With James having moved jobs and becoming self employed, he wasn’t able to take many days off work this summer. If he takes a day off, he doesn’t get paid. Me and the boys however, were off all the time and my Mum proposed that we go with her and my stepdad Harry to stay with Harry’s mum in Scotland for a week.
We took the ferry and then a long drive to get to Harry’s mum’s house near Inverness. Ollie has been on a ferry a couple of times but this was Nate’s first time and he was pretty excited to go on the ‘big boat’. They had each packed a bag of toys to keep themselves occupied but both ended up falling asleep halfway through the ferry crossing. Maybe the excitement wore them out.
After the ferry journey we had a huge drive, but stops along the way, little sleeps and the amaaaaazing scenery made it all quite enjoyable. We went to bed pretty much as soon as we arrived at our destination, after we met Harry’s mum.
The house was amazing. Harry grew up in the house and it was extended over the years. There are chickens in the front garden and so much space for the boys to run around freely without getting into trouble. They made up their own games using some inexpensive toys we picked up at Tesco (a frisbee, a skipping rope… that sort of thing) and they kept each other quite entertained!
We woke each morning to the same wonderful views… and everywhere we went, the scenery was stunning. I’m a sucker for beautiful countryside and while in Scotland, I decided I could quite happily live somewhere more rural now that I can drive.
Harry’s mum, who the boys (and everyone else) refer to as Granny, owns a bunch of chickens and their run is right out the back door… the boys enjoyed seeing the chickens and loved knowing that the eggs we were eating came from them! They got to feed them some bread scraps.
We took a lovely evening walk one evening up to the Cairn… and to see the Viaduct. The boys had a lot of fun running around the old stone piles and I enjoyed being outside in the fresh air.
On one of the days we went to Nairn beach… a lovely beach that also has a playground, a coffee shop and a paddling pool. We quickly ate some sandwiches and then Ollie decided to get his brave boots on and took his clothes off to go swimming in the sea. He plunged into the sea without a care in the world. Nate on the other hand, searched for baby shrimp and we caught a couple with our bug bucket. We then went to the paddling pool for a splash…. found a funfair and then had icecreams together.
We heard that there was a great place not too far away, to spot dolphins. I love dolphins and thought this would be a great holiday activity for the boys (and us!). We drove to Chanonry Point and when we arrive there were already some people standing around. There was a gorgeous lighthouse and we got to work searching for some pretty sea glass while we waited. I asked one of the photographers that was already set up, when the dolphins might appear and he told us it would be within the next 45 minutes-1 hour. Sure enough… bang on when he said they would come, they came. The beach was very busy by then and we watched the dolphins swim for about 20 minutes. Such a wonderful experience.
When in Scotland… what is one food that you should eat? Yep, haggis. Except haggis doesn’t appeal to me so I bought a vegetarian one that we enjoyed with toast and poached eggs. The boys both enjoyed it too which surprised me!
On one of our last days, we visited Blackisle Wildlife Park which, from the outside, looks very small but once we got inside we found out it is actually a HUGE wildlife park/ farm. So many cute goats… ponies, llamas, a random bunny just hopping around… racoons, wallabys, zebras… and birds. They even had a furry animal petting zoo bit and a train to take you round the park! It was a great day out and the boys went home shattered!
Later that evening, I took Ollie for a date just me and him to Pizza Hut. It was lovely to spend some one on one time with my eldest dude and after our dinner date we went back to the house to watch Horrid Henry together while eating Lucky Charms.
Our last day came and we all said goodbye to Granny. Harry and Mum have been married for ages now and I can’t believe we only just got to meet Helen. She is 94 and really remarkable. I hope we get to see her again soon!
On the drive home we stopped in Aviemore. A popular ski and adventure sports village/ town… I dunno lol! It was so picturesque and I’d love to spend time there to holiday! We went into the mountains a little to this cool Funicular Railway… I have no idea what that means, but it’s a cool way to go up the mountain. The boys loved it and when we got to the top there should have been amazing views but it was so thick with fog, we couldn’t see a thing! We had lunch there, went down the mountain in the train and got on with our long drive home.
We got to the ferry very late at night and there were hardly any people on it. We got home then after 1am… so glad to see my husband… holidays without him are hard! A great week away though.