Saturday, July 28, 2012

Only 3 days left?!!!

Okay, now it's 1 1/2 days left since I started this blog entry earlier. It’s hard to believe this summer has flown by so quickly, yet passed so slowly. Yesterday was my last day finishing up getting the media center ready for my interim replacement at school. I would probably go in and spend a few more hours, but the building is closed. It’s kinda nice to know I can’t do anything about it even if I want to.

We have been busy painting, cleaning carpets, mowing, sweeping, putting away stuff in all the rooms. It’s now pretty much done and just needing some finishing touches. Our bags are packed, and my brother volunteered to take two bags up to Maryland, so now we don’t have to drive a large rental vehicle (whew, I’m relieved)! Can you believe we are getting by with one suitcase apiece?! I wasn’t sure if it was possible………………. but we’ll see what we return with at the end of our year in Scotland.

While I hate it for my in-laws not having air-conditioning this last week, it’s been nice to have the company, cleaning help, and the kids have loved having grandparents who will play games with them while Jim and I are cleaning. I am a little suspicious that it is just a ploy to spend more time with the grandkids before we leave!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

USA Soccer vs Scotland Football

May 26, 2012

I finally got around to writing up the family adventure of Memorial Day weekend at the end of May.  The story actually begins back in early March (before we knew we were exchanging to Scotland) when I noticed the US Men’s National soccer team was playing a friendly soccer match against Scotland in Jacksonville, FL on May 26th.  I love to go to as many US matches as I can and I thought that this could be a fun family trip to see a soccer game and also spend some time at the beach.  We bought tickets in early March for the four of us and kind of forgot about it since the game was to be played 3 months in the future.  We found out on March 29th that we would be exchanging to Scotland and with all of the excitement, it was a couple of days before we remembered we would get our 1st taste of Scotland at the game. 

On the Saturday of the game, we were checking into our hotel at the beach, Cara and Stacy saw a man walking down the sidewalk in a kilt.  Little did we know that this would be the first of many kilts that we would see on Scotland fans.   We stopped at the American Outlaws tailgate party and saw my cousin Ray who made the trip up from Tampa, FL.  The family participated in the parade to the stadium, chanting some of the US cheers.  Carter really enjoyed this.  Inside the stadium, we were seated near a large supporter section for Scotland, with most of the people being formal members of the Scotland supporters group known as the Tartan Army.  We really enjoyed watching them and listening to them as they paraded in, playing the bagpipes and singing.  Our favorite was “We’ll be coming, be coming, we’ll be coming down the road. When you hear that noise of the Tartan Army boys, we’ll be coming down the road”.  We were excited about this song because we had been informed by Graeme (my exchange partner) that this song was something that the supporters did. Before leaving home, we had looked up the song on the internet so we knew the basic chorus and we all were singing it as the Tartan Army marched by.

The US team dominated the game winning 5-1, but Carter did get to cheer and wave our Scotland flag when they scored, even if it was an own goal.  We had a great time at the game and saw lots of flags from various Scotland supporters.  We actually sat very close to a large flag that had Dunfermline (our future home in Scotland) on it, so I had to get a picture of it. 

We were going to spend all day Sunday at the beach in Jacksonville but tropical storm Beryl decided to pay Jacksonville a visit, so we left town early.   We encountered about 2 hours of driving in the rain as we left, but from later weather reports, we made the right call getting out before lots of rain came to town.  All and all, we had a great time on our brief trip to Jacksonville and it was very exciting to see a glimpse of the passion of the people of Scotland as they supported their national football (soccer) team.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

16 days left...

...until we leave North Carolina for a year! We've gotten loads done in the last few weeks and it still feels like we have a lot left to do. Jim received his ticket confirmation from the Fulbright travel agency. He will be flying with the kids and me from Baltimore to London, but we will leave about 40 minutes before he does for Edinburgh.
   One exciting bit of news appeared in our local paper on Monday, July 9th. It was an article about our Fulbright exchange with comments from both Jim and Carter. Here's a LINK to the article. After seeing the article, Carter commented that the picture looked like Uncle Mike!!
   It is amazing how difficult our state seems to make it to change bills and help our exchange teacher have things such as power, car insurance, etc. ready for when he comes. It seems like he will have to do a good bit of legwork when he arrives.
   We have found 2 good books to represent North Carolina & take with us. One is N is for North Carolina, and the other is a nice photo book of NC. Jim and I tried to go to a gift store today to look for a few more items to represent NC, but they were closed today. We also contacted our state Senator and Representative, but haven't heard a word back from them yet.
   This week we've been busy painting, gotten gutter covers installed and finished cleaning and reorganizing half the kitchen.
   We have only 16 more days to go - so excited!!