The answer: Shoes and socks. On Saturday I watched the European Pipe Band Championships in Grant Park. It’s the second largest competition in the world and features thousands of pipers and drummers and over a hundred bands, competed to be European Champions in their grade. In the background you can see the Benromach distillery banner. […]

No trip to Scotland would be complete without a boat ride on Loch Ness. This impressing 23-mile long fresh water loch is a mile wide and 700 feet at it’s deepest point. Our cruise ship is named after Jacobitism, a political movement in Great Britain and Ireland that aimed to restore the Roman Catholic Stuart […]

After exploring Inverness, we spent a day focused on writing and the follow day we took a coach (poshe word for bus) to Cawdor Castel. We ate a sack lunch on the grounds and then toured the castle interior. No photos alowed inside but the castle grounds were full of photo opportunities.   After three […]

On my travels with the writing group we spent a day in Inverness.  Inverness is the governing body of the highlands and where the River Ness begins. Laura and I walked along the river to the botanical gardens, where because of the cooler weather in the highlands, the azaleas and rodidendrons were still in bloom. After […]

For the two hours Calum Mc Williams was inking my tattoo, he killed time telling me about the Pictish people who inhabited Northern Scotland. The Picts were infamous marauding tribe named by the Romans because they had pictures (tattoos) on there skin. They were a dominant force in what is now Scotland for at least […]

I see three grey stones laying at the base a fir tree. They are resting in pine needles. The needles on top are green, then yellow and then dark orange needles at the bottom. The middle stone is the most interesting to me. It is cow-patty flat like the ones I saw this morning in […]

Yesterday my new pal Dave and I went for a hike in Logies Steading along the Findhorn River. It rained off and on and bounced off birch leaves then trickled down around us. The river is wide and rock lined. In several spots it narrows and rapids roar past. The trail follows the rivers edge and […]

Ayrshire cattle /ˈɛərʃər/ are a breed of dairy cattle originating from Ayrshire in south west Scotland. The average mature Ayrshire cow weighs 450 to 600 kilograms (990–1,320 lb). Ayrshires typically have red and white markings, although the red can range from a shade of orange to a dark brown. This heardy bread is known for […]

A Kelpie is a Scottish water spirit with the ability to shape-shift and is often depicted with a horse head and dragon body. The myths say that Kelpie  preyed on and devoured humans. A folk tale from Barra, the Hebrides island where my mom’s family is from, there is a story about a lonely kelpie […]

Today marks the beginning of week two in Scotland. So far I stayed in Edinburgh, Perth, Aberdeen and last night in Keith. If I had to pick a favorite city so far I would say my time in Edinburgh was the most memorable, but it’s the Scottish people and the countryside I find the most endearing. […]

Fiona is a hairdresser in Keith Scotland. Her husband Gaff is a farmer. They have two children, Sean and Megan. “I dun know why me children both have Irish names,” she laughs. She was born in Keith and has never been to the US and didn’t seem interested in going although, she said she wants […]

After the distillery tour we went to dinner at the Craigolicky Hotel and then I checked in to the Ugie House in Keith for the night. It was a modest room but clean and had a nice view and a working window. Of all the towns I’ve visited so far this was the first one […]

When I stepped out of my car to take a picture of an old shed on the side of the road, I landed on what I though was grass. Instantly I felt my muscles tighten to keep my ankles straight. I couldn’t feel the ground below the thick grass. It was as though I was […]

There are six whisky regions in Scotland and I’m currently in the North East region knows as Speyside. Speyside whisky is characterized by less smokey taste. Yesterday I toured Balvenie Distillery in Dufftown. Balvenie is owned by Glenfiddich and is on the property next door but is considered a superior whisky. Our tour started in the Malt room […]

It was sprinkling when I got to Balmoral Castle, outside Ballaster, so I took the shuttle instead of the ten minute walk. My feet were thankful for the rest and after the drive up the mountain I was happy to turn the wheel over to a more experienced driver and relax. Sorry to see this […]