Ian and I are flying away (currently somewhere over Spain) from spending four days with his family in the south of Spain. Though the sights were great and I got to experience somewhere new, the best part was probably spending time with his family…though I don’t know if they will consider spending time with me the best part of their trip! I asked them a zillion and one questions that really had nothing to do with anything; you know, all those “what if” questions and asking about their dreams. But, this is my way of bonding, so they will need to learn to cope with it! Though I did learn if I ever got myself into jail the oh-so-kind Clive (father-in-law) would bail me out, but I would have to ride in the trunk on the way home!

But, back to the oh-so-warm Spain. We stayed in a condo outside of Marbella. And actually, we didn’t see much of what was around where we were staying, though we did eat breakfast at the beach and walk along it one morning…well more late morning (like 11am). It is hard to get Jessica out of bed very early these days! We took day trips to different places everyday. One day we went to a town in the mountains, Ronda. It was quite the cute little town. There were some beautiful views to take in and a bull fighting stadium that I think was famous for something (I need to pay attention more!). Then, we went to Gibraltar, which is actually a British colony in (well, not “in”, but you know what I mean) Spain. They don’t have any taxes here, so gas was crazy cheap. I couldn’t believe my eyes at the prices (think 35% cheaper than Edinburgh). The main attraction here was a huge rock that we went up that had tons of apes (small ones) all over. After a while, I got a little tired of the apes. They weren’t afraid of humans, I didn’t want them too close to me and got tired of having to look out for them. But this rock, offered great views. The water was very clean and you could see right into it. Also, you could see Africa, which is only five miles away. It is the only place in the world you can see three countries and two continents at the same time (see, sometimes I DO pay attention). Then we went to Granada, which contained a palace (Alhambra) that used to be muslim. I didn’t pay too much attention (bad me) to the tour, but I believe the Christians overtook it or something like that. Today it is empty and just a tourist attraction. But, it was beautiful and very detailed inside.

Now here I am today, on an airplane headed for Germany where more adventure awaits me!

The Grimbleby Family

Today I head off with the Grimbleby family to the south of Spain for 5 days. The other day while at the Edinburgh Castle, we had someone take this picture of the family. It really is a good picture. And, this good picture got me thinking, I don't think there have been very many pictures taken of the six of us together (I know there was one from our wedding and one with all of Ian's aunts and uncles and cousins at Christmas a couple of years ago), even though I have technically been a part of the family for the past 5 years. What does this mean? Do we not get together often enough? Do we have an aversion to cameras? Or possibly an aversion to each other? Kidding! The older I get (seriously, I am getting up there), the more I realize the importance of family. When other people won't be there for you, family will. When you are celebrating something big, they are the people that will celebrate with you. When you are going through something hard, they will be the ones to walk through it with you. The only thing is, we (by "we", I mean me and all of you reading this) have to be vulnerable and allow them into our lives. This vulnerability means we open ourselves to hurt, but we also open ourselves up to a love we have never experienced before. An unconditional, bail you out of jail type of love! Though I am scared of being hurt (I may seem like a tough one, but I really am not), I think it is time that I let my guard down and learn to truly love and be loved by this group of people I call family.

The Longest Day

So today was officially the longest day of the year. At 11:15pm, the sun could still be seen on the horizon...craziness, I know! But, with the Grimbleby's in town, we definitely lived the day to its fullest potential. There was plenty of site seeing, bus rides and long walks to use up the light of day. It's always a challenge when people are visiting (like we have had so many visitors here before! But, I speak from experience as to other places we have lived as well) to figure out how to show them what your life is like, but to be considerate as to what they want to do as well. Which makes me think, what is the true Edinburgh life? Is it the experience I live everyday or the experience the tourists get when they come here and see all the tourist attractions? People experience both and both go walking away with different experiences and ideas about the city I call home. Anyway, hopefully Ian and I were able to give his family a little bit of both - the traditional bus tour, a Boots meal deal eaten in the park, a castle visit, sitting in Starbucks eating cupcakes, fish and chips and plenty of walking. Here are a few pictures from our day:

Father's Day

I would like to give a shout out on this cloudy and overcast (well, at least here in Edinburgh) father's day, to my dad. He really should be awarded father of the millennium for all he has had to put up with...three hyper active children can do that to you! But today, instead of telling stories of how great my dad is, in which there are many, I would like to share some of my traits I have gotten from him.

1. Love of cars - I remember helping my dad fix up the old VW Bug (I think there were actually two different a bus!) on Hazelwood and that blue Mazda (or whatever it was) on Aster Drive. Let us not forget the numerous times we have gone to car dealerships to look or just admired a nice car as we passed by.

2. Love of all things food - Seriously, my dad and I will eat about anything. I remember sharing artichokes, anchovies and tuna with him when no one else in the house would even come close!

3. Olive skin tone and brown hair - Whenever people who know you meet me, I always here, "You must be a Booth." I definitely look a part of the family!

4. Sarcasm - Dad, I would just like to remind you that sarcasm hurts people! I think we have both learned a lesson or two in that...yet we are both still sarcastic people.

5. Hyperactivity - I think you have learned to control your hyperactivity better than I have, but I know it is still in there! Right now I am thinking of you in Houston on Sunday night!

6. Walks - We both like 'em, and we both like 'em even better with company!

Though I am sure there are many more, all I am trying to say is I am definitely my father's daughter. Dad, I love you and wish I could be with you on father's day. Just look at Riley and think of me!

I Forgot My Cell Phone

Yesterday, I was on my way to work when suddenly I realized, I FORGOT MY CELL PHONE! Immediately every insecurity I ever had went thru my head...

I am sure I am going to be late to work...
What if something bad happens today and no one can get a hold of me?
What if Ian can't get a hold of me and thinks something happened to me?
What if something happens to me?

What did people do 15 years ago, before everyone at their grandmother had cell phones? Life must have been so much easier! Actually living in the moment, without wondering what would happen if someone couldn't get a hold of you at a moments notice! All my insecurities turned out to be just that, insecurities. I arrived to work and discovered I was 20 minutes early...nothing bad happened to me or anyone else...and no one really needed to get a hold of me! As for Ian, this really is the funny one here...I don't actually know his cell phone number, or our house phone number for that matter. But, I was able to look up his number in my employee file as my "emergency contact", let him know I didn't have my cell phone and the crisis was averted.

If only every problem in life could be solved as easily as forgetting my cell phone!

The Sunset

Yesterday was a very nice day in Edinburgh, so Ian and I decided that we would go up a hill (that sounds like it should be part of a joke) and watch the sun set. Unfortunately, when it was time for the sun to set, it was overcast and fairly cold outside. So, we watched the clouds. Not quite what we had hoped for, but it was fun to be out non-the-less. There was plenty of people and wildlife watching to be had on top of this hill, so it was definitely entertaining. Toward the end of the cloud watching, some of our friends joined us on the hill. Then we all embarked on another adventure and went to the movies. Fun times in Edinburgh!

For Your Enjoyment...Or Displeasure

So, I'm at work today when I am approached by a customer. "Your toilet is clogged." I think to myself..."Greatness. This person couldn't have waited until they got home to drop a big one, but had to do it here and now it is my problem." I say back, "Thanks for letting me know. I will go check it out." And check it out I do. I found a toilet filled to the brim with nastiness. After one very quick look, I locked the door behind me and hung up an out of order sign. But, being the supervisor that I am, I know I have to deal with it. So, what do I do? I phone maintenance! And, here's how that went...

Ring, Ring, Ring
Maintenance Woman (MW): Hello
Me: Hi. My toilet is clogged and I was wondering if you could send someone to fix it.
MW: Have you tried plunging it? (Now a side note for you...plungers here have handles that are about 12 inches long...I don't get why they aren't longer.)
Me: Well...the toilet is filled with nastiness (yes, I really did say "nastiness") and I am not putting my hands near that!
MW: Ummmm...okay....(seriously, the longest pause in the world. I think she was trying to figure out if I was joking or not.) I will send someone out to unclog it.
Me: Thanks!

Oh the joys of being able to phone maintenance!
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