“GPS” has saved our lives….

…or at least our marriage. :)  1280 miles travelled in the past 7 days… and let us tell you, without our little Tom Tom (GPS system from Ray’s brother Tony) we would still be in Scotland arguing about which way is right.  But never the less, here we sit in Ray’s home town of Hastings– still very full after a brilliant English Breakfast by Ray’s mum…. I think Alyssa is still buzzing from her favorite meal.

Alright… so lets start at the top~ Thursday the 5th we flew into Prestwick, Glasgow (not the one on the news, mind you) from Ireland and straight away made our trip up to Loch Lomand about 2 1/2 hours North.  Ray had picked out an amazing campsite right off of the Loch (um, was I the only one that didn’t know this meant "Lake?" Yah, probably) and we put up our tent for the VERY first time…. this is BEFORE is started chucking down rain, mind you.  It was a surreal location which you can see by the picts we uploaded– Much like West Maui and New Zealand combined… just a lot colder.  We went for a hike and it wasn’t until we made our way back down the hill that it started raining… and decided pretty much not to stop for the next several days.  In between the raindrops we made our first dinner (or Ray did, I watched and drank boxed wine– cheers to you Grams and Gramps!) & as we ate overlooking the beautiful backdrop– thats when it happened.  The swan tried to eat Alyssa.  As Ray watched with tears in his eyes crying from laughter– the bloody swan went for Alyssa’s curry as she screamed in horror.  So now here she sits….. "Swanaphobic."  We became a bit delirious in our tent as there was nowhere to go but our small little quarters of our tent– so please refer to the pictures of us of our faces in our album… yup, you will see straight away that we were hysterical from laughter, as thats all we could do… why be upset, it can’t rain forever right?  Or…..:)
Friday July, 6th….. we made our way out of Scotland but not before we stopped at Stirling Castle– a beautiful medieval castle on the top of a hill…. we did the tourist thang’ and explored all the castle had to offer.  Alyssa’s favorite was the "Alice in Wonderland" like garden– the flowers are in full bloom right now… and they are absolutely gorgeous.  After leaving the castle we headed south out of Scotland into England towards the beautiful Lake District.  A place that Ray always wanted to see…. And it was everything and more then we could have expected.  Our campsite was at the base of a two thousand foot cliff sandwiched into a lush green valley– and our neighbors were sheep!  Again… the rain couldn’t RAIN on our parade— and we made the most of each break in the cloud.  That night we met some Czechs and a French man named Moe– we drank some pints together as Moe decided to tell us the "ways of the world…"  Turns out Moe was our neighbor by our tent, just five feet away.  Moe also likes to drink…. and listen to tunes late into the night… Loudly.  Our absolute favorite part was every time a song that Moe loved came on we would hear a YAAA HOOOO or a YAAAAAAAAAAH!  We couldn’t help but giggle…. especially when he locked himself out of the tent.  Picture a drunk man trying to get his key into the lock– its the same with tents and zippers. :)
Saturday July 7th…. We headed out to see our Australian friend Adam in Chester, England– just about another 2 hours south close to the Welsh border.  It was fabulous seeing him and he is definitely coming into his own… He took us around the town and we were able to meet a bunch of his new mates.  And quick side note—- Can we just quickly explain the clothing attire here?  Wowza…. lets just say the 80’s threw up EVERYWHERE.  Basically anything goes… and we mean that.  Everything.  Adam took us to a club later that night… and I don’t think we could have stuck out anymore mainly because not all of our flesh was exposed and our clothes fit properly.  What a sight.  We had a great time– and it was so LOVELY to see our lil’ ADAM!  ….we then made our way to a small campsite outside of Chester– and again, without our Tom Tom, we would have been sleeping in our car.  PHEWWW.

Sunday July 8th…. We made our way through the curvy roads of Wales towards our campsite right on the coast by the Atlantic.  The views were spectacular…. and Ray did a fabulous job of driving– the entire way.  Remember, 90 miles could take you easily 3 hours with how these roads our never ever ever ever straight.  
It was very chilly, mind you….. and at one point we were on our chairs outside our tent with our FULL set of clothes (and for those of you that remember the Friends episode where Joey put all of Chandlers clothes on, picture that) AND were tucked deep into our sleeping bags… it was quite a site.  But heck if we were going to let the weather get us down!  We prepared for the next morning as we were going to go up Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in England.  Ray had dreamt of coming back here as he had once at age 13 camped right below the Mountain– and wanted someday to come back again.  
Early Saturday the 9th we took the train up the hill (lazy tourists, I know) which ended right before the summit…. we were in the clouds and it was BLOODY COLD.  But the journey on the way up was amazing.  It was an old steam train that was used by the slate miners back in the day.  Then we decided enough was enough… lets go home.  To Hastings, that is. :)  Little did I know that that would be the last toilet break I (Alyssa) would get for the next 6 hours as Ray decided to drive STRAIGHT through…. wow….. strict, isn’t he?  But never the less… we made it… and surprised his mum.  And did we ever!!!  
The last 5 days we have spent spending time with family and visiting our friends Sarah, Tony and their new baby Joseph in Buckinghamshire.  It has been a wonderful week catching up with everyone…. having some laughs (especially with Grandad and Grandma) and stuffing ourselves SILLY on all the English goodies.  Yesterday we had "Jan Day" where we spend the entire day with Ray’s mum and do everything her heart desires.  She wanted to have a "pound shop crawl" where she is able to visit ALLLL the pound shops on the way to Eastbourne.  We had a wonderful day… and get this, it was 80 degrees and sunny.  Who da’ thunk that the sun was actually still up there?  Oh– and just a quick side note… picked up our convertible~ our top was down ALL day yesterday– its quite a "posh car" as Jan calls it.  Alyssa loves it, of course… and her cheeks still hurt from smiling today.
…. well…. that will do it for now…. we are on our way to pick up some fish and chips for Grandma and Grandad and then we have plans with Ron and Anita later today– busy day, but nothing but laughs— always.  
Next time we write, we will most likely be in France…. so we hope everything is wonderful in your neck of the woods and again, its been great to hear all your comments and get your emails.
Until next time….  Alyssrrrr’ and Ray :)

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