{scotland} headed north

February 26, 2018

After a short time in Edinburgh, I was headed north into the Scottish Highlands. Since there’s no good way to see the Highlands using public transit and there was no way that I was going to drive all around Scotland by myself, I decided to join a tour group through Haggis Adventures. It turned out to be pretty awesome and I’m glad I did it! The best part was being able to sit back, relax, and really enjoy the view without having the worry about the mechanics of getting to all these places. Here’s a few sights we saw along the way headed north!

Read more about our United Kingdom adventure here:
Scotland – edinburgh, the old cityall things national museum • holyrood views 15th century st. giles cathedral closes abound edinburgh’s castle

A Scottish photo adventure:


Emotional Support Animal (ESA) – whose emotional well-being is that animal supporting? The owner? If you are kicked off the plane because of your misbehaving 70-lb pot-belly pig, that’s not much emotional support from that pig. The other passengers? Sorry, no one seems to care about your well-being! It is most ironic to hear comment by Tom Panek, CEO of Guiding Eyes for the Blind, whose 2½ hours Delta flight was made miserable by (another person’s) barking, lunging and disrupting support dog. “No one wanted to confront this individual and say that this dog is not appropriate as an emotional support dog.”

Perhaps, the “other passengers” are getting some help. Delta Airlines is tightening its requirements on service animals and ESA. Most likely, Delta was forced into it, by incidents such as a Delta passenger was mauled by a support dog, biting the man’s face multiple times.

Specifically for ESA, in addition to the standard ESA documents, Delta is requiring 3 new forms to be submitted 48 hours prior to travel.

1. Veterinary Health Form – to be completed by veterinarian, to include:

  • Date of Rabies Vaccine
  • Date of Distemper Vaccine
  • Veterinarian’s license number, date license was issued, state license was issued, and signature

2. Medical/Mental Health Professional Form – to be completed by a mental health professional

  • Therapist’s license number, date license was issued, state license was issued, and signature

3. Confirmation of Animal Training – confirmation that your animal has been trained

Delta Airlines will not accept the following for ESA.

  • Dirty/unkempt animals or those that smell
  • Animals with hooves or tusks
  • Hedgehogs
  • Snakes
  • Spiders
  • Rodents
  • Ferrets
  • Insects
  • Sugar Gliders
  • Reptiles
  • Non-household birds ie farm fowl, birds of prey etc.

Are duck and peacock farm fowls? But, the pot-belly pig is definitely out.

I applaud Delta Airlines for trying to distinguish between service animals and ESA (although they didn’t want to do it very overtly). Service animals are specifically trained and usually very well behaved. Whereas, for ESA, all bets are off.

Other airlines, leaning toward agreeing with Delta’s efforts, are evaluating their ESA policy.

{nyc} 2-hours stop-in

January 30, 2018

Leaving the east coast and headed back to the west coast, we ended up leaving from JFK in New York City. My friend and I took the train from New Haven (Conn.) to Manhattan before heading to the airport. Odd in terms of timing, we had just a couple of hours to kill before having to take the subway to the airport so we decided to do a little bit of exploring. Since neither of us had seen the finished 9-11 Memorial and Freedom Towers area, we decided to head in that direction. I had seen the memorial before, but none of the towers and he hadn’t been to New York City at all since all of that construction started. We tried to do as much walking as possible (with our bags) so that we could pack in as much city life in as possible, which turned out to be a great decision because who doesn’t love walking all around NYC? If only we had more time for all this! Next time!

A 2-hour photo adventure:

{st. louis} up the arch

January 24, 2018

Hello all,

Last month, I got to visit St. Louis, Missouri for a business trip. Although we were in the office for the majority of our trip, I snuck in a quick trip to the famous St. Louis Arch before I had to rush to the airport to catch my flight back on the morning of my last day in town.

Although I had seen photos of the arch before, it was my first time visiting – I had no idea you could actually ride up the side of the arch to the very top for a great view of the entire city!

A photo from the night before, where you can see the “Gateway to the West” arch rising in the night sky.

In order to get up the arch, you squeeze into these little blue pods that then move up the side of the arch, kind of like a conveyor belt. Here’s a photo of the doorways that open to let you into the numbered pods.

Some online reviews had said the pods can be quite claustrophobic, especially when it’s crowded and you’re trying to fit five people per pod. Fortunately, I was on the first ride up for the day and there were few enough people that I had a whole pod to myself!

At the top, there are a series of small windows that give you a view of the whole city on one side, shown here, and the Mississippi River on the other!

Until next time,





Greetings from the nation’s capital! I’ve only been living in DC for about three months, so there are a million places I haven’t yet visited, but one thing I do appreciate about the city is how many attractions are free to visit!

One such free attraction is the U.S. Botanic Garden. I visited a couple weeks ago when a friend was in town, and lucky for us, they had a special temporary exhibit running for the holiday season called Roadside Attractions. It was really cool and I would definitely recommend it! Take just a

As you see here in the entrance to the exhibit, Roadside Attractions takes you on a mini road trip through the US to see some famous landmarks that appear along the roadside, except in this case, the landmarks are miniature and made completely out of plant products! There was also a fun little model train that runs along the room on the plant-made tracks overhead.

A small version of the Niagara Falls in New York, as well as the Peachoid Water Tower in Alabama!

A model of Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota, and the apparently famous Mr. Potato Head of Rhode Island!

This was definitely my favorite! Having just seen the real-life “Blue Whale” on Route 66 while driving through Oklahoma a few months ago, which I blogged about in October, it was so fun to see the miniature version. It was a very accurate re-creation!

Until next time,