Singapore airport flight listHot and sweaty, so wear loose cotton, & strategize sight-seeing so you’re not out in mid-day sun. Sri Lanka is incredibly beautiful and cooler at higher elevations. I hired a driver & he showed me about 50 waterfalls, went to 2 tea plantations, and enjoyed the scenery: it was fun.

If we’re used to coastal weather, hot humidity feels like a wall; and our sweat doesn’t evaporate. On hikes or teaching in the heat here in CA, if I start to feel a bit light-headed or dizzy, I drink water and it recirculates: the dizziness shortly goes away. (Those cells near the ear are small, and I get congested from ‘stuff’ in the
air.) When I went to Singapore the first time, I was eager to go to a rainforest reserve, botanical garden, & zoo night safari, but was severely jet-lagged & slow in the humid heat. It’s on the equator. Jeans were too heavy, with raincoat & heavy camera gear. I’d had tempura with soy sauce (maybe a little too much sodium), and was so sluggish, and kept drinking water to re-hydrate as at home;
but unlike home, it stayed on: the hotel scale said I was up 12 lbs. in 3 days! So I made a concerted effort to stay near restrooms & flush the salt out (not easy sight-seeing); and in 28 hours, lost 11 lbs. I’ll never forget it because I don’t bring jeans traveling anymore, just lightweight cotton on top, & loose quick-drying pants for rain and puddle splashes. It’s better to be comfortable on long flights and long walking days.

Buddika's family, Sri Lanka, July 2013

Sri Lanka terraced tea plantation, MP Renfrew July 2013In Africa, I had malaria, and also lived in Minnesota, so don’t like mosquitoes. They go for the legs and ears.

NASA Fayoum, Nile Delta, Suez, AqabaIn Egypt, way hot and dry, my legs ached at night until I learned to put on pajama pants to keep muscles from overly shrinking. In my brain I saw a picture of basketball players putting on warm-up pants as they come off the court hot & sweaty, and thought, ‘Duh.’ The older men I know who complain about their knees hurting all wear shorts, but won’t listen to friendly advice (to try long pants to keep cells from shrinking on cool evenings). It’s a guy thing.

My parents lived in hot 80’s & 90’s F. Brownsville, Texas for 20 years, and my mom used to say she ‘caught cold in the restaurant’ (A.C. 60’s F.). We’d chide her about germ theory, the way offspring are always SO much smarter than their parents.


Millard Cyn waterfall, LAHC Geography 4-22-16 Dr. MP RenfrewEaton waterfall, LAHC Geography, Dr. Renfrew 4-17-16

Horse at Glentruim, MPRenfrew
Old MacPherson estate, Glentruim, Scotland, MP Renfrew
Poppy, Jo Cumming's garden, Glentruim
Glentruim pond
Irises, Jo Cumming's garden, Glentruim
Near Ardverikie, MP Renfrew
River Spey near Laggan, Scotland, MP Renfrew
RIver Spey near Laggan, MP Renfrew
Lone house near Laggan, MP RenfrewIan Hall, Poppy at Ardverikie Estate Gate aka Glenbogle, near Laggan, ScotlandLaggan storeGate to Ardverikie
Monarch of the Glen road, Ardverikie
Poppy on way to Ardverikie lake, Ian Hall's dog
Path to Arverikie lake
Poppy in lake, Ardverikie
Ardverikie lake, storm coming, MP Renfrew
Spey tributary rapids near Ardverikie, MP Renfrew
Waterfall near Laggan
Center of Scotland plaque near Laggan
Jo Cumming, Glentruim

Jo's geraniums, Glentruim
adverikie location monarch of glen scotland mapMany thanks to Ian Hall, Jo Cumming, and Poppy for their hosting and great tour!

When I discovered the Monarch of the Glen series in about May or early June, it was like a ‘calling’ to go to this land and walk the trails that were once Clan Macpherson and neighbor territory, as if my DNA and spirit were ‘calling out’ to reconnect with previous turf. (Emma Thompson’s character pointed this out to the clerk in ‘Howard’s End’ when he walked all night out of London to experience a ‘meadow’ with flowers, which he’d only read about in books.)

When I actually got to go here because of the Lord’s and Ian’s kindness, when I’d only fell upon the Badenoch Fiddlers by walking from Kingussie to the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore (where Outlander was partly filmed, and 2 of the violinists had bicycled by with instruments hanging on their backs!), it was such an amazing experience with the Lord’s hand all over orchestrating it. Thank you! I’m still listening to their music, and the land and people are still in my thoughts!

Firth of Forth near Edinburgh, Scotland, MP Renfrew photo
Firth of Forth map, St. Andrews
The map isn’t complete but still interesting:
Rannoch Moor and Cairngorms are stunning. I’ve re-watched the first half of Season 1 (before it gets overly dark) just for the scenery, to recognize places where I just was, character development, sweetness, accents and Gaelic.

Bate Park Cardiff 4, 6-30-15  MP Renfrew
Bate Park Cardiff 1, 6-30-15  MP Renfrew
Bate Park Cardiff 6, 6-30-15  MP Renfrew
Bate Park Cardiff 8, 6-30-15  MP Renfrew
Bate Park Cardiff 17, 6-30-15  MP Renfrew
Bate Park Cardiff 18, 6-30-15  MP Renfrew
Bate Park Cardiff 9, 6-30-15  MP Renfrew
Bate Park Cardiff 11, 6-30-15  MP Renfrew
Bate Park Cardiff 12, 6-30-15  MP Renfrew
Bate Park Cardiff 13, 6-30-15  MP Renfrew
Bate Park Cardiff 14, 6-30-15  MP Renfrew
Bate Park Cardiff 5, 6-30-15  MP Renfrew
Bate Park Cardiff 16, 6-30-15  MP Renfrew
Bate Park Cardiff 19, 6-30-15  MP RenfrewBate Park, Cardiff, Wales, 6/30-7/2/15

Badenoch Fiddlers at Scottish Folk Museum, 7-14-15
HIghland Folk Museum, Newtonmore, ScotlandIan Hall, Poppy at Ardverikie Estate Gate aka Glenbogle, near Laggan, ScotlandMany thanks to Ian Hall & Jo Cumming, Donald & Morag Barr for their loving generosity and hospitality, excellent tour guiding and conversations, Scottish and Macpherson history, picturesque & tasty dinners! (see photos), open-heartedness, and thumpin’ merry music-making!!!!
Morag Barr at Macpherson croft, Glen trail, Newtonmore, 7-15-15, MP Renfrew
The Insh parish where Donald Barr's Grandfather walked 7 miles to preach, wi
Donald Barr's grandfather walked 7 miles to Insch church
Donald & Morag Barr, Melanie Renfrew at Newtonmore Flower Show, 7-15-15, Scotland

(taken in sequence)
GLasgow flowers, 7-11-15 MPR
Just like Glenbogle, 7-11-15 MPR
Just like Glenbogle
on way to Glenfinnan 1, 7-11-15 MPR
on way to Glenfinnan 2, 7-11-15 MPR
on way to Glenfinnan 3, 7-11-15 MPR
on way to Glenfinnan 4, 7-11-15 MPR
on way to Glenfinnan 5, 7-11-15 MPR
Dutch packpacker on way to Glenfinnan, 7-11-15 MPR
on way to Glenfinnan 6, 7-11-15 MPR
on way to Glenfinnan 7, 7-11-15 MPR
on way to Glenfinnan 8, 7-11-15 MPR
Glenfinnan Viaduct 2, MPR 7-11-15
Glenfinnan Viaduct 3, MPR 7-11-15
Glenfinnan from train, MP Renfrew 7-11-15
The Prince's House Glenfinnan, Scotland, MPR
view, Prince's House Glenfinnan, MPR

Italy, NASA, wikimediaItaly’s climate, veg. & rockiness are a lot like California’s, but it’s a peninsula, so sea winds come in from the East, too. What they also have are a better train system, war ruins out in fields, and far more people smoke.

Otherwise, everyone talking all at once, it’s the same.

The south face of the Alps are in the North, but otherwise altitudes are not as high for our sea-level lungs to get oxygen.

With Cho on the Adriatic, 2008:

Newtonmore Scotland
Rick Steves did a show on hiking in England, and I remember hiking in gentle drizzle (like today in L.A.) in Scottish hills over the confluence of Rivers Calder and Spey.

Roman Britain mapRoman.Britain.campaigns.43.to_.84

Roman = Romance
Viking invasions of Britain
Viking re-enactors

El nino, the Predecessorel_nino diagram, NOAA

CVS coupon

“Excludes alcohol, lottery, milk”
motox bamboo

My first-ever post from my Super-Cool Moto X Android with white birch cover.

Northern Europe mapnorwayIt nurtures my love for Northern Europe, travel, mountains & farms, trees & sea.

(Neither my school desktop nor loaner laptop have camera card slots, so I’m banking photos of the Sjømannskirken 75th anniversary celebration, home garden flowers & Saturday’s tea, till I figure out how to jerry-rig a cable that will fit from camera to loaner Surface Pro.)

Yah, sure.
Norway Fjords
Sticker photos of fjords, Trondheim, Norway July 2013

all in the fam

Sometimes I watch things for different scenery; and on KCET last night were the travels of this Israeli History Professor Shimon Redlich, to thank and honor the families and legacy of “Distinguished Gentiles” who risked death to hide and protect Jews from being killed by Nazis, and show places where he hid.

It showed him dancing with his wife, “Old love never rusts.”

I’m glad I went to Poland and Ukraine. The environments are like Illinois and Minnesota where I lived, Humid continental D climate, grasslands & wheat, mixed deciduous & evergreen forests, glacial lakes.
Eastern Europe map
Poland fields
Bethel campus, Arden Hills 2012

Melanie Renfrew, Jacobite steam train, Glenfinnan, Scotland July 2015I plan to walk around the Scottish hills again this summer, and thought I’d check out some English cities I haven’t explored, maybe York and Bath, which have Viking, Railway, Roman and Jane Austen museums & memories. London Heathrow can be a hot zoo in the summer; and Cardiff, Wales is beautiful. I decided to look for award seats from Cardiff – Nairobi, where I always like to go:-). In the past, I’ve had a great time flying into a city in the morning, exploring for several hours, then going onto the destination that evening, all for one United Mileage Plus saver award.

Although I have been to Zurich, I’ve never been to Ireland or walked around Istanbul, and thought this was a rather fascinating set of connections if I can have a light backpack:

Cardiff, GB (CWL) – Nairobi, KE (NBO)

Includes Travel Operated By Stobart Air , Aer Lingus , SWISS International Airlines , Turkish Airlines

Saver Award

Cardiff, GB (CWL) to Dublin, IE (DUB)

9:15 am – 10:25 am (1h 10m)

EI 3291 | ATR 72

Operated By Stobart Air

7h 20m connection

Dublin, IE (DUB) to Zurich, CH (ZRH)

5:45 pm – 8:50 pm (2h 5m)

EI 348 | Airbus A320

Operated By Aer Lingus

12h 15m connection

Zurich, CH (ZRH) to Istanbul, TR (IST – Ataturk)

9:05 am – 12:50 pm (2h 45m)

LX 1800 | Airbus A320

Operated By SWISS International Airlines

6h 50m connection

Istanbul, TR (IST – Ataturk) to Nairobi, KE (NBO)

7:40 pm – 2:25 am (6h 45m)

TK 607 | Airbus A330-200

Operated By Turkish Airlines



Dr. Melanie Patton Renfrew, Santa Monica Bay, Nov. 2012While my laptop takes a trip to Ohio to get its hinge fixed, the Microsoft store lent me a Surface Pro.  Maybe I’ll even start drawing with the stylus.


Weather Conditions for:
Los Angeles, Los Angeles International Airport, CA.  KLAX  (NWS/FAA)
Elev: 125 ft; Latitude: 33.93806; Longitude: -118.38889

Time Wind Wind
Direction Speed
(PDT) (mph) G = Gusts
25 Apr 9:53 pm W 15
25 Apr 8:53 pm NW 8 G17
25 Apr 7:53 pm NW 15 G26
25 Apr 6:53 pm N 18 G26
25 Apr 5:53 pm WNW 26 G38
25 Apr 4:53 pm W 40 G48
25 Apr 3:53 pm WSW 36 G46
25 Apr 2:53 pm W 29 G39
25 Apr 1:53 pm W 31 G37
25 Apr 12:53 pm W 28 G32

I like my little Asus Zenbook because it’s fast and lightweight, and I do most of my schoolwork planning & grading at home, on my lap. I am not addicted to my phone. Enough owners of this machine have had our hinges break that they call it a ‘design flaw’ (we haven’t dropped them); but when I took it to the Microsoft store where I bought it to get the hinge fixed (maybe a screwdriver?), they said it would take “several weeks” to ship to 1 central fix-it place in Ohio, where evidently thousands of computers are ‘waiting.’

There is a tech-y fix-it guy at Office Depot near here, but even he said they ship out anything ‘cosmetic.’

The prospect of being without my computer for ‘several weeks’ made me realize I AM ‘addicted’ to it, and needed to strip it of anything personal.  I wouldn’t want Geography tests being sold on eBay, and there were some tax records saved. Even after (regularly) erasing hundreds, today I moved 43,362 photos to a hard drive.

Melanie P. Renfrew, April 2013


Millard Cyn waterfall, LAHC Geography 4-22-16 Dr. MP Renfrew
Millard waterfall hike 1, 4-16, MP Renfrew
Millard waterfall hike 2, 4-16, MP Renfrew
Millard waterfall hike 3, 4-16, MP Renfrew
Poison oak growing out of rock cracks, Millard, 4-16 MP Renfrew
Poison oak growing out of rock cracks….
'Recycling' of downed tree, Millard, 4-16 MP Renfrew
Millard waterfall hike 5, 4-16, MP Renfrew
Sycamore, alders, Millard 4-16, MP Renfrew

Millard waterfall, 4-16, MPR
Earth with south at top

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Always an adventure…