J. C. and Manoli Petty

Zpet

J. C. and Manoli Petty

Happily, and luckily, married to a cute, younger spanish-born lady, now an American citizen. Computer Programmer by day and carpenter wannabe by night.




Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Inverness-shire » Inverness May 25th 2015

Today we were awake, packed, and ready to go on our Highland Fling bus tour at least an hour early. The tour is offered by MacBackpackers and runs from Monday morning through Friday evening. In 2015, we paid about 200 Pounds each, and I would have said ahead of time that I think it will be worth it, but by the end of day one I can say it will be. Our granddaughter Alexis took the tour last year and after reading about it and seeing her photos, we decided we'd give it a try, even though we figured we'd be the oldest folks on the tour. The mid-sized bus pulled up in front of our hostel right on time. We'd read in the tour notes that we should only bring smaller luggage such as backpacks ... read more
The Scottish Deli
Shops at the Highland Folk Museum
Baile Gean village

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 24th 2015

Today our two main goals are a free walking tour of Edinburgh and possibly a tour of Edinburgh Castle. After a short but fairly decent night's sleep, we woke up around 8am, and after a confusing shower, we headed out to join a free walking tour that started in front of Starbucks at 10am. Okay, the confusing part of the shower was figuring out where to put what while taking a shower in a mini-shower, and not parading around naked, since it was a co-ed bathroom. Now, back to the tour. The tour is offered by Sandeman's New Europe and is free because the guides work only for tips. Supposedly, that makes them work harder to earn your tip. Our guide, David Maitland, was from the Highlands of Scotland, had a definite Scottish accent, but was ... read more
Crazy Dave
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle 2

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh May 23rd 2015

Well, first of all, we made it to Edinburgh Scotland, tired, but in one piece. We left Pensacola around 11am, had a quick flight to Charlotte North Carolina, and made it to our departure gate for over 5 hours before our scheduled departure time of 6:10. Unfortunately, there was a problem with our plane that was coming from Dublin, and we didn't board until after 8pm. Somehow, the pilot made up most of the time lost and we arrived in Dublin around 7am or so, Friday (5 hour time difference and 6 hour flight). We got our passports stamped and went looking for our RyanAir departure gate for the leg to Edinburgh. Since we'd arrived at Terminal 2 on American Airlines (US Airways), we had to walk to Terminal 1 before we could get any information ... read more
Dublin Terminal 2
Teeth Cleaners
View from our hostel

North America » United States » Florida » Pensacola May 22nd 2015

Well, its that time again... vacation time. This year we are touring Scotland and parts of Europe, including the Rhine River in Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium. By the time you read this we should be at the airport waiting for our first flight. Since we don't get to Dublin until Saturday morning, and then have to fly to Edinburgh, it will probably be Saturday night before I can add the next post. I'll try to do a better job of writing these blogs and still keep enough facts in them to be of help to fellow travelers. "... and I'll be in Scotland afore ye".... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid June 3rd 2014

My brother-in-law Raphael came to Antonio's house around 4:30am to take us to the airport in Jerez. I'd noticed from our Orbitz flight schedule that they still hadn't updated our homeward flights and that none of them actually matched in flight numbers or times, so we were a bit concerned. When we reached the airport, they had no problems issuing tickets for all but the final leg from Charlotte to Pensacola, so we started feeling a bit less worried. Jerez airport was no problem navigating since it was so small, and we caught our flight to Madrid on time with no problems. Unlike Jerez airport, Madrid turned out to be the biggest nightmare we've ever had in all the airports we've ever been through. Our plane arrived at Terminal 4, which from my previous experience was ... read more

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Chipiona June 3rd 2014

We spent the next 5 days mostly visiting relatives and strolling around town. It was getting close to the major influx of vacationers from Seville and other towns wanting to spend some time on Chipiona's beaches. Already, weekends doubled the size of the town with folks spending the weekend here. Besides the visits to my wife's aunts, uncles, and numerous cousins, we also spend one day in Las Cabezas visiting Consuelo's (my brother-in-law's wife) parents there. Over time, they have used funds from their farm to build a large, very beautiful house with a garage big enough for 4 full-sized buses. Another day was spent in Jerez de la Frontera visiting Consuelo's sister and spendiing a good bit of time sightseeing and then having a very decent lunch. Friday, the night before we left Chipiona, my ... read more
Consuelo's Sister, Consuelo, Antonio, and Manoli having some moscatel
Family farm with 3 names of owners, my wife and her brothers
Tito (Uncle) Raphael at his home

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Chipiona May 24th 2014

WE WOKE UP FAIRLY EARLY AT 7AM FOR OUR BUS TRIP TO CHIPIONA AT 10AM, AND WERE APPARENTLY THE ONLY ONES UP IN THE WHOLE PLACE. AFTER PACKING EVERYTHING UP, IN THE BATHROOM SO WE WOULDN'T DISTURB OUR FELLOW HOSTELERS, WE LEFT THE HOSTEL IN SEARCH OF THE BUS STOP FOR NUMBER 33 TO THE MAIN BUS STATION. I GOT US A LITTLE LOST, BUT WE FINALLY ARRIVED AT THE BUS STOP AND GRABBED THE NEXT BUS. THE BUS WAS FAIRLY EMPTY AND NEVER DID FILL UP MUCH. AT THE STATION, WE QUICKLY LOCATED THE CAFETERIA FOR OUR MORNING COFFEES, AND SAT THERE UNTIL AROUND 9:20 BEFORE WE MOVED TO THE WAITING ROOM. THE ALSA BUS BOARDED AND LEFT ON TIME FOR THE FIRST LEG OF OUR TRIP, FROM GRANADA TO SEVILLE'S ESTACION DEL PRADO. APPARENTLY ... read more

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Granada May 23rd 2014

AFTER A PRETTY GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP, CONSIDERING HOW TIRED WE WERE, WE DIDN'T WAKE UP UNTIL A LITTLE AFTER 8AM, BUT WE WERE STILL THE FIRST ONES UP IN OUR ROOM, OUT OF SIX TRAVELERS. SOME QUICK ABLUTIONS, AND WE WERE ON OUR WAY TO THE ALHAMBRA (THE H IS SILENT) TO GET OUR ACTUAL TICKETS AND MEET UP WITH THE GUIDE BY 10AM. ALTHOUGH IT LOOKS LIKE QUITE A WAYS ON THE MAP, IT REALLY WASN'T ALL THAT FAR, JUST A BIT STEEP NEAR THE END. WE WALKED ALONG THE BOTTOM EDGE OF THE COMPLEX, PASS THE TICKET WINDOW/ENTRANCE, AND LOCATED THE SIGN BY THE PARKING LOT FOR GANAVISION, THE AGENCY THAT ISSUED OUR TICKETS. THE LADY THERE EXPLAINED THAT OUR GROUP WOULD LEAVE FROM PARKING AREA 1 AT 10:15, GIVE US TOUR STICKERS TO ... read more
NEAT HEDGE OPENING IN THE ALHAMBRA COMPLEX
FOUNTAIN AND SECTION OF GARDENS
CONCERT STAGE IN ALHAMBRA

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Granada May 22nd 2014

WE WOKE UP AROUND 6AM SO WE'D LEAVE BY 7AM, TO REACH LISBON BY 11AM TO RETURN OUR RENTAL CAR. THE ONLY PROBLEM WE HAD GETTING TO LISBON WAS THE MAJOR TRAFFIC JAM NEAR THE END. IT TOOK LIKE 30 MINUTES TO TRAVEL 3 MILES! WE LOCATED THE CORRECT EXIT FROM MY DIRECTIONS, BUT SINCE THEY WERE FOR THE AIRPORT AND WE WERE GOING TO THE BUS STATION, WE PROMPTLY GOT LOST... FOR OVER AN HOUR! WE FINALLY SORT OF GAVE UP AND STOPPED A TAXI. HE TOLD US HE'D LEAD US THERE FOR THE PRICE OF A FAIR, 7 EUROS. BY THAT POINT IT SOUNDED LIKE A STEAL. WE ALSO PROBABLY USED UP A BIT OF THE FULL TANK OF GAS WE'D ENSURED WHEN WE EXITED THE HIGHWAY, BUT THE AVIS AGENT DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING. ... read more
COD FOR SALE IN SUPERMARKET
OUR ROOM IN EL GRANADO HOSTEL
ONE LOUNGE AREA IN THE HOSTEL

Europe » Portugal » Central » Monsanto May 20th 2014

WE GOT UP THIS MORNING NOT SURE WHERE WE WERE GOING TO GO. MANOLI WANTED TO HANG AROUND TOWN MOSTLY, ESPECIALLY WITH THE HIGH CHANCE OF RAIN. WE DECIDED WE NEEDED GAS AND MONEY ANYWAYS, AND NEITHER WERE AVAILABLE IN MONSANTO OR ALL THAT CLOSE. WE ASKED THE TOURIST LADY AND SHE SAID THE NEAREST PLACE FOR BOTH WAS IN PENHA GARCIA, A LARGER TOWN DOWN THE 'HILL' FROM MONSANTO AND ABOUT ABOUT 20 KMs ON THE MAIN ROAD. ALTHOUGH I HADN'T MADE A WEB PAGE FOR IT, I DID REMEMBER THERE BEING SOME FOSSIL STUFF THERE, AND AFTER LOOKING ON THE INTERNET, REALIZED THAT ALSO HAD A SMALL CASTLE. THIS WILL MAKE OUR 10TH CASTLE SO FAR. WE WALKED DOWN TO OUR CAR AND HEADED DOWN THE HILL, PASSING THE LITTLE TOWN OF RELVA AT ... read more
THE WW2 TANK SITTING BELOW THE PARKING AREA IN PENHA GARCIA
THE COMMUNITY OVEN AND FOUNTAIN
STARTING OUR PR3 TRAIL AROUND PENHA GARCIA




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