Celtic Football Club

We left Kircudbright in the afternoon and headed for the third stop in our #UKRoadTrip - Glasgow, Scotland to visit with even more family! It's great having family in another country to stay with (mental note - acquire some family in Nantucket).

Wall plaque inside Celtic Park
As a special surprise, my cousin was able to get us tickets to see Celtic play in the last game of the season. This was a very special game since the "Bhoys in Green" would be receiving the SPFL Premiership trophy for a fifth consecutive year after the match. 

Exterior of Celtic Park
Now, we are definitely a sports family and have been to a lot of different games but this was our first football, or soccer to you North Americans, game. I don't follow football but The Oldest does. He loves Celtic so you can just imagine how jealous he was that his "oldster" parents were getting to go to a game before he did. (I encouraged this jealousy by sending him snapchats of the game :)   


We passed a few horses on the way into Celtic Park. No time for horsing around though, they were on duty. 


The pre-game show was quite the spectacle! It's not everyday you have flames to announce the players! 


Celtic vs. Motherwell 

Did you know they do not serve alcohol at Scottish football games? Me either. But it is for a good reason. There have been many, many matches (usually against the Rangers) that have erupted into full blown brawls. My poor mother was beside herself worried that we were at a Celtic/Rangers game. Lucky for her, and us frankly, the only illegal activities were the two young chaps who ran onto the field and were arrested to many claps and cheers from the stands. 

You can buy very Scottish food items to eat and drink at the park like meat pies and a steaming hot mug of bovril.


GOAL!!!!! 


Goal Celtic was something we saw a lot of. Like seven times a lot. Final score 7-0 for Celtic.


Selfie time!


It was a pretty exciting game (it's always fun watching the home team win!) and it was nice to be on hand to see the players receive their medals. We were on the look our for #15 Kris Commons who is The Oldest's favourite player. 


The fans were in the spirit to celebrate Celtic.


Fireworks, streamers, confetti, music and 60,000 cheering fans...


all to celebrate the 2015-2016 Celtic season


Celtic Park is in a pretty industrial area but it is walking distance to downtown Glasgow. It was a pretty walk with all the other Celtic fans celebrating on the street. 


We were randomly pulled into a pub and handed a FREE BEER (so awesome, Glasgow rules!) to celebrate Celtic's victory! Football scores are usually not very high so Celtic winning by 7 was a big deal. Everyone said we Canadians must have been good luck and they invited us to come back to all of Celtic's future games! 

Kirkcudbright, Scotland

After saying some long goodbyes to our family in Wales, we headed on the next part of our UK road trip to visit more family in Kirkcudbright (pronounced kirr-koo-bree and not kirk-cud-bright they way I was saying it)


Kirkcudbright is a small harbour town, long known as an artist's community. The Kirkcudbright Artists' Colony, 1880-1980, attracted Scotland's leading artists to live and create in this vibrant community. I was first struck by all the colour in the town, something I had not expected to see in Scotland. We spent roughly 24 hours with our lovely hosts and they did a fantastic job making us feel at home in their community. I'd like to share with you a little look at the town and encourage you to make this a destination for a future visit to Bonnie Scotland. 

One our first night we walked around the town to look at the incredible architecture. It is not uncommon to see a wall plaque with 1400-something on it! 


Walking through the school grounds


More colourful homes


This was once the home of artists E.A Taylor and Jessie M. King 


The Tolbooth Art Centre, formerly a prison. One of its most famous prisoners was John Paul Jones, hero of the American Navy. There is literally history around every corner! 


I just love the yellow, grey, white and black on this little place. 


MacLellan's Castle 


Selkirk Arms Hotel. If you are looking for a place to stay I would check them out. It looked very nice inside. Check out their Facebook page, they update it regularly. 


A giant anchor on the water front


A row of colourful huts 


and one of many boats we saw on the water. 

The next morning, after a lovely homemade breakfast, we set out on a little hike. Our guests informed us that Scotland does not have any trespassing laws. Therefore, as long as we did not damage anything, we were free to walk where we like. 


Off the A711, we took an unnamed road towards the Kircudbright Lifeboats station. We hiked up to St. Marys Isle and since it was such a clear day, we even had a faint view of the Isle of Man. 


The Kircudbright Lifeboats station, operating for over 140 years! 


The launch for the lifeboats


A view of the lifehouse from the lifeboat station


Adding another seashell to my collection


Me and AMH


My new favourite flower, actually it's a bush. The flowers smell like pina colada! They grow everywhere in Scotland, I saw many giant bushes on our road trip but don't touch them. They are prickly! 


Me and the husband again. Very far off in the distance is the Isle of Man.


It's has been a long standing joke that I have never seen sheep in Scotland. To be fair, I have only been in Glasgow and never been outside the city. Now, I can say I saw a ton of sheep! 


Not only did I see a lot of them on our hike, I saw them on the side of every street and highway! 


The sheep are fairly shy and protective of their young. This mama did her best to usher her wee one away from us. 

Kirkcudbright has a large town square with lots of beautiful architecture, shops, a fresh food market, lodging and restaurants (oh and an ice cream shop!). I think Kircudbright would make a lovely weekend visit for those looking for a small town visit to Scotland. It's a 2 hour drive from Glasgow and Castle Douglas, a small town in Dumfries and Galloway, is only 20 minutes away and is another great place to spend a few hours. 

While our time was short in Kirkcudbright, only a 24 hour visit, we throughly enjoyed our visit and cannot wait to visit again in the future! 

Pastel Coloured Chelsea










Outfit | Skirt: Banana Republic (old) | Shirt: Joe Fresh | Camisole: Old Navy | Shoes: Talbots | Purse: Tory Burch (similar style) | Make up: Bobbi Brown | Lipstick: Dior

The pastel coloured homes in the Chelsea neighbourhood of London were a real source of inspiration for this outfit. Our first night in London we headed out in search of dinner. We were staying Kensington, which is also stunningly beautiful, and after crosseing a few roads and found our way into candy coloured Chelsea. I was in awe of the homes painted soft pinks (I live in a house full of boys and there is NO way they would let me paint the house pink!).

I decided to pull out the pink items in my suitcase and created this outfit for an afternoon of site-seeing and an early dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Afterwards, we changed into plain jeans and t-shirts and spent the night at the movies watching Capt. America Civil War (I liked it but wasn't as good as I was hoping). The constant of my outfit for the day was my Tory Burch Robinson bag. I bought this bag two years ago specifically to have a crossbody for the days we are at baseball games, amusement parks and anytime that I don't feel like carrying a large bag. It has just enough space to hold my wallet, cell phone and lipstick. It's a great bag that has served me well. I went back and forth on buying it but once I did, I never regretted it.

Stonehenge


AMH and I were up and out the door at 3am to start the 2 1/2 hour drive from Port Talbot, Wales to Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England to make our 6am tour time. You might be wondering why we had to be at Stonehenge so early. Well...we had private access to the stone circle! 

Through English Heritage we secured a timed private access to Stonehenge. This is different that the regular tour you can book on their site and means it is a little more expensive. The regular visit is £15.50 per person, and the private stone access is £31.80 per person. But I promise it is worth every additional penny, or pound, as it were. To book the private access you fill out a form, pay over the phone and receive an email confirmation. It is this email confirmation that you show to the staff on site and they will direct you to the waiting area for the bus to drive you to the stones. The groups to access the stones are restricted to a set number, we only have about 15 other people on our tour, and you have roughly 45 minutes with the stones. 


The only downside to visiting as part of the private stone access is there is no tour guide on site, just security to make sure you do not touch or damage the stones. Lucky for us, we chatted with a security guard who was very knowledgeable about the stones. Also, there are lots of plaques with information (I have included a few photos of them for you to read). 


I figured it was safe to stand under the archway since it has been standing for thousands of years. 


It was a cold and wet morning which resulted in fog all around us. The sun did peak out for a few moments but I preferred the fog. It enhanced the mystery and spookiness of the stones. 


Tell me I am not the only one that can see a face in this stone. 


This is probably the weirdest stone there. See how it looks as if it's wrapped around another stone?


This is why British Heritage had to start making restrictions when visiting the stones. The graffiti and name carving was getting out of hand. You can see rather deep graffiti in the form of peoples names and even some finer graffiti. At the bottom you can just make out the carving of a dagger and axe, carved into the stones during the Bronze Age (2300 BC)


I've added a few circles to where the dagger and axe are. It was the friendly security guard who showed us these. I had no idea they were there and would have probably missed them altogether. 


This stone is one of a few very special stones that make up a smaller inner circle. These are bluestones from Wales, 140 miles away. That's right, the builders of Stonehenge somehow moved these heavy stones over 140 miles! This article provides more information and believes that the Welsh bluestones were erected 400 years before the larger stones, called giant sarsens.


And then I was caught by the hubby taking a selfie with the stones.


So I made him join in on one! 


The giant stone on the ground was actually once standing.


That stone, and the stone that lay on top to make an archway, fell directly on top of "the alter". This was a giant stone embedded into the ground where they believe important people would stand to get attention. So of course, I had to stand on a piece of the roped off alter stone! This is the only part of the inner circle that is roped off. 


The slaughter stone. Don't let the name fool you, there were no sacrifices made here. This stone, set away from the actual circle, was originally standing. It fell some years ago and is so embedded into the ground only the top of the stone is showing. When rain water falls on the stone there is a chemical reaction that turns the water red. Someone along the way dubbed it "the slaughter stone".


See how far away I am? This is the regular access view. I'm telling you, it is so worth getting up early and spending the extra money for the private access. 


This is the most recognized side of Stonehenge. 


Off in the distance you can see the burial mounds. 


This plague states that they chose this site as they wanted to bury their dead within site of Stonehenge. 


You can see that the centre stones are aligned. Actually, the entire structure is aligned with the sun! How on earth were these primitive peoples able to chart the sun with such accuracy? 


Another view from the roped off area. Again, I really think the private access was worth it. 


The heel stone is set away from the circle. It is very special because on the summer solstice the sun rises in alignment with the heel stone, which is perfectly aligned with the circle of stones! I'm still in utter amazement that they were able to figure this all out. Also, I see a funny face in this stone too! 


A few ideas on why Stonehenge was built here. But of course, no one really knows for sure, or how they actually built the circle. 


A last look while walking back to the bus. 


The bus dropping off the next group (that was pretty full, my guess 30-40 people). We got lucky with our small group.  


The Airmen's Cross is the first and last thing to meet you before you enter the Stonehenge visitors centre. Because there is so much flat land surrounding Stonehenge that this space was used as a flying practice area during the first world war. Capt. Loraine and Staff Sergeant Wilson perished in a tragic accident on this site on July 5th, 1912.


A look at the visitor's centre. It was not yet opened when we were there but the bathrooms are outside and always available. Lucky for us the gift shop opened just as were were leaving and we did pick up a few things to bring home including a wool blanket because I was freezing! The damp air chilled me to my bones!


On the drive to and from Stonehenge we saw many tank crossing signs but unfortunately did not encounter any. 


It is such a pretty drive out to Stonehenge and I recommend you do it yourself, as opposed to taking a tour bus. There are so many little towns along the way and a multitude of photo opportunities. I was in love with the yellow fields but I was not giving up my heated seat so I only have pictures from inside the car. 

I will admit that I knew very little about Stonehenge before my visit. It was one of those cool experiences that my husband happened to stumble upon while looking up things to do in the UK. I am so glad we did it and for the next few weeks I plan on watching every documentary I can find! They are fascinating and I am so glad we took part in this experience.