In keeping with our travel theme for 2009, I couldn't find a chocolate factory in SW Scotland. So I found an ice cream factory instead. Gotta keep the team motivated! And the belly full. People it's cold here in the winter.
Thankfully, it worked out to head down to Dumfries and Galloway this past weekend with Grandma Nicol and cousin Davis in tow. We hit the Gatehouse of Fleet (town name) Gala (festival) on Saturday and spent the day (10-6) at the creamery on Sunday! What a weekend.
The Gala was good ole fashioned fun. A home town parade, live music, booths selling stuff, booths to entertain children, and lots of people watching.
Parade along Main Street.
First booth we found at the Gala, Cream O Galloway! YUMMY.
Davis and Ethan tried the moving rock wall while Charlie enjoyed a pony ride. Christopher was content to watch.
Need a new idea for a fundraiser? The Scouts Bottle Stall. One Pound a try. Odds you lose. Even you are a winner.
We had one winner. Christopher with his can of chopped tomatoes. Is that a bottle? I don't think so......
Next, we tried the archery. Somehow I missed Davis' turn. Then the bouncy slide.
Then while waiting for the Dog Show, Ethan said, "Mom, can we please have a go at the Bottle Stall again?" I'm not a gambler, so I said, "no, I don't think so." His reply, "Aw, come on, it's for the scouts!" Little politician.
Ethan won a fruit juice, Davis some Listerine, and Charlie a Lemon Beer. At least they were all in bottles this time.
And this guy, well, he pretty much never left the line of this stall. Bottles in every pocket and under each arm. And his partner (in the blue skirt) just the same. I'm not sure how much money the Scouts really made.
After the Gala, we went for a quick swim at the hotel and then headed down to the closest town on the coast for proper fish and chips. Oh it was good. REAL good.
The Polar Bite (fish and chip shop) and eating on the harbour in Kirkcudbright.
Sunday morning we explored the beautiful grounds of our hotel then hit the creamery. I think it is officially our new favorite place to go in Scotland! It's a small ice cream factory and a huge playground! They create "luxury" organic ice cream out of necessity to use their milk. Oh to have that necessity! We took the ice cream tour to see the factory and learn about the history of the company. And then we tasted 10 of their 27 flavors. That was fun!
Our hotel, The Cally Palace, is an old manor estate and it is very old fashioned. The grounds are beautiful. I'd read that it was very kid friendly and could accommodate our crazy headcount so booked rooms in their newer addition. Grandma Nicol ended up in a room with all of the boys and Scott and I by ourselves. I promise it wasn't planned that way. She captured the boys re-enacting their pillow fight. What a treat for them to spend the night with their Grandma!
The Zip Line, the factory tour and the tasting.
After lunch and lots of time on their playgrounds (climbing frame, pedal go karts, obstacle courses, BMX ramps and tracks, zip lines and huge slides!), we then took the farm tour. It was the MacNicols, Grandma Nicol, Davis, and one other couple and their baby. The creamery manager showed us all around the farm and explained all the bits and pieces involved in running their farm. We even had the chance to stand in the milk parlour during the milking. We all loved this.
We loved the milking parlour. We'd met the farm hand that milks the cows earlier in the day and so the boys knew him by first name. We watched him bring the cows in from the fields, encourage them into the barn, then into the parlour and then watched as he milked each one. We asked lots and lots of questions and all have a better appreciation for organic milk!
This is Charlie turning in his coupon for his free ice cream cone after the Farm Tour. We each enjoyed our ice cream before hitting the playgrounds again until closing. I'm telling you, if you head this way and you fancy ice cream or organic farming, we need to go there!
Cows back to pasture after the milking and roosters in the yard!