Doggy Road Trip


We’re on a road trip with our dogs today, traveling through wingnut Congressman Ted Yoho country. I keep seeing his ugly mug on campaign posters and hoping the citizens send him back to his veterinary practice: That crackpot needs to be shoulder-deep in a cow’s ass instead of fumbling around the bowels of the US Congress.

We’re off to visit my old grandma and sort out some more business from my mom’s estate. It’s amazing how much shit there is to sort out when someone dies, even if they never had much in the way of material possessions.

At least there’s been no squabbling over stuff. I’ve seen that rip families apart. I remember once when I was a kid hearing my other grandmother, the cantankerous one, vowing to a cousin that she was going to fight for a share of a recently deceased pappy’s meager estate. She said, “If he left a dime, I want a nickel of it!”

The novelty of the ride has worn off on the dogs. When we stop and let them out, they are going to run like the wind. Maybe I will too.

What are you up to today? Feel free to discuss whatever.

121 replies
  1. 1
    lamh36 says:

    Signed Maddie up for Dancing School! She said she wanna be like Gabby (@gabrielledoug )

    Alright everything fits. Maddie is ready.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    I think his Yahoo’s head’s been up his own ass far more often than this arm’s been up some bovine’s butt!

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    Best of luck!

    Dance, little sister, dance! :-)

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    That crackpot needs to be shoulder-deep in a cow’s ass instead of fumbling around the bowels of the US Congress.

    Why do you hate cows?

    @lamh36: Well, the MSM certainly wasn’t going to do it on its own.

  6. 6
    chopper says:

    That crackpot needs to be shoulder-deep in a cow’s ass instead of fumbling around the bowels of the US Congress

    But you repeat yourself.

  7. 7
    pamelabrown53 says:


    lamh, so glad I clicked on your links. Since you were first I thought you’d signed up your dog for dancing school!
    Anyway, Maddie’s smile is megawatt. Thanks for sharing.

  8. 8
    aimai says:

    @lamh36: I agree with the other posters, Maddie has a world beater of a smile. It just lights up the room. Hope there’s still a Balloon Juice in 10 years when she is graduating highschool, and again when she graduates college, because it will be incredible to see those pictures.

  9. 9
    Mike J says:

    Crystal Palace beating the Arse.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    some guy says:

    sad to say, Yahoo will be handily re-elected. His primary opponent is a cosplayer who dresses up as a superhero. also, that seat (our CD) is so gerrymandered even a salamander wouldn’t be able to slither through it.

    so sad

  12. 12
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    @lamh36: And she is adorable as ever. Have fun. I love being an auntie.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @lamh36: Man on man Maddie is delightful!

    Aimai is right…that is a smile that will electrify a room.

  14. 14
    some guy says:

    Betty, I assume you came south using the 27 rather than on the 75. If you get a chance, be sure to try out some of the springs out there. Hart Springs is awesome, and Poe Springs is free.

  15. 15
    max says:

    The novelty of the ride has worn off on the dogs.

    Yeah, in that picture they have the ‘WANT OUT’ look.

    [‘That said, they also seem to have a fairly patient look too.’]

  16. 16
    Mike in NC says:

    Coincidentally, our state senator is also a veterinarian turned wingnut.

  17. 17
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):
    Man, in my life, I’ve been drunk, I’ve been high, and I’ve been stoned – but, I know enough that if I was any of those, not to go into work.

    Let alone go to work without my pants on!!!

  18. 18
    Citizen_X says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Teacher shows up for first day of school drunk and pantsless.

    I object! Cole is sober now.

  19. 19
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mike J:
    The Arse equalise just before halftime. But that sloppy defending has got to be worrying The Arsene.

  20. 20
    wmd says:

    There was very little squabbling over my mother’s estate as well.

    The handling of her cremated ashes was handled extremely poorly though, with two of her children essentially excluded. That caused a rift to form.

  21. 21
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! ManU loses its opener, at home, to Swansea! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mike in NC:

    So was our former governor.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Citizen_X: Oddly, this was in Oklahoma not West Virginia. Well, maybe not so oddly after all. Perhaps we should ask SG about it.

  24. 24
    Amir Khalid says:

    @c u n d gulag:
    Apparently this teacher hit the vodka ahead of coming to her first day of work. That can’t be the right way to deal with first-day nerves.

  25. 25
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Holy fuck, Cole just posted that he fell and dislocated his (good) shoulder and is on his way to ER.

    Bird shitting on you is good luck?

  26. 26
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:


    Bird shitting on you is good luck?

    For the bird.

  27. 27
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: this has to be a joke, right? Right?

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Did you know that “gullible” is not in the dictionary?

  29. 29
    Amir Khalid says:

    Well, that’s just a superstition of course.

    He was just saying the other day that he needed more surgery on the shoulder he busted a few years ago. This is a hell of a time for him to have two dicky shoulders.

  30. 30
    jeffreyw says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Ack! I bet he twisted as he went down, hoping not to land on the bad shoulder.

  31. 31
    Citizen_X says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Jesus!

    I want to joke about getting him a Kevlar/bubble wrap suit of armor, but seriously, John: if you read this, you should think about seeing a doctor and checking if you have a balance problem or something.

    Or maybe start learning a martial art to develop balance and to learn how to fall. Knowing breakfalls has saved my neck a few times when my feet have slipped out from under me on ice.

  32. 32
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: was this on Twitter?

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I didn’t see it on Twitter. Some folks are friends with Cole on FaceBook. If SD isn’t pulling our collective legs, she may have seen it there.

  34. 34
    JCT says:

    @lamh36: So awesome, what a big day – my daughter started at that age. It turned into her lifelong passion, she’s 24 and still takes at least one ballet class a week.

    And that is some happy smile – made me grin right back at her.

  35. 35
    Yatsuno says:


    Today is a housewarming party for friends that I convinced another friend to come over for. Oh and deciding if my computer can be fixed or if I’m in the market for a new one. And this one is less than a year old.

  36. 36
    Dee Loralei says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’m not seeing that on his twitter feed.

  37. 37
    John cole says:

    I am in the ER again.

  38. 38
    realbtl says:

    My relationship with our rescue Wiemaraner began with a roadtrip across Montana, 300 to a hotel in Helena then 200 miles home the next day. Considering she was so unsocialized that she didn’t like or understand doors let alone elevators she did quite well. Sioux.

  39. 39
    scav says:

    Can I just say some days the dramatic arc of this blog can not be bettered?

  40. 40
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @John cole:
    John, somehow you have fallen into the parallel clutches of Bizarro World. Our mission is to safely extract you form its clutches.

    Bottom line: we’re here for you. This is beyond belief.

  41. 41
    shelley says:

    That one tongue-lolling dog face definitely is saying ‘Are we there yet?’

  42. 42
    chopper says:

    @John cole:

    Oh Jesus.

  43. 43
    Josie says:

    @John cole: I swear – John Cole, you are one of the few people who is even more accident prone than I am. You make me feel positively graceful. Is it really your good shoulder this time? Hopefully, they can pop it back in and there is no major damage.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I had assumed you were kidding. Because, I mean, what are the odds? My apologies.

  45. 45
    shelley says:

    Oh John, honest to God! It’s enough to make me believe in astrology, i.e. you’ve been laboring under a really bad star.

  46. 46
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Been on Bactrim since Tue doe to a nasty bout of sinusitis and it ain’t clearing up, probably because I made the stupid mistake of taking the pneumonia vaccine while I was in the hospital recovering from a seizure.


  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    Well, you kids have fun. I am off to a picnic, wine, and a performance of “The Doctor’s Dilemma” at APT.

  48. 48
    John cole says:

    @Josie: i popped it back in place, drove home and shawn took me to er. Dislocated left, landed on right. Threw up from pain. About a seven out of ten. Deepest concern is how I am going to wipe my ass. Pricing bidets.

  49. 49
    Karen in GA says:

    @John cole: Once you get comfortable living without alcohol, how about kicking your addiction to freak injuries?

    ETA, because I should have said this first: here’s hoping for a quick, relatively painless recovery.

  50. 50
    Carrie says:

    @John cole:
    Are you shitting me? Holy shit, man. No wonder you have a roomie, his main job is driving you to the ER.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @John cole: At least you didn’t lose a foot. The bird shit did bring you luck.

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    Arsenal 2-1 Crystal Palace. The expected result, if the Arse can hold on till the final whistle, but they’ve made hard going of it against a mid-table side.

  53. 53
    Karen in GA says:

    @lamh36: You know what everyone said about Maddie’s smile? They’re not kidding.

  54. 54
    Violet says:

    @John cole: Holy fuck. Sorry to hear about that.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Dee Loralei:

    On FB.

  57. 57
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    This is a hell of a time for him to have two dicky shoulders.

    There’s actually no good time for that, I’m guessing.

  58. 58
    max says:

    @John cole: I am in the ER again.

    Jesus H. Christ. Cole, you need some therapy. Some talk therapy. Some talk therapy for this unconscious self-injury thing, because that sure as hell looks like what’s going on.

    [‘Dude, if you took up cutting it would bother me less.’]

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    I kid about all kinds of things, but not about people doing themselves harm.

    Well, unless they’re Republicans.

  60. 60
    Dee Loralei says:

    @John cole: Damn sorry John. Sheesh.

    @SiubhanDuinne: Was hoping you’d been punked.

  61. 61
    Jacks mom says:

    There are no words. Well there’s clumsy, unfortunate, accident prone, challenged, uncoordinated, unlucky, karma deficient.

    Please get better and just sit somewhere for awhile.

  62. 62
    c u n d gulag says:

    @John cole:

    Do you have a ‘frequent “layer” plan’ for the beds you use at the hospital?


    Sorry about what happened to you, John.

    Btw – since you’re trying to remain sober, I hate to tell you this, but stay away from the “good” painkillers, and stick with the over-the-counter types.
    Or, have the Doctor prescribe some industrial strength Aleve, Ibuprofen, or, Acetaminophen.

    Heal quickly, my friend!!!

  63. 63
    shelley says:

    So that’s twice Cole’s popped a shoulder back into place. I wouldn’t even know how to go about doing it even once.

  64. 64
    Citizen_X says:

    John, I’m sorry to hear that. But you are awfully accident-prone for someone who has an athletic background. You need better balance (in the literal sense).

    So I’m serious: see a doctor to check if there’s any underlying issues affecting your balance, and if there aren’t any, start practicing some martial art to train balance and breakfalls (i.e. how to fall without injury). One can make oneself less clumsy!

    ETA: Fuck karma, luck, fate, and all the other woo-woo bullshit.

  65. 65
    gian says:


    I worry that he’s got some sort of inner ear problem or something else to upset his balance. Sometimes it’s just a run of bad luck, but really his luck is due for a change.

  66. 66
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    Late to party, but Marihelen Wheeler, a union member and a teacher, is running against Yoho on the Democratic ticket.

    Donate to Marihelen Wheeler for Congress

    I feel sad about how things are going with this race. It’s a district that’s always about 45% D and Yoho is a total joke, but institutional forces are fumbling once again. Please help Marihelen GOTV and prove that district 3 is not just a bunch of Yoho yahoos.

    Jon Uman is running against Florida Restaurant Association meat puppet Keith Perry in district 20 of the Florida House and has a good chance of turfing him. HD 20 is the same area of Gainesville as Cong Dist 3.

  67. 67
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Dee Loralei:

    Believe me, nobody would have been happier than I to learn it was all a big hoax. But then I figured, Wait, if John has not one but two bad shoulders, no way could he get enough purchase to pull my leg.

  68. 68
    A Humble Lurker says:

    Guys, I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure John Cole +0 ≠ John cole. John Cole +0, when clicked on, leads you to the Balloon Juice front page. John cole leads to here.

  69. 69
    gene108 says:

    John, hope you get better, but just a suggestion: Maybe hire someone to cut the grass and whatever other stuff you do, where you are accident prone when you are doing it?

    Might be better as you heal up, do what you have to do about your balance, weight or whatever is causing such serious injuries, when you do fall.

  70. 70
    Betty Cracker says:

    @John cole: Christ, Cole. Speedy recovery and an accident shield for the next, oh, decade at least?

  71. 71
    Original Lee says:

    @John cole: Dude, I’m sorry to hear that. Hope this is just a biorhythm triple low and things will improve.

  72. 72
    gene108 says:


    I worry that he’s got some sort of inner ear problem or something else to upset his balance. Sometimes it’s just a run of bad luck, but really his luck is due for a change.

    Balance can be an issue, but to have such serious injuries, when he does fall at his age seems another problem to me, though I am not a doctor. I’m just a few years younger than him, fat and the worst I’ve done falling down is sprain my ankle.

  73. 73
    Kathleen says:

    Maddie’s smile and Ms. Cracker’s pouting pooches made me laugh. I really needed that after this horrible week. Thanks, ladies for sharing.

  74. 74
    FlyingToaster says:

    @A Humble Lurker: He’s on his phone, not his computer.

    I saw it on Twitter (where I follow him). It’s real, we’re not being punked.

  75. 75
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @FlyingToaster: Ah, is that what that is? (<-Doesn't own a phone that connects to the internet.) Thanks. In that case, holy shit, hope he feels better.

  76. 76
    tesslibrarian says:

    Cole is probably just inside his head too much. Most librarians I have worked with are somewhat accident prone, and it’s a side effect of having an internal life that tends to ignore and outshine the external, even when that means a bad interaction with a flight of stairs or an icy sidewalk or (really) doorways. My husband isn’t the only one worried that the ER doctor might think he’s an abuser rather than the person who begs, “just pay attention to where you’re going!”

    Also, damn it hurts to dislocate a shoulder. I had one almost pop out once. Incredible, nauseating pain. I recommend cantaloupe. It helps settle the stomach, gets some gentle sugars in there so you can take 3-4 advil. (and Advil is all you need–the other stuff just keeps you from caring about the pain)

    Heal soon, Cole.

  77. 77
    WaterGirl says:

    @A Humble Lurker: I just checked Cole’s twitter page, and he says he is in the ER. Guessing that the fact that his name doesn’t link to anything is a product of Cole not being completely set up from his smart phone.

    But I was really hoping you were right, and this was some kind of a spoof. I was suspecting DougJ for a minute.

  78. 78
    gogol's wife says:

    @John cole:

    Oh God. Thoughts are with you.

  79. 79
    gogol's wife says:


    I know, right? My husband and I came home from dinner the other night and I had forgotten to leave a light on, and I tripped on the threshold in my stupid Birkenstocks (the only sandals my doctor approves of, given my plantar fasciitis) and went down full-length. But I didn’t hurt a thing. Still I felt really stupid.

  80. 80
    gogol's wife says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    That reminds me of when I was in a taxi accident in Leningrad. I was wearing my “lucky” crystal earrings that someone had given me before I left the US. I told my Russian friend, so much for the lucky earrings, and he said, you’re still alive, aren’t you? That really is the Russian mentality in a nutshell.

  81. 81
    Tommy says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    That reminds me of when I was in a taxi accident in Leningrad.

    Makes me want to have a more varied life that I can’t type something like that.

  82. 82
    gogol's wife says:


    It’s okay, I don’t go anywhere any more.

  83. 83
    Josie says:

    @John cole: Oh my god, I know that feeling, although I have never done both shoulders. You are sort of an over achiever in that department. Bidets are really nice, even if you are not injured. My brother installed one in the john in my bathroom for a recent birthday. Pure luxury.
    I am glad you have Shawn there to help you in your recovery. This is the result of casting your bread upon the waters, so to speak. When you are feeling up to it, I would like to hear the story of how you managed this latest adventure in pain.

  84. 84
    Tommy says:

    @gogol’s wife: Long story short I am sitting on a huge wad of cash. I don’t know where but I am going to hop on a plane and go to so some far off place I’ve never been before. I am an avid hiker. Walker. Just starting to look into the options but I think it will be someplace in Africa.

  85. 85
    Josie says:

    @gogol’s wife: Sounds familiar. I once tripped over absolutely nothing walking across my patio and went down full length, breaking my glasses, blacking my eye and cutting my lip. I have the scar from that to this day. I was lucky not to break my nose in the process. I just laid there thinking, “Oh shit, what will I tell the boys? I’ll never live this down.” Sure enough I was mocked endlessly.

  86. 86
    Josie says:

    @tesslibrarian: You may have hit on something. I am a retired librarian. This could explain a lot.

  87. 87
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Tommy: Go to New Zealand. You will not regret it.

  88. 88
    trollhattan says:

    @John cole:
    Dear and merciful master controller/deity in charge: you may now take the Target of Eternal Mishaps off of this Cole fellow and place it elsewhere–I think he’s called in on the Atone Phone quite enough, don’t you?

    A suggestion, if I may: place the Target of Eternal Mishaps on an active member of the Republican Party leadership. I can name names, if you’d like.

    Yr humble servant.


  89. 89
    Tommy says:

    People here are really smart. Smarter then myself.

    Let say you had $10,000 in your pocket (I do). If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go. I know most of the US like the back of my hand. But outside of the US, well I know little of the world. I want to go someplace I just don’t know where.

  90. 90
    trollhattan says:

    Just finished a week on foot in the NE Yosemite backcountry. A great trip, if too ambitious by half, and on the last day we saw a Real Freaking Live Mountain Lion. Thank bog it was on the last day, because I don’t know how well I’d have slept in a tent afterwards.

    Anyway, if you like hiking, solitude, soaring scenery and critters galore, the Sierra Nevada is there for you.

  91. 91
    trollhattan says:

    With a big fat budget I’d consider a Tahiti-Australia-New Zealand circuit. Sequence depends on time of year (it’s late winter in NZ, and I’d want to do a couple of the Great Tracks).

  92. 92
    Tommy says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That place is bookmarked. I came here, or my family did from Scotland. I look at New Zealand and think my bones know those mountains. Those hills.

  93. 93
    muddy says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I second this. @Tommy: NZ is an amazing place, but really quite small by American standards so you can see a lot. I was there in July ’75, we drove over the alps (don’t know the name of the range) in the deep snow. Incredible fiord-like lakes. All the scenery looks like it ought to be CGI. I don’t remember any crappy parts.

  94. 94
    gogol's wife says:


    Why not Scotland too? I’ve never been there, but it looked darn good on Downton Abbey.

  95. 95
    muddy says:

    @trollhattan: That year I did the Bali-Australia-New Zealand-Fiji circuit. Australia is so big I could readily have passed that and spent more time in the other 3 instead. Sydney wasn’t all nice by the waterfront back then, altho they did have the Opera House. It was right by the docks where some really shady boats docked. They had good pasties down there though.

  96. 96
    shelley says:

    Mountain Lion. Thank bog it was on the last day, because I don’t know how well I’d have slept in a tent afterwards.

    A mountain lion stole my blogger!

  97. 97
    muddy says:

    @Tommy: Scotland on steroids! There is a lot of quite bizarre looking scenery in NZ. But a lot of sheep. So many sheep.

  98. 98
    Tommy says:

    @muddy: I guess I need to head there. My family came here from Scotland in 1876. I have litters. They are the most American things you will ever read.

  99. 99
    trollhattan says:

    Heh. Too bad it didn’t take WordPress instead.

  100. 100
    Tommy says:

    @muddy:I follow a tweeter feed of sheep. Did I just say that?

  101. 101
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: What sheep twitter do you follow?

  102. 102
    J R in WV says:


    No Tommy, you said you have a litter of sheep, which sounds impossible to me! Sheep don’t come in litters, usually. Maybe you’re special that way?! Or were you talking about letters?

  103. 103
    muddy says:

    @Tommy: Have you ever seen these sheepherding videos? It’s Wales, but sheep country is much the same all over.

    In NZ as we were driving around, sometimes we’d honk the horn at the sheep. The ones in the nearby meadow would run off startled, and the ones way up the hill would start running a bit after when they noticed the other ones running. Then they would all seem to forget what the issue was, and slowly stop and start eating grass again. My dad was delighted by this, and would honk the horn like a kid for the effect.

  104. 104
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    May I suggest a leisurely hiking tour of the Scottish Hebrides (aka the Western Isles). Beautiful mountains (the Cuillins), incredible geologic structures, wildlife galore (seals everywhere, wild deer, an abundance of bird life) (and sheep), scenery that will take your breath away. Prehistoric standing stones. Millennia of history. Castles. And excellent hiking trails.

    The inhabited islands, of which there are approximately 50, have the warmest, most hospitable people you could hope to find anywhere on the planet. These are people who (in common with Celts everywhere) love to party and dance and make music. If you like whisky, well, there is definitely whisky. Local food is plentiful and delicious. On one trip I pretty much lived on venison for five days — venison steaks, venison broth, venison stew, sliced venison sandwiches — from a deer which had been shot by the landlord of the hotel where I stayed.

    Also kippered herring :-)

    Stay on one of the larger islands for a base (Skye, or Harris and Lewis) and either take ferries to the other islands or, since money is not an issue, use one of the sky taxi inter-island air services.

    And if you need someone to carry your suitcase, well, I’ll put up my hand. I’d go back in a heartbeat. My heart is in the Hebrides, has been all my life.

  105. 105
    J R in WV says:


    And don’t forget, right now Africa has the epidemic going on, and will for a while. New Zealand or Scotland sounds much better to me for a walking vacation.

    A close friend of ours spent 2 months biking around in NZ with her son, had a blast. The pubs brew their own beer, and make pastie pies. Reports are that you can get the calories to bike around the whole island on beer and pasties!

  106. 106
    Dog On Porch says:

    Congress (“ha ha”) is on vacation (“ha ha”). Still, it’s interesting there’s been little reaction to Obama’s decision to review each arms shipment request hereafter submitted by the Israeli government. At long last, can it be the Israelis have finally overplayed their hand with Americans? For their sake and ours, I hope they have.

  107. 107
    muddy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Och, aye, but he wanted something “foreign”. I did love Scotland too.

    You will like Vermont when you visit, it has much the same look, with more trees. It used to be more cleared. But the meadow vs. mountain is much the same. Also venny and fish.

  108. 108
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I am getting very excited! I’ve always kind of thought I would love New England because of its reputed similarity to Scotland. Really looking forward to checking it out for myself.

  109. 109
    Tommy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Skye would get be where I’d go. Where my family is from.

  110. 110
    gene108 says:


    1. Antarctica
    2. Pyramids in Egypt
    3. Coliseum in Rome

    If you had the time, you could probably combine 2&3.

    4. Patagonia / Inca Ruins / Peru
    5. Alaska (not foreign, but far enough away)

  111. 111
    muddy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I think it is called New England for more reasons than that it was early settlement. You will be pleased.

  112. 112
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: If you haven’t done a genealogy tour to Scotland, it’s lots of fun. Be sure you do it at some point. Plenty of good hiking in Scotland and northern England (the Lakes, for instance). If you’re looking to go this year and hike in Scotland, I’d recommend you go by early October. Otherwise prepare to be very wet and cold. Well, you should prepare to be wet and cold in any case, but it’s pretty rainy and cold in Scotland by October. It can be glorious, though. Just be prepared.

    October is generally a good time to visit the UK because airfares have dropped and the weather isn’t terrible like in January and the tourists aren’t quite as plentiful as in summer. You shouldn’t need $10K to go to the UK unless you’re really doing it up and staying a long time.

  113. 113
    Tommy says:

    @muddy: Let me tell you a story about Vermont. I was at grad school. Best friend was from Vermont. I was from Illinois. We were called Yankees and a lot of a stuff all the time. This is at LSU. I went on an Amtrak train from Baton Rouge to Vermont see him. Brattleboro VT might be the most stunning place I have ever been in my life.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I hope you do! You will love it, I promise!

  115. 115
    muddy says:

    @Tommy: And you barely got into the state at all! It’s great, and I’m sure I bore people with saying so.

  116. 116
    Tommy says:

    @Violet: You people here rock. Going and planning the trip right now.

    The genealogy thing is strange for me. My dad sent me the history of my family. Back to 1400 or so. Jokes I can walk up to a castle or so in Soctland. knock on the door, and say I used to live here.

  117. 117
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Well, you should prepare to be wet and cold in any case

    Oh yeah, I’ve been wet and cold in mid-July. Would love to give the Islands a try in October, though; I’ll bet they’re just stunning and wild.

    Have you ever read any of the Hebrides books by Lillian Beckwith (The Hills is Lonely, A Rope in Case, etc.)? Funny as all get out, but a good sense of what it must be like to live there year-round. There are five or six of them but the first ones are the best.

  118. 118
    muddy says:

    @Tommy: You’re lucky to know that branch of the family history. Of course lots of people’s families used to live there too, but they don’t have the papers. ;-) We knew a lot about our family history, and my brother-in-law is a geneaologist, so now we know more. We have a lot of tintypes and daguerreotypes from the family too, it’s interesting to see people who look much like oneself.

  119. 119
    Violet says:

    @Tommy: If you want to go to Scotland, check for flights to Manchester (England), Glasgow and Edinburgh. The last two are only about an hour apart but prices can vary. You can go to London and catch a connection flight or drive or train, but factor that into your price. The internal flights are generally strict on baggage allowances and will charge for extra. Factor that into cost too. London is a fair drive from Scotland so if you’re only doing Scotland, you might want to skip London and fly elsewhere.

    Driving on the left side of the road isn’t hard. Takes a day or so and you get used to it. If you’re not comfortable with stick shift, be sure to reserve a car with automatic transmission. Remember with manual transmission the stick shift is with your left hand–it’s an adjustment even if you’re comfortable with it.

    If you’re staying in Glasgow before or after a flight, I loved The Ubiquitous Chip restaurant. Not cheap but very good.

    FYI, hiking in the UK is known as “walking”. It is not a walk–it is a hike. Don’t be fooled. There is so much walking in the Lake District. Just google it now and you’ll be lost in that for days. It’s gorgeous and glorious. Don’t miss it if you are in the area.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @Dog On Porch: I hadn’t heard that – thats great news. Do you have a link to get me started?

  121. 121
    Glocksman says:


    My last dog was a boxer who had a white coat and a brown eyepatch.
    Haley was the friendliest dog you’d ever meet unless you threatened me.

    In that case, her snarling visage would be the second to last thing you’d ever see.

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