What would you risk for your faith?

Woman in black -Jericho, Israel

What if you were in search of the truth and God’s plan for your life, but unable to read the Bible? Did you know that many Arab women are illiterate?  Many more live in fear of their husbands or families, who are encouraged by the Qur’an to beat or kill their family members if they embrace or even study any other religious faith.

Cut off from any biblical understanding of their God-given role in their home and community, Arab women often submit to an unhealthy identity, born out of Islamic culture and its sometimes dysfunctional directives for family relationships. This situation frequently leads to feelings of isolation, loneliness and poor self-esteem.  The Global Training Institute for Women (GTIW) has a passion to reach out to these women who desire to know more about God and teach them about their priceless value and precious identity in Christ.

GTIW is designed as a region-specific program, where currently about 20 Christian women leaders have been selected from the Arab world (Iraq, Egypt, Israel, Sudan, and Jordan) to attend the training.  Some of these women have had to flee their home cities or countries because their lives were in danger as a result of their faith journey.  These same women are taking the risk to travel to this training.

They will meet with a small group of trainers face-to-face two times a year for three years in a neutral location. The classes are small to facilitate the building of deep relationships in a safe environment; the trainers are experienced and equipped; the training itself is focused and systematic. The Institute covers three core areas: Biblical understanding, character development, and ministry skills. The women are also encouraged to pass along what they learn to others when they return home in their church or faith community.

GTIW will be conducting their first Middle East training sessions in early May and I’m thrilled to have been asked to serve on the team! This time they would like me to document the sessions in pictures. The photos will be used to raise awareness and funds for future ministry.  The plan is to continue training these same 20 women (plus more) and funds will be needed to provide transportation and training costs for all of them.  With my event planning background, I’m also hoping to do what I can to help the Team Mobilization Director, Stephanie with the many logistical and administrative tasks that will be involved in bringing the training team of 7 from the U.S. and 20 women from the Arab countries to the training location.  I’m so thrilled at the chance to use the gifts God has given me to help others.

I would love for you to consider a donation to help me minister alongside the GTIW team from May 3rd to 14th.  My remaining financial goal is only $1100. Would you be willing to contribute $5, 50 or even $500? Every dollar really does count! None of it goes into my pocket. The donations are tax deductible and you’ll promptly receive a donation receipt since GTIW is a 501(c)(3) non-profit!

If you’d like to donate, please go to the GTIW Support Page here:

Please be sure to select my name (Nancy Hann) from the team member drop-down menu. Or if you’d rather mail a check, it should be made out to Global Training Institute for Women (or GTIW is fine), but PLEASE include my name in the address on your envelope or on a separate piece of paper so we know whose account it should be credited to:

Nancy Hann
GTIW
8283 N. Hayden Road, Suite # 258
Scottsdale, AZ 85258

If you’d like to know more about the ministry, please go to www.GreaterReach.com (aka GTIW)

Thank you so much for considering a donation. I can’t get there without you!  If you’re not able to contribute financially, your prayers would be a huge contribution as well!  Please pray for the personal and scholarship funding, for safety for all the ladies coming from so many different places, clear communication of biblical truths across cultural and language barriers, and God’s hand in every aspect of the trip.

Since things at home have been a bit up in the air and crazy this last month with my surgery, I’m in a tight timeframe for fund raising, which motivates me to reflect even more on my word for 2012 – “TRUST”.  I am trusting God for the funds needed and all the details to come together to go on this short term missions trip in early May.

I’m also planning a yard sale soon to raise funds for the trip.  If you have anything you were planning to get rid of and would like to donate it for the sale, please let me know and I’ll make arrangement to get the item(s) from you.

Thank you for your involvement!  Whatever it may be.

Traveling with Purpose – Using your gifts to help others

Have you ever been touched by the vision and goals of a particular non-profit and struggled with the fact that you didn’t have the money to write them a big check?  I have.  I’ve also wondered what I could do with my life and limited resources to help so many of the worthy causes that I encounter.

Early in our marriage, when our growing family was trying to stretch every penny I realized that in many cases my time and talents were just as important as my dollars.  It was then that  I committed to give a portion of my time, gifts and talents to serve and assist at church and various non-profits that were close to my heart.  It was and still is the LEAST I can do!

Sarajevo womanWith that in mind, a few years ago I was given the opportunity to go on a short-term missions trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina through our church.  Short-term missions was something that I had always wanted to do.  I love to travel and love to help people, but circumstances had prevented it in the past.  Now God was opening the door for me to be able to “Travel with Purpose“.  My first trip was with my husband and another couple and because of my photography hobby I was asked to participate on the trip using that skill set.  I had the privilege of:

  • documenting all the details of the outreach and ministry on the trip in pictures to share with others when we returned
  • taking photos of the children that were sponsored by our church so that their sponsors in the U.S. could see how they were coming along
  • taking photos of a missionary family, along with their home, neighborhood, church etc. so we could report on their progress to those supporting them at home – Soon after our visit they had to return to the U.S. unexpectedly for medical reasons and the photo book that I was able to create was a tangible reminder of their time serving in Bosnia.

What a thrill it was to be able to contribute out of my gifting!  If you’d like to see a few of my favorites, you can check them out at Flickr here.

2011 The Old City of JerusalemAnd it didn’t stop there!  Last year I was working part time with a non-profit called Greater Reach Ministries (now Global Training Institute for Women – GTIW).  They were in the planning stages of a training program that reaches around the planet to unleash influential women to impact their world.  They were embarking on a vision trip to Israel & Jordan to meet with women and discover how GTIW might come alongside them to assist with encouraging, training, empowering, and releasing women to be all that they were created to be.  Again, I was invited to join the team!  I was so excited to be able to help with documenting the women and the culture in those countries so that we could bring back images to help convey the message of the ministry and the needs in the Arab world!  And here’s a link to some of my favorites from this trip.

Now I have a new opportunity!  This same ministry, GTIW will be conducting their first training session in May of this year in the Middle East and I’ve been asked to come along.  This time I will document the sessions in pictures, as well as assisting the Team Mobilization Director with the many logistical and administrative tasks that will be involved in bringing the training team from the U.S. and about 20 women from 5 different Arab countries to the training location overseas.  The photos will be used to raise awareness and funds for future training sessions and my administrative support should help this first session to run smoothly while lightening the load for the Director.  I’m so thrilled at the chance to use what God has given me to help others.

How about you?

Have you found ways to use your gifts and talents to help where the need is greatest?  Or perhaps you’ve been blessed with the financial resources to help others.  We were not all meant to do the traveling.  Some of us have the opportunity to help others fulfill their vision by responding financially.  Is that your contribution to furthering these noble causes?  If so, I would love for you to consider a gift to help me travel to the Middle East.  My financial goal is only $2700 and $1000 has already been raised.  This brings me almost halfway to my goal.  Would you be willing to contribute $5, 50 or even $500?  Every dollar really does count!    None of it goes into my pocket.  And the donations are tax deductible since GTIW is a 501(c)(3) non-profit!

If you’d like to help pay for the expenses of the trip, please go to the GTIW Support Page here and select my name (Nancy Hann) from the team member drop-down menu.  Or if you’d rather mail a check, it should be made out to Global Training Institute for Women (or GTIW is fine), but PLEASE include my name in the address on your envelope or on a separate piece of paper so we know whose account it should be credited to:

Nancy Hann

GTIW

8283 N. Hayden Road, Suite # 258

Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Thank you so much for considering a contribution.  Every little bit helps.  Feel free to come back and see the progress on the blue thermometer in the sidebar!

Have you had a chance to “Travel with Purpose”?  Where did you go and what did you do?  I’d LOVE to hear about it!

Using Custom Blurb Books for Fundraising!

This week I finished two different Blurb books for a non-profit organization that I help out part time.  I love creating these books and thinking of new ways to use them to help others.

The first book that I finished this month was a  (200-page) 12″ x 12″ photo book that captured the trip that I was privileged to go on in October of 2011.  I joined a team of 7 other women and 1 man who traveled to Israel and Jordan to gather information and talk to women in the Arab World about an upcoming training program that’s being offered by the Global Training Institute for Women (GTIW aka Greater Reach Ministries) beginning in May 2012.  The 6 training sessions will take place over a 3-year period.  Their goal is to see transformed women who are rooted in their biblical identity and have a clear understanding of their spiritual gifts, resulting in courageously leading other women to the same truth.  They hope to take at least 20 Christian Arab women leaders through this program and in the future expand into Eastern Europe and the U.S. as well.

Our hope is that the photos I took on the trip will help them to spread the word about the need for training and the vision of GTIW and help raise funds to pay for the women who have limited income to attend the training.  They’ve also asked me to join them in May as the photographer/historian at the first training session in the Arab World.

If you’d like to get a sampling of the big book, you can check it out here.  The photos of the people that we met with have been omitted from the online book preview for their own security, since some Christians and Muslim Background Believers risk their lives in professing their faith in Christ.

The second book that I created is a personal Prayer Journal that contains 31 blank pages to write in and a page with scripture and a photo from the Holy Land for every 7 blank pages.  If you’d like to see a full preview of the journal, please take a look here.

All proceeds from both books help to fund the Global Training Institute for Women… So after you see it, if you decide you’d like to order a few for yourself or as a gift, please use this link and get 15% off your whole order with the discount code 15OFFBLURB (all caps).   

f you write a page each day in the journal, it will last a full month.  If you write less than a page, then the journal will cover a longer period of time. In the future we may be researching other printing options to lower the cost and increase the fund-raising dollars per book and be able to increase the page count as well.  Plus we’ll be creating new designs with different photos and possibly a planner/calendar layout too!

For more information about the ministry or if you would like to contribute directly, please visit the website to donate at GreaterReach.com, send a check to the address below or contact them at:

Global Training Institute for Women
8283 N. Hayden Road, Suite 258
Scottsdale, AZ 85258

email. Info[at]GTIW[dot]com

480.718.3062

Be sure to tell them where you heard about it!  And let me know your thoughts on what you’d like to see in future book products as well. Thanks so much!

Apologies for the delay…

Hello friends,

I wanted to let you know that I’m still in the land of the living.  Soon after I returned from Scotland and Ireland I headed out on a trip to Israel and Jordan.  I know, I know, it seems to come in waves.  Talk about drastic differences in culture, climate and everything!  Wow!  Both trips were amazing and I learned so much that I can’t wait to share about.

I am just now getting over my jet-lag and starting to feel like a real person again, so I should be back to posting very soon.  While you’re waiting, please enjoy this photo of the full moon over the Sea of Galilee.  It was taken from our balcony at the King Solomon’s Hotel in the city of Tiberias, which was about mid-way through our trip.

Come back soon for more travel stories!  I miss connecting with you.

Full Moon over the Sea of Galilee

The Beauty of Oban, Scotland

Day 4 continued…

In the afternoon, after we said farewell to the bagpiper and left Glencoe we followed the western coast of Scotland down to Oban.  By the time we arrived the skies had cleared and we enjoyed blue skies with billowy clouds the rest of the day.

Coast near Oban Scotland

The first thing we noticed when we got near the coast was the extreme low tide.  I researched it later and found out that the latitude (distance from the earth’s equator) of Oban is very similar to that of Ketchican, Alaska where we had seen tidal extremes as well.  On the day we were in Oban, there was a difference of 10 feet between high and low tide.  Here’s a little evidence.

Low tide near Oban Scotland

Oban Low Tide

Oban Harbor High Tide

One of our stops in town was the Oban Whisky Distillery which has been in business since 1794.  We wanted to take a tour, but we got there too late and the tickets were all sold out.  We were able to browse in their gift shop and picked up a few souvenirs.  We also picked up this cool Whisky Map that shows the various Scottish whiskies according to location and type of flavors (light, smoky, rich or delicate).  Click to enlarge and see if you can find one that’s familiar to you.

Oban Distillery Scotland

Scotland Whisky Map

We strolled down the main street toward the edge of town, and hiding behind construction scaffolding, we discovered the gorgeous St. Columba’s Roman Catholic Cathedral.  As you can see from the photo, it was built with generous amounts of blue granite.  To give you an idea of the scale of the room, notice that Kevin is sitting on the right side of the aisle near the front.  In the next post I’ll share a little more about the cathedral as well as some tasty food discoveries that we made in Oban.

St. Columba Cathedral Oban ScotlandTRAVEL TIP TODAY:  Be adventurous.  You may find some hidden gems.  We had no idea that this lovely cathedral was in Oban, but we noticed an entrance among the scaffolding and decided to check it out.  We were so glad we did!  You never know what you might find around an unexpected corner, so don’t be afraid to explore a bit when you’re in a new place.

The Bagpiper and Glencoe, Scotland

Day 4 – Go West Young Man

On Sunday we decided that we were going to head west.  The plan was to follow this route from Aberfeldy to Glencoe, then on to Oban before coming back home in the evening.  It would be a lot of driving (about 2 1/2 hours one-way) but we felt the destinations were worth it.

Amy wasn’t feeling well again, so she and Andrew decided to stay back in the room.  We were sad that they couldn’t join us, but Amy got some much needed rest and Andrew had some adventures of his own.  Hopefully he’ll post about it.

Shortly after we left the resort we came upon our first up-close and personal sheep.  They were a common occurrence all over Scotland, but these were crossing the road right in front of our car.

Sheep

Then while driving along A827 through the town of Killin, we crossed a one lane bridge and came upon this gorgeous wide berth of the Falls of Dochart.  As always, feel free to click on any photo for a larger view.

Falls of Dochart

Of course we had to stop and do a little bit of exploring here…even though there was a light rain falling. Overall we had better weather than expected through the whole trip.  Oh, we had a little bit of rain nearly every day, but really only one day where we came home somewhat soggy.  For the most part we could expect the weather to change almost hourly, going from sunny to cloudy to sprinkling to raining and back again throughout the day.

Terry at Falls of Dochart
Falls of Dochart Scotland

An island in the middle of the river on the downstream side of the bridge is known as Innis Bhuidhe. This is home to the Clan MacNab Burial Ground. Its use dates back to the 1700s. An oblong enclosure within the burial ground is home to fifteen graves, nine of which are the final resting places of clan chiefs, plus a medieval grave slab which suggests that at least one earlier burial did take place here. Unfortunately there was a locked gate on the bridge that kept us from getting inside, so this is all we were able to see.  However, if you have a little bit of time, there's a sign on the gate that says you can get the key from a nearby building.
Clan MacNab Burial Ground

After our pit stop we headed back out toward the road to Glencoe.  At one point we had to stop for a few minutes for road construction and I snapped this photo of the vegetation at the side of the road.  I just love the dozens, or would you say hundreds of shades of green…and how many different types of plants can you pick out?

On the way to Glencoe

Next we were finally on to Glencoe, a lush, misty and gorgeous part of the Scottish Highlands!  It is also the historic home of the tragic Glencoe Massacre of 1692 which adds an even more haunting air to the area.  We were told by those who would know, that watching the hovering clouds and mist shift and change in the valley is the only way to see the glen.

Glencoe mist

Glencoe ScotlandYou many not be able to see it in these pics, but there is water everywhere in the glen.  Seasonal rivulets cascading through the crevices of the mountainsides.  An amazing amount of water!

At one of the roadside overlooks we also came upon this bagpiper picking up a few extra pounds (sterling, that is).  He was decked out in the full kilt ensemble so tourists could pose for photos with him or just snap a few pics, like we did.  What’s your feeling about tourist teases like this?  On one hand it’s hard to condemn the man for trying to make some money and he’s providing a service in some way.  On the other hand it feels a bit contrived and artificial.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

For those who may not be aware, the kilt is a knee-length garment with pleats at the back, originating in the traditional dress of men and boys in the Scottish Highlands of the 16th century.  I think the look is quite handsome myself and love the endless varieties of tartan plaids that are used to represent the different clans.

Glencoe Bagpiper

Soon we were getting hungry and realized that there weren’t too many options for eating establishments ahead, so we decided to stop in Glencoe Village to see if we could find a place for lunch.  This is the main street in the village, just a little wider than one lane so pay attention as you drive, in case you need to share the space with an oncoming vehicle.

Glencoe Village Main Street

The village sits at the entrance to Glen Coe and is surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery.  It’s popular with serious hill-walkers, rock and ice climbers. The picturesque mountains have also been seen in numerous films, including Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as the home of Hagrid.  I didn’t realize it before we went, but it’s possible that we could have gone on a Harry Potter Safari.  I guess that will have to wait until next time.  Here’s a list of all the movies, to date that have scenes from The Glen.  [This is a bit off the subject, but after living near Los Angeles (the film-making capitol of the world) for 18 years, I’ve always thought it would be a dream job to be a location scout.  Wouldn’t you just love having the responsibility of searching for all those amazing spots where they film your favorite movies?  But I digress…]

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD: We parked our car in the public parking lot and walked down the street until we found the Glencoe Cafe.  Since the town is very small and relatively remote, we really had no idea what the quality would be like.  Sometimes remote areas (in the U.S. too) don’t have the competition to encourage high quality foods, good service and/or low prices, so we were taking our chances here.  I have to say that the owners obviously take great pride in their establishment because they had an extensive menu of freshly made fare, cheerful service and some delicious offerings!  We were NOT disappointed. This is a photo of my lunch.  A light and tasty shrimp salad sandwich made with homemade lemon mayonnaise, accompanied by a wonderful green side salad. Mmmmm!  I loved it and the rest of our group was just as pleased with their choices! Be sure to stop by and enjoy the culinary creations of Justine Macleod and James Robertson if you’re in the area someday.

Seafood Salad Sandwich with lemon mayoGlencoe CafeAs we left the Glen and headed down the coast toward Oban, we were greeted with this rainbow.  One of many that we’d see in our 2 weeks of vacation, but this one was a double treat with the reflection in the water.  Truly a gift from God.  We knew then that it was going to be a great day!

Glencoe rainbow with reflection

I’M A FAN OF…WATER:  Living in the desert for decades has created a deep appreciation in my soul for water of every kind and this vacation was a true refreshment for me.  How do you feel about rainy days?  Do you cherish them or do you just survive them?

TRAVEL TIP TODAY:  A bit random, I know, but something to consider.  If you have hair that’s difficult to manage in wet weather, try to find a style that’s easy to take care of before you leave home.  Talk to your stylist and see if they can provide some suggestions.  My hair is generally straight in the bone-dry desert, but I knew that the little bit of natural curl would quickly respond to the rain and humidity where we were going.  I asked my stylist to cut my hair short enough so that I could just let it go curly and not worry about it sticking out here and there in my normal style, which I did.  I also asked for a suggestion on a product that might help it stay curly and she recommend Redken Ringlet 07 Curl Perfector which worked like a charm to “encourage” my wavy hair to hold some curl.  This cut down on the amount of hair products and styling tools that I needed to pack. Plus it shaved precious minutes off the time that I needed to get ready each day and lowered the stress on keeping my hair in place.

Aberfeldy and Pitlochry, Scotland

Day 2 and 3 – Getting Settled

Friday afternoon when we landed we met the kids and picked up our rental car from the airport.  Our son, Kevin had already been in Scotland for a couple days and had a rental car too.  We decided that we’d pay for an additional driver for each car so that each of the 3 couples would have the freedom to go somewhere on their own if they wanted to.  It turned out to be helpful on a few occasions and the fact that a car that seated 6 people (plus luggage) would have had to be quite a bit bigger, we were glad that we didn’t get just one vehicle for all of us this time.

Andrew Practicing his driving

The experience of driving on the left side of the road with the driver on the right side of the car, was quite a culture shock for the guys, especially for Terry.  Add to that the fact that the rural roads in Scotland are VERY narrow, have virtually no shoulder, are often lined by stone walls and sometimes are no more than one lane, it makes for a stressful drive.  Fortunately our son-in-law, Andrew LOVED driving.  Here’s a pic of him practicing in a parking lot before he went on the road for the first time.  The next day he went out driving by himself and tried to find the narrowest roads he could drive on, just for the fun of it.  The week they were with us Andrew always drove and Kevin drove a lot of the time, even though I don’t think he enjoyed it as much as Andrew.  Then when we were in Ireland Terry came down with a cold and felt pretty crummy so Kevin drove almost the whole time there too.  [We were thankful that the guys were willing to do that.]

Dinner at Moness

Our home base was in the small town of Aberfeldy, right in the heart of Scotland.  The 6 of us were staying at the Moness Resort in a 2 bedroom time-share (with a sofa-bed in the living room).  We had a functioning kitchen which saves on time and food costs when you can prepare a few of your meals at home instead of eating out all the time.

On Saturday we all slept in a bit to try to catch up on sleep after our long travel days.  We envisioned a relatively low-key day since we knew we needed to acclimate to the new time zone before the schedule got too busy.    The plan for the day was to drive about 15 miles to do a bit of exploring in the town of Pitlochry.  The young guys wanted to check out some of the whisky distilleries there and the rest of us just wanted to start discovering Scotland.   When we got there we went to the Information Center on the main street and asked for information about how to find the distilleries.  After we started walking Amy wasn’t feeling too well, so she decided that she didn’t want to do a long walk.  I volunteered to stay in town with her since I didn’t have a huge interest in whisky and we sent the other four off on their adventure.

[Note:  Whisky is spelled without an “e” before the “y” in Scotland, but with an “e” in Ireland – and in the U.S. since my spell check keeps highlighting it as a misspelled word.]

Here’s a photo (above) that Chelsea took on their hike (and I hear it was quite a hike) to the Edradour Distillery.  This happens to be the smallest distillery in Scotland.  You can read more about their story here.  Since I wasn’t with them I don’t feel qualified to write about it, but I’m hoping that Terry (or someone) will give us their account of the hike and the tour that they went on.

While they were exploring the world of whisky, Amy and I visited Victoria’s for a delicious cup of tea on their outdoor patio (note the Rick Steve’s Scotland Tour Guide on the table).  Afterward Amy decided to go and nap in the car and I spent some time exploring the shops.

Here are a few of the sights.

Germans in Kilts

I thought these guys in kilts looked authentic until I heard them speaking German.  Not sure if they were trying to blend in (which they didn’t) or if they were there for some other reason.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD:  I visited a few other stores, but nothing really jumped out at me that I HAD to have.  Then I spotted The Scottish Deli and their sign in the window that read “Scotland Deli of the Year 2011”.   Despite Scotland’s reputation for having relatively bland, boring food, I had to see what this little place had to offer.  Inside the cozy shop that could only accommodate 2 employees and a few customers I found some wonderful surprises.  The huge blackboard behind the counter listed about 30 different sandwiches available.  There were unique treats like Smoked Local Duck with Chilli Jam or Dunked Local Smoked Salmon with Star Anis & Pink Peppercorn Mustard.  It was such a creative variety that I was disappointed that it wasn’t meal time.  I vowed to bring the gang back to have a meal here or to order some of their picnic lunches to go.

The Scottish Deli - Pitlochry
The Scottish Deli - Pitlochry,Scotland

While I was there I wanted to at least pick up some cheese and crackers that we could all enjoy in the room.  I browsed the various artisan cheeses in the case and asked the woman behind the counter to wrap up a Scottish Gouda as well as an Isle of Mull Cheddar to compliment the crackers I found. Then it was time to pay.   The register was in a corner of the deli area with a counter about 2 feet wide and there was already an older woman being served by the young man behind the counter.   She was having some difficulty with her bag and needed to have her items transferred to a new one.  Simultaneously I was paying for the cheese and crackers at the same small counter.  Soon the older woman was finished and walked out of the store.  Since I was waiting for them to give me my cheese, I stood at the counter, finalized my payment and looked at the clerks.

They looked at me as if to say, “I think we’re finished.  You can leave now.”.  But I still didn’t have the cheese that they had wrapped up behind the counter.

I’m sure I looked puzzled as I stood there and finally asked, “…my cheese?”

They both looked at each other and blurted out, “Oh no!  Mrs. McDougall must have taken it!”  The young woman tore out from behind the counter, ran out the door and down the street shouting for Mrs. McDougall while the young man apologized profusely about the missing cheese.  A few minutes later the young woman returned, a little out of breath, with my purchase.  She apologized again, we all had a good laugh and all was right with the world.

Pitlochry ScotlandThis is one of their beautiful garden areas in the town center.  It’s a charming little town, well worth a day trip.

Before we left town we headed for their grocery store, which was probably equivalent in size to a Fresh-n-Easy Market in Arizona.  We picked up food for one dinner, breakfast each day and a few snacks and drinks for the week.  With the itinerary we had, we knew that we wouldn’t be home much at meal time and we were right.  We planned the food perfectly, with just enough to get us through the week.  Here are some of our treasures.  Bramble preserves (which could be blackberries or raspberries – delicious), Crumpets (these remind me of an English Muffin that’s not sliced-very tasty) and Ginger Crinkles (a crispy ginger cookie or “biscuit” as the Scottish call them).

Crumpets, Cookies and Bramble Preserves

Dinner at our Home Away from HomeThat night we enjoyed a home cooked meal of vegetable beef soup, salad, bread and wine.  It was delicious!

TRAVEL TIPS TODAY:

1. Rethink the automobile: We have spent a majority of our vacations in the western United States which are filled with wide open spaces and sprawling cities where a car is almost necessary.  In older areas on the east coast of the U.S. and “across the pond”, we’ve found that a personal vehicle isn’t always required because so many sights are within easy walking distance of each other.  Plus sometimes its more hassle than its worth…with parking woes and navigating congested streets…consider other dependable modes of mass transit and walking, of course.

2. Every meal doesn’t have to be at a restaurant:  Depending on your accommodations, it might be possible to buy a few items to keep in your room to save on eating every meal at a restaurant.  You can also think about picking up a sandwich as takeout from a deli and enjoy your meal in the park.  We usually plan to eat no more than 2 meals a day out.  Often a late breakfast and early dinner work out well.  Then, if needed, an evening snack in the room will hold you over until the next day.

How do you handle your meals when you travel?  Any tips for saving money without starving?