Saturday, 3 November 2007

A Country Drive

Scott arrived safely this morning in time for breakfast then we were off to the hills for a wee drive in the country! We headed to a town NW of home to the Scottish Wool Centre.

The drive up was fantastic; winding roads, sheep everywhere, cattle (but no highland cows), century old farms and hills! The fall color was magnificent too. Red maples and yellow and orange leaves everywhere. Because everything stays damp year round, it is of course super GREEN! The pastures do not look quite like Texas pastures. You get a sense of the lives of many generations of families living on these farms producing sheep for wool and meat and Angus cattle for good ole mince!

When we arrived at the Scottish Wool Centre, we discovered it was simply a very large souvenir shop and cafe! Thank goodness they had a playground so Scott took the boys outside to play while I enquired about the wool demonstrations quoted in the Fodor's book! Come to find out, Hand, Foot and Mouth disease put an end to the hands on demonstration of wool production! No longer could you pet the sheep, seem them sheared and then see the women spinning the wool! Apparently, they still have a lady that comes in once and awhile to use the loom. She was coming that day and when I asked "what time" they relied, "when she gets here" with a friendly chuckle as only the Scots can pull off! And in the summer, they now have dog shows, so maybe we'll head back to the Scottish Wool Centre next summer!

We grabbed a coffee to take away and hit the road again.

Next we headed to Loch Lommond to the SeaLife Aquarium. Along the way, I kept thinking that it sure would be nice to see highland cattle in the pasture and guess what? We finally spotted 2 live and in person! We passed them and quickly turned around to get a second look so everyone could see. (remember we are on tiny, two-lane roads in the Scottish hills) On our third pass by (there was no safe place to stop), no one was behind us so we slowed to a crawl, got the camera and got a shot! They turned to look at us and Ethan yelled from the backseat, "Hey cows, we are Americans!" Christopher then chimed in, "we come in peace!" We are the loudest people in Scotland.

The SeaLife Aquarium is in a beautiful setting right on the Loch and we enjoyed the visit. It's no Dallas World Aquarium, but we all enjoyed the afternoon. There was a park just beside it so we spent sometime there and had a picnic. Then a quick ice cream cone before Scott passed out! It was a great day and we are so excited to have such beautiful scenery close by!

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