A Week in Scotland
There’s been some gradual progressive changes on the website here over the past few months, as I’ve been trying to make the website more user friendly just for you, with easier access to:
- blog posts on my time at raw culinary school 105 degrees (now called Matthew Kenney Academy in OKC and have just opened a new Academy in Santa Monica, LA, be still my heart!) for those of you also considering a career in the raw culinary arts,
- as well as a section on travelling posts for those of you that are interested in that side of our lives living as Aussie expats living in the Middle East.
I’ve also been quietly working on the Parenting page where you will find from time to time, posts that are obviously more geared towards our family life for those that are interested – you can expect some more posts coming up on there, as I know people are just keen as mustard to know more about my pregnancy diet, nutriton for preparing and ideas for pre reading preparation, plus reviews, good and bad on not only food products but things that have helped us along the road as new parents.
But this post is geared around our last vacation – you can read more about other trips in the Travel section here.
Living in Saudi Arabia as expats, does have it’s downside at times (think inconvenient prayer times multiple times throughout the day that shut down business in the middle of your grocery shop/errands, no addresses only weird directions to shops/buildings in town, having to wear an abaya when off our compound amongst other things) but there are plenty of benefits to living in this culturally enrichening place too. I’ve spoke about some of them before but not today.
Also living here enables our family to do the travel that is very important to us. Both myself and my husband, prior to meeting, chose our respective careers – he as a geophysicist, and me as a flight attendant initially, because we wanted to live in and travel the world, and this is how we hope to bring up our children too. However this is our last travel now for at least a year with baby no 2 due in a few months.
So fortunate that we are able to do this at this moment in our lives.
As some of you know, we recently returned from a last minute trip to visit relatives and show my husband my ancestoral home of Scotland. Nothing was really planned until we got there but we packed so much into the week I really wanted to share with you.
As my dad was born in Glasgow, we have plenty of extended relatives that live there that I met for the first time when I moved to Scotland in 2005, so we were lucky enough to stay with my cousins James and Kirsty and their daughter Megan.
One major highlight for us as a travelling family adjusting to travelling now with an 18 month old sidekick was staying at the Hilton Coylumbridge (Aviemore)in the Scottish Highlands, which was unlike any Hilton I had stayed in. I mean any place that advertises TODDLER MINI Breaks has my attention.
All low set, including time share lodges as well, the Hilton caters for families with children of all ages as it has an outdoor activity centre as well as a soft play indoor area for kids from babies to tweens! They do have creche as well for those times you need adult only time (we didn’t use).The 2 night package we got included 3 course (delicious) dinners and buffet breakfasts – all really exceeded my expectations.
The hotel is a little tired and old but for all that’s available I didn’t care.
After dinners the massive lobby was usually filled with other families and children, and whilst the parents enjoyed quiet drinks, the children danced to the live performer – although he probably didn’t intend to have such a huge under 5 following, he was a really good with his mini audience and us parents could relax.
This hotel was really KID oriented!
Even though Aviemore is also reknown for a ski town, apparently they do more business is the warmer months with activities like downhill mountain biking etc.
Other activities we saw were clay shooting, bike hire, skating, quad bikes, white water rafting, abseiling and I am sure there was way more!
Other things we did whilst based out of Glasgow, were day trips to:
- Cycling around Loch Katrine – I LOVED this!
- Stirling Castle
- William Wallace Monument
- Edinburgh & Edinburgh Castle which happened to be right in the middle of world famous fringe festival – no shows were seen but the atmosphere in the streets was electric
Glasgow Botanic gardens – I used to frequent this place when I lived in West End Glasgow 7 years ago. Stunning!
West End Glasgow for lunch
pub dinner with all my relatives in one spot and a friend of ours who happens to be from Scotland but lives here in Saudi with us too and was also there
and the city centre.