My sister, God love her, has now taken each of the three older boys on a trip across the world. This time, Jack was up and like the others, I get to go too.
Molly packed in a ton. We spent a couple of days in Scotland staying with a wonderful family and covering as much as we could in two days. We went to Glengoyne, a distillery both in the “highlands” as well as the “lowlands” with a highway to split. We had dinner with one of the families that was quite simple and delicious. We even had haggis for the first time and it was actually pretty good! We also spent about a day in Edinburgh, which was super awesome and memorable. Blend of old architecture and new, the big castle (awesome), the smallish streets and the breathtaking views from up high. If you have ever been, you will probably agree with me that they built the castle in the right spot, HIGH above the city, surrounded by some water and hard to penetrate or scale those thick rock walls. We had fish and chips several times on the trip, and several reputed to the “best.” They were good, really. In most cases though, I think it was about the whole experience, meaning, in Scotland, fresh fish, a little ghetto but fiercely local and beloved.
I think my overall favorite, and most memorable though, are the people.
A couple of observations I made were how small the homes and living space is, the minimal decor, and the fact that all of the bathrooms are located upstairs! Small fridges, simple utensils to serve food and frankly just a simpler view on their lives, which appears to lead to a life with less stress.
Take George and Sadie whom we stayed with. Same marriage, and same home for over 50 years. Sadie was in the same church for even longer in their little town several miles outside of Glasgow. When they served us breakfast they had to bring a table into the living room so we could fit. Simple, lovely, and warm.
We talked about American politics (of course – seems like everyone over there wanted to), our shared faith, local customs, and soccer. George loved his local team (season ticket holder) and had a lot of passion for his team.
The Scots appear to be incredibly patriotic, meaning as Scots, which I found funny for this American because they still send their tax money to London! They love being Scottish and they are always up for a ribbing of the English.
The Scot sense of humor is legendary and for me, the best. Dry, a little sarcastic, but always able to laugh at themselves as well. Reminded me of some of my own family!
The trip was great in every way, even when Molly wanted to “hurry up and have fun.”
If you go, make sure you get to Edinburgh, the Stirling Castle of William Wallace fame, a distillery or two, but most of all make sure you get to know the people, the true face of Scotland.