Sunday, February 28, 2010

July 2009::: Adventures in Scotland with Adina Noel & Jacob Preedin... "Glasgow University & Sarah"

Tuesday morning we woke up to another typical day in Scotland, windy, rainy, and chilly. It's a good thing we went there in July, because I am not the greatest advocate for cold weather. But, you gotta rock what you've got, right? So I put on as many layers as I could fit my arms into (it's what I do), got a granola bar in my purse (pretty sure its still there), and Sarah, Jacob, and I were on our way!

We got in the car and drove to Glasgow. You know what makes me feel safe while on the road? Having the driver tell me she is still trying to get used to driving stick AND on the wrong side of the road! Haha. I am just teasing... Sarah is a good driver, she just needs to gain some confidence. I'm sure this blog just helped her with that! Haha.

When we got downtown we parked somewhere and then rode the infamous "Tube" which was... mostly uneventful but fun to say.

Where Are We Going?
"The Tube"

First we visited the cutest little street. Of course, all the details are fuzzy now... which will show me to not blog about things 7 months after they took place! But since they say a picture is worth a thousand words, here's some to make up for my lack of good memory!

Harry Potter Is Here
Harry Potter in the U.K.!! How fun! :)

Wherever You Are, Budweiser.
"Wherever You Are, Budweiser"
(Haha, I have this thing for trying to create catch phrases for adds...)

Ashton Lane


"The Camera Loooooves You!!"

Our next stop was Glasgow University. Of course, we had to find our way there first, and it took some direction from this nice girl willing to stand in the rain (and unknowingly get her picture taken) for us.

"Where are we...??"

One thing about photographers is that you can't expect to actually walk some place without making a million little stops to take pictures of trees, puddle reflections, and anything with an interesting texture, or contrast, or story.

VW Reflection
Fell in love with this VW and its reflection.


Guiness Time
"Apparently, its Guinness Time!"

When we finally got to Glasgow University we were all in a different corner, taking pictures, and not caring that we get wet or possibly turn into human popsicles.



Sarah told me it was entertaining to see what we would stop and take pictures of. Wooden benches, faded signs, even light switches, or rusty pipes. Here are some of those:

Sit Down And Remember

"Framing it!"

Faded Sign
"Practice Of Medicine"

Corner of Prayer
Taking a minute to pray and be thankful

Scottish Rain
Colourful rain

Glasgow Uni Shooter
"If You Shoot I'll Shoot!"

Secret Lab
Pretty sure they make Frankensteins down there...

Last but not least: its a fairly well known fact (at least to me and Jacob it is) that in life you can't walk around with photographers and being as drop-dead-gorgeous as Sarah is without having your shots taken. So we ended up doing a mini-shoot of each other! :)

Close Range

Pensive = Love.

Quirky = Love.

Wishful Thinking
Adina = ?

(Haha, walked right into that one, didn't you?"

This is our "band picture"

"The Outside"

It's safe to say this was the day when I fell in love with capturing reflections

On our way back to the car we finally met with James. He'd been away at a conference for work or something and we hadn't had a chance to meet with him yet. We went home, had a nice dinner, and then just hung out and watched some stand up DVD of brittish comedian Michael McIntyre.
Wow... that is a really funny guy! It's not the greatest picture ever, but I just HAD to try to capture that moment somehow!

Stop Laughing and Breathe!

Sadly the next day was the day we left Scotland. Sarah drove us to the Prestwick airport.
Fun fact: apparently Elvis flew out of there at some point. They had a cute drawing on the wall.

We flew into the Barcelona airport, caught a bus, and went to downtown Barcelona to stay with some relatives I have there. By nightime we tried to catch the fountain show at Mont Juic, but apparently it wasn't on that night. So we sat on the steps, listened to the AMAZING guy who plays guitar for tips there every day, and had some deep talks while we looked down on Barcelona at night. Wish I had a picture... but I don't. We took a moment off of being photographers, and decided to be people again. :)

We meant to catch a tourist bus and see as much of Barcelona as possible during the day, but we ended up having to leave right after lunch to catch the last 7 hour bus ride to Bilbao. The plan was to hang out with my family, and friends Amanda (who I traveled with in May), and Lauren, for the day and a half before he was flying back home to Chicago.

About 20 minutes after getting to my house, we ran out the door to visit "Geekfest 2009." Okay, so that's not the "official" name for it, but you get the point. Its a gigantic computer convention full of gamers, programers, and what not... doing all kinds of contests, championships, and such and winning prizes. Mostly, not sleeping in about 5 days... and downloading at amazing speeds. It looks awesome at night though. You stand above the arena, on the stairs, and look over a sea of about 6,000 computer screens lighting up the night. Pretty cool. Oh, and seeing how some of these people "pimp out" their machine is just funny! Haha. I think we walked back home at about 5 am...

No photo credit. This is a stock picture I found.

The next afternoon we went to downtown Bilbao to pick up Amanda and Lauren.
Fun story: I have no internal GPS. Whatsoever. Jacob and I were simply going to go to the bus station to pick up Amanda and Lauren, and walk over to see the Guggenheim. just a few blocks away. I got lost. Pretty bad. Like "walking around aimlessly for 45 minutes" bad. I eventually found it, and we just hung out there for a bit. We even ran into two sets of newlyweds. So Jacob ran off to get a few shots, and the girls and I caught up on their adventures in San Fermin, aka "the running of the bulls" holiday.

The next day it was just more sightseeing and hanging out with my family. I don't really remember much because apparently I was falling asleep everywhere, especially the van, and almost-exclusively with my mouth WIDE open like a total dork.
So sad to not have a picture of that moment, wait... no I'm not! :P

So all in all it was a great time full of good talks and running around like chickens with their heads cut off, just trying to cover as much sight-seeing as possible. Unfortunately, no shots of that either! I don't know what I was thinking... I think at that point I was shooting more with Jacob's camera than with mine, and I don't have a copy of those pictures yet.

Jacob left at about 5 am, and after that I slept for a long time without the fear of starring in another photoshoot.

That's it for these Adventures in Scotland with Adina Noel & Jacob Preedin. "Tune in" next time to read about... less exciting things?

Rain Dance
"This is it folks!"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

July 2009::: Adventures in Scotland, with Adina Noel & Jacob Preedin... "Heidi Baker Conference"

Fun bit: Before going to Scotland my mom had been telling me to try to find a church she went to when she visited Glasgow a while back. She said you could really find God there and that it was a really international church and tried to tell me the name and directions to get there, which, if you know me at all you'll know is almost pointless. I pretty much forgot about it, and when I came home and told her about it and showed her the pictures, this was it!! I had been to the church she fondly calls "my church in Scotland" and I didn't even know it. I like to think that it was meant to happen! ;)


When we got to Glasgow Elim Church, we were welcomed by a huge line to the door that didn't seem to be moving. There was much confusion going on. First we were told that there wasn't any room for more. Everyone stayed. I think that in itself shows how much people wanted to be there! After a couple minutes we were told that even the overflow rooms were full. The lobby was full. EVERYTHING was full. Still, everyone stayed. A short while later, we were told that people would slowly be allowed in... and people started squeezing in. The fire marshall would have been proud, I'm sure!

________________________________Not exactly roomie, is it?______________________________

Finally we were standing inside the sanctuary, by the sound techs, trying to not be in their way. The worship team sang some songs and we saw a video of Heidi's work in Africa. Everyone was having a great time, and you could feel the anticipation growing. Then, finally, Heidi came out.

__________________Standing by the sound techs. Loving the waving flag.__________________

Everyone was so excited, flags waving, faces
smiling. I, for one, was very intrigued, since I had never even heard of her. So the evening began... The very first thing she did totally caught me by surprise. She said something to the effect of "All you people standing in the back there (us, and another large group) you know what we do in Africa? We say there's always room for everybody. Come up front and sit on the floor, that's what the children do!" So we all walked up to the very front, and got to listen to the whole thing from about 10 feet away. It was so great, and I couldn't help but think upon Luke 14:11 when Jesus said "Go and sit at the last place. Then when the host comes he may very well say, 'Friend, come up to the front." I know its a bit out of context with what He was teaching, but it made me smile. Then she started talking and it was simply amazing.

__________________________________This is where we sat!_____________________________

You can listen to her teaching by following this link.

It really spoke to me and I can't even put it into words. I could tell God was there. I knew He was there with me. He touched my heart and opened my eyes about a lot of things... and it was a big night in my spiritual walk. :)

_Heidi Baker: A simply amazing woman of God.____________

When it was over we had a little midnight snack at McDonalds, some good down time, then went back to the house. The next day we were hitting downton Glasgow with Sarah. Which, of course, you will hear in our NEXT Adventure In Scotland!!

NOTE: ALL photo credit goes to Jacob Preedin.
(Sometimes I wonder where my camera was, and why wasn't I using it?! Haha.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

July 2009::: Adventures in Scotland, with Adina Noel & Jacob Preedin... "Edinburgh Day Trip"

We decided that it would probably be best to try to catch the last bus down to Glasgow. So we did. Unfortunately we had to sit separately, and it was a pretty boring and rainy trip down there. Did you know that you can have connecting buses? Yeah, I definitely didn't know that. Half way down two buses met and we were told that we had to switch. This turned out to mean that we had to wait and stand in the rain for about 40 minutes, being told they didn't know if we would have a seat on the new bus: Oh, the joy! Fortunately God kinda likes us, and we ended up having a spot on the bus. Pretty sure we sat together too... which is good. I hate sitting apart from people.

We got to Glasgow pretty late, and Jake's awesome friend Sarah Mayers (Jacob shot her wedding the previous year) came to pick us up. We got some fish and chips to go while we waited for her... when she showed up the first thing she did was leave her car parked illegally to run in and get some for herself! She was such a happy, upbeat, funny girl with such a bubbly personality that right after our hello's and her running in to get her "chipper" I turned to Jacob and said "Wow... I love her already!" Haha. I am glad to say that I still do to this day, and we have become good friends.

Anyway, more on Glasgow later.

We stayed with Sarah and her husband James, and the next day she sent us out to catch a train and adventure in Edinburgh all on our own. At this point of the trip I was pretty tired and not so thrilled that it was so rainy and cold all the time... let's just say I got a little cranky. Buuuut..... I started exploring Edinburgh and it didn't take too long before I started taking pictures! That also makes me be in a better mood instantly... which is why at first I avoided it, because I am a bit stubborn like that sometimes! Haha.

I loved the whole feel of Edinburgh. In a way it feels very old-timey. Medieval, even. You have this huge castle and streets made of stone... and yet it's definitely a modern-day busy city. I liked it very much.

Edinburgh Church

It amazes me to be able to walk across things like THIS!!

Next stop was, of course, Edinburgh Castle! What can I say about a castle that you haven't heard a million times? It was huge, on top of a giant hill, and you could see all of Edinburgh from there. We walked around and took a million pictures. Here are some:

One Man, One Castle

Walking up to the castle.

Welcome To Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Window

Medieval Shooter

We also got harassed by one of the security people for taking pictures where we weren't supposed to. Oops! There was a really annoying security guard though... he started following us around. At one point he came up to Jacob and said that he had seen him take a picture (which he hadn't) and didn't believe him until he showed him the camera. Wow... we got out of that part of the castle fast! Haha.

Log Of Awesome

Edinburgh Castle Wall

From Edinburgh With Love

Edinburgh Downhill

It's like a whole town in there!

As we were walking by we ran into a tour guide with a group. I like to listen in for a bit and get to know the insider scoop on the place. This is what I learned at the castle. They shoot cannons every day! How great is that? Its a tradition by now. You would think that it started in battle, but it didn't. Apparently they used the cannon as a sound signal for the boats in the harbor. Some people have lighthouses, but not the Scotts! They have cannons! Haha. They fire the cannon every day at 1 pm. They are also smart enough to notice that since Scotland is such a place for tradition, their inhabitants are too, and as such are happy Scotch drinkers. Therefore, they don't fire the cannon on Sundays, so as to not wake up the hungover peasants! OK, maybe I added that last bit... but they really don't fire it on Sundays. Being a happy Sunday nap taker, that just makes me love Scotland even more.

Morning Wake Up Call

Why Men Go To Scotland

I think he's trying to tell me something... :P

Narrow Alley

This alley was so narrow that if you had your arms stretched out you would be able to touch both sides. Call me silly, but I think that's cool. :)

Downtown Edinburgh

I love this man for letting me take his picture!

After we ate lunch, bought souvenirs, and discussed who would look better in a kilt, we took a train back to Glasgow to meet back with Sarah. Fun fact: We both fell asleep on the train ride and were woken up at the last stop by the train guy yelling "LAST STOP, GLASGOOOOH!!!" In the most awesome Scottish accent ever!

Fully rested we met with Sarah and went straight to a local church to try to make it to a Heidi Baker conference. We get to the door... full house. Volunteers working the event say there's no room for anyone else... and what happened next was what I will tell you about in my NEXT Adventure in Scotland!! :D

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

July 2009::: Adventures in Scotland, With Adina Noel & Jacob Preedin... "Loch Ness/Urquhart Castle"

Sorry to have left you hanging with that "to be continued" for a month. I was going to blame it on the Christmas season, and then I saw that my last post was on January 12th. Oops! I guess I will blame it on "life" and take up my title as a terrible blogger. Anyway, HERE WE GO!!

The day after our trash-the-dress session we slept in WAAAAAAAAAAY too much (recovering from the so-called "hangover" of shooting a big wedding) and we went on our way to adventure-land! Actually, we more specifically went to catch a train that was to take us to Inverness, the small town right by Loch Ness. I distinctly remember that the taxi driver was SO nice, and a fan of photography. Just for that, I mention him on the blog! ;)

Now, you should know that the only thing I was really obsessed about visiting while in Scotland was Loch Ness. I had this thing about how I was going to find Nessie and all that. Yeah, about that...


...I had no idea how HUGE Loch Ness actually was. I will put it this way... we were riding a bus from Inverness to Urquhart Castle for 20 minutes, and the whole 20 minutes we had Loch Ness next to us. Needless to say, I never did see Nessie... but... I choose to believe! :D

Endless Beauty

If for some reason you didn't know this about me, you should find out now. Drama has a thing for me, really. It's a love-hate relationship. I have also found that my geometry tutor was right, I really DO make things unnecessarily complicated. Keep both of those things in mind to understand this next part of the visit...

Welcome To Urquhart Castle

Jacob and I had to travel around with all of our luggage on us. You know, the 50 lbs weight allowance that always seems way too low when you're packing? Let me tell you, I was SO thankful for it during this trip. Yeah.This trip taught me the importance of good quality suitcases with wheels that spin properly and nice long handles. At a given point, in Inverness, we got lost looking for the bus stop. We went all the way around the biggest post office I have seen in my life, to look for the bus station. I thought my vertebrae would fuse together as I spent about 20 minutes walking while bent sideways in order to be able to drag my big suitcase by the regular mid-body handle, since the upper one (meant to use with the wheels) was broken, all this, of course, with the additional weight and clunky-ness from also having my backpack and camera bag on me. When we got to the castle, however, we figured it would get better.

Well... the castle lays bellow this amazingly long hill, and once you get down to it there are stone steps everywhere. Not a very suitcase-friendly environment. The store wouldn't hold our suitcases for us (security reasons) and we had to come up with something. We discussed abandoning our suitcases behind a gigantic bush, but decided against it. So... Jacob and I decided to take turns going in and taking pictures. His turn first. I just sat outside, prayed, and tried to randomly entertain myself for the 45 minutes it took for him to come back out.

Adina's Self Entertainment 101:

1) Making up, in my mind, the conversations that the other tourists were having while walking by. Those people were crazy! ;)

2) Looking for Nessie.

3) "Only in Scotland can one be sitting on a bench in the sun, in July, and be cold."

4) Seriously considering running to the shore and stealing some Loch Ness water and storing it in my water bottle to later take home to my secret lab and use to conduct evil experiments with!!!

What??? I told you I had to entertain myself for 45 minutes, what did you expect??! :D

Anyway, after all that it was finally my turn to go in! Now, remember that thing about drama having a crush on me? Well, as I start going in through the doors, this lady in a golf cart starts driving by telling us that the place is closing in 10 minutes! What?? So... I had to literally run up and down, and try to compose a decent shot, while having this lady ride around in circles around me telling me that they were closing for the day! Haha. Funny thing is, they weren't in such a hurry to close the gift shop, when I was giving them money! ;)

Green Scotland

See that man calmly going up the steps? Yeah, he had the right idea!

After that quick visit we slowly dragged our evil suitcases up the horrible hill, and sat in a parking lot trying to figure out if we would have to spend the night in Inverness or try to catch the last bus down to Glasgow to visit James&Sarah Mayers. This moment of my life I remember as "That time that I accidentally dropped Jacob's Canon 5D with the $1200 lens rental on the parking lot!" He is such a good friend. He didn't even kill me, which is good because if he had I wouldn't be able to tell you what happened on our NEXT Adventure In Scotland!!! :D

Stand Your Ground Until The End

I love Urquhart Castle! :)