17 July 2014

Holiday: Scotland, part 3

It's been a full and fast week....and this may very well be the last of the "Holiday" blog post series.   

We said good-bye to these lovely friends on Monday morning -- they headed back to Edinburgh and then on to the States...we headed to the Animal Park!
We met up with our friend Martha and her fella Alex.  We met Martha during our first year on the ship in Guinea.  She is absolutely one of the loveliest ladies ever - and has such a delightful Scottish accent.  She and Alex were gracious enough to host at the Highland Animal Park.  We had such a fun day seeing all sorts of incredible animals - our God is so creative!!!  The rain tried to stop us....but failed.

Tuesday had 2 objectives:  Visit the Titanic Museum and let Grandaddy fly a plane.  We're happy to report that both happened! We visited the Titanic Museum in Inverness and then Nick and his dad dropped Yaya, Dianna and the kids off at a park (an AMAZING park!) and went to the airport where a plane was rented and Grandaddy got to fly!  

Little more on the Titanic Museum....it's in a man's house.  For real. It's his personal collection of Titanic memorabilia and a model of the ship (in his backyard), as well as other maritime type things.  

There was plenty of other random stuff...you could have an incredible treasure hunt around the place -- here are some of the items that would be on the list if we were making it:
  • Nemo
  • A Minion
  • A fake man snoring
  • Wall-E
  • A playground that at first glance just looks like a pile of junk (that's a compliment)
  • Free coffee and biscuits


Looking at the Morse Code Machine
Some kind of diving submarine model

She is cracking us up.  All dressed up and posed. 
Where there's a boat driving game, Eli will be playing it. 
Whin Park officially wins the award for "Best Playground in Scotland" (granted, we didn't visit all of the playground in Scotland....but it would be extremely difficult to beat this one!).  You might just want to google "Whin Park" and then look at the images.  

Such a perfect way to spend a beautiful afternoon.  

Wednesday we took the train from Aviemore to Edinburgh...and enjoyed our last day with Grandaddy and Yaya.  If you ever have the chance to play with "Rory's Story Cubes," do it.  We had fun rolling the dice and telling stories together....(and pizza is always good). 

And then this morning we got up bright and early to see Grandaddy and Yaya off to the airport....lots of bedhead and lots of love all around.  

We spent the rest of the day playing and running around outside...swimming and playing soccer...resting and reading....jumping on the beds...swimming again....getting snacks for the plane rides...one of us got to go for a solitary trek into the heart of Edinburgh AND she got to go for an evening run - she thoroughly enjoyed herself on both outings.

All in all we had a day of rest, relaxation and refreshment.

Tomorrow morning we'll get up even brighter and earlier than we did this morning and take ourselves to the airport.  We'll get on a plane that'll take us to London and then one that'll take us to Madrid and then another that will get us to Gran Canaria....if all goes as planned we'll find one special sister/aunt/friend waiting for us and we'll all head to the Dunas for a few more days of hotel living (the ship's dry dock time was extended...so we can't go back to the Africa Mercy just yet).  None of the Cash kids are complaining about the access to icecream and french fry.  Hopefully we'll be able to move back to the ship on Thursday....feel free to pray for no more delays if you feel so inclined.

What a grand adventure it's been....so many wonderful moments and memories made.

Surely there will be more to come.

13 July 2014

Holiday: Scotland, part 2

The Dell of Abernethy
This is the lovely place we've been staying the past few days.  It's a beautiful home tucked into the Scottish countryside - in a place called Nethy Bridge (near Aviemore).  We were welcomed with brownies and fresh flowers and delightful music playing.  Hospitality and thoughtfulness are 2 of our most favorite things.  

Ballindalloch Castle
We visited the Ballindalloch Castle and Estate on Friday...the Cashes really can't get enough of being outside and playing and enjoying nature - this place was perfect for all of that!  There was a great playground (probably the thing that made it so great was the incredible old tree that provided plenty of shade)(and the really fun riding toys!) and a Labyrinth for walking.  Walking through the castle was interesting (but no pictures could be taken).  There was a beautiful garden that was perfect for cartwheels and tags (and looking at amazing flowers)(and eating raspberries). And there was a picturesque river with plenty of rocks that needed to be thrown in.  It's an understatement to say that it was an ideal day...

Urquhart Castle
Saturday's adventure was to Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness. It's not so much a castle as it is the ruins of a castle. The BEST part was the weapons that could be played with and this nice man who told us all about the different weapons.  After exploring Urquhart, we drove the rest of the way around Loch Ness and on to Fort Augustus.  The highlight of Fort Augustus was watching the lady blow glass (the actual best part was the glasses the kids wore while watching....).  After that we drove back to Nethy Bridge on a perfectly rainy Scottish afternoon - good naps were had by most in the car.

Beautiful weather (the sunny and the rainy!).  Beautiful country. Beautiful holiday.  

What a wonderful few days it's been...we've had some delicious meals around a strong table. Taken lots of walks (and a few runs) in the country side.  Lazed around a beautiful house. Played soccer in the front yard. Had scavenger hunts.  Listened to the rain.  Drank cherry coke. Got Yaya and Grandaddy a little more caught up on performances and recitals and such that were missed throughout the year. 

Definitely enjoying sweet friendship and familyship.  

Surely there will be more to come.