Tag Archives: Uber

Scotland Travel Day: Days 0 and 1, August 25-26, 2017

Just after 3:00 pm Friday August 25, 2017 we took an Uber to Dulles Airport.

Going through TSA there was no issue with my refrigerated growth hormone injections.

The Omnitrope was in its own case from the manufacturer.

I put that in that new iCool weekender case I’d bought for this trip.  I chose this one for these reasons:

  • For vials or pens (insulin, growth hormones, L-Thyroxin, polyarthritis medication)
  • Keeps your medication between 36°F – 46°F (2°C – 8°C) for 12 hours (I knew this trip would be about 20 hours, start to finish)
  • The iCool bag uses a new generation of chemical gel pack that generates very little condensation and have a slower thawing period than traditional ice packs. This allows patients with diabetes or those using temperature sensitive medications to transport their medications for a longer cooling period. The iCool Weekender keeps insulin or other temperature sensitive medications cool for up to 12 hours at 36°F – 46°F (2 to 8°C). This bag can carry either pens or vials. There is enough space inside to store needles.

I had the gel pack from the iCool frozen solid and put that in a small Rubbermaid lunch bag with 2 thin ice packs,  1 on top and 1 on the bottom.  If you don’t want to read all the way to the end, this system kept the growth hormone cold for the 20 hours going and returning but the 2 thin blocks had completely thawed.  The inner iCool was mostly frozen and the growth hormone was still cool.

Hooray!

I had the sharps separately in a little square container with just enough for the week.I used the side pocket of the lunch bag to store my doctor’s note and clipped the whole thing with a carabiner to my backpack.

I also found a smallish sharps disposal container, although this was still kind of big for my needs, it was better than taking the whole huge one that’s in my bathroom.  This worked well and I have enough for 5 more trips 🙂

And that’s about it for medical information, at least until we get to Heathrow 🙂

Our first flight out of Dulles there was a lot of turbulence over the ocean.  Possibly due to Hurricane Harvey.  Apparently, they flew faster to get out of the turbulence and we landed early in London Saturday morning.

We walked for what seemed like forever to get to Customs.  Then, since we were coming from outside the UK we had to leave security area and go through TSA again.

I told the agent I was carrying refrigerated medications and she read the doctor’s letter.  Everything seemed like it was going well until I was flagged for more screening 😦  I had to take all the stuff out of my carefully packed Growth Hormone bag and everything else was taken out of my backpack to be swabbed down.

Not fun.

The next plane to Inverness was announced at 9:00 am (Saturday morning) so we moved to that gate.  Tom went to the restroom.  Turns out that gate was actually down an elevator.  I texted Tom that we had to move along.  Then they said the flight was closing.  Another text to Tom.

He arrived and we hustled down 2 escalators and onto a bus that said “Final Passengers”.  We were among the last people on the small plane.

We had to walk up stairs to get on the plane, then back down when we arrived.  I could already feel my knee hurting.  There was no turbulence on the short flight, though.

We arrived in cold/rain.  Of course.

Scotland 2017, Day 0

The luggage arrived and we got our rental car and headed off.

 

We saw lots of sheep, of course.

We arrived in Aviemore and saw lots of bikers.  This is their answer to Sturgis, I guess.

Untitled

 

Thunder in the Glens

Aviemore

Thunder in the Glens has become one of the major events in the UK for Harley-Davidson fans, with people traveling from all over the world to enjoy the event. It is now officially the largest Harley Davidson rally in the UK with an ever growing number of loyal fans.

Enjoy over 60 trade stands supporting local charities and groups, H-D demo bike rides, Jeep demo drives, Custom bike show, Outside entertainment, Scottish Knights battle scenes, Off road motorbike riding.

Saturday Mass ride out to Grantown on Spey starts at 12.00 noon. Sunday 2.00pm to 4.00pm – charity rides on the back of a Harley-Davidson in Rally Village.

From Harleys 2017 Thunder in the Glen aviemore

We arrived at our place.  Luckily, we knew where it was because we’d been here before.  According to RCI (the timeshare company that got us this place, it’s called Macdonald Craigellachie Chalets.  According to the place, it’s called Macdonald Spey Valley Golf and Country Club, or Dalfaber Golf and Country Club or Dalfaber Village or…???

We couldn’t check in until 4:00 pm so we had a bite to eat while we waited.  UntitledI had Scotch broth.  I haven’t had that for years and years – yummy!

Scotch broth is a filling soup, originating in Scotland (DUH!). The principal ingredients are usually barley, stewing or braising cuts of lamb or mutton (hopefully not relatives of those sheep we saw earlier), root vegetables (such as carrots, swedes [rutabaga], or sometimes turnips [aka neeps]), and dried pulses (legumes, most often split peas and red lentils).

Cabbage and leeks are often added shortly before serving to preserve their texture, color and flavors.

Tom had a club sandwich – and lost a crown 😦

The club room had a Snooker table.  I didn’t know what snooker was, although the table looks like a pool table.  It sounds quite complicated according to Wikipedia.

We finally got the key and started driving around trying to find our chalet. Then we went back to main desk for better directions and finally found it.

After 20 hours at 4:15pm  (11:15 am at home) I finally removed the growth hormone from the cases.  The 2 ice packs had melted but the GH in its weekender case was still cool and that gel pack mostly frozen.  A good solution except for issues at Heathrow.

Then, the usual unpacking, charging electronics, short naps.

Then off to Tesco for some grocery shopping.  The streets were crowded with bikers, drinks in hand, oblivious to traffic.  There was a long queue in the grocery near their customer toilets.  Lots of folks wandering around the store, not necessarily with any items in their carts.

We spent 52.60 pounds (67.88 US Dollar in Sunday’s exchange)

Coconut rum and tropical juice (orange, apple, pineapple, pomegranate, banana, and mango) makes an interestingly passable drink.

We watched a show on BBC about royal life, divorces, Diana and Captain Phillips, a movie we saw on a cruise

I didn’t read my Kindle at all first night. Instant sleep!

New York City, Day 2

Busy day!

We planned to meet Michael about 9:30 for breakfast so we got up early (for me, on a Saturday).  I had a bit of a headache and puffy eyes from the fabric softener – made a note to take Benadryl before bed – and I found my contact case.  No more using the SD card holder.  Progress!

I left our door open a bit while we were getting ready and one of the dogs wanted to come in.

On our way out, we met Candace, our other host, and talked to her for a few minutes.  She was getting ready to take the dogs to visit her parents for the day.  The night before, Paul had said that parking the car cost about $400 a month and the only thing that they used it for was going to her parents twice a month.  Expensive trip.

We started walking to Michael’s and he met us about 2/3 of the way over.  We stopped at Open Kitchen for breakfast, then briefly to Michael’s for a bit of planning.  We wanted to take the ferry to DUMBO (short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).  That’s  a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.  I’d never been to Brooklyn before, only through it, so this sounded like fun.

To get ferry tickets, Michael had to download an app.  Modern times!  At least, he didn’t have to print out paper tickets.  I am surprised – at all the venues we have been to in New York, only The 39 Steps had paperless admission.

After the ferry tickets were purchased, they couldn’t be activated until 20 minutes before boarding.   If activated too soon, they would expire. Very interesting.

ferry

We walked from Michael’s apartment to the Wall Street Pier/Pier 11 and waited a bit for our ferry.  A couple sightseeing boats went out, and several helicopters.

The whole trip was only about 11 minutes but it’s always nice being on the water 🙂  Just after we disembarked, I got this great picture of the New York skyline.

nyc-skyline

 

One of the first things we noticed while still on the boat was a building that looked like an old lighthouse.  Turned out to be the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory now. The building was formerly used to berth fireboats and dry firehoses, hence the tall tower.  The lines were very long so we went later in the afternoon.

icecream

 

Michael knew about the Brooklyn Bridge Park, so we walked around there.  On the map, the portion of the park we saw was the green area between the Bargemusic and the Manhattan Bridge Lower Roadway.

The first building we noticed on our walk was St. Ann’s Warehouse.  We had no idea what it was but it seemed to be an historic building turned into shopping.  I learned later that this  was converted into a venue for classical music in 1980.

There were several interesting historic signs about the pathway and we walked past Jane’s Carousel.

We passed the huge OY/YO sculpture.

yo

 

If you’re in the park facing the Manhattan skyline, the sculpture reads “OY,” a commonly used Yiddish expression.

But if you’re viewing the sculpture from across the river in Manhattan or along the river like we were, it reads “YO.”

Our goal was the Brooklyn Bridge Park Environmental Education Center.  This was a very interesting place although from the outside it seemed to be for children only.  The tables had drawers that pulled out so that different layers of the river could be seen,  Anyone interested in learning about the ecology of the park and the kinds of plants and animals that thrive here would find this fascinating.

chocolate

All this walking made us hungry so on the way, we stopped for chocolate at Jacques Torres Chocolate.  Apparently, the DUMBO location is their first:

Visit the place where it all started. Jacques’ first location offers handmade chocolate treats, hot chocolate, and ice cream sandwiches. From truffles to cookies to bonbons and more, we’ll help you sample your favorite flavors to bring home and share with everyone!

Jacques Torres is located:66 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

We started out with Michael choosing 2 pieces of chocolate, then me…then we ended up with a box.  Plus water, to make it all healthy.

A very interesting shot.  If you look through the bottom of the Manhattan Bridge, you can see the Empire State Building.

Empire-State-Manhattan-Bridge

For lunch, we went to an “Italian Place”, AlMar.  This is in quotes because it ended up not being lunch and not being Italian food.  Here’s the brunch menu.  They had HUGE coffee cups – I liked that a lot 🙂

coffee

 

After brunch, back to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for ice cream (DUH).  1 scoop was more than enough – I couldn’t finish it.

Then, we went to Bargemusic.  This is a classical music venue and cultural icon founded in 1977,  housed on a converted coffee barge moored at Fulton Ferry Landing on the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge.  I took this picture of the NY skyline and Steinway piano from the second row seating.

bargemusic

 

On Saturday afternoons at 4, Bargemusic is free!  Such a deal.  The nighttime performances cost a bit but still reasonable.

Founder and director, Olga Bloom was interviewed about the floating concert hall under the Brooklyn Bridge she converted from an old coffee barge. The video includes excerpts from one of the chamber music concerts typical of the Bargemusic programs, and features classical music artists, Ida Levin, violin, Anton Nel, piano, Thomas Hill, clarinet, Ronald Thomas, cello. A Greenpoint Video Project production. Supported through a grant from NYCEF, New York State Council on the Arts.

One of our performers was Mark Peskanov, Bargemusic President, Executive & Artistic Director.  He talked a little about the program, about Bargemusic in general, and introduced the pianist and cellist for today.  Each played a Bach solo and the 3 played  Piano Trio No.4, Op.90 by Antonín Dvořák.  Here, it’s played by another trio:

We were all ready for naptime so we Ubered back to Michael’s apartment.  A bit of napping, practicing, then out to the subway to go to the Lincoln Center to see Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet.

From http://www.nycballet.com/Ballets/N/George-Balanchine-s-The-Nutcracker.aspx

During the holiday period, the entire Company is immersed in activities surrounding George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. All 90 dancers, 62 musicians, 32 stagehands and two casts of 50 young students each from the School of American Ballet join forces to make each performance as magical as possible. Children of all ages from New York City and the nation fill the David H. Koch Theater to be captivated by the lure of Tschaikovsky’s music, Balanchine’s choreography, Karinska’s sumptuous costumes, and Rouben Ter-Arutunian’s magical sets. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, based on the Alexandre Dumas pere version of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s tale, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (1816), demands a full-scale production.

The elaborate stage elements and intricate lighting unleash the viewers’ imagination by providing visual effects that are extraordinarily grand. The most famous example is the one-ton Christmas tree that grows from a height of 12 feet to 40 feet, evoking audible gasps of disbelief from the audience at each performance. Other notable feats include the comic figure of Mother Ginger — 85 pounds and nine feet wide, the costume requires handling by three people once it is lowered by pulley over the dancer’s head — as well as the continuous flutter of the purest, crystal-shaped snowflakes (which are swept up and conserved after each performance for reuse).

While these technical achievements are wonderful fun, it is Balanchine’s choreography that sustains the ballet through two acts. Act I introduces the characters — the Stahlbaum children, Marie and Fritz, Herr Drosselmeier and his Nephew — and also begins the transition from reality into fantasy with the concluding Snowflake Waltz. Act II offers the complete transformation. We have entered the “Kingdom of the Sugarplum Fairy” and there is no turning back.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ is one of the most complex theatrical, staged ballets in the Company’s active repertory. The popularity of the ballet is immense and it provides an unforgettable spark to everyone’s holiday season.

Seeing this ballet meant that we had been in all of the Lincoln Center venues.

  • David Geffen Hall (formerly Philharmonic Hall and Avery Fisher Hall): a 2,738-seat symphony hall; the home stage of the New York Philharmonic.
  • Metropolitan Opera House: a 3,900-seat opera house; the home stage of the Metropolitan Opera; as well as List Hall.
  • David H. Koch Theater (formerly New York State Theater): a 2,586-seat theater; constructed to be the home of the New York City Ballet, it is also the former home of the New York City Opera and the Music Theater of Lincoln Center companies.
  • Damrosch Park: an outdoor amphitheater with a bowl-style stage known as the Guggenheim Band Shell; used for free Lincoln Center Out of Doors presentations and with a special dance floor for Midsummer Night Swing.  The Big Apple Circus is also here.
  • Josie Robertson Plaza: the center’s central plaza, featuring its iconic fountain; the three main buildings (Metropolitan Opera House, David Geffen Hall, and David H. Koch Theater) face onto this plaza; used as an outdoor venue during Lincoln Center Out of Doors presentations

From there, we walked to Il Violino for dinner.  One would think that they had a musical theme but they didn’t.

Apparently, they were in a movie, sort of.  We were sitting at the table that appears about 2:32:

Another Uber back home.  On the way, there was a huge fire with about 15 fire trucks, causing a major traffic slowdown.

According to my phone, we walked 4.3 miles today and up 6 flights of stairs.

 

%d bloggers like this: