Shirley Wong

Shirley Wong

Shirley Wong

Waiting to explore the world.... One city at a time.

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London August 11th 2014

The final two days of London seemed like a whirlwind. We woke up on the 11th, hopped on the tube and headed to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guards. It was very crowded, but it had to be done. You can’t come to London without seeing the changing of the guards at least once. It would be like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. We really couldn’t see much, but Tricia had her selfie stick, so she set up her phone and just videoed away. She did get several brilliants on her nifty gadget. She also got some awesome footage. After the changing got the guard, we found the hop-on-hop-off bus tour and rode around the town. We drove by Trafalgar, Picadilly, Tower Bridge, etc… all the sites… We decided to get ... read more
Tower of London
Retail therapy
Afternoon Tea

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London August 10th 2014

One last look at the Castle and we were off. We hopped on the tram to the airport and an hour later, we were in London. From Heathrow, we hopped on the tube to South Kensington station. Coming from Edinburgh where the crowd was manageable and people were friendly, it was a shock to hop off the tub at South Kensington to the hustle and bustle of London. There were lots of people, everyone who was in a hurry and no one who was friendly enough to care that we had 5 pieces of luggage, 3 kids and a stroller. Definitely a different vibe from Edinburgh. The Ampersand Hotel is a small luxury hotel located in the South Kensington area and literally less than a mile from the tube station. We came up from the Underground ... read more
Big Ben
London Eye
The Eye

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 9th 2014

Last day in Edinburgh. One of Tricia’s mission was to run in Scotland and run in London. Today, we achieved 1 of the 2. We woke up early and went for run in the Gardens. Considering, I hadn’t worked out for the last few months, I told Tricia I wasn’t going to run with her, but I would walk. It was quite a site to see. Tricia would run and every few steps, she would stop to take a picture.. run a little, take a picture, run some more… take a picture. I did the same, but walking… You couldn’t help it… the gardens were quite and had very few people around. Perfect picture taking time. All in all, we ran about 40 minutes or so… run in Scotland, check! After our run, the Rices went ... read more
Princes Street Garden
Princes Street Gardens
Princes Street Gardens

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 8th 2014

So after going going for several days, we signed up for a bus tour of the West Highlands. The Highland Experience and Kenny (our bus driver) took us on a tour of the West Highlands. We start out in Edinburgh and make our way out of the city. First stop… Glasgow, but only to pick up two other tourist. Luckily we had most of the bus to ourselves. It was us and the two that we picked up on Glasgow. Kind neat to drive thru Glasgow. It reminded me a lot of Seattle. A city through and through, with hills. From Glasgow, we head to Loch Lomond. To see the Loch (i.e. lake), we stopped by in the cute little town called Luss. Luss is on the west bank of Lomond. This seems to be a ... read more
Loch Awe

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 7th 2014

A bright sunny Thursday to start the day off. We had purchased out hop-on-hop-off bus tour for 48 hours, so we still had a few hours left to use it. So we hopped on to get to Our Dynamic Earth, near Holyrood Palace and Park. What is Our Dynamic Earth? It's a pretty cool museum that takes you thru time... from the beginning of the universe to present day earth. We start off in a classroom where the ghost of James Hutton demonstrates his theories on how the Earth was formed. After that you journey on to a room with a huge 3-D globe that shows the shifting of the earth and the plates. Then it's into the "time machine," a room that shows the formation of earth. Once the earth forms, you move into a ... read more
Arthur's Seat
Arthur's Seat

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » West Lothian August 6th 2014

Today we visited the hometown of Mr. Rice. This was the town of Queensferry, also called South Queensferry. Queensferry is a town to the west of Edinburgh, on the shores of the Firth of Forth between the Forth Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge. It was about a 10 minute train ride from the Haymarket Station to Dalmeny Station. From there, Jim's cousin Charles picked us up and gave us a walking tour of where the Rices grew up. It was neat to see the houses where Mr. Rice and the Aunties May and Betty lived in growing up, as well as the schools they went to. It was also serene to see the cemetery where Jim's paternal grandmother was buried. After walking along t... read more
Forth Rail Bridge
Forth Rail Bridge
Forth Rail Bridge

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 5th 2014

Day two of the Scotland Adventure started with a slow climb to the Castle. We decided to start the day off visiting the Castle. The Castle sits on top of volcanic rock and protected by cliffs on three sides. It's one of the highest points and easily the most identifiable monument of Edinburgh. The Castle presents fabulous views of the City below, houses the crown jewels and showcases the Mons Meg canon which launched 500 pounds of cannonballs back in the day. The Scots and the English battled for control of the castle during the Wars of Independence until finally in 1314 it was recaptured by the Scots. The Castle has been home to many royals include Queen Margaret and Mary Queen of Scots, whom we found out only had a bath twice a year. In ... read more
View of the City below
Scottish National War Monument
4 dudes in Kilts

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 4th 2014

Twas Sunday the 3rd, what shall we do? Gather the troops and fly across the blue... Well, that's about all I got for poetry. In all seriousness, it seems that this trip was a long time planning and the time was finally here. We left on a Sunday and arrived on a Monday. We made the long wind through Heathrow to finally arrive via Virgin Atlantic's Little Red to the town of Edinburgh. Upon arrival, we took a ride on the newly opened tram from the airport to city center Edinburgh. It was a 40 minute tram ride, but for 5 pounds... you can't beat that. Add bonus, we got to see the outskirts of Edinburgh. We got off on the Princes Street Gardens stop and the first thing we see... Edinburgh Castle. What a sight ... read more
Heathrow Welcomes us
Edinburgh Castle
The Baked Potato Shop

Central America Caribbean » Aruba » Oranjestad March 16th 2014

Aruba... One Happy Island... similar to Virginia is for Lovers, Aruba has staked claim to One Happy Island. Having visited just recently for a week... I can wholeheartedly agree. Aruba is one happy island. The minute the airplane started the descent onto the island, I immediately relaxed. The whole week we were there the weather was partly cloudy, low to mid 80s, with a constant Caribbean breeze. Upon landing, you go thru Aruban customs, which was relatively painless. We stayed in Oranjestad at the Renaissance Ocean Suites, which was considered "downtown" and the less touristy section of Aruba. The island in itself is about 19 miles long, not too big. The airport was a short cab ride to our hotel. In Aruba, the driving is the same as if in the States. In addition due to ... read more
Views from the Lagoon at the Renaissance Aruba Resort - Ocean Suites side
Bushiribani Gold Mine Ruins
My innuksuk in the forefront

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » London City March 30th 2013

Happy Saturday. I woke up early to fit in a 5K run. It was weird to see the distance on the treadmill actually calculate in KM versus the US standard mile. When I hit 2K and looked at the time, it was impressed at my faster speed... only to be disappointed when it dawned on my that 2K=1.2 miles... time=slightly slower than normal. At the end, I managed to fit in 5K in 44 min. I'll take it for being on vacation. After the run, we headed out/back on the hop on hop off. We went to St. Paul's Cathedral. We climbed to tower. First up... the whispering gallery. What I found out afterwards and wished I knew before was that Sir Christopher Wren designed the gallery so that if one person sat on one end ... read more
Enjoying the view
The Dome
Borough Market

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