Scotland is an amazingly beautiful country. I honestly don’t know how anyone lives here their whole life and then
moves gets transferred to Houston and is happy about it. However, I just dropped my mom and Ed at the airport. Suddenly the shades of green and amber fields flecked with sheep, cows and blanketed horses aren’t as beautiful. The quaint country roads home weren’t beautiful, just narrow. We had such a great week with them and the house seems empty now with them gone. As I was driving home I couldn’t help wondering if this is worth it.
It is. I know it is. I’m so grateful for this experience and really enjoy living here. I just wish our family was closer.
The following are snip its from our end of trip conversation and pictures to accompany some parts.
**Full disclosure** I was trying to type what they said as they said it. At times it was challenging but I tried my best to capture their words/intention. I’m sure they’ll have some revisions!
Top 3 moments of your holiday
- Seeing and spending time with our children and grandchildren.
- Saundra having house slippers ready at the house. Ed dubbed these “The Waiting Slippers.”
- Beauty of the countryside and lack of litter/general cleanliness of all places.
What was most surprising about Scotland?
Ed – Most surprised by the people. They don’t readily engage – like ignoring you on the street passing by – but are friendly when you speak to them. The courtesy of the other drivers on the road was very surprising. Environmental awareness/consciousness is much more progressive than the U.S.. The pastoral countryside – everywhere we went. Impressed by the amount of national pride – reflected in the cleanliness of everything. The attention that they have given to things for children. Surprised by the number of walking trails.Nature isn’t something that’s “out there,” it’s part of your life. Of all of the places I’ve been in the world, Scotland would be among the top places I would return.
Carolyn – The countryside, the caves, how quickly the tides and weather change. We saw a rescue clip of kids in a cave and wondered how they could possibly get stuck. Then we went on a tour where we couldn’t walk along the beach because the tide was in. Recycling is so far ahead of the curb than it is in Texas. Taxi drivers were so friendly! Socialism – all of the older people that try to come here due to the benefits.
What did you find the most confusing?
Ed – Driving on the left side of the road. Some of the expressions are not clear: “Pay at the till (cashier).” “The hob (stove).” “Plasters (band-aids).” Some people talk really quickly. Lack of street signs/markings.
Carolyn – The recycling; roundabouts.
What makes you say you would want to spend half the year here? (6 months is the most allowed on a visitor visa)
Ed – The relaxed lifestyle, the safety, the beauty of the countryside. The landscape is incredible.
Carolyn – The weather – everyone is out in nature, jogging and riding in the brisk temperatures. Nature. The safety. There’s a touch of the ancient/historical in the countryside – it makes it different than the states.
Dunnotar Castle & The Bay
Ed – I’ll never forget the boats being high and dry in the Stonehaven Harbor. The tidal ranges are so impressive. Loved the remoteness of Dunnotar. A castle right there on the edge by itself.
Carolyn – Ah! Eating at The Bay! Fresh, hot, fish and chips! Amazing view out of the castle windows. We kept having to go, “This is the North Sea we’re looking at! We’re in Scotland!” We had to remind ourselves that we are on a whole other continent!
Ed – The garden was absolutely beyond belief. I appreciated how far back the history goes. Some of the places were from the 12th century!
Carolyn – I’m sorry that we were not able to get the unicorn puppets for our little girls.
River Dee & Aberdeen Beach
Mom – It was really cool to watch the beach and surfers. The waves were 8-10 ft high! There was a fly fisherman right in the middle of the River Dee.
Ed – I like the stony beaches versus the sand beaches. The beaches were beautiful.
Ed – The models of the sailing ships were amazing!
Carolyn – They had some little videos going of some actual videos of fishing villages. Have you heard of how the women had to carry the men down to the fishing boats? Men wore wool and if they wool got wet on the way it would take too long to dry so the women would carry the men to the boats. Loved that we were close to the water and were able to see some shipping industry.
Also, while they were here, we had Mia’s 2nd birthday!
AND since Mia is 2 and has started pre-starts at nursery, we had a WHOLE TWO HOURS TO OURSELVES this morning! I got my first European cafe experience without worrying about children’s allergies and/or nap schedules. It was fabulous!
Brett and I also got to go on our first date since we moved. It was so wonderful to be free of the kids and trust that they were in good hands.