OH MY GOODNESS! What an amazing summer it has been so far, and it is only the beginning of August! Are you prepared for the Whiskey Lover’s Wife Blog to explode? Because now that we are done traveling (somewhat) until after school starts, I am prepared to flood you with “Adventures in Scotland” as well as adventures in Albuquerque, NM, Las Vegas, NV, and several amazing places in our beautiful Washington State! And I’ll be honest, many of these posts will, indeed, include talks about whiskey! But as I have explained in earlier posts, this is a family friendly adventure, and our boys are very interested in the history and science behind all the whiskey going-ons!
So, here we go!
Adventures in Scotland, DAY ONE!
We left on July 4th, out of Sea-Tac (Seattle, WA) airport! I was not too worried about the boys flying…I was more worried about The Whiskey Lover, who really doesn’t like the cramped feeling of flying in coach class! (But hey, flying with a family of four on our budget…yeah, coach class is perfect!) We made it to Philadelphia around 4pm and awaited our final flight to Glasgow, Scotland. You can see by the picture below that yes, there is MUCH “brotherly love” in Philly as I tried to get the boys to behave in the land of Rocky Balboa!
We then got on the airplane, and off we went! We landed bright and early in the morning on July 5th in Glasgow, Scotland! And do you know what immediately impressed me? How nice everyone was! We went straight away to pick up our rental car and the computers were down. Normally, when I have dealt with customer service here in the States when computers were down, I have had to deal with overwhelmed employees and reassure THEM, even though I was the customer! However, in Scotland, I was impressed with the humor they had and how they completely bent-over backwards to make sure this would not dampen our beginnings of Holiday in Scotland! We soon got into our brand new Volvo V40, and while Josh was a bit nervous to drive (you know, the steering wheel is on the opposite side of the car, and they drive on the opposite side of the road than we do!), we were ready to go!
So, what to do until we could check into our hotel? We checked out Loch Lammond, the largest Loch (lake) in Scotland, located not too far from Glasgow!
Then we thought, “Hey, let’s check out Stirling Castle!”
“Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most historically important sites and was once a favoured residence of the Stewart kings and queens who held grand celebrations at the castle.
Knights, nobles and foreign ambassadors once flocked to Stirling Castle to revel in its grandeur with its superb sculptures and beautiful gardens. It was a favoured residence of the Stewart kings and queens who held grand celebrations from christenings to coronations. ”
We were told that the Castle was closed when we arrived. The police officer that re-directed us told us the reason the castle was closed to the public that day was because THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND WAS VISITING!!! Queen Elizabeth was there, visiting! What??!!! He also told us how to go around, to park in the town of Stirling, and to walk up to the Castle anyway because often times you are allowed to see the Queen. So, that’s just exactly what we did!
Just walking through Stirling itself was a beautiful adventure, and had we more time, we certainly would have loved to spend more time there! We walked through the cemeteries and took in the sites. And waited to see the Queen!
While waiting for the Queen to leave her luncheon at Stirling Castle, the boys got to meet, and listen to, the Royal Regiment Pipes and Drums, and take a picture with these young men that were there to serve the Queen. (pay no mind to the clothing my boys are wearing, remember, we hadn’t checked into our hotel yet, and at this moment, we had been awake for 23 hours!)
Then we saw her!!! Okay, okay, they is a horrible picture! I didn’t take a picture because I was so excited, took a video clip (that wouldn’t upload for WordPress!) and so this is what you get! (Luke took this picture of Queen Elizabeth as she was being driven out!) She had waved to people prior to getting into her car, I couldn’t believe how close we were, and I also couldn’t believe how tiny and cute she it! (You know, if it was President Trump, there is no way we could have been so close!)
After all that excitement, we decided to finally head to our hotel to check in. We stayed at Gleddoch Hotel Spa & Golf , Old Greenock Rd, Langbank, Scotland, PA14 6YE, United Kingdom, 800-491-6126 (visit their website here to learn more about this fabulous spa and golf resort! www.gleddoch.com) I actually found The Gleddoch on www.hotels.com! And yes, it was VERY VERY affordable! (it was $99 US per night! We were there two nights!)
As we walked up to the hotel, this is how we were greeted! It was beyond exciting and amazing to have a bagpiper welcome us to the hotel! We knew we were truly in Scotland! (We later found out that this particular hotel was booked daily for weddings and was one of the most popular wedding venues in the Glasgow areas…we saw weddings each day we were there!)
Our first official “real meal” in Scotland (okay, we ate at a McDonalds near Loch Lommond earlier that day, but can I really count that???!!!) was here at the Gleddoch in the bar. It was classy, cheaply priced, and ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! Luke and I both got the Fish and chips and I was delighted to find out that the fish they used was called Heke and was caught fresh daily in the river below! SOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!
We finally went to bed, already filled with so much love for Scotland after not even 24 hours there! We were ready to see what Day 2 would bring us! Come back tomorrow evening for “Adventures in Scotland-Day 2!”