I don’t think it’s my imagination that our family has some sense of shared purpose surrounding this year of utter chaos, adventure and togetherness. At least I know my 6-year-old is on the same page. We went to one of my favorite places to stay and eat in the Highlands called the Pierhouse. Over dinner Kurti got really excited about his idea which was not just ‘go’ places but that we actually ‘live’ in them. Clever boy. Must have been all the seafood affecting his brain–two bowls of steamed mussels, some langoustine, and a haddock fillet for dinner after the Scottish salmon for lunch. I’m sure it wasn’t the three sides of ‘chips’ and cup of ketchup accompanying the bounty of DHA. Kurti’s biggest complaint so far is with the word ‘chips’ and insists we use American English and call them french fries instead. He thinks British English is too confusing and would rather do without a translator! Looks like it will take a bit of encouragement to ‘do as the Romans do’ in the linguistics department, but we seem to be off on the right foot in terms of a general consensus. But, I think Kurt and I must need some alone time with all this familial togetherness. I just noticed I am fantasizing about coming back sans children for a romantic night over a Pierhouse Grand Platter for two, and rising early to catch the ferry to Lismore for a bicycle ride around the island. And just on the heels of my Monachyle Mhor fantasy. someday. maybe.
Another favorite place that deserved a revisit according to Anna and Sophia is Dunstaffnage Castle. So we headed toward Oban to pick up a bottle of our favorite whiskey, walk around town and stop for another cultural experience at Dunstaffnage, one of the oldest castles still standing in Scotland built in the 13th century. But first things first. We headed down to the area that was considered to be the original entrance, on the water front. Anna was checking out the efficacy of her new ‘wellies’ and her risky behavior had water lapping over the edge of her boots–not just once but twice she was dumping water and ringing out her socks.
I don’t mind that kind of risky behavior. Socks can always be washed. Last year she slipped off the tree swing and fell sliding down the hill in the mud ripping her jacket as well. ‘Healthy bruises’ is what our pediatrician would say. This year no one fell, and even Daddy got in on the action.
Up at the castle there was a typical well, a hearth, and a great view. All the kids wanted to do was run from me and my camera as soon as I said, “This is where the Stone of Destiny may have been kept–remember? the one on display at Edinburgh Castle?” Couldn’t even get to the fact that Flora MacDonald was briefly imprisoned here after helping the Bonnie Prince Charlie escape the redcoats. Sigh.
Our last dinner out in Onich was another seafood event at The Lochleven Seafood Cafe. The elder girls played chase and sun and shadows danced on the ben on the south side of the loch. YUM! again.
The next morning we were off to our big 3 week adventure in Applecross at the amazing eco lodge, Eagle Rock. On the drive up we stop at Urquhart Castle and Inverness. I couldn’t wait to plant in one location for 3 weeks and presumably have better internet connectivity than we had at the last two houses! And presumably better laundry facilities, too.