Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Portugal part 3

Ok the final post on our holiday to Portugal - is that a sigh of relief I can hear  :))

Well the day after the wedding we got up quite early and had breakfast.  Danny's sister and her husband had come over from Norway for the wedding too and we were going to spend the day together.  

We decided to go for a walk up the hills and up to the ruin at the top of the hill (just to the left of the cars in the picure).

We took Danny's sister and her hubby back to the airport on Monday and waved them off on their journey home. 
We still had 4 full days left to enjoy!

We visited a beach and did a wee bit of sun bathing and people watching. Lots of people surfing and enjoying the waves (which were rather large, the waves I mean!).

We also visited Praia da Luz (where the wedding was on the Saturday) with another lovely beach. 
 I spotted this down on the beach - those are life vests hanging on the line.  I loved the colours!

We also went to visit a place called Cabo Sao Vicente which was about a half hour drive away! 
It is the most westerly point of Portugal.  
Rocky cliffs, a lighthouse and crashing waves.  

Quite a stunning view!

I did take pictures during the day but can't seem to find them, however we went back in the evening to catch a sunset as we had heard it was lovely.  
Well the people weren't wrong. 
It was beautiful!

I couldn't decide which picture I liked the best. 

This one with the sun setting!

And one where the sun has disappeared off the horizon.  

Having looked at the pics again I think this one is my favourite :)

 We filled our remaining days in Portugal soaking up the sun and relaxing.

I have to say it was a most enjoyable holiday.

I hope you're not all fed up of my Portugal tales.
Thanks for reading!!! :)

Monday, 13 October 2014

Portugal - part 2

Here I am back with part 2 of our holiday!

We did do some other things other than sitting in the sun - honest we did!  :))

Before we went on holiday we planned on driving through to Lisbon, we booked a hotel for a night and were going to take the metro to the old part of town to do some exploring.

It all seemed like such a good plan! 

Well we left Burgau nice and early and drove the 5 hours through windy, hilly roads and then long distances of flat plains finally reaching Lisbon around 2pm. We only got lost a couple of times driving around the town while trying to find the hotel, however we did finally find it and we got our room sorted which had quite an impressive view.

We then got ready to go out exploring.  Off we went  to find the metro station. We found the train station instead and went to try and get tickets - only to discover they were having a 24 hour strike.  

Aaaargh we had driven 5 hours to find they were on strike!!!  

The train wouldn't take us there and the only other alternative was the bus. But we had spent so long messing about that it was now 4pm'ish and the buses were standing room only. So, we gave it up as a bad job and went for a walk instead.

We walked a looooong way and eventually found a park. We had a bit of a rest on a park bench as my feet were killing me then we carried on and found this view, we were in the Eduardo VII park. Quite a splendid sight, we spent quite a long time just enjoying the view and the sun.

We even took a wee selfie, lol.

We then headed back to the hotel and had something to eat and another wander around the town. We had a fairly early night as we were heading back to Burgau the next morning.

We got up and decided to see if we could save something from our visit  so we headed out of town and passed over the Lisbon suspension bridge  which looks very like the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco.

 And then we went to see  the Cristo Rei (The Statue of Christ)  which was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. 

 Then we began the long journey back to Burgau - at least we got to see some of the sights of Lisbon! So not a totally disappointing visit.

Saturday we had the wedding - and it was lovely. 
The service was held in this lovely wee church.

There was a piper - and the poor chap must have been absolutely melting in the heat! Just look at how he was dressed!

After the ceremony we walked following the piper along to the restaurant where we had a lovely meal - this was the view!! 
 Stunning I think you'd agree :))

 After a fairly late night we got a taxi which took us back to Burgau.

Now after all of that I think I need to collect my thoughts and sort the rest of my pics out. So I'll do part 3 in the next couple of days.

To be cont...

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Holiday to Portugal

We have returned from our travels and have returned feeling happy, slightly bronzed and healthy - always a bonus :))

The reason we decided on this holiday to Portugal ... we were invited to a wedding of Danny's cousin. They were getting married at Praia da Luz in the Algarve. 
 We stayed in a little fishing village called Burgau which was about 5 miles away from the wedding venue. It was decided we would stay for 10 days so we could do a wee bit of sightseeing as well as attending the wedding.

As you can imagine I took lots and lots of piccies and It has been so difficult picking the ones I wanted to put on my blog. 
The things that most struck me on this holiday were the sun (it shone for the full 10 days, bliss!), the lovely bright colours, the rugged landscape and the sea.

I thought I'd break it up into two posts - this the first one showing Burgau and all its splendours and then the following post would be the wedding and everything else we did.

So, we flew out of Glasgow airport on the Tuesday lunch time.  Now I'm not a huge fan of flying and always get very nervous, however the flight was very good and only took just under 3 hours. 
We picked up our hire car and started the drive to Burgau.  Using Co-pilot on the iphone we only got lost about 3 times - not bad but very nerve wracking.  I'm so glad that Danny was driving! :)) 
 We eventually found our way to the flat we were going to be staying in and got there about tea-time.  We dumped out cases and went to explore!  First stop the beach

Those are my footsteps in the sand :))

We then decided it was time to find something to eat as we hadn't eaten for quite a while.  There was plenty of choice but I wanted something simple.  There was a lovely pizza restaurant, Danny doesn't like pizza but we thought he would be able to get something else - we thought wrong - pizza was the only thing they served. But credit to Danny he tried one and decided he really liked it after all!!  
In fact we enjoyed 3 pizzas the whole holiday!
 They were really really tasty - so if you are ever in Burgau I can totally recommend this place :))

After dinner we headed back to the flat for the evening.

The next morning it was lovely and sunny,  there was a gentle breeze blowing  in through the door and I loved the way it moved the curtain - so dreamy!!!

We went for another wander around town. 
The cliffs surrounding the beach at Burgau - quite spectacular!

The many beautiful and colourful plants and flowers against the white of the buildings!

 There were very steep hills all around us - so we got plenty of exercise in, but it was well worth it. 
Can you spot Danny taking some pictures :)

We walked along some of the cliffs, it was so high up and I didn't want to stand too close to the edge!
I loved the angle of this tree.

 Just look at that beautiful blue sky and lovely bright buildings!

That seems like a good picture to end this post!

As I've got two daughters living away from home, Laura in Dundee and Emma in Germany, this gives them a chance to see some of my pictures.  I'm sure we must have bored Karen terribly showing her them all at home, but she patiently sat and looked at them all  :))

To be cont....

Friday, 19 September 2014

A Return to Blogging

Remember me?
I used to blog quite regularly here but I haven't been around since April - can you believe it!  
I kept meaning to come back but never completely got around to it.
                   Well I've come back! 

Quite a lot has happened over the months.

This wee chap turned one in April.  He is now walking, or should I say running, around.  He is a wee stoater (a wonderful wee chap!) and we love him to bits.

Laura and Kevin are getting married in December 2015 and we have been out looking at wedding dresses - who knew it would be such fun!

Laura's two sisters are both going to be bridesmaids and they are all going to look stunning on the big day :))
In fact Laura and I will be spending the day in Edinburgh on Saturday looking at dresses, we will probably do a bit of lunch and maybe a wee cocktail or something thrown in there. 
 Sounds like fun eh!!!
I've even been trying on a few hats myself - I never thought I suited a hat but my girls are assuring me that I look fine.  So I think I will be getting one for the big day  :))

My other big news is my youngest daughter, Emma, has gone to Germany to study with university for a year. 
She flew out on Monday.  We will miss her lovely smiling face around here!  

We got up at 4.30am (yes the middle of the night!) to take her to Glasgow airport, we left her there after about an hour as she had friends travelling with her.  It's so sooo hard to say cheerio - or is that just me? :((

Anyway, her flight was delayed by 4 hours and she didn't actually get off the ground until about 1pm, arriving in Berlin at about 4pm.  By the time she found her halls and her room it was around 7pm!!
  A very difficult day for her and she handled in wonderfully - so proud of my wee girl! :)

She has settled in very well and exploring the area and quite enjoying it I think.  

Well, this has taken me two days to write this out, so I'm going to post it and try to get another post out soonish!

Oh by the way Dan and I are off on holiday next week - Portugal here we come!! That should give me something to blog about. :))

Hope you are all well!

Monday, 7 April 2014

A Sunday Walk

A couple of weeks ago Karen and I went to buy some compost to pot my two new apple trees.  We went to our favourite garden centre. The trouble with going there is we always come home with more than we went out for!
We also came back with mint and rosemary plants. I really wish my garden was big enough to grow a full herb patch!

 After we had finished with the garden centre we  went for a wee walk with our cameras.  
It was such a lovely day it would have been a shame not to!

We walked along the side of the River Ayr. It was lovely and quiet with surprisingly few people taking advantage of the lovely day.

I think Karen has been bitten by the camera bug now too as she took just as many pictures as I did, in fact I turned round a few times to find her quite a distance behind me taking some shots. 

 It's not a bad hobby to have though :))

Anyway here are a few of my shots.

Lovely daffodils!

 Not quite as good as Niagara Falls, lol.

We did enjoy our walk and hope to do many more,  just as long as the weather stays nice. I am definately a fair weather person.

I did go out for a wee walk by myself on Saturday - it was a grey drizzly day but I thought it would be ok. 

Just shows how wrong a person can be!!

  I was only out for half an hour but by the time I got home I was soaking as the heavens had opened.

  Ah well, I'll just have to wait until the next nice day and try again :))

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Well I've had  lovely Mother's day today.  
I've got three of the best daughters a mum could ever want! 

I decided today (being Mother's Day) I was going to do something that I wanted to do so first off I went to see my mum with a card and a potted lilly. Then when I came back home Imade a big pot of soup and some delicious (even if I do say so myself) choc chip cookies. 
For dinner I  made a roast chicken dinner, which everyone seemed to enjoy. You really just can't beat roast chicken on a Sunday evening :))

The clocks changed to British Summer time last night so we lost an hour's sleep but gained an extra hour of daylight this evening which is always good. 

Our Laura and wee Riley came for a visit on Friday evening and left again on Saturday morning.  It was so lovely to see them and we will be going through to them in a couple of weeks for Riley's 1st birthday.

 Cookies - do you fancy one?  They were really tasty :))

 Lovely flowers I got for Mother's day!

Can you believe tomorrow is April 1st - I can't, this year is just flying by so quickly!

Along with the brighter evenings our weather has had a turn for the better and I'm really looking forward to Spring and Summer.

I had a fairly stressful week last week but now all is well and after my relaxing weekend I'm ready for the new week ahead.

Hope it's a good one for everyone :))

Thursday, 20 March 2014

It's Spring!!!

Yes that's right - it's the first day of Spring today. 

Well I woke up to heavy rain and fairly strong wind.  As the day progressed however the sky cleared the rain stopped and the sun even came out for a short while.  So hopefully that will be the end of the wettest winter I have ever known.  

I hope the weather is improving  for everyone!!

I haven't blogged for AGES and I haven't even visited anyone's blog for AGES.  I apologise for that I don't have an excuse or reason other than I must have lost my mojo!!  
I haven't been out to take any pics mainly because the weather has been soooo miserable.  But, now that Spring has sprung - and the weather should be getting better - I am hoping to get out and about more.  

Anyway to that effect I bought myself some lovely daffodils recently to add a splash of lovely yellow colour, and I took a few shots of them.

Don't you think daffodils are beautiful?

So, what have I been up to in all this time?

First of all we have been planning our holiday this year.  We are going to be off to Portugal for a wedding!  One of Danny's cousins is getting wed and that is where they live. 
How exciting is that? 
It's not till the tail end of the year so a wee bit of a wait but it's definitely something to look forward to!

Our wee Riley will  turn one next month, where on earth has that time gone?!  He is crawling now and so pleased with himself :))  He is getting so big and utterly adorable :)

We have an apple tree in our garden and have been really lucky since we got it with the apples it has produced. We went out and bought two more apple trees, hey before you know it I'll have my own wee orchard, lol.

Anyway I'm off for now, I'll be around to visit blogs tomorrow to see what everyone has been up to :))

Saturday, 1 February 2014

My Week

First of all I want to say 'hi' and 'welcome' to the bloggers who came to visit through Grow Your Blog. It is lovely to meet new bloggers. 
 My last couple of weeks have been kind of busy. 
On the 16 Jan our youngest daughter (Emma) turned 19.  Now how did that happen, where did those years go? The last time I looked she was only 10, lol.
  She has grown up to be a lovely young lady and a great daughter.  
Just at the moment she is looking through our holiday album and saying things like "you look so pretty in this picture"  and "you and dad are so cute".  Now I ask you who couldn't love a daughter like that? :))

Anyway she wanted to go out for breakfast to a local restuarant called Scotts which sits down by the marina in out town.  
It has a great view looking over at all the lovely boats. We had a very tasty breakfast, I had pancakes, maple syrup and bacon, yum yum.  Emma had French toast, bacon and maple syrup and Karen had a roll and sausage and bacon.  They both assured me that they really enjoyed them and we left feeling very stuffed!!

I just had to take a picture before we left.  I just love the wee red boat against the timber sitting in the background.

On Thursday of this week my sister and I went to the local golf driving range.  I don't play golf but my sister has been for some lessons and has had a wee shot on the golf course.  
I have to say I am not terribly good at it,  I did miss a few and they didn't go very far when I did hit them. It was fun though, in fact we plan on doing it again next week. Who knows I might just be a master golfer when I'm finished, lol. 
After that we went for a coffee just the finish the morning of nicely.

Then on Friday I met my friend and we went for a wee blether (chat) and yet another coffee.  Definitely a much better way to spend the morning than doing housework - I think you will agree!

The weather here hasn't really improved yet, still lots of rain, wind and grey skies.
  Tomorrow it is supposed to be a bit drier so hopefully I will get out for a walk and some fresh air. 

Have a great week everybody :))

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Bread Making Day!

I have been wanting to make a hand made loaf for ages.  And today I decided to set the time aside just to do that.
 We have a breadmaker which is great - you just tip all the ingredients into the pan and put it in the machine and 4 hours later you have a lovely tasty loaf.
But I think there is so much more to be gained by making it completely by hand!

While we were on holiday last year for dinner one night we were served a honey and wholemeal loaf it was served with maple butter.  
Oh my goodness - it was soooooo delicious.  
From the moment I tasted it I knew I would want to try and make it.

After we got home I searched on good old google for a recipe - and I found one. 
It came from a cook book called "King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion".  I decided to look for the cook book to see what it was like, I liked what I saw and it got great reviews, so I bought it from Amazon.
 In my view you can never have to many cook books - well you can but who cares :)) 

King Arthur Flour is based in Norwich, Vermont.  I wish I'd known about them before I went on holiday because I would surely have gone to visit the shop.

Anyway to cut a long story short, I decided to make the bread today. 

Recipe courtesy of King Arthur  All Purpose Baking Cookbook.

  Here are all the ingredients needed, the only thing I couldn't get was maple sugar, we can't get that here, so I used brown sugar instead.  I think the maple sugar would have definitely been better though.

Here is the mixture getting it's first proving.

After it's first proving and in bread tins getting ready for it's 2nd proving.

Wow, it did get bigger.  Phew I was happy it worked!  Now the only thing to worry about is the flavour.

Here is the finished product - doesn't look to bad even if I do say so myself :)  

Danny and I both tried it with a bit of butter.  And I am pleased to report it was very tasty - I can imagine it will be very tasty toasted too. 

But I think I will need to try and find some way of putting maple sugar into the mixture - then it will be perfect!

I did enjoy making this bread - and I found out just how hard and how warm you get when you knead bread for 10 minutes.  Next time I will have a t-shirt and not a sweatshirt on, lol.

Now what kind of bread can I try to make next!!!!  :)

Watch this space!!!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Grow Your Blog 2014

Hi everyone.  
I'm adding my post a wee bitty late, but don't they say better late than never, I certainly hope that is what they say :))

I had found out about this great link up a while back and decided to put my name down.  
What a great idea for a link up by the way!!!   It is run by Vicki at  2 bags full - you should go and have a look at her blog!

Anyway a little bit about myself.  

I'm Ellie, pleased to meet you!
I live on the west coast of Scotland and I'm a wife, mum to 3 lovely girls and gran to my very first grandchild, a lovely wee lad called Riley who is 10 months old now :))  Let me tell you it is great to be a gran and I love it! 

My three daughters are 24, 22 and my youngest just turned 19.  Phew when did they get so grown up.  That's the trouble with life - it just rushes by when you least expect it !!!

My interests - I love to take pictures even though I've slipped a wee bit at that, however I got a new camera for my Christmas and once this awful weather we are having gets better I'm getting back out there  to take some piccies. The rain and wind are certainly non conducive to good picture taking.

My new camera is a Canon SX500 - a bit bigger and better than my last point and shoot.  I love a point and shoot camera for ease of carrying I can just slip it into my bag.  You just never know when that special shot will appear. 

I also love to read be it a blog, book or magazine.  Blogging is such a great way to 'meet' people from all around the world. 

I have lots of things I'd love to have a go at!  Sewing, knitting, baking.  I've done a little of all of them but not got into them in a big way. I have an awful habbit of starting something and not finishing it for some reason or other.

My husband (Danny) and myself had a fab holiday in the States late last year to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary and now I just want to explore the world, lol.  I think I may just have to win that elusive lottery!  

Wish me luck :))

It will be nice to meet some new bloggers. 

Have fun reading some of the lovely blogs on this wonderful link up.

Monday, 20 January 2014

The Final Instalment

Here it is, the last and final post on our holiday.  Ah!!! -  is that a collective sigh of relief I can hear :))

I know it has taken me a long while to get these all up but this is it, after this one there will be no more!!!!

When we left Niagara we weren't sure which way to head back to Newark airport. 
Now I am a bit of a worrier and I was very concerned we wouldn't make it back to in time for the flight, but Danny assured me we would and said words to the effect of  'don't be so silly'. 
We hummed and hawed and finally decided to go back via Pennyslvania.  I am so glad we did because it was such a beautiful part of our journey. 

We drove through to Lancaster, our idea was to go the The Lapp Valley Farm to sample some of their ice-cream.  
We had read that this was the BEST ice cream - and who could say no to that?  
The trouble was by the time we got there we realised it was Sunday and it was closed!!!! 
We hadn't even realised what day it was, oh well I suppose we will have to go back there some other time and try again.  
How does that sound Danny?!  :))

Anyway, despite not getting any ice-cream, it was worth the drive as the colours were out in full force and absolutely beautiful. 
Everything was so bright, even the grass looked greener!

We left there and headed off towards the Valley Forge Centre. We were very limited in time here and it was just a quick look I'm afraid.

Just look at that stunning red tree.

And a close up of those glorious leaves.

Lovely countryside.

We travelled on from there only to hit queues of traffic, it was so busy!
 I was seriously starting to get worried about our flight - I think even Danny was beginning to get a bit concerned. 
 We did make it though with time to spare.  It was a relief to get to the airport but also very sad as we had really enjoyed our holiday and didn't really want to go home. 

We had seen some amazing sights and experienced so much. 

I have to leave one last picture.

 Dunkin Donuts was a big part of our time in America. We managed to get free wifi and they do sell exceedingly good donuts and coffee :))

Danny made a map of our journey. 
We worked out that we travelled 1995 miles in our car, not including the flights and train journey from NY to Boston.  
Phew that was a lot of mileage!!

So that was it - our holiday 2013. I hope you enjoyed reading about it!!

Now if Danny plays his cards right, I might just take him back again, lol.  

Here's hoping!!!

The End!