Home for the Holidays

Well, we may not be home for the holidays but we already feel more like Christmas now that my mom and step-dad, Louis Dean, are here! They were patient and positive travelers, having spent just over 40 hours en route from the time they arrived at DFW to our door in Aberdeen. They ended up having to spend the night Friday at Heathrow airport but were able to catch the first flight out in the morning. I felt like I'd been waiting so long for them to arrive and Mike and I were literally sitting in the living room waiting for the buzzer at the door!

It's been a fantastic weekend already, I was just so excited to see my mom after about four months apart. (We rarely ever go more than a month without getting together in Dallas or Houston.) Saturday evening we went to dinner at Ferryhill House Hotel, my favorite place in Aberdeen. It's so quaint and cozy and serves up great food in a very Scottish atmosphere, so it's the perfect place for our visiting guests to kick off their stay. We enjoyed goat cheese and carmelized onion tarts and Cullen Skink soup (smoked haddock, potatoes and onions in a bisque-like sauce) and LD dove into his steak and Guinness pie. There was the perfect mixture of bagpipe background music and Christmas tunes, and the adjoining bar was filled with the sounds of roaring laughter and clinking glasses as folks gathered to celebrate the season or watch the football match on TV.

Today we hit the road in our Nissan Micra and coaxed it up a couple hills to Banchory, a cute little town on the outskirts of Aberdeen, where we stopped for hot tea and biscuits. Mom and LD loved getting to see the buildings and countryside... which is now covered in a pretty thick frost since the weather has grown colder. On the way back, we stopped at Asda for groceries, loads of wine, cheese, crackers and meat. All the necessities! I think our two-story "Walmart" could almost count as a tourist destination for our visitors, because people seem to get a kick out of the wide selection of clothes and food and especially the escalators you ride with your cart. It's the little amusements in life, right?

We just finished a homemade dinner, I cooked balsamic vinegar chicken, sauteed zucchini and onions and baked bell peppers stuffed with my homemade feta and ricotta mix with fresh herbs and tomato basil rice. Mmm mmm! Mike found the Cowboys game on the Internet and hooked it up to our TV so we're watching it cuddled under thick blankets with candle light and cheesecake. Mike and I absolutely love having guests and getting to cook dinners, entertain and show them around Scotland! It means so much to have people that actually want to come all this way to visit us and certainly brings a welcome taste of home our way. So we're very grateful and blessed that mom and LD made it here safely, and look forward to celebrating Christmas time with two of our favorite people!

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