The Eye

The Eye, originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl.

Thought I’d randomly post a photo I took in London in May. The London Eye is a photographers dream. Interesting structure, loads of different perspectives, and it’s situated in a fantastic spot.

We’ve been home now for almost a month. I’m missing traveling this morning. Feeling nostalgic about our time in the United Kingdom. Maybe it’s time to crack open the scotch and get a little U.K. flavor running through my veins. Before work, or after? (yeah, yeah… I’ll wait, even if I don’t want to)

Looking Over Lancaster

Looking Over Lancaster, originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl.

I’m going to sign off now from the United Kingdom. This, the final view I’m leaving you with from our time here, was taken from up by the Ashton Memorial looking out over Lancaster. You can see the River Lune, the Lancaster Castle, and Morecambe Bay in this photo. It’s been a great trip. We look forward to returning.

Ashton Memorial

Ashton Memorial, originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl.

We walked from the Castle and Priory on one hill through downtown to the Ashton Memorial and butterfly house on another. There’s a fantastic view of the city, Morecambe Bay, and the surrounding countryside from up there. We went into the butterfly house, the small beast house, the small mammal house, and wandered the grounds a bit. It was a gorgeous day. We passed a nice cricket game, all gents dressed in white.


Alnwick, originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl.

We set off on our journey to Scotland last Wednesday… first stop, Alnwick (pronounced Annick) Castle on the North East Coast of England. This is the castle Hogwarts is based on in the Harry Potter films. They filmed parts of the place and CGI’d the rest. Kind of cool in person. The castle and grounds are a major tourist stop and were fairly packed. There was also a fee just to walk on the grounds, not to mention the other fee to go inside the castle. We decided to try and get to a spot where we could take photos without actually paying to go onto the grounds. We weren’t staying long anyway, so paying the fee seemed kind of ridiculous, especially given that it was kind of steep.

We paid to park, decided to have a little picnic there in a very nice area where the dogs could be with us. Another rub of entering the grounds at Alnwick is that dogs were strictly not allowed. In fact, the guy at the pay booth for the parking specifically told us no dogs allowed.  Bummer. After our nice picnic lunch Martin and I set off in search of the perfect spot for photos. We actually ended up going around toward where the pay booths were, but then veered off onto what, to us, looked like any other path. We followed this path and ended up on the grounds, near the castle. Who knew. I think it was a gardener’s path and we weren’t supposed to use it or be there, but what the heck. We both felt like someone was going to stop us at any moment and tell us to go, but we ventured forth anyway, just so I could get some shots. Which I did. This is one of them. You can actually recognize, from the films, the center part of the castle. It looked familiar to me.

All The World’s A Stage

All The World’s A Stage, originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl.

The cool thing is that you are allowed to take photographs as long as the actors aren’t on stage. It’s a beautiful building. Plus, on show day anyone can show up and if there are tickets available you can get in, if you’re willing to stand on the main level, for five pounds. It’s a fantastic thing.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge, originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl.

Here it is folks, the famous Tower Bridge over the Thames. We landed in London, Mary and Martin met us at the airport, and we took our massive collection of bags, by tube, to our hotel. We couldn’t check in, given that it was morning, but the concierge was kind enough to take our bags and we were off. We jumped on the tube again and headed down to the waterfront. I believe the walk along the Thames has a name, which I can’t remember. Our goal was to get to The Globe before the show, Romeo and Juliet, started at two. It was nice, since we landed so early, to have time to just sort of wander along, check out the sites, and take photos. We got a much needed coffee, walked, and bought some hot nuts from a street vendor. Those were some tasty nuts.

Photo Hunt – Supported

Wow, I’m actually posting this on Saturday, the day I’m supposed to be posting the photo hunt photo for the week. I’m impressed with myself. Especially considering that I’ve been very late in posting the last few weeks. Luckily I remembered today was Saturday.

Today’s theme… supported. I took this one last September during our trip to England. This is the Devil’s Bridge in Kirkby/Lonsdale. Both of the roads crossing these bridges are supported by the arches. In bridge building it has to be just so or the whole thing becomes disastrous. The Devil’s Bridge arch obviously works as it’s stood the test of time. The bridge dates back to around 1370.

If you’d like to join in all the photo hunt action, visit tnchick for all of the how to info.

Photo Hunt – Emotions

My very late entry for the week’s hunt is this one I took last year near Ullswater, Great Britain. The theme this week is emotions so I’m going with playful/happy. These little dudes were having a blast playing with each other. It was the cutest thing.

If you’d like to get in on the hunt, click here for all the details and then start shooting!



Originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl

Our Last Day In Lancaster was spent hanging out at Mary and Martin’s place, taking a jaunt to the Cornish Bakery for a couple of pasties and Cafe Nero for some chai, packing, grocery shopping with Mary, going to the University to pick up a couple of t-shirts, and going to dinner at The Meeting House to celebrate a great vacation and a wonderful visit with the kids.

We had a great time in England and Spain and are already thinking about where we want to venture to on our next trip over. Luckily we won’t have to wait too long to see the kids again as we’re going to meet them in New Orleans in January which we’ll follow with a week long visit here in Portland.

As for Lancaster and our trip. We loved Mary and Martin’s house and the town. It’s nice to feel good about where they are, having now had the chance to see it for ourselves. I know that Karen, especially, feels that. It’s good to know they’re OK. And in fact, they are better than OK, which is so very nice.

I guess, since I’m writing this two days after returning while sitting at my desk at work, I should say a big thanks to Darla and Kevin for house-sitting. Weston was in good hands and we very much appreciate your time and attention with the little man.

And now… well now it’s time to get my head back in the work game. It’s tough, always, when one comes back from vacation and is still not totally acclimated to the work environment. They key word here is… concentration. Yeah, that’s right… I must concentrate. Say it like a mantra… concentrate… concentrate…


Back In Lancaster

It’s Monday, September 17, and we are back in Lancaster. I’ve just done a massive update to my page here with pictures from our sojourn to Barcelona. I’ve not done a very good job in that they appear in reverse. If you want to view things in order, you have to scroll down to where they start and the scroll up.

Today we slept in, recovering from our nights out on the Spanish town, and have just sort of hung out here at Mary and Martin’s house. It’s been quiet and nice. A good way to spend one’s birthday.

Since I didn’t log onto this thing yesterday when we got back from Spain and it was Syd’s birthday, I’d like to say a very happy, though belated, birthday to you Syd. Hope you had a fantastic day! Much love to you.

Side Street – Morecambe, U.K.


Originally uploaded by Tokenhippygirl

The Wednesday before we ventured off to Barcelona we took a little trip out to Morecambe, the town close to Lancaster that’s on Morecambe Bay. The thing with Morecambe is that is used to be a very hip happening and busy seaside town. People went there to vacation and hang out. But when travel between countries became a bit easier in Europe, the people who used to go to Morecambe on holiday now go to places with warmer climates, like Spain. Consequently, Morecambe has become a bit of a ghost town. There are still people living there, and there’s an effort right now to revitalise it, but so far they haven’t been able to pull in the crowds.

Another thing about Morecambe, and really more about Morecambe Bay, is that there’s quicksand. There are times when the tide goes out and you can walk across the bay, but only with a guide. The authorities don’t allow people to walk across alone because of the quicksand. Kind of cool, yet creepy. I saw a documentary short about the phenomena once that was pretty fascinating. It would be cool to do, walk across. Maybe next time.

Morecombe U.K.

Here’s the deal… we went out to Morecombe today, took some pictures, and enjoyed the sunset. I will post those pictures tomorrow, if we have WiFi where we’re going. Let me explain…

For the last few months Karen has been telling me that while we were here in England, we were going to take a little jaunt somewhere for my upcoming birthday. Well tonight I found out where we are going… are you ready?

We are going to Barcelona, Spain. Yes… you heard me right. Barcelona. Wow. I’m excited. It seems Martin and Mary have arranged for our air travel on Ryanair, a very small airline with service from Blackpool to Barcelona. Flying time… approximately two hours. While in Barcelona I’m told we’ll be staying in an apartment that Martin has rented. So again I say… how cool is this?