Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whirlwind Tour

I don't know that I say this out loud enough even though I think it constantly, but I am lucky. Like, really really lucky. A lot of this "luck" has to do with a certain man (i.e. husband) who, as luck would have it, is a "planner" just like me, and happened to plan one of my favorite vacations EVER. Yes, he packed in a lot (620 miles in just the first 4 days of our trip), but that's just because he's so excited to see and share his love of Scotland with me - and his enthusiasm is pretty contagious. Phillip studied abroad in Scotland at the University of Stirling while his was in college and fell in love with the country. The hospitality of the Scots is unlike anywhere I've been - which says a lot since I live in the South. For example, we were in our rental car and not exactly sure of which road to take, so we decided to pull over before we committed to one when the car behind us pulled over too. This made us nervous. We had been driving a bit slower than everyone else as we adjusted to life in the left lane, so I was kind of afraid they were going to yell at us, which seems silly now, but when a car pulls over behind you, your gut reaction is not that this is a good thing. Boy was I wrong. The gentleman had just stopped to make sure we were okay and after we explained our indecision, told us to just follow him and he'd show us the way. He did and we made it to our next destination very easily. So nice! 

This set the tone for the rest of our trip and we definitely made the most of it. A speed boat tour of Loch Ness, getting up at an ungodly hour to catch the sun rise over Isle of Skye, a night cap with a bit of Scotch before heading to bed... we tried to make the most of every moment we were there. It was extremely hard, but I narrowed the thousands (yes, thousands) of photos I took to my favorites. I did, however, lessen the blow of having to choose favorites by creating a slide show so that I could show more photos to anyone willing to subject themselves to it. The slide show is to come, but for now, here are a few photos of our great adventure.

Thistle - Scotland's National Flower

Loch Ness - no monsters... in view...
Highland cows or coos as they say
Kilt Rock
Hamish the Highland Coo
And it ends with the wheat fields outside a home in Carnoustie where we were graciously allowed to stay and as a bonus, eat their delicious blackberries and raspberries that were plucked daily. So lucky.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jet Lag & the Farmers Market

Today is going to be a "double post day" because when you wake up at 4AM, you suddenly have a lot more you can accomplish in one day. I did force myself back to bed though and woke up again at a more reasonable 6AM. After taking Harvey for his long walk for the day since it was a "cool" 80 degrees outside and it's going to be 100+ today, I then sat myself down with a cup of tea and began catching up on my favorite blogs.  

A friend's posting on our local farmers market in particular caught my attention. After snacking on freshly picked blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries daily in Scotland (more to come on where we stayed soon!), I decided to keep the habit going and headed to the farmers market.

One of my favorite aspects of the market, other than supporting local farmers, is the smell. Everything just smells so fresh and yummy. I want my house to have that smell. After wandering around for about 15 minutes taking in the sights, smells and a few samplings, I settled on a basket each of sweet blueberries, tart blackberries and juicy peaches. I'm thinking of adding them to a lemon sorbet for dessert tonight... if I can wait that long. 
Okay, time to get to work!