Thursday, March 4, 2021

Really Random Thursday, 3/4/21

 I traveled far and wide this past week. All from the comfort of my office.

A few weeks ago, I discovered a wonderful site called This site offers real-time tours of places from around the world. The first tour I took, to kind of test it out, was a tour of the new Penn Station in NYC. It was a 45-minute walking tour from the old station to the new station, with lots of information along the way. The cool thing is that there is a chat box where you can ask questions and make comments, and the tour guide responds in real time. I only took this one picture but the whole tour was very interesting.

On Sunday, Gabe and I went to Edinburgh for the "Harry Potter--The Truth Behind the Myths and Legends" tour. Because the tours are in real time, we opted for the one that began at 7 a.m. Fresno time (4 a.m. was just too early for us, although that was an option--ha). Mark picked him up at 6:45 a.m., we got a good seat in my office, and then Mark went to buy us bagels for breakfast. 

J.K. Rowling wrote at least one of the books in Edinburgh, at a hotel charging 1000 pounds per night--and she was there for six months! The room where she wrote now goes for 2000 pounds per night--just in case you are a huge Harry Potter fan and this sounds like something to put on  your bucket list.

Along the way, we came upon a bagpiper. Several of the other people on the tour requested that the tour guide pause for a few minutes so we could listen to him play. One of the questions was whether our guide knew what tartan the bagpiper was wearing--he thought it was from the Stewart clan.

We saw the street that was the inspiration for Diagon Alley.

This brush shop is quite special.

Inspiration for Hogwarts.

And the cemetery where J.K. Rowling chose a few of the character names--Professor McGonagall and Tom Riddle.

It was a fun tour. The hardest part was that the tour guide had a strong Scottish accent--charming but hard to understand at times.

I highly recommend checking out this website and trying a tour. They are free to take but it is recommended--although not required--that you leave a tip for the guide. 

We hope to find a time for the "Harry Potter Film Locations in London's West End." Right now it's on the schedule for Friday morning at 9 a.m., which obviously doesn't work since Gabe is in school. But I'll keep checking. 

Saturday I took a zoom class by Krista @poppyprint:  Courthouse Colour Play. It's a class I have wanted to take for a long time, so I'm thankful that she offered it via zoom. It's always been a mystery how the blocks in this pattern go together. 

Improv is not my strong suit, that's for sure. But I enjoyed the class a lot and ended up making a pillow. I have not discounted making an entire quilt at some point. 

The pillow currently lives in my sewing room on my "friend chair," looking perfect with this mini made by Crazy Mom Quilts. Come for a visit. I'm sure ready for some company!


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Jan @Cocoa Quilts said... #

Your travels sound fun. I am going to check out a few trips today! Thanks for sharing.

Christine said... #

Right up my alley! My husband will NOT travel internationally; he simply has no interest. I, on the other hand, would love to live a few months in each of my bucket list international cities. Today, I signed up and scheduled a tour with Paul of Leith/Edinburgh's port. much did you feel comfortable tipping? For now, I'll be off to Leith tomorrow morning at 9 am (my time!). Thanks so much for sharing this.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said... #

Thanks for sharing this fun idea. I'm going to check it out. I'd love to sit in your friend chair sometime and hope you can come sit in my studio friend chair too. Not sure when we're going to feel free to fly again? ugg.

French 75 said... #

Your tours sound delightful. Edinburgh is in my top 5 favorite cities, so I'll have to check to see if they have city tours. I am SO ready to get back to Scotland.

Doris said... #

I need to check out that website! I love that you and Gabe did this together, how interesting to find out all those tidbits.

Needled Mom said... #

That sounds like a fun website. Your zoom class sounds like fun and your pillow turned out great.

OPQuilt said... #

Thank you for taking us on a tour of Edinburgh -- I have been there once, ages ago, and remember almost nothing about my day-1/2 there. I think I would have learned a lot more on your tour. But I also think I need someone like Mark to go run and get the bagels, too. That ensures success! Lovely post--thanks.

Robby said... #

Oooooh, I am ready for some virtual travel. Checking that out. And that pillow (those blocks) are cool. I've seen her design before, but didn't actually look at it deeply enough to consider how it was made. Perhaps we'll see more of it in your sewing space in the months to come.