, there really are only two smells that you come across: the overwhelming scent of axe body spray, and the equally overwhelming scent of sweaty knee pads, bum pads, and helmets.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

(breathing through your mouth doesn’t help blockade the fragrances)

7. Presentation is everything. The bigger your tricks (i.e. the higher you fly, and the more times you throw yourself upside-down), the louder and harder the crowd will cheer.

sun_76BW edit

cody_41BWedit sun_50BW edit

8. Aussies provide proper protection from Spanish pick-pockets.

“You’re a pick pocket! Go away, mate!”

fri_33BW edit

9. Teenage boys swarm to any airport charging station like moths to a flame. Also, all hail free public wifi in Europe.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

10. Regardless of the country you live in, teammates make the best mates.

sat_69BW edit sun_92BW edit


The Image is OK

signal hill

I dislike and like the image posted above. Earlier this month, Cody and I shot several images for an interview with Void Lifestyle Magazine, and this is one of the images you can find in it. When I took the image, I did not like it. I like it now, but I hate admitting that to myself. It has slowly grown on me. In all honesty, I think that the best part about this image is not the image itself, but what it represents to me.

I like this image, because it’s not that great, but it is OK. It makes me want to kick myself in the pants and become better at photography. I dislike this image, because it really is not that great! The sky is so washed out that it scares me (what the heck were my settings on when I took this?). It scares me into thinking that this is ‘as good as it gets’, for me. And I do not want this image to be ‘as good as it gets’ for me. I like this image, because compared to what I was shooting last year, my image quality has only gone up, and that’s a good feeling. I dislike this image, because it makes me wonder how I will ever be able to progress in the field of action sports photography, if I can’t even understand my off-camera flash settings (read: fake it, ’till you make it). Who would hire somebody that is not confident in their ability to use their own gear? I like this image, because somebody had enough faith in my skills to publish it, and that small recognition has brought my self-confidence level up about eight million notches. I dislike this image, because I feel like it lies about my true abilities as a photographer. It says that I can produce OK images, which is a half-truth (the worst kind of all truths). I can take OK images, but the truth is that this image is only one of 200, and the other 199 images from that day came out ridiculously rotten. I like this image, because despite the half-truth, it forces me to acknowledge my bad images, head-on. It forces me to be OK with all of the bad images that I take…on a daily basis. I like this image, because it makes me determined to refine my skills so that I can take OK images on a consistent basis, instead of a how-did-I-get-my-flashes-to-do-that, or what-were-my-settings, basis.

I dislike this image, a lot. But I think I like it, just a little bit more. The image is OK.

Scoot Mag: Issue 20 (First Published Image!)


So how’s this for a Monday: A photograph that I took, was published. An image that I took has been properly published. In print. In Scoot Mag.


Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
While my unpolished thumbs-up does a pathetic job of displaying the  level of “can’t even” I was experiencing, I can assure you that it is pretty freaking awesome neat to see an image you took in a magazine. It’s quick shot of photographer Sam Cooper, taken during Scoot Fest at Rush skatepark. I can’t remember if it was taken on the first or second day of competition, but I do remember actually being pleased with how it came out. My camera was a bit on the fritz during the entire Scoot Fest trip (it ended up being away for repairs for 5 weeks after we got home and I took it into the shop, something about an aperture-lens disconnect, blah blah), so I was never quite sure if an image was going to turn out or not. The magazine spread itself is a photographer profile of Sam, as issue 20 of Scoot Mag is all about photography and photographers in the pro-scooter industry. Every image in there is…WOW. Massive talent, just bleeding through those pages. Brilliant, all of it!

Anyhow, I’m properly stoked that Sam liked the image enough to use it in this spread, so thank you (thank you thank you) for making that happen. In the grand scheme of things it’s just a simple image in a magazine spread about a photographer…so really it’s just NBD, right? Right. When I think about the long-term goal I had set for myself to be published in print though, it’s kind of rad to see. I never thought that goal would come to reality before 2016, if that. What nice surprise to top off an awesome 2014.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHere’s a shot of Cody and I with our respective Scoot Mag issues. I bought him issue 19 as it is a complete review of Scoot Fest 2014, his first ISA World Finals competition. There’s an image of him in there, as well as a couple of mentions in a few of the articles, which is fun.  Meanwhile, I’ve got issue 20 with my first published image inside. We are desperately trying to act cool about the entire situation, but it is in vain.


Here’s to a decent Monday night,




Tonight my thoughts are echoing fiercely, as though someone has taken a megaphone and is speaking directly into either of my ears.  I am struggling to fight back the critical thoughts and bring myself up out of the imaginary marsh of negative critiques.artHere’s to making tomorrow better.

wake up

Tacos for the Scottish…and Football for the American things (Jan 3rd-4th)

January 3rd
After a long and awesome day with C, and accidentally setting off an alarm in Hunter House right before meeting the head pastor of P and M’s church (hi nice to meet you, have an emergency alarm go off, courtesy of, The American), we took one last trip to ASDA before going back to P’s so I could cook them dinner. I decided that they both needed a proper Mexican meal, and what better way to do that than tacos?!

I’m glad that I can say that I have cooked Mexican food in Scotland, but I wish I would have brought my own ingredients! Haha. Everything here is almost anti-Mexican as far as food ingredients go.😉 The corn tortillas here are so yellow and grainy, as if they were pieces of corn bread flattened into crepes. When I went to open my canned “plum tomatoes” (which appeared to be diced tomatoes), they were pureed, so that wasn’t good for making red rice. HMM. It was a good thing we had bought some fresh tomatoes beforehand for some guacamole. I just put those and a lot of taco seasoning in the rice….although I was skeptical about that too, because…taco seasoning in Scotland? Too good to be true. I also had an awful discovery when I found out that chicken stock here is NOT sold in a liquid state, you have to but these little pudding gel-packs and boil it to get it to become liquid. except my chicken stock wouldn’t boil and there were chunks of stock floating around and it was GROSS.Image

Scottish Chicken “Stock” (chicken stock was for the rice).

P doesn’t have a ton of stuff in her flat, so I made pinto beans in a wok, mixed guacamole with a hand-blender, and flipped tacos with a spatuala (They all broke open). There was a lot of stuff that I could improvise, however just as I was getting ready to fry the tacos, I realized I had NO CHEESE. DEVASTATION. That was one thing that I could not improvise. How did I forget to buy cheese? On second thought, who doesn’t buy cheese as a grocery item? Cheese is such a staple in my house! As soon as I realized it I told P and M and they both just said “Oh, that’s alright! No worries! Don’t need it!” I must have dropped my jaw. “Yes, you need cheese. For tacos. YES.“Oh, alright, so block cheese is ok? You can just grate it?” I was ready to have a mini-fit. Grate block cheese for tacos? You do know that they sell shredded cheese, right? Wait, do they sell shredded cheese in Scotland?  I can’t comprehend that cheese is so far and few between for the normal fridge in Scotland.

The beginning stages of tacos

“Tortilla chips” here=plain salted Doritos.

Cooking the tacos…it was a one-taco pan.

The finished products! I made tacos, red rice, pinto beans, and some guacamole.

Overall I think that they liked dinner very much. I was disappointed it wasn’t ‘just like home’, but considering how different my ingredients were and the improvising that I did, I think it went well. The rest of the night was pleasant visiting and just getting to know M and spending time with P and I’m so grateful that they let me spend time with them before begin their journey together as man and wife. They have made me feel so well taken care of and welcomed, and I am so grateful. What a unique experience.

Jan 4th
Saturday was the day of my first Scottish premier league game! We were going to go and see Motherwell FC vs. some other team. Like I mentioned in the last post, the rain here has been really bad, even for Scotland. So unfortunately the game was cancelled because the pitch got waterlogged. I’m not going to lie, I was super bummed when P told me. However, never the ones to disappoint, P and M already had a plan ‘B’ in place, and after some re-arranging of the day’s schedule, we decided to go to a game in the next town over (no cities here, just town and villages. Also, everyone here knows the history of their town or village, which is totally bizarre. “yes i studied the history of Lakewood in primary school, of course”). We made plans for the Hamilton Accies (ack-ees) game later that afternoon, and then plans to go and watch the Arsenal v. Tottenham game at P’s brother’s house and watch Arsenal v. Tottenham live on itv English.

Since the time of the match and location had changed, P and I decided to get some errands done in the meantime. We were all set to go when I opened the door and there just so happened to be a man standing there. It made me jump a mile! Apparently he (A) was coming to the football match and the time of the new Hamilton match had never been communicated to him. After the confusion was settled and a good laugh was had, P and I headed out and ran some errands. Not too much to report on that note. It was fun to run around and see where P would normally go to the store and sort of have a “locals only” experience. We went into a couple of pound shops too and I got some candy! I got flying saucers, which have “sherbet” inside of them….except sherbet is not like the American ice cream, but rather more like a sour, sugary salt thing like the inside of a pixie stick. I definitely wasn’t expecting that. I also got Rainbow puffs, which I haven’t tried yet, but they look like fruity pebbles but in the form of a cheese puff, Mars Bars, and Wham Bars (my favorite out of the ones I bought). Wham Bars are like air heads, except they have pop rocks candy inside of them. I was getting hungry after errands so P got me a sausage roll, which is a sausage inside of a warm pastry/biscuit. Very cheap and sooooooooo so so so yummy!!

Flying Saucers with sherbet inside of them (I’m bringing these home).


“Jazzies” or “jazzie-drops”, found at the American Candy Co. shop. We call these hamster treats, but of course they would be called Jazzies.😉

A Wham bar. I’m bringing home a bunch of these, they’re super yummy.:)

Eating a Wham.

A Sausage and roll, from Greggs.

Afterwards it was off to the game.  With my cami, long-sleeved shirt, my  sweatshirt, my wind-breaker, and THEN my coat, a beanie, and leggings under my jeans, I was warm enough for the game. The game was so fantastic. We were at a first division game, so a division or two below the Premiership (pros), but the atmosphere was still really great. The opposing team had their own entrance and stands in the arena, and everyone was buzzing with competition.

Go Accies!

The  first thing we did when we got in was get a bovril from the stands. A bovril is a steeping cup of super liquified gravy. Almost like drinking chicken stock…except it’s gravy. It’s not as terrible tasting as it sounds, just tastes meat-flavored and supremely salty. I drank mine slowly because it was so hot but I still burned my tongue. However, I didn’t finish it, it was just too much. For the most part, the game was not very exciting to me. I enjoyed the atmosphere more than the actual game, but I would go again in a hot second. I think it’s because I had no emotional attachment to either of the teams. The first thing I noticed was how incredibly loud the opposing fans were. There were only a few hundred people in those stands, filling maybe a fourth of the seats up. I actually asked if the stands had a microphone connected to them because the fans were so loud! Apparently the roof over the top of the stands causes the noise to bounce out very well. I wonder if they did that on purpose?

I found myself incredibly curious and tickled by a lot of my surroundings. The singing crew of fans in the upper left corner made my laugh loads, you always hear the fans cheering on the “telly”, but to hear them in person is quite the experience, they’re very disorganized and just very silly. And this group in particular was just a bunch of teenage boys. They must come every Saturday just for the comradery! The fans did a lot of jeering at one another, just pointing at the opposing team’s fans, yelling nonsense at one another. It’s pretty comical when you consider how unimportant this game and this team were.

Our view of the pitch.

The game went on and I chatted away and then A about lots of different topics, then the Accies scored, and the crowd went bizerk! Everyone roared and cheered as if they had won the premiership!! As more goals were scored and the loudness of the crowd shifted between the fans of the team that had scored most recently. During half-time it began to get cold and we got more goodies. I wasn’t going to have another bovril (broth-rill), but I did have a Scotch meat pie, and that was pretty yummy.


Scotch Meat Pie

The game ended with a 3-1 win for the Accies, which was nice, and after that we drove to a different town to watch Arsenal v. Tottenham. Another win! The final score was 2-1. A good game played by the Gunners, but unfortunately Theo Walcott injured himself during the match. As it turns out, he will be out for 6 months, having torn some ligaments in his knee when he fell. That means that he will miss the rest of the season, as well as probably the world cup in Brazil this summer. That’s not a good outcome for Arsenal fans.
The night ended with some delicious dinner at P’s mom and dad’s house. It was really great to meet them after having heard of them for so long. I feel like it was just like meeting a good friend that you haven’t seen in a long time. It was great to see P with her mom and dad as well, to see how she’s like both of them in different ways, and how excited everyone is for the wedding.:)

Hamilton Accies Football Club stadium

The view, every day. Anti-sunny.

The view from my bedroom, it’s not raining in this pictures, but everything’s still wet and will continue to stay wet as the rain picked back up again right after this.

I’ll write more soon, but Sunday and Monday don’t have too much to report.

The rest of Jan 2nd and Jan 3rd

When I finally got through customs Pauline and Mark were right there waiting for me. It was such a sweet reunion. It was only about 11am there, and despite having been mostly awake for the past 20ish hours or so,  they were both determined that I stay awake throughout the rest of the day to avoid jet lag. So we packed my luggage in Mark’s car (they call his car a giant hearse, but it’s really just a Volkswagen with a hatchback!!! But all of the cars here are small. I’ve seen two mini-vans and two small trucks with turtle-shell covers over the truck beds since I’ve been here. Everything else is  a fiat, a puegot, a mini-cooper, or a nissan versa), and went off to Loch Lomond for breakfast. I suggested a cup of coffee on our way to Loch Lomond, just because I knew that would help me stay up, so we went to a place called Costa Coffee, which is probably the equivalent to our coffee bean and tea leaf. It was cute and quaint, and comfortable. Conversation was easy and it was just like continuing a Skype conversation from a few days earlier with Pauline. Soooo much happy :) When we were coming out of Costa Coffee I noticed a large yellow stocked on a car that said Arnold Clark on it and asked “who’s that?”. Pauline had a good laugh because it’s not a “he”, it’s a place. Arnold Clark is the largest new and used car sales chain in the UK. Sort of like our Worthington Ford but more on a national scale. I thought that was kind of funny.

Afterwards we took the drive up to the Loch and just sort of searched out for a place for a “proper Scottish breakfast”. But since it was the day after New Years everything was closed because it’s a Scottish bank holiday! Can you imagine? Not only is everybody off on Boxing Day, the day following Christmas, but the day after New Years as well! In fact, Pauline said that most people take off two weeks of work during Christmas and don’t come back until January 6th when most schools go back on! That’s nuts. I can’t imagine having that much time off work until you asked for it months in advance and only for some very rare and special occasion! (example: the time I got off to do this trip).

We drove around to several different pubs and hotels in search of food but literally everything was closed and locked shut! They apologized a ton but it was more of an adventure to me than anything, and I think I was still buzzing with adrenaline so I wasn’t too incredibly hungry. The weather here has been some of the worst rain and wind storms in five years so the loch was unfortunately covered in garbage and debris. It looked like a small hurricane had pulled through there, it was like a mini disaster zone. But everywhere we drove was like driving in big bear. Even on their “motor ways” (freeway), they have trees all over the place! Lots of green, fields, plants are not at a loss here! I actually kind of liked it. I told them that it was kind of like driving through a national park, we don’t have all of the trees that they do. The roadways here are very narrow! Mark went to make a u-turn and his car turned off as we were mid-turn and we were stuck blocking both ways of the highway. It was pretty funny, I felt like I was back in my jeep! Haha.

We ended up driving around the entire loch in what M called our “quest for the food”. Loch Lomond is the largest loch in Scotland, and yes, it was huge. Big Bear and Lake Gregory combined don’t have anything on Loch Lomond. The loch’s water was a very dark blue though, unlike our green water. When we finally found a place that was open to eat at, we ended back up near Costa, at a Carvery (still not quite sure what that means..). All three of us ate a Carvery Plat which is a standard Scottish plate of food, I guess. You get either three different meats or you can choose to have more of one or the other, but it’s usually turkey, pork, and gammon (ham…jamon((Spanish))….jammon((French))…ha). A carver cuts it up for you and from there it’s sort of all you can eat buffets style. I had some sweeties(I think that’s what they were called). I never got a clear answer on what exactly they are but I think it’s like a squash “they’re good for ye, that’s all ye need to know,” M concluded after my third “yes but what is it??” I also got a Yorkshire pudding which is NOT actual pudding but more of a crisp pastry….like a pastry in the form of a bowl or a donut in the form of a bowl without any glaze on it. They were yummy (but it’s not pudding), and I had some gravy in it. Lunch was really nice, more chatting and visiting. I didn’t realIze how slow I eat until I was still trying to finish my plate ten or fifteen minutes after both P and M had finished! After the carvery we sort of drove back towards East Kilbride, where Calderwood, their church is, and where Mark’s parent’s live. On the way to E.K. we drove across some large bridge that I forgot the name of, but there were very larger barriers on either side of it because a couple of summers ago a few girls jumped off and took their lives. I thought it was interesting that they (the Scottish) took action against preventing future “jumpers” from harming themselves because the barriers made the bridge quiet ugly. In contrast we’ve got the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge and other very architectural/artsy bridges and people jump off of them as well but the barriers are lacking, and instead there’s just a phone number to call. Interesting. Maybe I’m overthinking.

We arrived in East Kilbride and passed a place called The Salmon Leap. It’s in giant font on the side of a building that’s off a main road, with a giant Salmon painted about the letters in mid-leap. It really stuck out to me, but apparent the place is just no-big-deal because nobody seemed impressed that I found it intriguing, haha.  As we drove through East Kilbrid (kill-bry-d). We drove past Calderwood, the church, and Hunter House. Hunter house used to be a museum and is located next door to the church. The church bought it and converted it into a coffee-house which is run by church volunteers. I think that’s really awesome, because instead of having a coffee cafe directly inside of the church for patrons, this coffee cafe is open to the public and the community see’s the church witness through its volunteers. So that’s really cool!!

After the mini-tour we were off to the Morris’. Everyone is so inviting and welcoming here. As soon as we sat down to visit I was shown a giant map of the 50 States. Dad you were right I should have brushed up on my American history!! I was quizzed on locations, state flags, and ended up locating Lusk Nebraska and several other places that Dad’s family was from/located in. They were so interested. However, I unfortunately I didn’t know what the grizzly bear on the state flag meant. It’s just there because it’s the state animal, right?

Anyway, when that was done we just headed back up to Pauline’s and went to ASDA’s on the way home. ASDA is one of their main grocery stores that is connected with Walmart so they’ve got a lot of American candies and such. But I thought it was more like Food4Less. It’s funny though because the register attendants don’t stand up and don’t bag your goods, they’re all sitting down in rolling office chairs! It looks so funny! So I purchased my groceries and the attendant never said anything about my accent but she was very proud of me for getting the right change and stuff for her “yes good, that’s right” (insert big and curious smile). I can definitely tell when people are staring because of my accent. I have to remind myself to speak softly like those that I’m with. I don’t always think I’m speaking incredibly loud and P and M say I’m not, but it feels like I’m yelling when I speak here because everyone around me (the ‘local’ Scots) gets really quiet to hear what I’m saying when we’re out in public, so I’m super self-conscious about that. I guess that’s how Pauline felt for 3 months in CA!

After ASDA’s we went to Pauline’s place and I put everything away and settled my stuff into my room. Then she turned on a game show that quizzed contestant about British culture, but the contestant did very poorly because he was American! Haha. Sucker. Both of us ended up falling asleep for about a half hour (getting up was brutal, I could have slept the whole night through right then!), but after our nap we had some pasta with sauce and veggies for dinner. That’s when I got my second wind and I knew all hoe was lost for getting to sleep early. After a game of trickster scrabble (Mom you would reallllyyyy like it!), I ended up crashing around midnight.

January 3rd

When I woke up it was around 8 am but I looked out the window and it was still so dark it looked like it could be five or six am!! But sure enough people were out at the bus stop and driving about. It didn’t start getting lighter till past nine am. I had some instant oatmeal…or I THOUGHT it was instant oatmeal till I was finished warming it up in the microwave. Turns out it was porridge. So sticky and thick! But enough like oatmeal to enjoy and it didn’t need sugar either so that was nice. After breakfast P had her last day of work so she took me over to spend the day with Carly. She was going to take me to Glasgow and give me a tour. The weather has been very severe, but we decided to go into Glasgow, anyway. It’s now or never, right? I saw a bit of the news on the “telly”, and BBC 1 said that there were 38 flooding warnings in the UK and 20 severe weather warnings in Scotland. The wind sounded so vicious and mean! Even though the rain was a torrential downpour, it doesn’t seem to slow anyone down while they are driving. But I’m sure that they are used to driving in the rain. Oh, and every car here is stick-shift. They use both feet when driving stick, which I didn’t know. Ha! No wonder everyone here has to take 8 months of driving lessons before getting their license. Two feet.

C had an entire day planned out for us in Glasgow, which started in the Buchannon Galleries (which is not a gallery, but a mall!). Even though the weather was bad outside we still had to walk the streets quite a bit. C said that the weather for Jan was very mild, and she was in leggings (meanwhile I had leggings beneath my jeans! She got a good laugh out of that). We tried using an umbrella, but the wind was very strong so we gave up that pretty quickly. Our next stop was at the Gallery of Modern Art. Out in front of the gallery is this giant monument/statue of a man named Wellington on a horse. It’s an old statue, but it’s got a giant orange traffic cone on top of it’s head. It looked almost as though the statue had been disrespected with the cone up there, but C said that it’s a real “thing” here in Glasgow and people fight to keep it up there. I mildly believed her until we got into the museum gift shop and they had everything from magnet to cards to figurines of Wellington with the cone on his head! I got a magnet because it’s such a Scottish thing. How quirky.


Wellington: “get that corn(cone) out of my face!”

The rain had (thankfully) stopped by the time we were out of the gallery and it was just cold and windy. We walked across the street to at a place I think called Prince George’s square and they had an ice rink, some rides, and a giant (REAL) Christmas tree! Kind of like a makeshift winter fair/Irvine spectrum sort of area. It was dead when we walked through as it was still early, but C said it’s a fun place to come on a nice night during the wintertime.

We continued walking down the Z Bend of streets and passed a few places that I recognized from London: Pret A Manger, EAT, Marks and Spencer, and blessed Cafe Nero! I even saw a Primark, Neu, and of course, a Topshop. But they also had places from home like HM, gap, and others. I even saw a few store that you would really like, Mom; they had a Poundland, and a Pound Place, which is basically just a dollar tree/ 99cent store!

Our next destination was the Willow tea rooms for lunch. This tea room was designed by Charles Renni Mackintosh, a Scottish artist/designer/architecture. Everything from the building, to the waitresses uniforms was designed by him. It wasn’t until we sat down that I recognized the chair. Then it hit me! Of course, Mackintosh! He’s an art deco artist that I learned about in my 3D Design class last semester. I even used the chair  that I was sitting in as the required ‘inspiration’ for my final project in the class. I think I may have even written an essay on it. Can you imagine? What are the chances!? It was totally nuts and all I could do to contain myself! I should have bought the key chain of the chair that we saw in the gift shop, it was too cool! Lunch again was very nice, I had a jacket (baked) potato and some black coffee (white coffee=too much milk, not enough coffee here).  We had a good, long chat about life family friends church etc! I really enjoyed Carly’s company. I asked her what would “throw” me that was absolutely Scottish, as everything seems pretty familiar so far to me. At lunch C described a few Scottish foods to me. She described black pudding (dried pigs blood in the shape of a meat party), a potato pancake, and a roll in a square, which is square sausage (just a square meat patty). I hope I get to try them all (except I wouldn’t be too disappointed if I didn’t get to try Black Pudding). I really enjoyed speaking with C and just getting to know her, I’m very grateful to her for spending the day with me!

After lunch we sort of just wandered through the Z Bend of streets and I found a “body vest” or a “gilet” (pronounced jee-lee), which is just a puffer vest. I kept accidentally calling it a bodysuit, and that had everyone laughing. Regardless, I just wanted something to keep me warm at the football match on Saturday. My jacket is fine, but the with the amount of rain that there is here, it’s going to stay wet if I wear it out every day, so I wanted something different to wear on opposite days to stay warm. That was the end of my day in Glasgow, we took a pleasant train ride home from Grand Central station and I got to meet Mark’s brother Craig, Carly’s husband once we got back to C’s place, and from there P picked me up and we went to Hunter House and then home.


There’s more, but time for me to go. I’ll write more later. Ps, sorry for the lack of photos, they’re on my camera. Too lazy to upload immediately.