Friday, 28 May 2010

Fun Filled Weekends

The fun continues over here in Scotland. May is my favourite month in this dear green place. We are winding down the school year. Just 4 more weeks to go. The sun shines more, people smile more, you get a taste of summer, it's daylight for 20 out of 24 hours, and it's not 92 degrees like it might be in Dallas. And we have 2 long bank holiday weekends! Again, life is good.

Here's what we've been up to.

Ethan spent a week on the Isle of Arran for a school trip with his year group. They studied geology, the local flora and fauna and did lots of hiking. He loved it. I think school outside is always more fun. Amen.

Scott spent a weekend sailing off the West Coast of Scotland from Adrossan to Tarbert. He sailed with 11 friends on Drum; a famous racing boat formerly owned by Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran. They had a crew and they had fantastic weather; which both afforded Scott a very relaxing weekend!

Then I went to the Spanish Island of Majorca with a few friends for the weekend. We spent lots of time in the sun, relaxing, chatting and doing a whole lot of nothing! It was fabulous. We stayed at my friend's apartment but went to a fancy hotel one day for pool time, spa time and lunch. Spoiled rotten is how we felt when we left. I highly recommend it if you are in this neck of the woods!

And yesterday, our friends the Brooks family, arrived from the US for 10 days of fun in Scotland. Our boys have a school holiday today and Monday so we plan to explore some of our favourite spots with them! Fun, fun, and more fun.

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Happy Memorial Day to you!

Monday, 10 May 2010

Isle of Skye

Life is so good. Amid the everyday chaos of life, we continue to be blessed by beautiful places to visit and time spent with friends. We are trying to seize every opportunity.

There was a bank holiday last Monday and so we spent the long weekend in Skye with our dear friends the Sarvesvarans. Katy booked a self catering house, we loaded the bikes and plenty of food and off we went. It was glorious. Fantastic weather, fabulous scenery, and tons of fresh air. The perfect weekend.

View from the house. Picture at top is a view from the beach back up to the house.

We spent lots of time back here; behind the house. The owners were clearing the land and it was a little (and big) boy haven. Fallen trees, sticks, fire pits, and axe. Ahhh.

The dads pondering the best way to build the fire.

While they pondered, Katy and I went for a walk. Guess what evidence we found on my camera when we returned?? The pics below of our mostly unsupervised children.

An 11 year old with an axe and small children looking on....

A danger sign with Ethan S close by....

Fallen trees, no problem. They beckon to be conquered.

Unattended fires. Perfect for preschoolers.

Dens with "who-knows-what" living inside! Score!!!

Ahhhhh....we returned from our walk and the men folk reappeared!

We explored a bit of the island and were treated to magical vistas around every turn.

And the farm animals we never tired of seeing.....

A local woman gave us the hint to check out this trek. It was fantastic!

Creeks to jump over and crevices to climb into......

Rivers and rocks to climb and swim.

Wellies and wetsuits......gotta love it!

By this point in the afternoon, Christopher was frozen and very sensibly wrapped in a towel snuggled up on a warm rock!

It was a brilliant weekend with even more brilliant friends!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

No Sand in my Camera

So, as you can see....I took more photos in Dubai than I did in Mauritius. That's because every waking moment that we were not eating, we were on the beach while in Mauritius. And my camera doesn't like sand. And we did the same delightful beach activities everyday. So I really didn't take too many pictures there. It was great.

But in Dubai, we spent less time on the beach covered in sand and therefore I had my camera more often. Here are the rest of the photos from our very fun extended holiday. Enjoy!

The boys and I went bowling for the first time in ages. Charlie beat us all. Little turkey. He had the rails up and was throwing like a granny but he still beat us!! He was also making good use of my camera and captured me landing on my bottom after a not so promising throw. NICE.

We went to the mall to Borders for books and a board game and the boys were thrilled to find this yummy spot while I enjoyed a little coffee.

We visited Atlantis the Palm to see the sights, enjoy their water park and aquarium, and to interact with the dolphins. Scott was determined to try out all of Dubai's new public transportation systems. This day, we traveled by monorail from the base of the Palm to the top of the tree where Atlantis is located. In the first picture, we are just leaving the mainland and you can see the Burj Al Arab in the distance; in the second picture, you can see one of the branches with the villas and their beach between the branches; and lastly, Atlantis just in front of us.

Above, the very dramatic aquarium. And below, a fun day at the water park.

Yowsa! That was hard for this momma to watch.

As I have said in a previous post, we stayed in a lovely hotel in Dubai. We enjoyed a few days at the pool and on their beach and the highlight of my trip to Dubai was seeing our dear friends the Dickersons. Sharon was my lifesaver when we were new stay at home moms in Dallas. Her daughter Kathryn was in Ethan's playgroup and we saw each other at least twice a week from the time they were 6 months old until the Dickerson's moved to Houston a few years later. Sharon and I have remained close friends and we now share the experience of living abroad. She and her family live and work in Doha, Qatar and I can't tell you how many times she and I have phoned back and forth sharing stories and providing moral support.

So when I realized that we would be in Dubai for a little longer, I called Sharon to see if we could come to Doha or they could come to Dubai! (Both cities are on the Arabian Peninsula) They came to Duabi. Well, what a treat to spend the day with the Dickersons. It was our last day and we enjoyed a very relaxing afternoon and dinner. Sharon, Steve, Kaylie, Scott and John, thank you for taking the time to fly to Dubai for 12 hours!

Camel ride anyone??

And last, but not least, when you are in a hotel room for the umptenth night in a row, what should you do for entertainment? Put on your dad's shirt, fill it with pillows and have a wrestling match! Life is good.