22 November 2018

Missing Thanksgiving

I am not complaining and I am certainly not looking for sympathy.  Life is good!  However, I do miss Thanksgiving.  It has been my favorite American holiday for as long as I have actually thought about it.

My pumpkin pie substitute
A weekday off, often including a long weekend.  No stress:  just food, family, and relaxation.  Turkey Trots!  The calm before the storm that is Christmas and New Year.  Ugh!  And, a little nudge to remember to be grateful.

I have a small turkey for Sunday and I am planning several Midwestern favorites, including green bean casserole and stuffing (like Stove Top) and hopefully, a pumpkin dessert.  I found pumpkin purée!  I really wanted cornbread casserole too, but cream corn is not available here.  Well, I can get it for a ridiculous price from Amazon, but no.  It will be a good meal, maybe a little nostalgic, but not quite the same.  I suppose that is life, though:  things change.  And, that is okay.  Like I said, life is good!  And, I am thankful for the life I have, including all of you who read my blog.  All the best!


Ahh, yes...

This was followed by a delicious pumpkin cheesecake. 

13 November 2018

The Royal Cairns at Balmoral

It is that time of year when we have to take advantage of the nice days when they come, along with the limited daylight.  Saturday, we booked a car and headed west to Crathie for a walk around Balmoral Castle, passing by the royal cairns.

It was a beautiful autumn day for a forest/hill walk and a picnic. We covered about six and a half miles, including a few steep sections.  We definitely earned our picnic lunch and our chippy upon returning to Aberdeen.

Princess Louise's Cairn

The Purchase Cairn

The view of Deeside from The Purchase Cairn

Prince Leopold's Cairn

Balmoral Castle

Prince Arthur's Cairn

Princess Beatrice's Cairn

Prince Albert's Pyramid

The pyramid's inscription

Princess Alice's Cairn

Princess Helena's Cairn

The Dee was full and fast.

Thanks again, to Pat, for some of the photos.

14 October 2018

Tour-Guiding Again

My parents visited us again last month for two weeks.  Of course, it was great to see them and they brought me a few goodies too!  We planned a two-night trip to Edinburgh, hoping for better weather than last time, as well as one to Inverness.  Both trips included day-long, guided bus tours so we could see a lot in a short amount of time.  A return trip to Macallan was requested as well to see the newly-finished distillery and visitor center.

Of course, we had to visit Aberdeen beach and show off the new off-shore wind farm

I think the highlight of the holiday for all of us was our bus tour from Inverness to Skye.  It was a long day, but the views were truly stunning.

Skye Bridge

Red Cuillins

Black Cuillins

Old Man of Storr

Kilt Rock

Mealt Falls

The Quiraing


Eilean Donan Castle

Urquhart Castle

Returning to Inverness

We got the VIP treatment at The Macallan Distillery, thanks to Pat's brother.  Actually, I think everyone gets this sort of treatment; everyone else just has to pay for it!

Yes, the distillery has their own highland cows.

This wall of whisky is insured for £19M, if I recall accurately.

The biggest mash tun in Scotland.

Yep!  Five tastes, including the raw spirit.

We also visited the Knockando Woolen Mill in Speyside.

Edinbugh is always bustling, but at least it was quieter than when the Festival is on...and it was dry this time.

St Giles' Cathedral

The Royal Mile

The ever-present piper

Sir Walter Scott Monument

Edinburgh Castle

Our bus trip from Edinburgh was somewhat disappointing after our Skye trip, but my parents saw some sights they had not seen before, as did Pat and I.  

Doune Castle, for fans of Outlander and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Loch Lomond

We also visited Pitmedden Garden and Museum of Farming Life in Aberdeenshire.

As always, you can click/tap any photo to just view the photos and see them on a bigger screen.