I had a feel bad days last week.. nothing bad happened.. life was going on as usual but to me it felt unbearable.. In fact we had a great weekend, took the boys to a haunted house and they did not freak out. M and I had a date night.. but I just couldn't push away the dark thoughts.. and then I felt so ungrateful.. I am so blessed.. what could I possibly be upset about. If you are out there feeling blue.. you are not the only one.. we all have our moments, days..  

I'm good now.. just thought I'd check in and share. 

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Friday Photography

Allah - Taken inside the famous Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, Turkey Read more about our trip to Turkey here

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Reading lately

Deeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag

Synopsis - California, 1985. Four children, running in the woods behind their school, stumble upon a partially buried female body, eyes and mouth glued shut. Close behind the children is their teacher, Anne Navarre. Detective Tony Mendez, fresh from a law enforcement course at FBI headquarters, is charged with interpreting those now revealed secrets. He’s using a new technique—profiling—to develop a theory of the case. As new victims are found and the media scrutiny of the investigation bears down on them, both Mendez and Navarre are unsure if those who suffer most are the victims themselves—or the family and friends of the killer, blissfully unaware that someone very close to them is a brutal, calculating psychopath.

Thoughts - This was my first book by Ms Hoag and I just added a few more to my TBR list. It was a great page turner with well developed characters. I have been watching Netflix's Mindhunter and it is about the birth of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit which is prominently featured in this book.

Sweet Lake by Christine Nolfi

Synopsis - Linnie Wayfair knows just how many people are counting on her. Everyone in Sweet Lake, Ohio, wants her to muster all her business sense and return the Wayfair Inn to its former glory. Her parents hope she’ll forgive her scoundrel of a brother and reconcile the family. The eccentric Sweet Lake Sirens want her to open the inn—and her heart—to new possibilities. And her hilarious lifelong friends Jada and Cat are dropping none-too-subtle hints for her to ignite a romance with Daniel Kettering, the sexy attorney who’s been pining for her for years… Now a shocking turn of events will open old wounds and upend the world Linnie has carefully built. She has to make changes quickly—and the results, though not entirely what she expected, might be what she’s been yearning for all along.

Thoughts - If you like Hallmark and Lifetime movies you will love this book. I do not.. so this was a big miss for me. Too cheesy and predictable.

The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox

Synopsis - Disconnected from his history and careless of his future, Detective Aidan Waits has resigned himself to the night shift. An endless cycle of meaningless emergency calls and lonely dead ends. Until he and his partner, Detective Inspector Peter ‘Sutty’ Sutcliffe, are summoned to The Palace, a vast disused hotel in the centre of a restless, simmering city. There they find the body of a man. He is dead. And he is smiling. The tags have been removed from the man’s clothes. His teeth filed down and replaced. Even his fingertips are not his own. Only a patch sewn into the inside of his trousers gives any indication as to who he was, and to the desperate last act of his life… But even as Waits puts together the pieces of this stranger’s life, someone is sifting through the shards of his own. When the mysterious fires, anonymous phone calls and outright threats escalate, he realises that a ghost from his own past haunts his every move. And to discover the smiling man’s identity, he must finally confront his own.

Thoughts - It took me a while to get into this book.. it took a while to understand the main character Detective Waits. There were two stories happening simultaneously.. things did start to come together around the half way point of the book and I did eventually enjoy it.. Not sure if I'd read more books by the author though.

Milady by Laura L Sullivan

Synopsis - She was the greatest nemesis of d'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers--but Milady de Winter was so much more than just a villain in their swashbuckling adventures. I've gone by many names though you know me as Milady de Winter: Villainess, seductress, a secondary player in The Three Musketeers story. But we all know history was written by men, and they so often get things wrong. So before you cast judgment, let me tell you of how a girl from the countryside became the most feared woman in all of Europe. A target for antipathy, a name whispered in fear or loathing. I don't need you to like me. I just need to be free. It's finally time I tell my own story. The truth isn't tidy or convenient, but it's certainly more interesting.      

Thoughts - I haven't read much about the Three Musketeers and I had never heard of Milady but this was a fun read.. there were a few throw the book across the room moments but all in all a fun historical tale. 

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

Synopsis - In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth "Evvie" Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn't correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy's childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the "yips": he can't throw straight anymore, and he can't figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button. When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie's house, the two make a deal: Dean won't ask about Evvie's late husband, and Evvie won't ask about Dean's baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken--and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they'll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they've broken, the plans they've changed, and the secrets they've kept.

Thoughts -  I like to try to squeeze in a light contemporary read here and there between all the crime thrillers and historical fictions. And unlike the slightly cliched Sweet Lake this one was sweeter and funnier. It dealt with mental health, friendship and having starting a new chapter in your life when you thought you had so many more pages to go. It wasn't an amazing read but it did what I had need it to do.. lighten things up without being to airy.

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A Few Hours in Glasgow

We said goodbye to the Isle of Skye and made our way south to Glasgow.. our city of departure. We feel entering and departing from different cities is usually a time saver and makes more sense when you are city hopping. When booking a flight instead of a round trip we opt for a multi city. We also don't tend to have much airline loyalty.. we book the flight that makes the most sense in regard to time and money.

Before we got to Glasgow we made a quick stop at the Eilean Donan Castle. Eilean Donan is a small tidal island where three sea lochs meet, Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh, in the western Highlands of Scotland. A picturesque castle that frequently appears in photographs, film and television dominates the island, which lies about 1 kilometre from the village of Dornie. We didn't go inside but just stopping to walk around was worth it.. another breathtakingly stunning spot right out of a fairy tale. 

It was a four hour drive to Glasgow and it rainy almost the whole time.. we pulled over in to the Glenco Ski lodge to grab some lunches to go and kept driving. 

We arrived in Glasgow around 3:30pm and after parking in the Princes Street Shopping Center we just walked around.. it was raining on and off again so we ducked into shops.

In George's Square

We had dinner at Thairiffic. It was good.. but the thai food we had in York was just so so good. 
It had started to pour outside.. we quickly ran into Desserts Gelateria for our last dessert of the trip.. we don't indulge as much when we are home.. so on vacation we like to go a little crazy.  

It was still pouring and even with out rain jackets and our umbrellas by the time we made it back to the car we were drenched. 

Our hotel, Ashtree Hotel was in Paisley.. very close to the airport.. the manager was so nice that when she heard we had an extremely early flight she left out some breakfast for us. And that was it.. our adventure came to an end. 

It was such a great summer.. something we'll remember for years to come. Now we're just counting down the days till we are off to our next destination. 

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