BootsnAll Travel Network

What my blog is about

Crazy Laura and Crazier Hamsa are getting ready to explore the world, namely Europe and Asia. If you would like to keep up with where we are, what we're up to, well, then this is the place to be! Stop on by anytime you're starting to miss us, and we promise to keep in touch! We Love You!!!

October 24th, 2011

this is hamsa =] i am very sorry for not contacting anyone on the trip. since we have come back my mother has had a few health issues we have had to deal with and i have not had the time or energy to contact my wonderful friends from the trip. my mother is doing much better now and i am trying to email everyone….except we lost the contact information!!! it would mostly be luck if anyone from the trip looks at the blog so its mostly luck if one of you sees this. once again i am very sorry for not emailing you, this has just bean a very very rough year for us. please post your email information if you are someone i met on the trip and i will happily get in touch with you =]

email me at

p.s. once again very very very very sorry i never emailed anyone…….

p.p.s. once i find that contact info or someone luckily posts in the comments i will email you =]


Short stay in Paris

October 1st, 2010

Hi everybody!

We’re in Paris at the moment. We’ve been here for 5 or 6 days, I think, but it feels like 2 days to me because I’ve been sick. Can you believe that? I’m in Paris France, and I was stuck in bed with a fever and all the other assorted symptoms. Very frustrating!

But I’m 90% better now. And tomorrow night is the annual Nuit Blanche (white night) when there are all sorts of cultural and artistic gigs going on and the museums are free and open all night long! yay! So I can make up for lost time all in one night!

And then we are bugging out of this city the next day, because man, this place is pricy! Yikes! (Please send all donations to me asap) We have only 2 weeks left on our grand adventure, and we’ve been going around and around about where to spend that precious time. Looks like we’ll return to Scotland. Hamsa really wants to go back there, and I’m cool with just about anywhere, so why not? I’ll try to go hiking in Orkney, which I really wanted to do when we  were there before. It’s the very Viking area on the northern tip of Scotland. To be honest, I could just stay in Scotland forever. It feels like home.

It’s nice to be online again. We are staying at the world’s worst hostel, and the internet there is laughable. But we finally found an internet cafe (they’re much rarer these days) and the computers are great with fast connection, but its like 8 bucks an hour, so I must be brief!

Lots of love, Lala


scotland rules

September 19th, 2010

hello everyone…. to make up for not posting a post for a while he is kirby to apologize        (>’.’)> – sorry

scotland is soooooooo fun everyone is nice the whole country is beautiful and we are having a blast. i am just wanting to let all my friends and family know that i miss them. i cant wait to see you all in 4 weeks and i will miss the friends i have made while traveling


Catch up Time

September 8th, 2010

Profuse apologies to everyone! I am sorry, from the bottom of my heart that I went a whole big fat month without blogging. I will try to catch up now, and hopefully you’ll forgive me. I’ve been a little distracted, ya know…  

So, now we are in Scotland. In a little town called Inverness. But I’m getting ahead of myself.  

My last post was from Korcula, I think. After that we went to Mljet, which is a perfect little Croatian island, half of which is a national park. There we met our new friends – the Mrkonjic family. We initially planned to stay on Mljet for 2 days, but after we met them, we just didn’t want to leave! They own the soba we stayed in, so if you ever need a place to stay on Mljet, stay with them. House #11. They’ll treat you like family! 

 We went to Dubrovnik with Ljiljana (the mom) and the two daughters, Zrinka (16) and Lucija (13).  

Ljiljana and I - the moms

Zrinka, left, and Lucija, peeking out from a Dubrovnik wall tower

 Dubrovnik is a really beautiful city, it’s hard to believe it was bombed less than 20 years ago. The locals are very proud of their home, and of their culture. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend you drop by. Oh, and eat at Nishta, the vegetarian restaurant. I tried to, twice, but they were closed. So stop by and tell me how it was.  

We walked the city walls, which is a must-do for all tourists. It was hot as hell up there in the baking sun, but at least all that sweat was good for pictures – it gave us a healthy glow. If  you go in the summer, I recommend you go in the morning – you’ll beat the heat and the crowds.  

View of the harbor from the city walls

The girls on the wall - ain't they sweet?

Moi on the wall. Notice the healthy glow. Thanks for the loaner hat, Zrinka!

View from the wall. Love all those red tiles. Notice the cruise ship with sails in the background!

Eat here! This is actually a restaurant! After you dine, cool off with a nice dip in the sea! And the view is great in every direction...

One nice thing about having native friends with you is they can tell you some of the local customs. As soon as you walk through the main gate into Dubrovnik, there is a church on the left. If you look to the left of the door, you will see a tiny little shelf. If you can stand on that shelf, you get good luck. I tried, and fell. So I tried again, and I fell again. Hamsa, however, had a little more success.  


More good luck for Hamsa!  

We visited a palace there in town, I forget the name, but it’s a museum now, with all kinds of historically interesting stuff in it. You should go. There’s a room on the bottom floor where they kept the most hardened criminals. So the girls and I ventured in and imagined what it would’ve been like back then. To really get a feel for it, we had to pretend to be hardened criminals ourselves!We’re going on a hunger strike until we get cable TV! And pedicures. 

We had so much fun with them. On Mljet, we went to the National Park. There are 2 lakes there, and we swam in the small one (it’s warmer) and rode along the current between the two lakes. It’s really beautiful there. Back near the soba, Hamsa and the girls would go swimming in the bay, sometimes all the way across the bay, and look for shells and coral. Ivo, the cool dad, would play chess with Hamsa. And he won, too. Yup, Ivo rocks at chess. And he’s such a funny, nice man. He always kept us laughing. If ever you need a place to stay on Mljet, drop him a line.

One day, we rented the Cat Car. It’s a 50 year old Communist-era heap of metal that was wisely covered in white fur-fabric, then topped off with whiskers, ears and a tail!! It was challenging to drive, to say the least. Hamsa was terrified every time I went around a curve. But we made it to our destination alive, somehow. We went to see the cave where Calypso seduced Odysseus. Apparently Homer spent some time here (7 years) and was inspired by this particular cave. Hamsa was inspired, too. He climbed/slid down to the mouth of the cave, then swam out the other side to the sea. He was fully clothed at the time, but oh well. Sometimes you just gotta grab an experience, even if you didn’t bring your swimshorts!


Alas, all good things must pass, and we left, tearfully, our new family. Ljiljana, bless her heart, dragged herself out of bed and drove us to the ferry at 5 am. Only a true friend does that! 

We hopped a flight to London, where we stayed with my brother’s friend, Greg. Oh, boy! A new city! New sights to see! NOT! Nope, not one sight for me. Why? Hamsa’s shin. It crashed into my foot, breaking 2 toes! No, one wasn’t enough, I had to go for TWO! So, there we were, in London, and all I could do was lie around for over a week, keeping my stupid foot elevated while I waited for the stupid bone to knit. Thank God he has cable. Poor Greg. He thought he’d be putting us up for a couple of nights. Heh heh. 

But heal it did, and we hopped a plane to Inverness. Why Inverness? I don’t know. Just randomly picked it. And boy am I glad I did! We love it here. 

But that’s another story. 

Love to everyone. And please, somebody race down to Florida with a fire extinguisher and stop those morons. Sheesh. 

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OWL ludwig quiz

September 6th, 2010

it has bean a long time since i did a ludwig quiz… sorry…… anyway this is a quiz involving owls.

my mom and I met an owl rescuer and he has lots of owls, but 2 of them are so cool…. he rescues birds of prey, fixes them, then releases them back into the wild. he has rescued over 3800 raptors…. thats pretty much an owl a day for 10 years……holy crap… the 2 owls i mentioned are named amber – the bigger one- and sky – the smaller one. they are huge, like i mean huuuuuuge! You can see in these pictures how huge they are…..

owl rescuer dude aka tommy is 2 feet away from the bird so there is very little distance between them. the size of the bird in that picture is real – that bird is half the size of that man…..

see the ludwig quiz below

1) one of the biggest birds in the world the ______ owl was hunted out of scotland in the 18th century.  they are starting to return now. what species is this owl?

a) gerbil owl

b) grey owl

c) scottish horned owl

d) european eagle owl

e) english barn owl

2) which of the following animals does the ______ owl like to eat? there are multiple answers, each correct answer is worth 2 WITWIL points

a) rabbits

b) cats

c) small dogs such as pomeranians

d) big dogs such as german shepherds

e) deer

f) all of the above

3) the owl seen in this picture goes by the name ______ here is a hint she is the bigger bird.

here is a picture of Amber looking grumpy because she is hungry.

here is a picture of Amber thinking a feather we droped was food and is checking it out.

here is a picture of Amber and sky chilling out on there posts.

here you see Amber, wondering what to do with ludwig.

enjoy the quiz and the pictures everyone


Some photos from Croatia

August 5th, 2010

Hi everyone!

Here are a few more pics!

A few days ago we were in Bol, on the island of Brač. It’s a great little seaside town to hang out in, and the beach there is superb! We slept on it for 2 nights, which was wonderful. Aint nothing like falling asleep to the sounds of waves, and watching the meteor shower! Here’s  the view from our campsite at sunset

Beach at Sunset

Hamsa ridin' waves at Bol

We’ve spent the last 4 days in Korčula, on the island of the same name. It’s a gorgeous island, with many sweet villages, nice beaches, and a few hiking trails, too. Korčula is wonderful, simply beautiful. We stayed in a soba in the Old Town, and went swimming in the local swimming hole. There’s good snorkeling here, too.

We found a restaurant called Konoba Mareta, which actually had a few vegetarian dishes – a rarity here in Croatia! And we were really lucky because a singing group called Mareta came there for lunch, and they sang the afternoon away at their outdoor table. They sing Balkan harmonious songs, almost like chants – hauntingly beautiful.

Yesterday we rented a sea kayak, and paddled out to some of the nearby tiny islands, which I enjoyed immensly. At one point we were surrounded by sailboats, and had to paddle like hell to get out of their way! Then we found a nice quiet channel in shallow water, between two islands only 200 meters apart, and just floated there in sparkling clear water, soaking up the warm sun. Twas perfect.

Here are some photos of Korčula

Looking west from the Old Town area

The view from Marco Polo's house

Old Town

This is the Old Town section of Korčula. Note the town walls

A typical street in Korčula's Old Town, just after sunrise

You see those pretty limestone and marble street stones? Well, they are deadly! Yup, innocent, unsuspecting tourists go ambling along these streets in their flip-flops and WHAM! Your feet slip out from under you and down you go. Not that it happened to me

We went to see a dance called the Moreska, its been performed by the locals for over 400 years. It celebrates the victory of the good guys over the bad guys. Apparently, it was originally inspired by the final expulsion of the Moors from Spain. It was cool to see a tradition that’s been passed down from father to son for many generations. They really get into their performance, and when the swords were clashing, there were literally sparks flying!

Beginning of the Mareska, the good guys are in red

Besides slipping on smooth stones, I crashed head-on into one other local norm. Let this be a warning to any of you who come to Croatia. The menu may say ˝fresh-squeezed lemonade˝ and the waitress may say, “oh, yes, its fresh lemonade” but what they call lemonade and what we call lemonade are two very different things!

Culture Clash

I'm so lucky Hamsa had the camera out!

It took more than a spoonful of sugar to fix that!

Can you imagine it – a tall glass of fresh-squeezed lemon juice for breakfast? Yowzers!

We’re heading out to Mljet in a few minutes. It’s an island that is partially a national park, so we get to go hiking and camp out! There is a lake on the island, which is unusual, and there are islands in the middle of the lake. Islands on an island! I think we’ll have to go check that out. And then on to Dubrovnik, then the Bay of Kotor, then…  ?

We gotta go hop on our ferry now – it’s a 1 hour ride through paradise! Love and hugs to you all!

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Where in the World is Ludwig?

July 29th, 2010

Finally, another Ludwig quiz!

#1 – What city is Ludwig in?

#2 – What is the animal he’s suckling from?

#3 – Who are the twins suckling next to him?

Bonus Point – One of the twins founded the answer to #1. Which one?

Uncle Stephen doesn’t get to guess this one!sscn3785.JPG


A Few Pictures!

July 29th, 2010

Hello, my friends and family and fellow vagabonders

Here are some pics from our last few days…

This is on the bridge at the South end of Krka National Park. Note the pretty waterfall in the background!Skradinski Buk Bridge

Another pretty waterfall in KrkaWaterfall

Hamsa gazing from the boat…Hamsa almost overboard

View from the boat in KrkaKrka Park

And anothersscn5808.JPG

Looking down from the Park, note the ferry in the backgroundRiver from Skradin to Skradinski Buk

This is the street we’re staying on, just two doors on the right past the wagon. Now here’s today’s quiz question: Hamsa is showing off his knowledge of American Sign Language, what is he signing to his mama in this photo? Street behind Zura sobe

Okay, thats all for now. I’ll try to post photos more often. But don’t worry, I’ll make a nice big slideshow of all my trip pictures for everyone! Remember the days of the dreaded slide show? Some fella with all of his slides carefully arranged in the carousel, and everyone sitting around, saying, ooo and ahhhh in all the right places. And then when the carousel reached back around to the beginning and you say, “Those were great, Doug!” but you’re thinking, “Thank God that’s over.” And then, dammit, he reaches behind and grabs another carousel. Your hell isn’t over, no, its just beginning…

I’ll try not to do that to all of y’all.

It’s getting hot over here again, so I am once again feeling your pain. But at least I get to jump into the ocean to cool off! Today we catch the bus to Split, a pretty coastal town. It’ll be nice to be on the sea again. So, if you start to roast in that American heat, just pretend you’re here with us, splashing about in the waves, and maybe you’ll feel a little better!

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Blonde Moment

July 28th, 2010

Hi, everybody! First off: I had a blonde moment. I sent some emails with news about the photo album my friend Gregg had put together. Then I forgot to put the link in all but one of those emails! Ooopsy. So if you’re here looking for the album, I do apologize for my “doh!” maneuver.

Here’s the URL for you to cut and paste

Hope you enjoy it. If not, blame Gregg!

(just kidding, Gregg)

Well, we made it to the boat today! Yay! I went on an excursion! And it was quite lovely. I didn’t make it to the castles, though. If you ever might go to Krka National Park in Croatia, read on. Otherwise, skip the next paragraph!

If you want to take the #3 boat trip up to the castles and old monastery, you have to drive to Roski Slap, park, and walk up the trail to the little info hut and book the trip there. Apparently only a few people do the #3 excursion each day. Well, it aint easy to arrange! If you want to take the #1 or #2 boat trip, you just go into the main park entrance at Skradinski Buk, and walk up the trail to the far end and buy the tickets just past the last stand. I was told that you could ride the #2 boat to Roski Slap, and book the #3 boat there, but that is not actually true. You see, when you buy a ticket on any of the boat rides, it is for the round trip, and you have to stick with the same boat the whole trip. I had hoped to hop off my #2, grab the #3 for the afternoon, and then catch the last #2 out of Roski Slap, but they dont let you do that. So if its castles you want to see, get a ride to Roski Slap and book it there! Also, the boat trips sell out fairly quickly, so get your tickets as early in the morning as you can! One last thing, I highly recommend staying in Skradin while exploring the area. It is a delightful little town with good views, markets, a few good restaurants, a nice swimming hole, little museum, very friendly people, and good internet spot. Our sobe is Zura, and I give her 5 stars! And you’ll never lost track of time with the handsome clock tower ringing off every hour and half hour.

Okay, back to blogging for all you folks not traveling in Croatia! We rode Boat Excusion #2, a 2 1/2 hour trip through the river lands and lakes, with a half hour stop at a year 1445 monastery on a lone island. It was a peaceful, beautiful trip. We were really lucky, too, because we were in the back of the line to board, and by the time we got on, there were no more seats. So, we got to sit up front on the (?) all by ourselves and we had the golden ticket view! It was as if we had chartered our very own private yacht to show us the sights at our leisure. I took pictures and ate grapes.

Once more, I must recommend to you all to visit Croatia. It is wonderful here.

I’m off to explore the town some more. I must find chocolate. Ciao!

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I’m Alive! Aliiiiive!

July 27th, 2010

Hi everyone!

Thanks for all your well wishes, I am sure they helped bring me back from the brink of death by phlegm.

Well, here we are, in Skradin Croatia. Its a sweet little town next to Krka National Park. We went into the park for a while today, and it was very pretty. Dont eat the food in there, though. Hamsa wanted a crepe, and we had to wait almost an hour for it (don’t ask) and when we finally got it, well, it sucked. It was the worst crepe ever. I had two bites of mine and stopped there. But Hamsa ate his, the whole damn thing. Then he spent the next hour looking for places to vomit.

But as all things must, the nausea ended and we were able to continue on into the park. To find out the boat excursion I wanted to go on had sold out while we were waiting for crappy vomit-inducing crepes. So, we just stuck to that part of the park  – Skradinski Buk. It’s a nice little area, full of waterfalls and lakes, a nice swimming area, and a very nice hiking trail. And the trail even had lots of those things I love – the signs with pictures and info about the local flora and fauna. I love educational trails, I really do!

And there was a little mock village with buildings representing how things were around here in the 19th century. My fave was the grain mill, which is still running, by the way. Today they were grinding corn. And there was a water-powered “washing machine” where 2 big wooden mallets bang on whatever you stick in there. And a working blacksmith. There was also a donkey, but I don’t know why he was there. He just stood around eating hay, and stared at the little kids who kept trying to feed him.

But the trail was my favorite part. It was very pretty, if crowded, and had many beautiful vista points where you could have many Kodak moments. Also, I saw tons of dragonflies! Blue ones! And green ones! And cobalt ones! And clear ones! I took like 200 pictures of them. I was in heaven. Ooo! And we saw snakes! Three different ones, and they were all different species, and they were in the same pool, fishing! They would go up for air, then go wrap around an underwater branch and wait for some unsuspecting little fish to swim by and…. STRIKE! We were mesmerized. We sat there for a long time. As people walked by, some would see what we were staring at and join us. Others couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about. “Crazy Americans”

Speaking of, I haven’t met a single American in this area yet! The closest I’ve come is one Canadian. It’s kinda cool. Like we’re in some place that’s just too far out for our fellow Americans. There are many Germans. And Italians, Poles, and some Czechs. Lucky for us the world’s lingua franca is now English, or we’d be screwed. And eating octopus and tripe.

Being a vegetarian in Croatia isn’t so great. The big cities have a spot or two, but outside that its the standards: spaghetti, pizza, and salad if eating out; and from the market – fruit,  bread and cheese. You don’t know what I’d do for a tall glass of chocolate Silk right now!

So, back to the park… tomorrow I’m gonna drag my snarky teen out of bed bright and early so we can get in the park and get me those tickets!!! And no crepe will stand in my way ever again! I want to go see some castles, dang it!

Day after tomorrow, we head to Split. I’ll try to post from there. In the meantime, I hope all of you are doing well and keeping cool! I hear its an oven over there right now. I can’t relate, b/c it cooled off over here. It’s actually quite pleasant, with a nice sea breeze and a chill in the evening air. Ahhhh….

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