Sooo... Karen and I decided to do the Hop-On/Hop-Off tour in Glasgow with the intent to take the entire tour once, and then go back and see certain landmarks... HOWEVER... we only go so far as to take the tour around the city! We actually saw everything we wanted to see, but had no true desire to go gallivanting to any particular place. That being said, we decided to get a little retail therapy in, and pick up some souvenirs for the family!
While in town, I managed to get in touch with Fraser (TBB to some) and see if we could arrange to meet up for a drink. Keep in mind, while having spoken with/ chatted/ vent-ed --- I can't say that I didn't have some doubts and a bit of trepidation about meeting him! (No offense Frase!) It wasn't like meeting Richard, since I've known him for far too long (you still love meh) to be worried... but yeah, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Fraser was not that bad. hehe. No seriously, both Karen and I agreed, it was a veryyy pleasant, chillaxed evening hanging with Fraser. We pub hopped a couple times, had a few drinks (well, Fraser and I did... Karen is still a lemonade-aholic [I tried, I tell ya! BUT she is sooo UN-corruptible] watched a Rangers game (you Scots sure do take your football seriously) and then meandered over to DiMaggio's for a nice dinner. Mmmmm sea bass and risotto... Frase had -- a hamburger. FAIL. lol. We cracked up while watching the game and seeing Fraser go completely unresponsive during a play - and by the time he'd had a few beers, understanding his very thick Glaswegian accent became more and more difficult... but we enjoyed his company so much, it was worth the effort [almost]!
The next day, Karen and I got up and made our way to the information center and hopped on board for Rabbie's Trail Burners' tour to Loch Ness, Loch Lomond and Glencoe. It was bitter cold and raining. ICKY! But hey, thus far, we had been blessed with good weather! So apparently, we were to see the true side of Scotland. That in mind, we drove through the pouring rain to Loch Ness, where we had a fine lunch at The Bothy restaurant. Karen and I seem to have been blessed with good dining as well for this trip! woot! Then we made our way to the boat tour. WHAT WERE WE THINKING? Even the captain said that was the roughest ride he'd had in a while. The water literally sloshed over the sides of the boat as we trudged to Urquhart Castle. When we finally got there though, it was like the sun parted the clouds and decided to give us a glimpse of the lush, green Scotland that we had seen so far. I convinced Karen to make her way to the deck of the boat, and sure enough, her nausea went away! We enjoyed a leisurely pace back, took a ton of photos, froze our butts off, and laughed sooo much. The trip back to Glasgow was pretty uneventful, with beautiful panoramic scenery speeding by as our guide, Michael, played the Red Hot Chili Pipers to us. LOL again!
This morning we hustled our butts out the door to do some last minute gift buying and whatnot before we hit the train back to London. The sun was out, the weather was warm. The train ride back was smooth, and we watched as mile after mile of gorgeous greenery passed by. There were sheep galore, and all I could think, was that Laurel would be baaah-ing like a mad woman every time we passed a herd! I know that when we come back, she'll thoroughly enjoy the highlands of Scotland... and I fully intend to take her further north with me, perhaps to the Orkneys or Shetlands... who knows. I know that Karen and I thoroughly enjoyed this trek to Scotland and here's hoping tomorrow brings a wonderful day of discovery in London. Off to find dinner, and have a drink with Richard... here's hoping he doesn't scare Karen completely! Love and miss everyone back home, especially my Laurel and Dad and Mom and Boober! Oh yeah, and I'll post some pics from Loch Ness and Pitlochry later -- tummy is growling! Til then...