Friday, 8 August 2008

The FitzGeralds in Scotland

At the beginning of July, my brother Todd and his family arrived for 2 weeks in Scotland. We spent one week in Glasgow exploring things close to home and one week in the Highlands exploring the great wet outdoors!

Our sister-in-law Amy is pregnant and gets extremely car sick so she graciously endured many winding roads and outings that are horrible when you are car sick and pregnant!

Our niece Stella put up with hours of sibling squabbles and noise that she does not have at her home or for that matter on her vacations!

And my brother Todd, one of the world's best communicators, helped us all discuss/digest what a 2 week extended family vacation looks like when one family is active, loud, dirty, all boy, and 3 children versus one family that is intellectual, not-so-active, clean, all girl, and 1 child! The stark differences between our families only helped us to appreciate each other more.

When I hear the boys talk about their visit with their cousin Stella, it's all fun, adventure, laughter filled memories for them. I just hope that Stella, Todd and Amy feel the same!

Here are highlights from our 2 weeks:

Isle of Arran:

Pollok House, Pollok Park and the Burrell Museum

Botanic Gardens and Park, Kelvingrove Park and Museum

Edinburgh Castle, Vanity Fair Exhibit, Castle Park

and other highlights in and around Glasgow: Glasgow Academy, Swim at the Gym, Play in the Garden, Wagamama, Date Night, Shish Mahal with Pippa and Neil, Buchannan Street, and chats to catch up!

Then we were off to the Highlands (Spean Bridge to be specific):

A 3 hour drive turned into an 8 hour drive because the only highway north was shut down because of an accident. Argh! Along the way we tried to trace a bit of Amy's McGregor family history and had an impromptu picnic at a beautiful spot in Glencoe:

Jousting at Fort George and the Nessie Mueseum at Loch Ness

Exploring the Bog and Burn behind our Holiday Home:

Fishing the Roy River (no luck and notice the thrill on Charlie's face about sharing the fishing rod with Stella) and cycling around the house:

Glenfinnian Monument, Neptune's Staircase (Caledonian Canal Lock and Dam System where we watched an commercial boat and 2 private sailboats come through the swing bridge and "staircase" and the boys helped the operator open the lock), Jacobite Steam Train (sighting), and the aqueduct in the Harry Potter Movie:

Mountain Biking and the Highland Wildlife Park:

And last but not least, Tea Cakes are the best!

Whew! I apologize for the extra pictures and the condensed words but as you can see, we had a wonderful visit and great memories that will last a lifetime!