Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Birthday in Scotland and England!

Saturday, May 31st was AJ’s 9th birthday. We celebrated over breakfast in Scotland, continued the celebration over a late lunch and cream tea at Stow-on-the Wold and in the evening in Chipping Campden, one of our favorite English Cotswolds small towns, and our home for the next 7 nights. A special “thank you” to Sally Hutsby for making this beautiful, delicious birthday cake and leaving it in the kitchen Whistler's Corner Cottage for AJ's special day!

Through Glen Coe to Edinburgh, Scotland

We departed Loch Ness on May 30th and drove through the amazing scenery and snow-topped mountains of Glen Coe. The Gorse and Rhododendron were in full bloom throughout the Highlands. We stayed overnight at the lovely Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club at Kirknewton near the Edinburgh airport. We enjoyed a very nice dinner and walked around the beautiful grounds. There was a wedding at the hotel. The men and boys in the bridal party were wearing kilts. AJ concluded a kilt is not for him!

The Isle of Skye, Scotland

A day trip on May 29 to the Isle of Skye through the dramatic scenery of the Five Sisters of Kintail. On the return trip, we stopped at Beinna Caillach Cafe at Kyle of Lockalsh for lunch and oven baked scones with jam and cream. After lunch we visited Eilean Donan Castle near Dornie.

Loch Ness in Scotland

After a traditional Scottish breakfast at our B & B on Wednesday, May 28, we drove through the beautiful Cairngorms toward Inverness then to our destination for the next 2 nights, Inchnacardoch Lodge Hotel, a small hotel near Fort Augustus overlooking Loch Ness. We stopped to visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness. Have you seen The Water HorseLegend of the Deep? It is an excellent family movie now on DVD. AJ loves it and he was totally geared up to look for "Nessie." We didn't find her in the Loch, but she was abundant in the souvenir shops!

To Scotland and Balmoral

We flew from Gatwick to Edinburgh on British Air on Tuesday, May 27. They provided the best service I've experienced on an airline in a long time! Upon arrival, we picked up a rental car and drove to Balmoral for a quick tour then a few miles to Ballater where we spent the night at Netherley Guest House. We can certainly understand why the Queen enjoys this area during late July and August. The heather was not in bloom, but it must be magnificent when it is!

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