Taste of Home

I have never tasted carrot and coriander soup until today. In fact, I'm not even sure I've heard of it before. I'm sipping a fresh hot pint of it as I write and must admit it's absolutely delicious. Perfect for the miserable state I'm in (seriously, isn't three weeks of sick enough!?) and the dreary constant sheet of rain outside, threatening to overrun Aberdeen's already water-laden streets.

A quick trip to Food Story versus the usual Subway sandwich was just what I needed. The cute cafe's organic products aren't so much a plus for me—I can't notice much of a difference and don't have a preference anyway—as is the creative and full-of-taste menu. I'm kicking myself for not having my camera with me the past two times I've gone, but just give me a bright sunny day and I'll be sure to snap a couple cheery pictures of the place to share with y'all.

I'm also a sucker for yummy salads, so to compliment my carrot soup I got a bed of greens with pine nuts, goat cheese (delicious) and aubergines, thinking I was trying yet another new item with the latter ingredient. When I got back to the office I looked it up to discover aubergine is another name for eggplant. The same way zucchinis are called courgettes here. (Sent Mike to the grocery store the other day and asked him to grab a zucchini... he came home with a "courgette" and said he sincerely hoped it was close enough, he had looked for zucchinis everywhere. Was relieved when I told him that it was, in fact, said vegetable. Such a cute boy.)

So although it didn't turn out to be a new menu item for me, the marinaded aubergines atop my salad are pretty dang good. I picked off the tomatoes but left on the cucumbers, which I also started eating recently. But only on salads and with salt. Wierd. My taste buds must be having a growth spurt.

The drizzle outside has stopped momentarily, but probably not for long. So glad I wore my rain boots today (also referred to as Wellies, since we're on the alternative-name-kick-thing). To cheer up my mood a bit, I shall finally get to recapping our Texas visit. It was, in one word, amazing. Everything we missed, loved, adored and enjoyed was on our agenda during the one-week jaunt back across the pond. Couldn't have asked for a better time.

When our plane landed at DFW, I was momentarily distracted from my joy of being back on US soil by the dismal view from our window. There were no bright blue Texas skies, puffy white clouds or Lone Star rays of sun to be seen. None. Instead, there was ice, snow, water and grayness. It might as well have been the exact same scene we left in Aberdeen. Mike and I both thought, "You have got to be kidding me!" Was our pilot playing mean tricks and had simply circled the UK for the past nine hours?

Fortunately, within the next two days all the yuckiness had melted away and the sun did manage to grace us with its presence. I wore flip flops through much of the trip and relished the fact that I could occasionally head outside without layers of jackets, gloves and scarves.

Our dogs were absolutely estatic to see us and we were them. I don't think they'd forgotten us one bit. We brought home matching tartan collars for them and spent hours in the backyard throughout the week, getting pawed with mud, slobber and happy doggie kisses. One of my favourite days was when we took both dogs out to Weatherford to see Mike's grandpa, and let them run crazy on his huge backyard. They loved it. Shiner is a trained hunting dog and was so happy to see Mike and eager to please that he didn't need any prompting to remember his skills and would heel and sit at Mike's side without command. Jersey, my adorable black lab who's now 76 lbs and just over a year old, has learned to fetch and retrieve by watching Shiner the past few months. She still wants to do everything he does, it's the cutest thing. Our dogs are definitely sorta of like children to us, although we still treat them like dogs and not people. They live outside, they don't wear clothes and rawhides are their favorite food.

To spare you a novel-esque rendition of the rest of our trip, I'll just give you the quick recap:
We went to Sonic every single day. It was bliss. We jammed out to country music while driving the Avalanche around town and loved getting to see part of the country on I-45 to Houston. We partied with friends in Dallas, friends in Houston and had several dinners with parents and family. We visited Mike's grandpa and my grandma and enjoyed seeing them both so much. We had On the Border three times, steaks at Texas Roadhouse, fried heaven from Chicken Express and drank Bud Light and Crown every chance we got. We literally shopped till we dropped, hitting up our favorites like Target, JC Penney and the outlet malls. While Mike visited with a couple friends during the week, I made it to an engagement party for a longtime friend and got to spend a day with my bestie who flew in from Arizona. And we had one helluva delicious burger at the bar in Champs before boarding our plane back to Aberdeen.

And here's photos to go with all that!


Our flight back was pretty miserable, since I was still sick and starting to feel worse. I felt like I might as well be folded up inside my luggage for as hard as I tried to get comfortable! And our individual lights and TV screens stopped working about two hours in. (We preferred our KLM plane to and from the States—with free booze!—versus American.)

I've always considered myself a true Texas girl and being away for six months certainly reinforced that fact! We realized there were even more things we miss about home and will be so happy to return for good in August. However, we're still really enjoying our time in Scotland, looking forward to the beautiful spring blooms and warmer traveling weather. We are so blessed with this opportunity and even more blessed to have so many friends and family sharing in our journey. It is truly amazing!

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