This summer, I am going to Scotland -- Scotland -- for two weeks in June, and -- as it's been at or near the top of my travel bucket list for a very long time -- I am nigh unto giddy about it.
|Wyeth's Wallace, the blondie.|
|Highland calf, or Ewok?|
|The just stunning title page.|
You'd think the interest would pass, but it never really did. My junior year of high school, an extra
Anyway, after my dad passed away, my mom talked about wanting to take a trip. Dad wasn't big on traveling, preferring rather to stay in one place -- the result of being a Navy brat as a kid who moved constantly. His attitude, favoring armchair travel, almost inevitably gave all three of his children a bent toward wanderlust. My mom, curious by nature, has always wanted to go exploring, too, but for the last 30-plus years, was busy raising children and working before officially retiring from teaching in October. The last time she was out of the country was a summer in Guatemala with the Red Cross in 1972, and she didn't even know where her long-expired passport had gone.
Talking about it one day, I asked her if she'd given any thought to where she'd like to go. My mom was a Spanish teacher, so I assumed she'd chose Spain, or a South American country, Belize, perhaps, or Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. But no, she wanted to go to Scotland, at least in part because one of her grandmothers was Scottish. And when she asked if I would go with her, well, I almost laughed, as the question was so ridiculously moot.
So we're going. After taking in the Dunedin Highland Games this past weekend (mom wanted "a taste of Scotland" before the actual trip), airline tickets were purchased. The plan, not entirely formalized, will see us making a circuit of sorts. Edinburgh (the castle, naturally, Holyrood and Arthur's Seat, which I fully intend to hike up) and Glasgow certainly, Stirling, the Isle of Skye, and Iona, where St. Columba brought Christianity to Scotland. We've also pondered several stops at locations with either excellent (Inverness) or multiple (Wigtown) used bookstores, which is really no way to plan a trip, but very much us. A ride on the Jacobite steam train (aka the Hogwarts Express) from Fort William is also practically definite.
We will surely run out of time before we run out of things to see, and I'm looking forward to traveling with my Mom. It's the only trip I have planned this year, but I can tell you right now I likely won't want to come home. The fact that Scottish summers are typically 30-odd degrees (if not more) cooler than Florida summers is reason enough to want to stay, lol.
As for Mom, well, I wasn't completely wrong about where she wanted to travel. She's already booked an educational trip to Portugal and Spain in October, and is busy researching one of her pet interests, Spanish ship building during the age of sail. :)