Thursday, February 14, 2013

Travel: Scotland



Travel is one of my favorite things to do.  In fact, everyone in the family likes it, even the little guy.  He's been on flights that last 12 hours, and not had one complaint (knock on wood that it stays like that), and for that I consider myself very fortunate.  

In any case, because it is one of my most favorite things, I have had a tab at the top of this blog since I started it, but have never written a post that could be filed there.  Today I have a little time before I have to go out, so on a whim I decided to do a post.  I have been going through the photo albums for the last couple of days.  That's not something that happens often, but when it does, it's something I always end up enjoying immensely.

Today I picked up one from a trip we took to Scotland, and looking through it made me want to share. This trip was special because we were staying with friends (and wonderful hosts) instead of in a hotel.  They took us around to the touristy sites, but they also took us around to some more personal ones, and it really meant a lot to us.  And they fed us... a lot.  Hubby tried Haggis but could not be talked into attempting the Black Pudding (blood pudding), and at their house too, is where I tried my first scone (I played it pretty safe).  We also had some fantastic meals out, and the trip was one that I remember very warmly.

That's not to say the weather was warm.  On the contrary, the weather was a bit wacky.  You can see from the sky here that it alternated from beautiful, clear blue skies to instant gray and darkness, and then right back again.  It even hailed on us once, for about 30 seconds, and then miraculously the sun was out again with not a sign of bad weather.  


The weather, though, was a highlight of our trip, and despite the chill that was always in the air we were amazed at how fast it could change.

Another highlight of the trip was, of course the castles.  Among them, we went to the very famous Stirling Castle, and also to the Wallace Monument (Braveheart). It was a pretty steep hill to get to the top of the monument and I didn't find out until later (much later...as in when we were back home later) that they give rides up. The sword that William Wallace held was glassed there and it was very large, much larger than I would have thought.  Wallace must have been a very tall/strong man.



 




Stirling Castle


Wallace Monument

We also went to castles that were abandoned or not open to the public.  My very favorite castle was one that was in partial ruins.  The couple who were graciously showing us around used to play in this castle when they were children.  Can you imagine?  I used to play at the elementary school playground during the summer when I was a kid, they played in and around castles, lol.  This is the one I loved, Bothwell:


Bothwell

We did a lot of 'regular' visiting too, just hanging around the house and chatting, or going to the store, or the restaurant down the road (where I got the best Enchilada I have ever tasted, lol!), and driving around to see the land.  What a great deal of beautiful land Scotland has, and it's every single place you look.

Our friends took us to this Electric Brae, which I thought was neat:


And my husband could not pass up getting a look at the Celtic Football Club in Glasgow.  He also got a tickle when he saw a stadium that housed The [Lisbon] Lions, which is the name of the US football team my husband loves.  I can't make any excuses for that, it's a fact, he is a lifelong fan of the Detroit Lions, lol.

Celtic Football Club in Glasgow

On one of the days we were there, our friends took us to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, and what a treat that was to visit!  We've been to quite a few places and my husband always says that was his favorite city, he just thought it was absolutely beautiful.  I liked it quite a bit, but he really just fell in love with it.

While we were there our friends took us on a nighttime ghost tour (quite popular in those parts).  This is me sneaking a picture of hubby in line (or so I thought until he picked up his camera to take a picture back, lol).


Then it was time for the tour, which was so cheesy that we all couldn't stop laughing about it the next day, but still, it was a once in a lifetime experience for us.  And it was fun.

On the Ghost Tour
They also took us to a black market and told us not to take pictures...after I took a picture, haha.  I didn't know, honest.  I'm still not sure why it was called a black market.  There were tables set up everywhere with people selling things.  It all seemed pretty legitimate, and I always thought the term 'black market' had sneaky connotations to it, but maybe I watched too much TV as a kid. ;)


And then it was time to head back home.  The trip was lovely, and very memorable.  It is a place we hope to return, not only to see the beautiful land, but also to see our friends.

We always have house sitters at our place when we leave, and we usually catch a ride from the in-laws to and fro so we don't have to worry about leaving our car at the airport. My mother-in-law always gets a picture of us unloading.  One time her and my father-in-law had a sign up with our names on it and that made me laugh.

Here we are coming out of baggage and into the airport

Trips are always so much fun, and so wonderful to experience, and this is the time of year I always get Spring Fever and want to go! go! go!

Scotland is a beautiful land.  If you've been, you already know that to be true.  If you haven't been, and you get the chance to go, don't even think about it, just do it!

229 comments:

  1. What a great post Rosey!!!
    Sounds like a blast - the farthest I've been is Yorkshire which is pretty incredible too - but would so love to see Edinburgh!!!
    And how many posts do you do a day lol?
    XOX

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    1. I usually do whatever I'm putting up in the morning, but today's an odd day (just waiting to leave the house, not enough time to do anything extensive, but too much time to do nothing) and I felt like posting that on a whim. :)

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  2. That is so great that your whole family loves to travel. With my family it's 1/2 and 1/2.

    Your trip looked wonderful! Everything is so pretty!

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    1. I was thinking when I wrote that how awful it would be if the family didn't all like to do it. Of course then we wouldn't!

      Your fort post today was really cute. :)

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  3. Scotland is on my list of places I would love to visit. I've always thought it sounded like such a beautiful place, and judging from your photos, it really is!

    That's wonderful you had friends there to play host for you. It's nice getting a peek of the parts of the country from the locals perspective!

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    1. It did make a world of difference. No way we'd have seen some of the things we did if we'd been there on our own.

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  4. Rosey! Those are amazing photos and the blue, ...blue sky is so breathtaking. I love seeing travel logs on blogs. Oh, that rhymes. Anywhozit, I am glad we are following each other. You are a fun blogger that I really can have a great time with. THANK YOU AND HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!

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    1. There was such a great sky there when it was clear. Happy Valentine's Day to you too. :)

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  5. Oh how wonderful & I'm so jealous! I love to travel too. Such grand pictures. Thanks for sharing. Some day I too would like to see a castle. A haunted castle would be even better! hehehehe Love your pictures. Happy Valentines Day!

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    1. Happy Valentine's Day to you too, Marie!

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  6. Awesome photos, travelling is fun, besides the airport crap. But does take some dough to go. Must have been quite the sight, all those castles and the sword too. Not sure anyone could ever get me to eat haggis though, heard it was really nasty.

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    1. I didn't try it... my husband said it wasn't bad until you thought about what it really was. :)

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  7. What a wonderful post! I would love to go there. It was fun reading about it and will recommend this article to friends. Thanks for linking up at NanaHood.com

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  8. Next year the Great Scot is going to be taking me to Scotland and showing me all the old hang-outs, etc... He grew up in a wee town called Kilbirnie, not far from Glasgow and is a HUGE Glasgow Celtic fan.

    Happy Heart Day!

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    1. Happy Heart Day to you too. I bet that trip will be awesome for both of you. He'll probably have as much fun showing you, as you will looking. :)

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  9. One of these days - sooner rather than later - I am going to Scotland AND I can't wait to see all the history and castles (apparently my husband's family still has a castle there).

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    1. Then you must...no way around it, go. You've got family to see. :D

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  10. That looks amazing, I would have thought something was dodgy at the black market too. Maybe they're just fooling the tax man or something
    :)

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    1. No clue, Mel. I might give it a little look on Google to see if anything turns up.

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  11. I would love to visit Scotland one day, and very much enjoyed your virtual tour. I wouldn't have tried the blood sausage, either. Scones, however, I will happily eat.

    (I came by way of NanaHood's bloghop.)

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    1. Thanks for visiting. I loved your post today: http://fadedginger.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/fasting-for-lent-why-and-how/

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  12. I would so love to visit all those castles. I think I was suppose to be a princess, but not sure what happened.

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    1. You are a princess, Terry. At least we all think so in blog land. :)

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  13. I looked at how tall most of those castles were and thought to myself, NO elevator and a lot of stairs to get to the upstair's bedrooms. LOL Thank you for a view at your delightful visit and the lovely photos.

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    1. Whew, it was a walk to get up to one of them. :)

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  14. I'm so glad you had time to post this today! The pictures are great! There's just something about a castle.:) My ancestors were from Scotland, and I've always wanted to take the trip... Perhaps some day.
    Thanks for visiting Mary @ Woman to Woman!
    ~ Mary

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  15. I have never been there, but it looks lovely and I think the best part would be staying with locals to get a behind the scenes look at a country...OK, Now I have spring fever!

    Carol

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  16. Great pics. I remember visiting the Wallace Monument in 1996 and freezing my butt off with rain blowing in my face. Despite the weather, it was still a great experience!

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    1. It was VERY windy at the top, and cold, but you're right, it was totally worth it. :)

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  17. lucky you!! the photos are beautiful...someday we will see ourselves.

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  18. cool. my son is a big travel blogger. chekc him out on roni weiss

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    1. My oldest married a woman who likes to travel too, but we've never gotten to go with them yet (conflicting schedules).

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  19. Looks like a fabulous trip! Years ago, we enjoyed seeing castles in Ireland. There's nothing like an old time castle!

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/2013/02/gbe2-crowd.html

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    1. Ah...they have a library at the uni there that I want to see. :)

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  20. Scotland is beautiful. I've only been there once but I loved it and I want to go back. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed looking at your pictures!

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  21. looks like a really amazing place. hope to visit there one day!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

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    1. Thanks for visiting. I saw your VDay gift for your husband and I thought it was nice! Very thoughtful.

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  22. What an adventure!
    I love traveling too and I love that everyone in your family loves it and it goes well with little man.

    And it's always great when you can spend it with friends and family instead of just in a hotel!

    I would love to visit there.
    Castles are such wonderful places to see!

    Wow! You have such wonderful memories!

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    1. I agree, staying with friends is a million times nicer. :)

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  23. The British Isles are on my bucket list. LOVED your pictures. I'll be having dreams of Scotland tonight, for sure! :) (Found you through the "Linkin with my ladies."

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    1. My bucket list has become a bucket scroll, lol. Too little time, and money to see everywhere we'd like to, that's for sure. :)

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  24. It sounds like an amazing trip! Thank you for the gorgeous photos, I loved seeing the trip through your perspective. How fortunate for you that your little one loves to travel too.

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  25. Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us. Your pictures are amazing. I am part Scottish, so going to Scotland is on my bucket list for sure.

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    1. Hopefully you'll pick up on the accent better than I did. My husband was very good at understanding what was being said, but I wasn't and really wished I'd have been better at it.

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  26. Wow, what a wonderful trip - love the photos!

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    1. Thank you, it was fun taking them. :) We only have cheapie cameras, I bet it's even more fun for the folks who have the DSLRs

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  27. Definitely sounds like an interesting country to visit Rosey! Great shots! Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Judy. You have a good weekend too. :)

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  28. Sounds like a fabulous trip! You mentioned how cold it was...I was surprised, too, that London was soooooooooo cold and windy! But it is an island after all! Thanks for sharing. Happy Weekend!

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    1. We have never been to Europe when it's warm...no idea what's wrong with us there... ;) Actually, it's great to visit during the off season because a lot of the tourist attractions (which I like) don't have long lines.

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  29. How awesome would that be! It would be so cool to see those old castles. I have never been to Europe-- someday.

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    1. I like to see the stuff like that, things specifically special to the place. Hubby likes to do the local things, so staying with friends made the trip extra nice for us because we got to seamlessly do both. Thanks for reading. :)

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  30. Beautiful photos Rosey. Grant's Dad was born in Glasgow Scotland and I would love to visit someday!

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    1. You have the perfect reason to go. Even more so if he has family there still. :)

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  31. I would love to go there.. beautiful
    I loved to travel (before I became a mom) but it is too expensive now...
    maybe down the road...
    ha ha ha

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    1. Ah, expense...if I won the lottery I would be so indecisive as to where to go first, and second, and third... ;)

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  32. Hi I am a new follower (via GFC)to your lovely blog and found you through Sincerely Paula's NO RULES Weekend Blog Party. Its really great pleasure meeting awesome new bloggers like you.

    my blog: www.wilsontom.blogspot.com

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    1. Paula's hop is great, isn't it?! I'm following you back, thanks for stopping over.

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  33. Hi Rosey,
    That sounds like a fabulous trip! My goodness - it's so much fun to see different places from the ones we live in. I once spent 5 weeks in Europe. I didn't quite make it to Scotland, though. Thanks for the minute trip there.

    Karina
    http://momintheusa.blogspot.com

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    1. I'd love five weeks in Europe, everything is so close when you're there, that I imagine there'd be a lot of mini trips you could take from any one central point.

      I bet you had a wonderful 5 weeks. :)

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  34. Sounds like a great trip! I studied abroad in London during my junior year in college. It was a great way to see Europe and I loved it :) Your pictures are great!

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    1. I would have loved to have had that type of oppt'y when I was a young adult. I bet your experiences there were fabulous!

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  35. My sister in law has family who lives in England and her and my brother say thatScotland is the most beautiful place they have ever been. I want to go to England and Scotland someday very badly.

    I hope Violet is a good traveler!

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.
    Leslie
    www.violetimperfection.com

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    1. My daughter-in-law's mother is from England and has dual citizenship. She just loves it. And if you're in one you're close enough to go to the other (and the flights from place to place once you are there are cheap, like twenty-five or less Euros cheap!).

      I hope your little one is a good traveler too. :)

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  36. I absolutely want to visit Scotland. My hubby wants to do an entire week of golfing and pub crawling and Scotland is his top destination for both!
    The pics are beautiful!

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    www.raising-reagan.com

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    1. When we went to London there were more pubs than anything else and they were every place you went. That was a favorite feature of my husband as well. ;)

      I think I read you have a good friend who goes every year, so I'm sure you already know this... :)

      My husband wants to play golf someplace special too... sounds like we'd be good travel companions. I could watch the kiddos while ya'll golfed and pubbed. :D

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  37. Replies
    1. Thanks. It was easy to get beautiful pictures in a beautiful place. :)

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  38. wonderful post my friend, I hope it si the first of many to go under your travel tab. Sorry I'm late getting here...thank you for adding your wonderful blog to the Thursday Favorite Things hop. xo

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    1. Thanks for visiting and hosting the hop!

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  39. I have been to Scotland and Sterling castle. I was interested in that one in particular bc my great 6 or 7 seven times removed grandmother lived there. I was also in Edinburgh loved it.... wanna go back one day

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    1. That is amazing that your relative lived there, I can't even imagine living in a castle!! Very awesome. :)

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  40. I have now added Scotland to my bucket list. I really love the pictures you shared and the story too! It is so much nicer than reading a book. You are very fortunate to be able to travel and make so many wonderful memories with your family!

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    1. We were so lucky because we had friends to stay with, it made a world of difference for that trip! :)

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  41. Thank you for this post! My family and I have always wanted to visit Scotland. Your pictures were great!

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    1. We were so lucky to have the most gracious hosts there, they really made our trip special because we got to see a lot of things that were touristy, and a lot of things that were not!!

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  42. I'm ooohhing and ahhhhing, I would so luv to go to Scotland. I wish I had friends there to know where to really go!!! These are wonderful photos! I would probably not dare to experiment more than scones, definitely no haggis or black pudding for me!

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    1. Neither of those for me either. ;) I'm not daring at all w/what I eat at home either, lol. :)

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  43. I would LOVE to see all of the UK! I had a friend from Glasgow (years ago) - when she showed me pix from home is looked SO beautiful. How lucky that you are able to travel!

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    1. I'd love to travel more, but I'm so happy with what we have gotten to do. It's one of my most favorite things in the world to do.

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  44. That was a great posr. Your pictures are wonderful. I can only dream about going such places.

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    1. This visit was made lovelier by having friends in the area, they really made the trip for us! Thank you for your visit.

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    1. This trip was a million times better than if we'd have done it on our own, because we had friends who lived there and knew the cool stuff to go visit. :)

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  46. Wow what beautiful pictures!! I always wanted to go and now I just want to go more!!

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  47. beautifully fun photos. Scotland is on my bucket list one day!

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    1. It's a beautiful place to be, that's for sure. :)

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  48. Your trip looks amazing! I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland!

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    1. Thanks, Tracey. It was fun to take pictures there, for sure.

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  49. Oh my gosh, I am so crazy jealous! Scotland is one of my dream trips and I hope one day I get to go. I love your photos, looks like you had an amazing time -- especially since you got to share it with friends.

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    1. Our friends are what really made the trip for us. We were very lucky. :)

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  50. That is so beautiful. I have a little Scottish in me, so getting to Scotland is definitley on my bucket list.

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    1. My bucket list is so long I've stopped writing it (for travel destinations). ;)

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  51. What a beautiful country! I would love to see Scotland one day, but I think I'll wait until my youngest is a teen. I want to roam the countryside and I don't think a 4 year old would be very entertained lol

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    1. My husband likes to roam the countryside on trips. The kids liked it, even little! Knock on wood that continues. :)

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  52. Whatta beautiful shots Rosey! I love travelling as well and I'd love to visit Scotland one day, hopefully before I hit 30 at least :-) Hehehe! Glad you had a good time.

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    1. Thanks, Pauline. I hope you get to go, it's a very pretty place to visit.

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  53. my maternal grama was born in scotland as were all 8 of her siblings. she grew up here in america from about the age of 6. i'd LOVE to go see where so much of my family history comes from one day!!

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    1. That would make the trip extra special!

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  54. Would love to visit Scotland one day! If we ever get stationed over seas I can def see if happening :) Love all of the pics!

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    1. There's so many places I want to go... I wish I'd have known my love of travel when I was younger. :)

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  55. I'd love to visit Scotland one day! You took some great pics!

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    1. Thanks, Paige. We really had such a nice visit.

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  56. I'd LOVE to go to Scotland one day. Your pictures make it look so amazing!

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    1. It was amazing. The one thing that got me was accents. I spent a lot of time nodding. ;)

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  57. I pinned this! Scotland is on my bucket list - I'm SO jealous of the Stirling Castle pictures - they are gorgeous!

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    1. Stirling was very large! It was the one place we took a tour. :)

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  58. Your photos are beautiful! I would love to visit Scotland. Traveling more is my goal...maybe one day! -April

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    1. I'd love to be able to do it more, definitely!

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  59. Beautiful photos! I want to travel more when my girls get older. My husband has only ever been on a plane once and that was on our honeymoon.

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    1. My husband and 2nd oldest are the nervous flyers here. They'll still go anywhere, anytime though. :)

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  60. What a fun trip! I have never left the country!

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    1. Thanks for the visit, Katherine. :)

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  61. I enjoyed your trip and photos very much... I sure do miss the frequent trips and I'm ready for a nice trip too. :-)

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    1. Me too. We didn't go anywhere on Spring Break this year for the first time in as long as I can remember (the flu cancelled our plans).

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  62. Oh, those pictures make me want to be there! I feel like part of my heart is over there since our family is from there.

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    1. My husband feels that way about England and he's def. not from England (he's American Indian). :) He feels very at home when we visit too. Must be the writer roots in him, I think. ;)

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  63. I have always wanted to go to Scotland! One of these days I will get there!

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    1. It is a trip worth taking! I hope you go. :)

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  64. Iheard scotland is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Lucky you that you got to visit.

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  65. I'm jealous, the pictures look amazing. I have been to Paris though, so at least I can say that :-)

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    1. That's where I wanted to take my daughter for her graduation (we've already been), but she wants to go to Australia. :)

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  66. How beautiful! I just can't imagine all of the history there.

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    1. I'd love to delve more into the history!

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  67. Wow I am so jealous! Your pictures are beautiful!

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    1. We have so so many pictures that you'd laugh. :) Thanks for the visit!

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  68. that is some trip! the pictures looked amazing, and it looked like you saw allot.

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    1. We did get to pack quite a bit in, I wish we could have seen even more. :)

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  69. Beautiful pictures, I've never been out of the USA but would love to travel to many places someday!

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  70. The castles are gorgeous! I've never been to Scotland, but I'd love to go. And that's amazing that your kids are good on such long flights- lucky!

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    1. I do feel so lucky that they're good travelers (knock on wood!).

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  71. So cool! What an awesome experience, I would love to go and see the castles!

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    1. Castles are what little boy dreams are made of, or so it would seem with my little guy. :)

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  72. Those are such great pictures. My husband has been there and loved it!

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    1. My husband loved Edinburgh, he thought it was one of the prettiest places he's seen.

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  73. Looks like you had wonderful time! The pics are lovely, and Scotland looks like a wonderful place to visit. I hope I get a chance to go there one day.

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    1. There was a lot to see, and everything was so grande and beautiful.

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  74. Never been to Scotland. Looks like a beautiful country. WOuld love to make it there someday.

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  75. I'm glad you had so much fun. The black market part was funny. What were they thinking calling that?
    I've been to Scotland myself and I loved every bit of it, in spite of the cold weather.

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    1. I didn't mind the cold weather there either. I guess the excitement of the trip negates the chill. :)

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  76. Beautiful pictures. I would love to visit.

    Michelle F>

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  77. House sitters are the way to go. That way, it at least looks like someone is there. Less chance of getting robbed. Great Pictures Rosey

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    1. Agreed, I always feel better if we've got a house sitter.

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  78. I've never been to Scotland - but I definitely want to go. It's where my husband's ancestors are from. It would be fun to go and visit all those castles!

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    1. It would be a great anniversary present. :)

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  79. Looking at your photos makes me want to visit Scotland! The ghost tour sounds like it'd be right up my alley.

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    1. It's hard not to laugh when you're going through. :)

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  80. We are planning a trip this April and it will be the first airplane ride for my 2 year old and my 13 year old. Hope I have good luck like you!

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    1. I hope the trip goes fabulously well. for you. :)

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  81. Beautiful pictures. I've always wanted to go to Scotland.

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  82. I love to travel too. It will be a while before we get to travel out of the country again but Scotland has always been on my "to Go" list!

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    1. Traveling has been such a great experience for us! Easily one of my favorite things to do.

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  83. I have always wanted to visit Scotland! Your photos are just amazing, it makes me want to go all that much more!

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    1. They had some of the most unique scenery (and weather!) that we've seen. :)

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  84. I've always wanted to visit Scotland. You're so lucky!

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    1. I hope you go then, it's really nice to visit.

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  85. Scotland always looks so beautiful in pictures! One place I never thought I wanted to visit, but it looks so fabulous.

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  86. Gorgeous pictures! So glad you had a wonderful time.

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  87. I've always wanted to go to scotland! Your pictures are beautiful and this definitely makes me want to go even more!

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  88. Wow to see all of the work that went into those buildings is amazing. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  89. Those old castles are so beautiful. We don't travel much, but when we do it's still always somewhere pretty close. I've never been out of the US.

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  90. The ghost tours I've always taken have been super cheesy too, but still fun. I love that you were able to go to Scotland and see all those castles. Amazing!

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  91. Beautiful pics! I would love to travel to Scotland. The castles look amazing - great trip!

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  92. I really do love to travel around the world. That's part of my bucket list. :)

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  93. You got some great pictures! I would love to be able to travel to Scotland!

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  94. i will get to scotland one day. my grama and her siblings were born there, and came to the us when my grama was 7.

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  95. Looks like such a wonderful trip! You took some gorgeous pics too!

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  96. That looks like a dream trip! It's awesome that you could experience that with your husband. I'd love to visit Scotland one day.

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  97. It looks so amazing. I have always wanted to go to Scotland.

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  98. How very neat to see that. I hope that some day I will get to go there.

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  99. Scotland was one of my grandparent's favorite places to travel too. I would love to go one day!

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  100. I have a lot of scottish heritage in my background and it's always been a dream to visit scotland.

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  101. I loved your pictures. I would love to go to Scotland. My husband has wanted to go ever since we saw Braveheart. Just a truly beautiful looking place and your pictures just confirm that.

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  102. I've always wanted to go to Scotland! This just makes me want to go even more.

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  103. The place was historical and very amazing :) One of my dreams is to travel the world.

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  104. Absolutely gorgeous! I would love to visit those castles!

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  105. I really want to go to Scottland. The castles look amazing!! ...and I love that accent too!

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  106. This is one European place that my husband has always wanted to visit! Plus that hunk Gerard Butler is from here...;)

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  107. Wow! That is one place that I would so love to visit. The history that is there and you got some amazing photos to share it.

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  108. Breath taking photos, history lesson up close and personal. I would love to give my kids the gift of travel experience. What a great trip.

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  109. We have traveled a ton with our kids, but never to Scotland. I'd love to go someday though!!!

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  110. I have always wanted to see Scotland in person. Sounds like some great memories for you!

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  111. Sorry to hear the weather in Scotland was Wacky......... the pictures you displayed where amazing! Hope you had a great time, thanks for sharing.

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  112. I am not much of a traveler but Scotland is one of 3 places (England and Ireland being the other 2) I wouldn't mind traveling to (that are outside of the US). Your post is wonderful and really describes what a great trip that was. It makes me want to go even more. I would love to just roam the countryside and visit all those castles.

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