Connel, Argyll, Scotland

From travel journal written by Mum Jinx:

"Leaving our guesthouse this morning after a surprisingly extensive breakfast (bacon & turkey, eggs, toast, cornflakes, bread, tea), we went first to a local travel agent in Saltcoats to seek answers to a few questions. Learned that we won't be able to find inexpensive air passage to Copenhagen—the superlow rates apply only on round trips. Went on to Ardrossen pier to the Caledonian McBrayne office, and leaned [sic] that the Mallaig-Skye car ferry does not run until after April 29. Thus another change of plans—we will go around & further north, to reach Skye via either Kylerhea or, more likely, the Kyle of Lochalsh.

Then we drove on up the coast… stopped at Larys, where Dinah made the acquaintance of a group of swans (swans live wild, apparently, all up the western coast—we've seen many more since‚. Then we went on to Gourock—arrived with perfect timing for the car ferry to Dunoon. We were the last car put on… drove in and were swiftly maneuvered into our appropriate storage spot by the obviously-experienced ferry men. It was still quite foggy and with a cold wind when we left. Gourock (though all morning we'd heard Scots commenting on what a lovely day)—cold on the ferry & probably a wavery length of [home movie] film taken there since I was shivering… but in Dunoon the sun broke through, and the town was lovely, so we stayed awhile. Sat in the sun on a grass-covered hill & looked back across the Firth of Clyde, watched the ferries traveling back & forth from Gourock. The ferry dock is very spic & span, Victorian… Atop the hill, a library with a fine greenhouse full of flowers, and an imposing stone church. Pretty town of grey stone houses spread out around the little bay. This is a place we'd like to visit again. After lunch, we drove on north through Argyll Forest Park (all man-planted) and along Loch Eck.

Everywhere we go we see lots of daffodils—along Loch Lyn we saw (and took movies of) a house surrounded by fields of gold & white ones.

Stopped at Inverary Castle, but it is closed on Fridays. Found that the Duke & Duchess of Argyll reside there—and that it is rather too new to be considered a real castle (18th century).

Jinx took a turn driving—north around Loch Awe & up toward Oban. Had decided to stay in one of the small villages just north of Oban—but couldn't find a bed & breakfast spot… were very tired by then, so we turned back & spent the night in a guesthouse (a bit more elegant & expensive) in Connel. Beautiful rockery in front—quite a few guests—and a taste of British reserve among the other guests, at evening tea. And a nice view of Ardmucknish Bay."

Saltcoats, Ayrshire, Scotland

From travel journal written by Mum Jinx:

"Left San Francisco 9:00a.m. yesterday—clear flying clear across country—had a 3-hour layover at New York, where Dinah struck up a lively acquaintance with two lads from Manchester (England), Nick (9) and Giles (5). A short night across the Atlantic, trying without great success to sleep in cramped space, with some restless fellow-travelers, and chairs that didn't recline quite enough. But we survived, watched the sunrise over the clouds… The pilot announced heavy fog at Prestwick 'supposed to be clearing' but with a possibility we would have to go straight on to Machester. We hoped hard—and it did clear. Arrived at Prestwick, checked through customs, etc., by about 8:30a.m. Went to Godfrey Davis car rentals for our car—Paul practiced right-side-of-car, left-side-of-street driving while Dinah & I bought (with her money, to be paid back—she was the only one with British currency) a road map at the Information window. Walked back outside—climbed in the car, ready to go—and shut the door on Dinah's fingers! Fortunately, only the padding and rubber pinched her, not the metal, so she was bruised and hurt, but not broken. We found the airport medical office, where a very kind nursing sister bathed & bandaged the fingers and offered reassurance—and told us to be sure to see Bobby Burns' cottage, only six miles away.

And we did—a simple stone & stucco cottage, with four rooms—kitchen, sitting room, stables, & storage room—few windows, uneven cobblestone floor, thatch roof, low ceiling. Beds were little niches in the wall of the kitchen, with hanging curtains—either people were shorter then, or they always slept curled up. Outside, some gardens—but we were getting quite cold & tired, so didn't take time to see them. Paul spoke with the gardener, in suitcoat, white shirt, & tie, mowing the lawn. (Later on the road we saw a crew of men doing some construction—also in coats & ties. But there are also laborer's clothes, knee pants, sweaters, jacket, and cap.)

Checked Ayr for guest houses but found them rather expensive (£5.25 or £5.75 per night for the three of us), so we drove back up the coast. Stopped at Saltcoats—cashed a traveler's check—and found a very plain, unclassy, but inexpensive bed & breakfast spot (£4.00 the night). Slept the rest of the morning & all afternoon. I (Jinx) woke up about 5:00—Paul & Dinah still sleeping (I'd slept more on the plane) & went for a walk—picked up some information & amenities. When I got back, a bit past 5:30pm, we all got up, dressed, and went to dinner (not bad—a bit greasy—£1.30 for everything). Then took a long walk back along the shore—lots of rocks & tide pools, millions of tiny mussels, limpets, snails; a few hermit crabs—discovered the penny arcade with slot machines, a roulette machine, etc. and had a fine time in the course of losing aobut 15 or 20p, in an hour or more. Then back here to our room—discussion of where to go tomorrow—and so to bed. Our first day, a good one. And better to come."

Mudsliding with Sallie


Yes, I was truly blessed with a magical upbringing. This is me, at school, with my first teacher, Sallie Rhyne, mudsliding. An official, school-sanctioned activity.

I made that sweatshirt myself and yes, there is an H, it's just a bit off center & hidden by the fold. The animal below my name is a rat, maybe Banana Bingo or Bianca Bonkers. The pants, prior to mud, were, I believe, purple wide-wale corduroys

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[The month and year of this photo is a wild guess as of 2014.]