our belgium/scottish adventure

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thursday-friday, sept. 5-6…2013

thurs.- sept. 5th-left for aiport at 7:30am, arrived in brussels, belgium 9:00am -friday-sept. 6th.

we then got a hotel room for the day, and slept, trying to catch up on missed sleep and adjust to the time change.

we then head back to the airport, to catch our flight to scotland…arrived, and went to get our rental car, and got upgraded to a four door mini cooper with automatic transmission for free-thank goodness!  i don’t think i could drive stick shift on the wrong side of the car driving on the wrong side of the road!  we drove on the left side of the road to the beautiful dalmahoy marriott hotel and country club, absolutely gorgeous, facetimed the kids, and went to bed at 2am.

saturday, sept. 7…

as we were checking out of the hotel, there was a wedding reception in the lobby, along with men in their kilts, and a bagpipe player outside of the front of the hotel.  it was beautiful!  they were heading to edinburgh castle for the wedding.

we drove a couple hours up north, and caught the last hour or two of the braemar games, in braemar.  the queen of england and prince charles were there, and we got to see them from afar.  tossing thetoss, dancing, tug of war games, and all sorts of activities was great.  the people are so friendly, and the drive up was absolutely breathtaking.  but most of all, the people are so very nice.

after getting our dear friends from virginia to watch our kids, whom our kids absolutely love dearly, jarom and i left on sept. 5th, and caught a plane to brussels.  after traveling all day, and flying through the night, we were totally exhausted.  we called and got a room off of hotels.com, they got us in to a hotel we found for a good deal(beautiful, called the golden tulip), and we went and slept.  yes, our first day in brussels, and we slept!  we headed back to the airport, heading for scotland, trying to make it there by saturday the 7th, for the highland games.  jarom registered to run the race there, and we don’t want to miss the celts and bagpipes!  we also, will be driving on the wrong side of the road, with a stick shift, and when i say we, i mean we, because i don’t trust jarom driving in america with an automatic.

sunday, sept. 8…

we headed to the bridge of don ward today in aberdeen, and had a wonderful time.  the lessons were spectacular, and the talks in sacrament were so spiritual.  one talk was given by high councilman brother henderson.  we met an older couple, who had served there for 18 months, were back on holiday visiting and touring, and ended up being from arizona.  they gave us great tips on where to go on our trip.  the munch ‘n mingle was a lot of fun, as we got to meet a mix of all sorts of people, including people who married scottsman and now live there, and a young family from utah who were sent there for work and have been living there for about six months.

we then drove to dunnottar castle, and walked the beach, hiked the castle, and took a lot of pictures, enjoying the ocean sounds crashing against the cliffs below.  it was truly an absolutely beautiful site.

monday, sept. 9

went to kilt shop where a member of the ward owned a store in downtown aberdeen.  walked around and got lost a bit.  went to the king’s house(the kilt shopowner), and visited with him and his wife and son for awhile, and then got in the car for the three hour journey across the top of scotland and heading over to the west highlands.  checked into our loch ness lodge hotel, and was glad we made it.

tuesday, sept. 10

woke up to a beautiful overcast day near loch ness.  we paid and went and did a  boat ride down some of the loch ness, and went around the uruqhart castle ruins.  we headed back on the boat, and jumped in the car, and headed to inverness, and went to cullodan battlefield, where the jacobites fought the queen and her men to try and get their scottish king back on the throne.  we think jarom’s heritage, the mcnabb’s may have been apart of this, and possibly cynthia’s heritage, the baileys.  we then stopped by the mall, yes the mall, just for two seconds, to grab something, and then dropped the car off at the hotel, and walked to the little village near us, to a tavern, to have dinner.  it is said, pub food is the best, and i might add, it was absolutely amazing.

wednesday, sept. 11

loaded the car, and headed down an hour and a half to fort william.  we stopped and found some waterfalls on the way, and had to get some pictures, and then in ft. augustus, we stopped, and watched a ship cross the canal and go through the loch’s, where they have to higher and lower the water and then let the ship out.  it was pretty neat.  we checked into our next b & b, and then went over to ben navis, the tallest mountain in all of scotland, and rode the gondola’s up the mountain.  we then hiked about half a mile up to the peak of one small mountain, and enjoyed the gorgoues view…and hiked down, then took the gondola down.  it was stunning, the views, and the clouds that would come through, just stunning.  headed to the port of ft. william and walked through the cute shops, and found another tavern to eat in.  it turned out to be great food again, thank goodness.  but the funnest of all, is when you get to visit with people along your trip.  we met a couple from australia by the waterfalls, who are travelling for about 4 months, and had gone across america, now the u.k., and then europe.  amazing.  then at dinner, we visited with a couple from belgium, and another couple from australia.  what fun it is to learn about other people, their travels, and their stories.  when you travel, you meet people who travel all the time, it’s a whole other world, and i’m very grateful we get to meet people from around the world on our travels.

thursday, sept. 12

we took a chance, and went to the train station to grab two tickets on the jacobite train, also known as the harry potter train.  we were the last two!  we rode out two hours through beautiful countryside, had lunch in the town of malaig, and rode the train back two hours.  the viaduct was beautiful that we went over, along with the steam from the steam engine.  we then jumped in the car, and left ft. william heading across scotland east, to edinburgh.  it took about 3 1/2 hours, but we made it, and our hotel is right in the middle of the city, next to everything.  so convenient!  a million restaurants and pubs, a movie theater, and a playhouse right next door.

friday, sept. 13

we slept in a bit, which was lovely, and headed up to the concierge lounge for breakfast, which the room was beautiful.  jarom traveling for 3 1/2 years has paid off in one way, with all his marriott points, we’ve had breakfasts for free, and even some dinners.  awesome.  we then walked the city, seeing edinborough castle, walked the royal mile and found the cutest shop called ness, where i got gifts for our girls and jaime and henry(she’s watching our girls), and saw hollyrood, where the queen still comes to stay.  we then walked back to the hotel, took a break, got ready, went to dinner, and then to watch hairspray at the playhouse next door, which was a very good show, great singing and dancing.  great evening!  now we have a couple of hours to get some sleep, before we catch an early flight back to brussels, belgium, where we’ll be for three days, and then head home to see our sweet girls.





jarom’s surprise 40th-

august 2013

jarom’s surprise party turned out awesome!  we held it at the inn that was in our neighborhood, and got such a steal on the place.  the power did go out half way through the party because the whole mountain lost power, but it just added to the ambiance:)  i made jarom a table out of old upcycled wood, him and i made our own cutting board for the french bread, and he helped me with the  cupcake stand in which he sawed trees to make!  handmade sewn linen napkins, stamped cards…It was awesome.

his sister julie made the main dish, which was amazing, and i did the desserts.  the french bread came from an authentic french bakery, from a couple from france…to die for! 

more of his family ended up coming into town that previously thought, because he was set apart to be put into the high council.  that was a neat experience.  all in all, it was a lovely weekend!  Happy 40th!