8.02.2010

One Last Weekend

You didn't think we were about to sit around and do nothing during our last weekend in Scotland, did ya?

I didn't think so!

The fun started on Thursday, which was our leaving doo (aka farewell party) with Mike's office and many of the wonderful friends we've made while living over here. It was a long night of celebrating a good year spent abroad and our return home to Texas! It was a great time and we're so thankful to everyone who came out!



We spent part of Friday morning recovering, and by Friday afternoon had booked a last-minute trip to Loch Lomond for a weekend of wakeboarding. One of our friends had been telling Mike about this place during our leaving doo - and he obviously did a good job of selling it! We ended up meeting them down there Friday evening.


Mike and I had both been wanting to take one last country drive to enjoy the pretty Scottish scenery as well as a yummy meal at a local pub somewhere, and we were able to accomplish both these things, along with some wakeboarding and R&R, at the lake! Loch Lomond is known for its breathtaking scenery and smooth-as-glass waters. You might remember reading about it when Mike and I visited there during our Scottish roadtrip.

Because I'm on deadline for a bridal magazine in Scotland, I had to bring along my laptop and do some writing in between activities at the Loch. But the peace and quiet turned out to be quite helpful, and I managed to get a good amount done on Saturday morning. The gurgling sounds of a nearby stream and the tranquil window looking out on the lake might have had something to do with that.

We sat in front of this view and sipped beers in the evening:


We stayed two nights in the white cottage up this hill:


And we tore up the water when the sun came out, using muscles we'd totally forgotten we'd had (and that later hated us for it!):





Because it was our last weekend in Scotland, and the trip was right up our alley, we really enjoyed every second of it. There's just not many places in Texas where you'd end up passing an amazing castle, like the historical Stirling Castle, on your way out of town. We stopped on the return drive to snap a few more pictures since the rain had slacked off to a drizzle.

How green is all that grass? I am trying to capture every final memory here that I can!


We took in the view at every nook and cranny. Including noting the Micra and it's determined little heart to successfully cart us all around Scotland for a year. We've put more miles on that bad boy than it'll ever see in another lifetime - and it didn't break down on us once! It sputtered up a couple hills, and refused to hold more than three suitcases, but it was a cozy car for traversing the countryside. (We appreciated it's size more than once when trying to squeeze into parking spaces that looked like they were made more for tricycles than vehicles.)

And it didn't object to one more road trip before we left!

  video

On the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond...

We drove into Balmaha for lunch before returning to Aberdeen; it's a tiny, charming town with friendly pubs and picturesque streets. The pace there is quite leisurely - we had to slow down the car and wait for a chicken to cross the road. No, I'm not kidding. He had places to be and people to see, apparently.


Balmaha is pretty much smack dab in the middle of nowhere in Scotland. Here's a map and a scrawly arrow to prove it:


This is the Oak Barrell, where we scarfed down our aforementioned lunch. Adorable, don't ya think? It was the perfect end to a great weekend. Very Scottish.


I ordered mince and tatties in a Yorkshire pastry. That's mashed potatoes, ground beef in gravy, peas and a bread bowl to you Americans. :)

 
And the views on our drive home weren't too bad either. I'm really gonna miss this place.


You'll be smarter after reading this post, since I've got a little history nugget to share with you. Because Loch Lomond is one of the world's most famous lakes, it's of course been idolized in song, one that we discovered at the wedding we went to a few weekends ago. It's been playing a lot on our iTunes lately and, appropriately, during our road trip to Loch  Lomond.

The lyrics go something like this:

By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond
Where me and my true love will ne-er meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomon'.

*Chorus*
O ye’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak’ the low road
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye
For me and my true love will ne-er meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomon'.

‘Twas there that we parted in yon shady glen
On the steep, steep sides o’ Ben Lomon'
Where in purple hue, the hielan hills we view
And the moon comin’ out in the gloamin’.

*Chorus repeats*

The wee birdies sing and the wild flowers spring
And in sunshine the waters are sleeping
But the broken heart, it kens nae second spring again
Tho’ the waeful may cease frae their greetin'.

*Chorus repeats*

You can listen to the song for yourself and imagine those still, pretty waters and emerald green mountains.



So you see, it wasn't just a quiet weekend where we sat and looked back on all the memories we'd made living in the UK. We were out busy makin' more!

Activities and excitement of some sort are always welcome around this household.

Pretty soon it'll be the Texan kind. Now where'd I stash my suit case?


2 comments:

  1. We all should have KNOWN you would throw in one last great adventure!!! It is a far cry going out of town here than it is there! Pretty soon it will be Buc-ee's on the way out the Interstate! AND your traditional Wendy's stop! I have loved the arm chair travels and appreciate you taking the time to share it all! I will be at the airport in 91 hours and 10 min. to wait for you at the International Arrival doors!

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  2. I've come over from your mum's blog - we Lindas have to stick together!

    Your Runrig track brought back memories of a couple of years ago when my son left school. At the end of the formal bit of the prizegiving all the S6 leavers gathered in the hall to dance in one big group hug (not bad going for nearly 200 of them!) to this track.

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