Thursday, May 22, 2008

What I Did On My Easter Vacation by Terri Brisbin

with Anna Sugden

Way back in January, the fabulous Terri Brisbin visited us in the Lair. A number of you asked if she would return and tell us all about her then upcoming trip to England and Scotland ... and she agreed!

I'm delighted to be able to welcome Terri back, so that she can share the details of her wonderful trip with you all. So, without further ado, here's Terri!

Hello, Banditas and visitors!

This was my fourth trip to the UK and it was a very different one from my previous ones – I began by accompanying my son and daughter-in-law’s high school group to London, stayed on with a friend for more time in London and other areas and finished with five days in Edinburgh on my own. It was, in a word, fabulous!

The week with the high school group (from Charter Tech High School in Somers Point, NJ!) was so much fun and a real challenge for me as I tried to keep up with these energetic and enthusiastic kids. Their tour guide was relentless and gives new meaning to the phrase “a leisurely 10 minute walk”. Apparently tour guides have their own universe when it comes to walking distances just as some publishing professionals have their own universe when it comes to getting back to writers on submissions.

Anyway, the highlights of that week were our five-mile walk around London on Easter Sunday in the SNOW on our first day by Westminster, along Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, then over to Piccadilly Circus, through Chinatown to Covent Garden and on and on until I think I collapsed at our hotel near Regent’s Park. My favorite places were Hampton Court, (photo 1) where they were preparing a real medieval feast and where I met King Henry VIII, my day alone at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London! Many wow moments there…as we watched a ceremony that has happened every night for the last 700 years.

Once the group left, I stayed on with a writing friend who took me to the most picturesque historical manor house in Kent outside London – Ightam Mote was wonderful, all different layers of history in its rooms and buildings. (photo 2)

Then I took a train out to Bath! Roman baths, medieval cathedrals, Regency streets and stores! (photo 3) Jane Austen country!! Lovely day, lovely town, lovely tea at the Jane Austen Center and visits to the Museum of Fashion in the former Assembly Rooms which was THE place to be in Regency England. (photo 4)

My next train experience was The Flying Scotsman – from London to Edinburgh, along the east coast and the North Sea! It was a beautiful, clear, sunny day and I actually caught sight of Lindisfarne, AKA The Holy Island, off the coast as we flew by. Edinburgh was stunning – I spent the better part of a day meandering from the Castle, high on an extinct volcano, down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace, stopping to look in shops, visit some historical buildings, search fruitlessly for men in kilts and have tea at a wonderful tearoom called Clarinda’s. (photo 5)

BUT, two things I did stick out in my mind as truly remarkable experiences in Scotland – one was my visit to the Signet Library and one was walking the scaffolding around Rosslyn Chapel! The Signet Library is from the early 1800’s and is stunning inside as some of the most beautiful architecture of its time (ours, too!). I can see Regency era balls being held there. . . and expect to see it in one of my stories, too. (photo 6)

At Rosslyn Chapel, they are still working on renovations and preservation and after taking a tour inside the chapter (yes! There really are American maize and aloe cactus carved into the walls, and strange pagan symbols and Templar artifacts….wooooooo!) The best part was climbing the scaffolding up three stories to the roof – ohmigosh – I was within reach of exquisitely-carved medieval flying buttresses! Okay – that’s probably not very exciting for most people but for history lovers or writers, but the views and the stonework took my breath away. . . or maybe it was the height? Part of the view was the ruins of Roslyn Castle, to the south of the chapel, and made with the same rose-colored stone that gleams pink in the sun. (photo 7)

So, did I exhaust you with that? Whew! It was a busy almost-three week adventure that could only be topped by. . . a 23-hour long trip home from Glasgow to London to Chicago to Philly. But, it was such a wonderful trip that I’ve already begun a list of things I want to see on the next trip….

Like men in kilts!

Terri has been writing romance fiction since 1995 and has had 16 historical and time-travel romances published by Berkley-Jove and Harlequin Historicals. When not living the glamorous life of a romance author in the southern NJ suburbs, Terri spends her time being a wife to one, mom to three boys as well as a dental hygienist to hundreds. Active in several RWA local chapters, Terri currently serves on the Board of Directors of Romance Writers of America.

To find out more about Terri and her books, please visit her newly redesigned website:

You certainly exhausted me, Terri! Other than the flight back, it sounded wonderful. I bet there are loads of people here who would love to have gone with you.

So, for a bit of fun ... and some fab prizes ... we're asking you to give us your pitch for why Terri should pack you in her suitcase and take you along for her next trip. The best ones will win a goody from Terri's trip or an autographed book or an ARC of her forthcoming book POSSESSED BY THE HIGHLANDER.


Cheri2628 said...

Terri should pack me in her suitcase because I love historical romance! I would love to see the setting of all the highlander and regency novels that I read. My imagination is only so good! I need to actually see and experience a place to truly appreciate a book's setting. Maybe I could even bring a little magic and romance back with me to liven up my 30-year marriage! ;)

Minna said...

I have never been in Scotland or England (and waiting for an airplane on Heathrow airport doesn't really count). There are so many things I'd love to see -and not just read about them from my old OK English book or An A to Z of British life!

Terri Brisbin said...

Anna -- thanks for the warm welcome back to the Banditas!!

One thing - the prize is actually a signed book, a signed ARC of POSSESSED AND a treat from my UK trip...


Jane said...

Wow, I hope to visit England and Scotland someday soon. I would love to see the White Cliffs of Dover, Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral. I've heard of Rosslyn Chapel. Rosslyn Chapel was mentioned in a news program that was investigating whether the premise of the Da Vinci Code could be true.

Donna MacMeans said...

What cheri2628 - Don't think having the Golden Rooster for a day will enliven the romance? Congrats on nabbing the co...GR.

Terri - your trip sounds absolutely fabulous. I'm incredibly jealous. So when are you heading back? What is on that list of must sees then?

Helen said...

Congrats Cheri2628 on the GR is this the first time you have had come stay with you have fun with him.

Terri I have been waiting for you to get back to us about your trip thanks Anna for bringing Terri back.
What a wonderful trip you had and with school students that must have been exciting when one of my daughters was 14 she went on a school excursion to Europe, France Switzerland and Italy she loved it.

I think the next trip you go should include me in your suitcase because I have never been overseas and I really want to see Men in Kilts up close and personal in Scotland. The Scottish Highlands and the cities of Scotland have always been a place I have longed to visit and to go with someone experienced in travel and to guide me would be wonderful.Love the photos.
I am so looking forward to your next book Possessed By The Highlander
Thanks for a great post Guys
Have Fun

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome back, Terri!

Your trip sounds AB FAB! I have the exact same photo that I took in Bath the one time I was there 20+ years ago (with the ex...SHHH!). I definitely think you need to take ME coz that was also the only time I was in Scotland and it was so cold in Edinburgh that I had to wear every piece of clothing I brought, and this was the first week of June! The only men in kilts I saw were the guards outside Edinburgh castle and I think their knees were frozen solid. :-P

Besides, now that I'm a Bandita, I have my crop and rapier to defend you from any wild Scots (or maybe defend them from US!) and my bucket boots, which look KEWL!

P.S. Congrats on the GR Cheri2628! Be sure you lock up the liquor cabinet.

Carol said...

Cheri2628, Congrats!
Ihe little guy in Georgia!
(I looked at your profile)

Straight away I thought of the little guy...playing a mean guitar ...playing
"The devil went down to Georgia"...

Terri, you photographs look great, I clicked on them to enlarge, and they sure make me want to stow away in your suitcase.

Cheers Carol

Pam P said...

Wonderful vacation, Terri. I think you pack me in your suitcase since I've always wanted to go but never mananged to get there, so you should stow me away. Plus, someone I know living over there told me just where to find those men in kilts, lol.

kaisquared said...

Terri, as you know I am an innocent young thing and would be a help with manners and protocol if you packed me along. To prepare for such a trip, I have been studying Subtle Sporran Levitation and Regimental Revelations at Crazy Mo's Online Ogling Academy. She promised me that, upon graduation, I would receive a map to the most promising tartan appreciation areas.

Carol said...

Kaisquared, do we all book into this academy!!!
Cheers Carol

Maureen said...

Your trip sounds wonderful. I would love to see all the places you wrote about. I do enjoy historical romances set in England and Scotland and it would be a real treat to see places I've only read about.

Debby said...

Terri should take me along because I have always wanted to go and see the setting of her beautiful novels. Unfortunately, no noe else wnats to gow ith me and of course I have one in college and she comes first. MAgic and romance abound and I would love to experience and feel the country.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Oh, oh, me, me, me. I would lose weight and everything if you take me! Here is my pitch, you could take me with you and I will carry a bellows and when we do find the Scotsmen in kilts I will use the bellows to blow there skirts up! How is that?

Robin Kaye said...

Hi Terri~

Fabulous trip and great post. I have to say I'm so jealous. I've always wanted to visit England and Scotland. On your next trip, I think you need to take me. I can guarantee nights of great food and drink with plenty of men in skirts...I mean kilts. I'll just call my friends in Edinburgh--Bob, Gareth, and the boys. I'll have to see if I still have that picture of Gareth in his kilt.

Robin :)

Deb Marlowe said...

Terri! Your trip sounds so wonderful! So how did the high school students enjoy it?

You should definitely take me with you next time

1. Because Hussies Rule!


2. Because I will totally promise to 'accidentally' wallop into a gorgeous kilt-clad hunk while you stand by with a camera. And when we go down in a flurry of limbs and flying tartan, you will obtain photographic evidence of what those Scots wear under there. Or not.


3. I promise to talk about Gerard Butler with you the whole way over and back, even if it DOES take 23 hours!

Gillian Layne said...

Congrats, cheri2628! :)

What an amazing trip! I would love to stow away in your bags next time. I've never been there, either, and I am working on historicals.

My best claim to being a great travel partner is this: I've learned the art of the bottomless purse from my mother, so anything you need, I'll be carrying. Band aids, antacids, sticky tape, obscure notes written sixteen months ago concerning some long forgotten plot line. . . I've got ya covered. :)

Anna Sugden said...

Good morning all! I can see Terri's trip has inspired you all to bribery and blackmail *grin*.

Cheri2628 - you're right imagination can only take you so far. Being there is very important to get the feel of a place. And what better place to bring back romance than England (okay and Scotland too)

Congrats on the GR - what plans do you have for him?

Anna Sugden said...

Minna - as one who has suffered through many long hours at Heathrow - no that definitely doesn't count! We can do much better than that!

*waving at Terri* Oops - my bad! I blame the jet lag - and sitting for too long at Heathrow!

Anna Sugden said...

You've mentioned some lovely parts of England - the white cliffs especially. We have so many beautiful churches - in my old home town of Beverley there are two that are featured in the book about the 100 most beautiful churches.

St Mary's actually has a little statue of a white rabbit wearing a card (as in Alice in Wonderland) and a Cheshire cat statue that smiles from behind a pillar. It's believed to have inspired Lewis Carroll.

Anna Sugden said...

Donna - I'm hoping to tempt Terri to Cambridge on her next trip.

Hi Helen - the Scottish cities (Edinburgh especially) are definitely worth a visit ... though the men inkilts are usually tourists *grin*. Most of my friends only wear their kilts to weddings. Can't we tempt you further south too?

Anna Sugden said...

You have cool bucket boots AC?! Excellent! I have some especially for SF.

Having just got back from the UK where the early summer days had disappeared into a freezing, wet weekend - I know what you mean about all the layering! Brrr!

Carol - wasn't it great for Terri to include so many pics?!

Anna Sugden said...

Ooh Pam ... bribing Terri with the secret location of men in kilts is a sneaky one! Well done!

Helen said...

Anna you can tempt me down south to England that is another place that I would dearly love to visit I could be ready very quickley just say the word.

Have Fun

Anna Sugden said...

Kaisquared - you should have a tea-spewing alert before you post such things! ROFL at the art of subtle sporran levitation! Mind you most of the Scots I know are only too happy to show you what they're not wearing under those kilts (particularly after a wee dram or two!)

PJ said...

LMAO @ kaisquared. Bloody brilliant, m'dear!

Buffie said...

Oh Terri, it sounds like you had a fabulous time!!! Some day I will make it across the pond to that glorious land!

As to why you should take me . . . well, as most of the banditas know, I'm really good at picking out hotties and have been known to find a few of them in kilts!

PJ said...

Welcome back, Terri! I've been waiting for you to come back and regale us with stories of England and Scotland. Sounds like you had a marvelous time!

I really think you need to take me along on the next trip though. I've never been to the UK and have always dreamed of going there, especially to Scotland. My passport is up to date so I can leave at a moment's notice and I'll bring along oodles of homemade chocolates to entice those lovely lads in kilts out of hiding. And if we don't find them we'll still have a loyal reader (me), a sensational writer (you) and enough chocolate to take us happily through two countries and the journey home. :)

Oh, and did I mention I take great photos so you can relax and enjoy all those studly men while I snap away, preserving everything for eternity? You have my solemn promise I won't sell a single one to the tabloids...or the banditas. ;)

Christie Kelley said...

Terri, what an awesome trip! I'm so envious. And why you should pack me in your suitcase next trip...I write regency set historical and have never been to England. My dh and I will celebrate 25 years next May and he wants to go to Italy. While that sounds great, I want to go to England and Scotland.

I promise I'll be a good girl. No temper tantrums. No whining. Well, maybe a little wining of the fruity, delicious kind.

doglady said...

Terri, thank you for the fabulous travelog of your trip. Sounds as if you really packed every day with fun and wonder.

I would love to hide in your suitcase for your next expedition, especially if we are going in search of hot men in kilts!! Or out of kilts. Either one works for me.

I would be a great travel companion because I do NOT consider 5 miles a ten minute walk! I do believe in frequent stops for tea and scones and assorted other pastries. I am the queen of schlepping numerous pieces of luggage in one trip. And I can do a Southern accent that makes Scarlett O'Hara sound like a New Yorker. ALWAYS guaranteed to get men in kilts to flock around and say "Say something else!" What would I say? "This is my friend, Terri. She needs to interview you extensively on the life of men in kilts!"

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wow, what a FAB trip, Terri! And I am feeling so outclassed by those who are beggin', bribin' and downright copping the inside track (DEB! ROBIN!) on the right to stow away! Ha!

My only addition to entice you to let ME stow away is that I know Sir Nicholas St. Clair who's currently the family member in charge of Rosslyn. And I probably have researched enough about Rosslyn to be a travel guide on every bit of that tracery, including the carvings on the flying buttresses. :> (Okay, so Sir Nick only sends me a Christmas card because I'm a preservation donor, but hey, it's a card! And he always thanks me for the card I sent back the previous year.)

Oh, and I'm a Ferguson, so that might get us in a few places for a warm cuppa and a drop of the good stuff. Or two. Heehee.

VAnna, I am SO coming to visit you when you're resettled. You're not going to hardly get the sheets washed before another Bandita's at your door, you know that, right? Ha! (And since the other side of the Family is Pickerings, I got some research to do in jolly olde Englande as well.)

Fab pictures Terri. I want to go to school with Kaisquared. I would love to take a refresher in Sporran Levitation. :> Is that a 100 level course, K, or an 800 level course? Graduate studies?


Congrats on the Golden Rooster Cheri2628!

Jennifer Y. said...

Sounds like you had a great time!

Hmm...Terri should pack me in her suitcase because 1) I am a big fan and love her books, 2) I never get to go anywhere, 3)I love her books, 4)I'd love to spend time with her because she seems like a great person, 5)I love her books, 6)I'd love to travel and she'd be a great companion from what I can tell...very experienced ;o), 7)I love her books, 8)I'd be willing to be her assistant and do what she would like me to...I think...I could even where shirts to promo her work, 9)I love her books, 10)I'd bring pictures of and try to hunt down the location of Gerard Butler so we could travel there, 11)I love her books, 12)I am really quiet and don't snore, but can be quite entertaining if need be...oh and did I mention being a fan of her books?

*looks around*

Should I go on?

flchen1 said...

LOL!! I'm quite enjoying everyone's pitches, Terri! Unfortunately, I don't know much about levitating sporrans (or anything else)! I do have a healthy appreciation for Gerard, kilts, and Scotland, but haven't seen any of those in person yet. I am relatively compact (though less so after having had moppets now), so maybe I'd take up slightly less space in your luggage. I'd be happy to pay your heavy-baggage surcharge, of course :)

Loved your photos, and of course, your Highlanders ;)

Congrats on the GR, cheri2628! And Donna! Hee! ;)

anne said...

Love to visit the British Isles which appeals to me greatly. Your trip sounds wonderful and the scenic beauty is amazing as well as the history and culture.

Cassondra said...

Terri, your trip sounds wonderful. And thanks so much for bringing along some pictures to share!

I've walked all over England and Scotland, HAVE seen real Scots in real kilts, playing pipes for money on the Edinburgh streets (though I have to say I've seen more of them here in the states at Highland Games than I've seen in Scotland). That said, I've been only once, and I was looking at the gardens and nothing but. :0/ It was grad school. If I ever get to go back there I want to see some of the history. Not that I didn't see historic places--a castle a day for an entire summer! But it was all about the gardens. I'd like to spend some time on the architecture and history as well. See some of the ruins where my ancestors lived and fought.

Hmmmm....I already know what those Scots wear under their kilts, so that won't help.

Lessee....I'm a Murray--we do still have our own army over there so we'll be protected--and I've met the Duke, so I can probably get us into the castle after hours if I make the right calls--though even the Duchess says they won't give her a discount at the gift shop, so I'm afraid I don't have much to offer in exchange for lugging an extra 120 lbs around in your suitcase!

Nancy said...

Hi, Terri--What a fun trip! I salute you for taking off with a high school group. My parents chaperoned the trip when the high school band, including my sister, went to Mardi Gras. The occasion presented many opportunities for getting into trouble, and some of the kids seized as many as possible. I'm glad your trip was smoother!

Minna, I have that A to Z book, I think! Having trouble digging it out just now, but that's nothing new. *sigh*

Cheri, congrats on the Golden Rooster. Ya gotta be quick!

Carol, I love "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

Gillian, if Terri won't take you, will you go with us on our next trip? We're always needing something we forgot to pack, and you sound ready for anything.

Anna S., welcome back! I'm sorry you didn't have better weather. On our last trip to the UK, I went from short-sleeved polo shirts in Devon to a turtleneck, cotton sweater, and light jacket in Kirriemuir. All while the sun was shining. The weather can really vary!

Kaisquared-LOL at the Online Ogling academy!

Dianna, the bellows idea is very clever!

Cassondra, I envy you the army. My Scots affiliation is MacQueen, and our stronghold, Castle Sween, is, alas, in ruins. I think much of the clan came over here after the '45.

Minna said...

I would love to visit Scotland and see how well I'd be able to understand the English the Scotsmen speak this time. The last time I spoke with a Scotsman I was on my way to Fargo in an airplane and it wasn't just once or twice when I had to ask him to repeat what he had just said, because I just couldn't understand what he was saying!

Minna said...

Nancy, for me that A to Z book was one more study book I had to read in the university.

traveler said...

Terri, Your travels look absolutely wonderful.
It would be a dream come true for me to accompany you on this delightful journey. Having had no opportunity to travel I welcome this exciting and lovely sojourn.

Cheri2628 said...

Thank you, thank you for all the congrats on getting the Golden Rooster! This is my first time, and you know how special a girl's first time is! ;0

I am already experiencing a little more romance and magic because of the GR. Warning, I may not give him up!

ellie said...

I have always been captivated with the romance, magical delights and the history of Scotland and England. Seeing it in person would transform me entirely.

peggy said...

Terri should pack me in her suitcase because seeing scottland
is my hearts desire .i love to
see all the great historical building and visit the pubs of scottland.the men in there view there here there wonderful accent.i love to see a castle.and whats inside.
and i want to see a real life
highlander.i must wonder what do they wear under there kilts.
visit ther shops.and just to have a great time.

Pat Cochran said...

Terri should include me in her next
trip to Scotland because it is the country of the first romances I read. That first impression has stayed with me, feeding an interest that has lasted all these years! Plus, two sets of eyes are better than one in the search for men in kilts!!

Congratulations, Cheri2628, someone warned about keeping the liquor cabinet locked. My warning is about the chocolate cabinet!
There is not a smidgeon of any
kind of chocolate left in the
house! GR does love him some
chocolate!! I'll be away from
the house this afternoon as I
replenish our stash! Thanks for
opportunity of getting to know
our feathered friend!!

Pat Cochran

Cherie J said...

Thanks for sharing about your trip Terri. I have never been to Scotland or England but would love to someday. I am not above bribery to be smuggled by suitcase. How about a year's supply of your favorite chocolate? :-)

jo robertson said...

Terry, what a wonderful trip and guest blog for us today. Welcome to the Lair again!

The whole experience sounds fabulous and enriching. I love your pictures and descriptions of the places. And I'm so jealous.

Okay, you should take me on your next trip because my husband refuses to. A pox on him!

Anna Sugden said...

Hi all - back from my crit group! Glad to see you're busy finding ways to get on Terri's next trip ... or in Carol's case, find ways to bribe Crazy Mo *grin*

Maureen - I feel the same way about places in America ... which is why we've spent so much of our time here travelling.

Debby - never fear - there are many volunteers to go with you here in the Lair!

Anna Sugden said...

Dianna - works for me! I'm sure Terri would like someone to help her man the bellows - for observational research purposes, of course.

Robin - anyone called Gareth, in my experience, is usually good for a fun time! And Edinburgh is chock full of wonderful places to eat.

Anna Sugden said...

Deb M - ooooh you're pulling in the heavy artillery - Gerard Butler!

Gillian - the bottomless purse wounds very useful ... and you can do research too. Two great reasons.

Anna Sugden said...

Helen - any time you're over, come and see me in Cambridge (just wait until next year, so that our furniture will have arrived from the US!)

Buffie - you ARE the expert on hotties. That's a very useful talent ... at least in my book!

PJ - you're providing great temptation ... choccies and piccies and hunkies *grin*!

Anna Sugden said...

Christie - come and wine with me!

Doglady - ROFL at your use of the southern accent! I get people doing that to me all the time over here. Doesn't have the same effect at home - hmmm, wonder why?!

Jeanne - love the high-ranking contacts LOL. Comes in very useful. And you're always welcome, sweetie!

Anna Sugden said...

Jennifer - a little fan girl adoration never hurt anyone's chances! Did you say you liked Terri's books?

Never fear, Nancy. You can dump the ruins and come to England instead!

Flchen - I'm sure you wouldn't have to worry about excess baggage charges!

Anna Sugden said...

Anne - so much scenic beauty in such a compact space - it's breathtaking truly!

Minna - don't feel bad - some of those broad Scottish accents are extremely hard to understand. The folks from Glasgow and the various islands are probably the worst!

Traveler - you're aptly named for someone to accompany Terri!

Anna Sugden said...

Cassondra - your mention of the Highland Games reminded me that sporting events featuring the national side is probably another good place for men in kilts.

Good to see you, Ellie. Ah yes there is lots of magic to be found (and plenty of ghosts too!)

Peggy - tugging on the heart strings is a good ploy too. How can anyone resist helping you meet your heart's desire?!

Anna Sugden said...

You might need two pairs of eyes to find what's under the kilt, Pat - especially on a cold day!

CherieJ - a year's supply of chocolate - perhaps I should be offering myself as open to bribes too *g*

LOL Jo - definitely a pox on him!

Nancy said...

Minna, we didn't get to read things like that in the classes I took!

Anna, I've never actually seen the ruins of Castle Sween, only pictures. I could spend a year in England--just England, leaving aside Wales and Scotland--and still not see everything I'd like to see! If I had the money, I could fill a car with books in Hay-on-Wye alone. Add Foyle's in London and Blackwell's in Oxford, and I'd need my own plane to get home wiht all my books. Fortunately for logistics, I don't have the budget for all that.

Gannon Carr said...

Terri, I would be more than happy to accompany you on your next trip across the pond. I've been to England and Scotland twice, and have been fortunate enough to see quite a few men in kilts--especially at the Edinburgh Tattoo. An amazing spectacle not to be missed!

Like Cassondra, I've seen more men in kilts just down the road from me at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, which is the largest clan gathering in the WORLD!! Mark your calendars, banditas, the Games are July 10-13 this year.

I have a few connections in Scotland, as well, so I could "hook us up", so to speak. I'm always willing to travel and see anything...without complaint! Men in kilts, fabulous sites, and a few trips to the pub....are you ready?!

Anna Sugden said...

Nancy - most of us would leave aside Wales *snigger* ... it's the Welsh ;)

Hay on Wye is one of my favourite places too. A town devoted to books! The festival there is awesome.

Anna Sugden said...

Gannon - the Tattoo is fantastic isn't it?

I'm all for a trip down the pub - as most of the Banditas already know.

Trish Milburn said...

Okay, I was trying to come up with something funny to say, but I don't think I can beat Dianna's bellows. :) I literally just laughed out loud. And, you know, I can see Terri doing that. Hee hee.

But I think Deb might win because I'm not sure Terri could resist 23 hours of talking about her boy Gerry. :)

Jennifer Y, I'm gathering you're a fan of Terri's books. Just a guess. :)

Terri, your trip sounds great.

Terri Brisbin said...

I was trying to limit my blog and didn't mention one of the very shallowest moments on my trip -

I got the chance to attend the closing concert of the International Harp Festival. Not knowing where the heck I was going on the bus, I got there very early and was told that the cafeteria was open for dinner or tea, so I headed there. After getting a lovely cuppa and a hot bowl of soup and having a close encounter with a large group of Frenchmen, I headed to a nearly empty table...

So who sits down next to me but this very young, very handsome, very French and, as it turns out, very talented harpist named Tristan. Turns out Tristan is from Brittany in France and is one of their leading harpists...and did I mention handsome AND charming? Oh..ok.

I told him that the heroes of my next Harlequin Historicals are from Brittany (YES THEY ARE!!) and gave him my bookmark. When he realized they were romances, he gifted me with the wickedest wink!

Sigh....oh to be young again. LOL! The interesting thing is that he had the same effect on every woman there - young, old, single, married, students, their mothers and even this romance writer!

Tristan from Brittany.....sounds like a character in a romance...?

Terri the Shallow

Terri Brisbin said...

BTW -- has anyone noticed anything unusual or interesting in the Hampton Court photo -- the one in their medieval kitchens?

I thought for sure someone would have commented by now?!?! LOL!

Terri Brisbin said...

I am thinking about these reasons and it's going to be very difficult to choose the best traveling companion... I admit that those who have played the Gerard Butler 'card' may have a leg up...but I am easily swayed!

My next trip will definitely include more time out in the Highlands -- anyone want to mention driving-on-the-other-side-of-the-road skills? Hmmmm???


Jennifer Y. said...

Jennifer Y, I'm gathering you're a fan of Terri's books. Just a guess. :)

What gave you that idea? *looks around innocently*

Seriously though, I am a fan...and I was thrilled to meet her last year at the Moonlight and Magnolias booksigning.

BTW -- has anyone noticed anything unusual or interesting in the Hampton Court photo -- the one in their medieval kitchens?

Well, I thought the guy looked a little "happy to see you" ;o) But I was trying to be a good girl. (Watch that not be what you meant...ROFL)

Anna Sugden said...

Trish - those bellows were hard to beat!

Terri - that wasn't shallow - that was good research tactics! You should hear my Scott Stevens shallowness!

Oh and I can drive on the other side of the road *grin* - so can our own Bandita Joan - who tested her skills out in Ireland (as scary as the Scottish highlands!)

Cheri2628 said...

Terri, are you talking about the er...bulge?

Anna Sugden said...

OMG! ROFL! Jennifer and Cheri2628- you have just made my day (but ruined my monitor!). After all the fiddling around I did with those pics - and I didn't notice!

Terri Brisbin said...

I'm not sure if he was happy to see us or if he's just protecting certain naughty bits from the heat and sharp metal objects in the kitchen?!? LOL!


Debbie said...

Oh, Terri...take me, take me. I have been a fan of yours from day one. I do believe you even named one of your characters after middle name, Anne. Remember me begging and pleading because Mo got in your book first? :-)
You're the best! Just a little kissing up. :-p

Virginia said...

Terri should take me with her because I love books about highlanders. I have alway wanted to take a tour of London, Ireland, and Scotland, which is something I will never get to do in my lifetime unless she packs me in her suitcase and takes me with her. It would be the best Christmas I ever had!!!

Patricia Rice said...

Hey, Terri! Sounds like a fun time. I did one of those high school European tours with my daughter's French class--definitely a different perspective through the eyes of a teenager! Glad you made it home in one piece.

Really, one needs months to travel about and see just a small portion of everything we'd like to see.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I stopped on the way home and picked up the bellows just in case, they are very pretty and quite light weight Terri. They should fit in the suitcase with me just fine ::::nodding head and smiling with lots of teeth::::::

Nancy said...

Anna S., have you ever read Sixpence House? It's a memoir by an American writer who moved his family to Hay-on-Wye. It's very good and, in a wry and semi-sarcastic way, hilarious at times.

I 'm out of practice driving on the left, but I'm very good at saying "Left side. . . .LEFT side . . . LEFT SIDE!" at increasing volume levels until I get compliance. Also, I read maps extremely well!

Terri, I think you should put Tristan from Brittany in a book. How very cool!

Patricia--congratulations on surviving the chaperone gig!

Helen said...

I come from Australia so I can drive on the other side of the road I enjoy driving very happy to do the driving for you Scottish Highlands not a problem I could be there for you. LOL

Have Fun

Anna Sugden said...

Oh Debbie - Mo will always get first dibs *sigh*. Good job she's nice as well as crazy ;)

Another one with the life dream, Virginia ... can we tempt you to other parts of England too?

Anna Sugden said...

Patricia - so true- after 6 years in the US we still have lots left we want to see - sadly our time here is up ... but we'll be back!

Dianna - in the words of Anna C and Duchesse Jeanne - snork!

Anna Sugden said...

Nancy - no I don't think I've read that one - making a note.

Nice one, Helen! Of course - our pals from Down Under can help Terri out too.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...


That guy is VERY HAPPY to see someone! :-)

I do believe the cabana boys and Sven are turning a bit green with envy...

To quote Cassondra, "I'm just sayin..."


Terri Brisbin said...

Hey, before it gets too late, I want to thank Anna and all the Banditas for having me back to visit with you all!

It's been fun chatting with you all, and I'll keep reading all the reasons YOU should be in my suitcase on the next trip....


Anna Sugden said...

Thank you to everyone who made Terri's visit so much fun. Don't forget to check back and see who has won the goodies!