Friday, August 24, 2007

Sorry to be away so long...

Amsterdam was wonderful. In fact our entire trip was wonderful. I would have updated each day here on the blog except that my digital was not compatible with the computer at my sister’s house and we were really on the road as we covered four countries in two weeks. I think we only had one day that was down time.

Scotland has got to be the most beautiful countryside in the world. It really is as green as the photos and there is so much sprawling and lush land dotted with “white things” (sheep) and “brown things” (cows) – I mean everywhere! On our last day we visited Inverary, a little Loch side village in the north. The Castle in the photo is one we did not go into as we had been into so many and after Chatsworth house in England (more on that later) – well, it’s all down hill from there. Instead we shopped in the little village for goodies for our friends and had lunch at the George Hotel. Matt had to order Haggis which is like an oatmeal meatloaf served with mashed potatoes and mashed turnips. Surprisingly, it was pretty good.

In Scotland we also were fortunate enough to drive out to Drumlanrig Castle. This was a gold mine of artwork and extraordinary furnishings on beautiful grounds. I guess the previous year someone stole a Da Vinci from there. I wonder how that happens, but with so much glorious artwork filling the walls it may not be that hard after all.

Being a California born and raised girl, I am always in awe of houses and castles that are so completely old. It fascinates me because California has so very little historical buildings left. Besides the Missions, there just is not anything that is really historic – we certainly are a new country. So I am most impressed with the National Trust in the UK and how they work to keep everything preserved and open for the public to visit.

It was great to travel with my sister. She gave up her flat to us, shuffled us all over and helped get the most out of our trip. Considering we had one child visit the ER with an asthma attack, and one sleep in the hotel all afternoon in Amsterdam with the flue she was also flexible and understanding.

I must also mention that young Scottish men look really good in their kilts with tight tee shirts, Doc Martins and lots of chains!

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