I had such a great time yesterday afternoon teaching my two friends how to create their own google travel map; one friend was working on one for her trip to Vietnam; the other was creating one for her trip to Italy.  After a very short time they were busy creating place marks, assigning specialized icons, entering important information they wanted to remember and have at their fingertips while traveling regarding each place and before I knew it they were well on their way and didn’t need me any longer! It’s really quite easy once you have created a couple and get familiar and comfortable with the process.

Below is the final leg of my 120-day Holiday itinerary through Ireland and the return trek to Aberdeen in northeast Scotland.

July 2 – 8: Ahoghill and Ballymena, Ireland – Slemish House B&B and Frew Friends

I get to visit the Frews in this area that I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time earlier this spring.  I am so looking forward to getting to know them better and exploring my Frew roots in this neck of the woods further.  My third great grandfather, John Frew, was born and raised here, but I have yet to attach him to a family.  I do not know who his parents or siblings were (yet!).

ahoghill9    ahoghill2

ahoghill4     ahoghill5

ballymena     ballymena3

ballymena5     ballymena4


July 9-11: Belfast – Windemeer Guest House

More Frew Family Research at PRONI (Public Records Office of Northern Ireland), explore the Botanical Gardens and experience the Titanic!



belfast5   belfast6

belfast7    belfast8 belfast9 

July 12: Catch the ferry at Larne again and head back to Cairnryan in Scotland

July 12-13: Newton Stewart, Galloway, Scotland – Stables Guest House

More Stewart family ancestry to discover in this country!

stables     stables2

stables3    stables4    stables6stables5     stables7

July 14-16: Loch Lomond – Rowardennan Lodge – again! 🙂

Rowardennan_lodge1      Rowardennan_lodge11


July 17-20: Aberdeen; July 21: Fly from Aberdeen Back to the USA

So there it is in pictures – what I dreamed up!  Isn’t it fantastic?  I am so looking forward to this.

I have the basic route, I have lodging booked along the way, I have an airplane ticket and I have many people to travel with and to visit; what more could a traveling girl want?

On my next post I’ll share two additional maps with you that I’ve been working on. The cities I visit have so much to see and do that they warrant their own individual travel maps.  I’ve pretty well mapped out both Paris and Amsterdam with the particular sites and attractions I wish to visit and explore.  If I tried to put all the information that a city requires on my main itinerary map, it would become too boggled down with details.  I like to add the details of a city separately making it easier to access and to read.  Stay tuned for the next installment!

The Final and Fourth Month of the Adventure – Scotland & Ireland

Let’s take another glimpse of this wonderful holiday unfolding before our very eyes – 30 glorious days in Scotland and Ireland yet to come!

After saying Au Revoir in Paris to my two traveling companions, Jack and Debbie, I will board a flight from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris bound for Aberdeen, Scotland where I will meet up with my cousin, Lindsay Robertson. This will be my 4th adventure in Scotland.  Each and every time I visit that beautiful and majestic landscape it always includes a wee bit of a visit with this fine chap!

The very first time I went to Scotland I had the pleasure of meeting him face to face.  I had the good fortune to find him online while I first began my genealogy research.  In 2005 I began my search for paternal ancestors armed with very little information.  All I knew at the time was my great grandfather’s name and the fact that he emigrated from Scotland.  Period.  Not a lot to go on!

To start my search I went online and I found several genealogy sites to try.  I was running into brick walls until I noticed on “” that there was a conversation posted about a “William Rose Frew,” my great grandfather.  This was a stroke of luck!  I looked closer and realized that the woman conversing in the posting was my very own cousin, Penny!  Penny is my 1st cousin here in the US and is the daughter of my dad’s sister, Shirley. Then I remembered what my mother had mentioned some time before; if I was serious about doing my genealogy my cousin Penny had already done some research in that department and I should check with her.

Naturally I looked closer and discovered that the person Penny was corresponding with, Lindsay, was apparently a living relative in Scotland!  Jackpot in the genealogy search!  His great grandfather, John Rose Frew, was one my great grandfather’s brothers.  I was so delighted to make this connection!  I joined right in with the conversation online and my ancestral search blossomed from that point forward.

It has taken me to so many wonderful places on this planet.  This is one of the main reasons I travel; to trace my ancestral roots and visit the places they hailed from.  That is why I create icons on my google travel map to pinpoint the towns and villages they were born in and emigrated from to America.

Doing so allows me to keep track of which relative of mine came from the place I am visiting and how they are related to me.  I also like to put interesting information about that relative in the description part of the icon.  Although I have my Frew Family Tree available to me on my iPad to get additional information if necessary, it is much easier to just refer to the google map icon information for the ‘basics.’  It is a great traveling tool.  Here’s a picture of my ancestral icons on my Scotland/England/Ireland map for 2015.


Once I placed each of the icons on the map I knew where I wanted to visit and built my itinerary based upon their locations.

This trip I have identified the places I have lodging booked and created another ‘layer’ to my map with the driving directions between each stop.

image    image

Getting back to where I left off with my early genealogy discoveries story and Lindsay….

Through I learned from Lindsay, that our great grandfathers, William Rose and John Rose Frew were born and raised in Dingwall, Scotland and came from a rather large family.  While my great grandfather and two other brothers emigrated to America and eventually settled in California and Utah, John Rose and the rest of the family stayed in Dingwall.  John Rose Frew eventually even served as Provost in the Royal Burgh of Dingwall, no less!  Lindsay had already compiled his research on our ancestral roots and was open and willing to share it all with me! I was absolutely delighted and thrilled.  It wasn’t too long after that revelation that I made my very first solo venture to what is now my favorite place on this planet – Scotland – in May 2006.

Although this will be my fourth trip to this lovely land, there are still so many more places I want to explore; including the following – which brings me back to the last leg of the itinerary.

Following is another photo collage of each of the places I will be visiting in Scotland and Ireland for the 4th and final month of the 120-day holiday.

June 20-23: Fly from Paris to visit Lindsay in Aberdeen, Scotland

Lindsay and Claudia    Lindsay and at Drum gardens

craigievar castle     

Lindsay and Simons grave     Lindsay and full scottish breakfast

Lindsay trek to Dunotter

June 24-25: Stirling – Stirling Youth Hostel

Stirling Castle, that wonderful little pub “Settle Inn” with ‘trad’ music by local musicians on Wed nights, William Wallace monument and by all means I am going to investigate the Fords of Frew!

stirling youth hostel     stirling castle


stirling3     stirling2

stirling4      stirling5

Ford of Frew      stirling6

stirling7    stirling8 stirling9

June 26: Loch Lomond – Rowardennan Lodge Youth Hostel

Rowardennan_lodge7     Rowardennan_lodge3

Rowardennan_lodge2     Rowardennan_lodge4       Rowardennan_lodge5     Rowardennan_lodge6

Rowardennan_lodge8       Rowardennan_lodge10

June 27-29: Oban – Oban Youth Hostel

oban     oban5

oban3     oban4


oban8      oban9


June 30: Ayr – A’Turas-Mara Guest House

A'Turas-Mara Guest House    A'Turas-Mara Guest House2

ayr     ayr2

ayr3      ayr4


July 1: Stranfaer – Old Ark House Inn

stranraer        ark


July 2: catch a ferry at Cairnryan to Larne, Ireland! 

cairn    ark1 cairn2     larne

The next leg of the journey will include my stops for Ireland and the return trip to Aberdeen.  That is full of exciting stops especially involving additional genealogy research in Belfast.  Stay tuned!

Tomorrow, I am having lunch with two friends of mine who also enjoy traveling.  Each of them is planning a trip next year; one to Vietnam, one to Italy.  They are both interested in learning how to create their own Google travel map so I have agreed to give them hands-on training while we ‘talk travel’ and enjoy a wonderful meal together.

I really enjoy helping others achieve their dreams and teaching.  Perhaps you might be interested in learning how to make a google travel map and would also benefit and enjoy having your own specialized, customized, travel itinerary at your fingertips.

I would be willing to teach you. In addition I could build one for you specifically to meet your criteria. If this interests you or someone you know, please by all means, post a comment here and we can get started on your next adventure.  Would love to hear from you!  ~ Claudia


June 1: Milan, Italy – Perio Rotto Youth Hostel

milan    milan2


milan3    milan4


June 2-5: Venice – A Venice Fish Hostel

venice  venice4

venice5June 6:  Vicenza – Ostello Vicenz Olympico

(The hostel is right across the street from the World Heritage Olympic Theatre!)

vicenz vicenza vicenza2     vicenza3 vicenza4



June 7-10: Florence – Tourist House, Santa Croce & Ostello Villa Camerata

villa    villa2

villa3      villa4

villa5      villa6

villa7     villa8

villa9     villa10

villa11      villa12

villa13      villa14





June 11: Pisa – Hostel Pisa

pisa     pisa2

pisa3      pisa4


June 12-13: Vernazza, Cinque Terre – Gianni Franzi

Rick Steve’s suggested a “splurge” on lodging in Vernazza in his guidebook. ( I’m so glad I took him up on his suggestion.  This place looks absolutely tantalizing and a great place to serve as home base while hiking the Cinque Terre coastline trails!)vernazza    vernazza2

vernazza3      vernazza4

vernazza5     vernazza7

vernazza8     vernazza10

June 14-15: Genoa – Abbey Hostelabbey   abbey2

abbey3       abbey4

abbey5      abbey6


abbey9  abbey10



Well, that covers Italy, my friends.  Oh, my goodness – I can hardly wait to actually visit these beautiful places!

Next, we’ll venture back into France (near the first timeshare I will be staying at the beginning of the trip) and will be working my way back to Paris to complete the full circuit.  From Paris, I will catch an airplane to Scotland and continue my adventure but will have to say Au Revoir to my travelling companions, Jack & Debbie.

I don’t know about you, but looking at all these places and seeing this food is making me very hungry!  I am going to take a break from my posting and fix myself something Italian for lunch!  Arrivederci!

Germany, Luxembourg & Switzerland

May 20-21: Riepe, Germany – Herbers Hotel & Restaurant

(where my mom’s pioneer ancestors emigrated from to Golden, Illinois)

aurich   aurich

aurich2   aurich3    aurich4

aurich6    aurich7

May 22-23: Cologne – The Rhein Hotel

cologne     cologne2

cologne3     cologne5

cologne8     cologne9

May 24: Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – Youth Hostel Luxembourg

lux   lux2

lux4   lux6

lux7    lux55

May 25-26: Heidelberg, Germany- Jugendherberge Heidelberg International Youth Hostel

heidel    heidel2

heidel3     heidel4

heidel6     heidel7

heidel8     heidel9


May 27: Basel, Switzerland – Basal Youth Hostel

basal   basal2

basal3   basal4

basal5    basal6


May 28-30: Grindelwald, Switzerland – Grindelwald Youth Hostel

grindel 2    grindel 3      gimmel   gimmel2

grindel4       grindel7gindel10     grindel     grindel6    grindel8

May 31: Locarno – Locarno Youth Hostel

locarno5      locarno 7     locarno    locarno2      locarno3     locarno4

locarno6     locarno8

After all of this?  Our next stop Milan Italy and beyond!

The Itinerary continues – Bruges, Belgium to Amsterdam!

May 7, Bruges, Belgium – Youth Hostel ‘Europa’ Bruges

bruges hostel    bruges hostel2

bruges2     bruges3

brugges      brugges2

May 8: Ghent – Ghent Hostel De Draecke

ghent hostel    gent hostel

ghent castle     ghent cathedral  ghent      ghent2

May 9: Rotterdam – Stayokay Rotterdam Youth Hostel

rotterdam hostel 3    rotterdam hostel

rotterdam hostel2    rotterdam hostel4

rotterdam windmills     rotterdam

rotterdam5     rotterdam6

May 10: Delft – Hostel Delft

delft at night    delft china

delft dutch kids      delft

delft2 hostel delft hostel delft2

May 11: The Hague – Stayokay The Hague Hostel

hague hostel    hague hostel2

hague hostel3     hague1

hague2     hague3

hague4     hague5

May 12 – 19: Amsterdam – Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark Hostel

amsterdam vondelpark hostel2    amsterdam vondelpark hostel3

amsterdam vondelpark hostel    amsterdam   amsterdam 7

amsterdam2    amsterdam3

amsterdam6    amsterdam5

amsterdam4   amsterdam8 amsterdam9     amsterdam10

amsterdam11     amsterdam12

amsterdam13    amsterdam14

Finding these pictures on google and inserting them here in my itinerary is a lot of fun!  I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am.  It’s no wonder I want to go to all of these places and experience the beauty first hand!

When I return for another posting, I will start in Germany, where my mother’s Illinois pioneer ancestors emigrated from – Riepe, Germany, and the surrounding area.  Then we will work our way south again through Luxembourg, Heidelberg, and Switzerland!

Anticipation and Excitement

As each day passes, this trip just keeps getting better and better.  Some very dear friends, and fellow travelers, Jack and Debbie, came to visit and look at the itinerary as it was developing.  They had not seen my recent posting here on globetrekkergrandma, so I shared that with them.  Debbie is very ‘visual’ like me, and I knew showing her the pictures that were added to the itinerary for the first month would pique her interest even further.

Both she and Jack loved it and wanted to see more.  I went to the two hostel websites (Hosteling International and HostelWorld) and proceeded to show them each and every booking I had made along the route back to Paris for myself. Each of the reservations has a lovely display of the hostel’s facilities and often pictures of attractions nearby.  Jack and Debbie had already decided to join Maria and me in Paris for two weeks and spend the following two weeks on the southern coast of France with me at each of the timeshares.  I was really hoping they would want to continue on a bit further, too – at least to Amsterdam.

They made my day when they exclaimed they would go all the way to Amsterdam with me. Then they really gave me an unexpected surprise by stating they also want to do the full tour all the way back to Paris through Germany, Switzerland, and Italy with me!  This is fantastic!  That is 3 months for a trio of traveling friends doing what we like best!  What an adventure we will have together.

I promised you more pictures.  Let’s look at some and get a glimpse of more places our travels will take us to!

Apr 27 – 29: Loire Valley, Le Buisson B&B

         loiremap    loire village    

le-buisson       Le_Buisson_Amboise-Montlouis_France_30980

ambroise      loire village 2loire castle at sunset       loire castle

Apr 30 – May 2: Brittany – Pontivy Hostel

brittany 2    brittany 3 brittany 4    brittany 5 brittany    near pontivy pontivy hostel    pontivy

May 3 – 4: Mont St. Michel – Concale – Mont St. Michel Youth Hostel

img37754-Exterior-of-the-Cancale---Mont-St-Michel-Hostel-in-France       concale   mont st michel     mont st michel 3 mont st michel2     mont st michel 2

May 5: Rouen – Rouen Youth hostel

rouen     rouen 4   rouen2    rouen3rouen5    joan of arc on horse statue      joanof arc museum     Joan of Arc

May 6: Boulogne-Sur-Mer – Boulogne-Sur-Mer Youth Hostel

boulogne sur mer hostel    boulogne sur mer hostel2

boulogne sur mer     boulogne sur mer2 boulogne sur mer3     boulogne sur mer4

Well, that’s France for now… The next stop will be Belgium!