A Travellerspoint blog

MY STORY ISN'T OVER,

But my Sabbatical is!

sunny 50 °F

My story isn't over, but my sabbatical is! This has been a wonderful year for me. I went to 17 different countries and got to see so many family members and friends that I don't really get to see very much. I wrote 186 entries on this blog for my sabbatical year. This will be my last entry. I am sitting in the Iceland airport waiting on a 5 hour layover, before I leave for San Francisco. I figured this would be a good time to let everyone know how it all turned out. On this last trip I have been gone 3 1/2 months. The time went by very fast and it really doesn't feel like it was that long. I got to see and do everything that I wanted and more. I had great experiences that I will remember forever. The world is a big place, but when you travel it gets smaller. I met so many nice people along the way. People were kind to me everywhere. Kindness goes a long way, when you are traveling by yourself and I felt that everywhere. I learned so much about the places I visited this year and of course I learned a lot about myself.

I want to first thank the San Francisco Unified School District for having this sabbatical program. It is a wonderful opportunity for teachers to experience different cultures and I did just that. The program has since been cancelled, but I hope someday they will reinstate it. When people ask me what was the highlight of my trip, I have so many answers. Here are some of my top ones. Of course there are way too many to name. They are not in any specific order.

Following my brother with the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run in Austria
Making it to the top of the Citadel in Entrevaux with Iain
Experiencing the coldest day of my life with Maureen in Iceland
Niagara Falls with the bearded man
Arran Island Day Trip on a hot day in Scotland
Dinner with Gary, Audrey and Scott in Failford
Auvers-sur-Oise with my mom
Anne Frank's House with Kyle
Walking the wall of Dubrovnik with Iain, Maureen and Gordon
Spending the day with Aunt Margaret anywhere
Meeting Janice and Eugene for the first time in Croatia
Putting my feet on the marble starting blocks in the Ancient Olympic Stadium
Amsterdam with Kyle
Staying and exploring in Nice
Slovenia and Lake Bled with Iain
Budapest on a nighttime cruise
Dinners in Cumnock with my family
London with Ross
Flea Market in Paris and the lunch that followed with my mom and Kyle
Leaving the Port of Venice on the cruise with Iain, Gordon and Maureen
Staying with my family in Italy
Dinner with 200 Italians
Laughing at the dinner table with Margaret, Gordon and Donald
Sharing a room in Paris with my mom and Kyle
Spending time with my family and friends in Scotland (Gran,Papa,Gordon,Margaret,Gary,Audrey,Scott,Ross,Kayleigh,Erin,Donald,Maureen,Gordon
Hot water bottles in my bed in Scotland, thanks Gran!
Day trips with Papa, thanks Papa!

I want to thank all of you that read the blog and commented, sorry I didn't get back to everyone. Thanks to my family in the United States and in Scotland (Iain, Kyle, Connor, mom, John, Betty, Leslie, Billy, Gordon, Margaret, Gary and Audrey)for always checking with me on my whereabouts and what I was doing. On this Europe trip, thanks to Maureen who when I said "Do you want to join me in Iceland?" She said yes, I know it probably wasn't her first choice for places to meet me, but thanks Maureen I had so much fun. To Gordon and Maureen thanks for all the rides that you gave me over there and for the wonderful day trips we did. To Donald, I enjoyed all the time we spent together and thanks for showing me again and again that the mind is stronger than anything else. You are an inspiration to me. To Gordon and Margaret and Gary and Audrey, I loved spending time with all of you, thanks for the dinners, day trips and your friendships, they mean the world to me. To Gordon who spent his days off with me, thank you. To John and Betty, thanks for letting me stay with you all that time, including all the meals, but mostly thank you for being who you two are. I felt like I was at home when I stayed with you. I love you both very much. To everyone in Scotland who took the time to show me part of your beautiful country, thank you! To Kyle and my mom, Paris was hilarious and wonderful. To my brother Billy, who I followed on the torch run, thanks for letting me share something that is so important to you. To my dad who I know was watching me on this trip, thanks for planning my first trip to Europe when I was 22, I think you would be happy to see where I went and what I learned. I carry you with me in my heart everyday. My parents love of traveling, has certainly been passed down to me. I hope Kyle and Connor continue to explore the world. Lastly to Iain, thanks for supporting me emotionally and financially in order for me to follow my dream. I had a wonderful time in all the places we went during the month you spent with me. I love you very much! I wrote at the beginning of my blog "Not everyone will understand your journey. That's fine. It's not their journey to make sense of. It's your's". At the time, I didn't know if everyone would understand what I wanted to do and as I traveled I realized it didn't matter because we all choose our own path, and we all have our own journey to explore, whether it's at home or away. I loved my journey! Thanks for letting me share it with you!

Now if the Warriors can just win the Championship!

Posted by Daniellecand 07:42 Archived in Iceland Comments (4)

My last day in Scotland

I am going to miss all you very much.

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Today is my last full day in Scotland. This morning I started to pack all my stuff. It's going to be hard to fit it all in. I spent the day with John and Betty, just hanging out at their house. Today was the first day where it has rained all day. If we got this much rained in one day our drought would be over. Gran and I watched the TV show "The Chase". I am going to miss watching it with her. At 5:30pm, John took Kayleigh, Scott and I up to the Thistle Inn. I wanted to take my niece and nephew out to dinner. It was really nice to just sit there with the two of them and talk. We had fun. The food was really good and we got the entire meal for half off, which is always a good thing. We walked back in the rain to the house and John was mad that we didn't call him to come and get us. We all dried off pretty quick. We sat around and talked for awhile and then Kayleigh and Scott left to go home. Gary and Audrey came over to say goodbye. We all had dessert together, Betty made an apple tart that was delicious. Audrey had to go up to glasgow to pick up her daughter from the airport at 1:30am. I told her I would go with her. Gary was sick and had to wake up to go to work early in the morning. We did pretty good going up, we missed one exit and went around and got back on again. We finally found Dana and Brian and took Brian back to his house in Muirkirk. We got a little lost on the way home, but we eventually made it back on the M8. I got back to Cumnock at 3:45am. Yes I was tired. I need to be up at 7:00am!

Posted by Daniellecand 10:24 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Prestwick, Ayr & Mauchline

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This morning I drove from Cumnock to Prestwick Airport to return my rental car. I then took the train from Prestwick to Ayr. I was the only person at the train station. I took a picture and the picture got picked as one of the featured photos on the Travellerspoint website. I walked around Ayr for about an hour and then Gordon Borthwick picked me up and we met Maureen at a cafe for lunch. We were sitting just talking waiting to order and all of a sudden Lauren is right next to me surprising me. I was so happy to see her. I saw her when I was here in February, but it was just for a short time. It was fun hearing about her job, where she teaches dance. We had a really nice lunch in Ayr. Gordon and Maureen drove me back to Cumnock. Thank you very much. I spent the rest of the day with John and Betty. Tonight John drove me over to Gordon and Margarets for dinner. Donald joined us for dinner. Margaret made lasagna and it was delicious, so was the soup. We had a great time laughing and telling stories from long ago. We could not eat the chocolate cake I brought for dessert, everyone was too full. Thanks Aunt Margaret and Gordon, it was a fun night. Donald gave me a ride home in the rain. Thanks Donald, I know it was in the opposite direction you were going in. I appreciated it!

Posted by Daniellecand 07:34 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Glasgow with Aunt Margaret

Lunch with Ross

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This morning I drove and picked up Aunt Margaret and then we drove to Kilmarnock. We took the train to Glasgow. It's a very nice train ride and the weather was sunny. We got to Glasgow and just started walking around. We walked all the way down Buchanan Street, going into many different shops. We walked into Princes Square and looked at some stores in there. We then went up to George Square and sat out in the sun, while waiting for Ross to come off the train from Edinburgh. Ross met up with us and we all walked around for awhile and then went to DiMaggios's to get some late lunch. We had a nice time talking during lunch. We left there and walked down Sauchiehall street for awhile. We ended up in an outdoor cafe for about an hour. Ross had to catch a flight at 8:00pm, so he walked us to the train station. It was fun seeing you again Ross, thanks for coming to meet us. Margaret and I took the train home. We then drove from Kilmarnock to Mauchline. It was the Scottish Junior Football final today between New Cumnock and Auchinleck, so of course we hit that traffic on the way back. There were people standing out on the road, cheering New Cumnock on. They won 2 -1. Great day Aunt Margaret, thanks!

I have been in Scotland two weeks now and unfortunately during my time here, there has been two terror attacks. I am only 160 miles from Manchester and about 320 miles from London. I was on the continent during the other attack on London. Walking around Glasgow today was a little scary. I found myself turning around and looking behind me when I heard a loud noise. There were so many police officers walking all around Glasgow. We overheard many people talking about the terror attacks. At George Square we walked around the statue that people had placed flowers at after the Manchester attack. I am so sad that it is not the same world that I grew up in. My heart goes out to all the families members who lost loved ones or who were injured in these attacks. I realized that while I am out traveling, many people lives have been lost or changed forever. That is a reality we all have to carry with us, whether we are home or away.

Posted by Daniellecand 00:28 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Lunch with Donald's Family

Shopping with Betty in Ayr

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This morning, I drove down to Donald's and got to see Adam and Callum, Donald's children. It's been a couple of years since I saw them and they have grown up so much. I enjoyed talking with them. Callum showed me videos of himself doing flips on his scooter. You are such a great athlete, I loved seeing them Callum. Adam told me all about the classes he would be taking next year, and about his football (soccer) team that got to the Championship game. We left Donald's and went out to a great cafe for lunch near his house. It started pouring and then we had hail, while we were at lunch. Donald drove me back to his house and I said goodbye to all of them. I am so glad, I got to see his boys. I then drove back to Cumnock, got Betty and we drove to Ayr to do some shopping. We then drove back to Cumnock and John and I watched the movie "Last King of Scotland". Betty made dinner for the three of us, including garlic mushrooms which I love. I then drove over to Gordon and Margaret's and gave them an early anniversary present. I came back to Cumnock and finished watching the final of Britain's Got Talent with John and Betty. I am going to miss watching all your shows with you!

Posted by Daniellecand 15:49 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

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