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canoeing, kayaking and other adventures

canoeing and kayaking adventures born in the Southeastern U.S. and now centered in Scotland...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Second Stateside Guests: Jody and Jacob arrive in Scotland 1/7/2006 - 2/7/2006

Two by two until late August, that's the visitor schedule. Jody and Jacob were the second pair to arrive. Lucas met them in London while, sadly, I worked. They arrived in Edinburgh on a Thursday, wandered the city on their own on Friday and were ready for something different by Saturday. We went to Linlithgow Palace, a historic site recommended by several friends. The mazy ruins were fun to explore and the weather couldn't be better. Even better still, the ruins of Linlithgow Palace plus train tickets were about the same price as the crowded tour of Edinburgh Castle. After plenty of exploring, we found our way to Tesco, found dinner and enjoyed a picnic on the hillside between the palace and the lake.

The plan for Sunday was Cupar Highland Games. Think track meet meets county fair as far as atmosphere. Competitions were held in dancing, running, cycling and piping as well as the more famous throwing of large objects. The rain showed up about halfway through the day. Band geeks Jody and Jacob had already wandered under the covered stands to watch the pipe bands compete. We joined them, staying mostly dry while alternately watching the pipe bands and the large heavy objects in flight in the distance. We walked back to the train in the rain. Lucas enjoyed his first Irn Bru, a chemical concoction that once outsold Coke in Scotland. Its caffeine and quinine content meant that I could only smell the chemicals, but I was quite happy to not go any farther. It smelled of cheap bubble gum and I can't imagine that I would like how it tasted. While we waited for the train to arrive, I learned that Mad Amy was in a dealership about to purchase a motorbike. Another toy for her ever-expanding toy collection and definitely more stories in the works.

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