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Scotland Day 7: In the Highlands

rain 56 °F

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Goodbye, Edinburgh!
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We got a taxi to the airport rental car section and picked up our car. It's a Toyota hybrid, just like our Prius (and like the car we had when we were in Ireland), and so it's very familiar.
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Crossing the bridge over the Firth of Forth.
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Our first stop was Dunfermline, where Dunfermline Abbey was formerly located. There is currently a church there where King Robert the Bruce is buried (as evidenced by the huge tower with "King Robert the Bruce" written all the way around it). This was once the capital of Scotland, where some of the earlier kings ruled.
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St. Margaret of Scotland was also buried here, but her body was moved during the Reformation for safekeeping by Mary of Guise, and its current whereabouts seem to be unknown. Anyway, this is where she was buried. She was the daughter of Edward the Aetheling, and married to King Malcolm III of Scotland (who is the real-life version of Malcolm in Shakespeare's Macbeth. She founded the abbey here and was later made a saint, and the chapel atop Edinburgh Castle was dedicated to her.
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Some pictures in and around the ruined abbey.
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We stopped at a little village called Dalwhinnie and had a delicious lunch at a small cafe there. We had sausage rolls, crisps, and a caramel shortbread for dessert. It was very cold, windy, and rainy outside but the cafe was exremely cozy with a nice fire burning.
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The options for fillings on a baked potato here are very different from what you would get in America, and don't really seem that appetizing from an American perspective. They seem to be very popular here though: there are several dedicated baked potato bars in Edinburgh and many places outside of the city seem to have them on the menu as well.
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After lunch we went up to the Dalwhinney Distillery, which claims to be the highest and coldest distillery in Scotland. It definitely felt cold and windy as we got out of the car.
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A quilt made by students at the local school (which we later learned was shut down...Dalwhinnie appears to have somewhat faded away as a village. That is sad, but it is easy to see why with modern transportation technology a person might not want to live in such a cold and windy place.)
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The process of distillation is fascinating. Catherine has a great interest in invention and how an inventor's mind works. After the tour she said "if you had barley, water, and yeast in front of you, would you honestly come up with all of that?" It is an interesting thing to think about how people came up with the whole process.
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There is a tasting at the end of the tour. At the beginning of the tasting the tour guide asked who was driving, and gave each of the drivers three small bottles in which to pour the samples. It was really a nice solution to the problem of tastings when you have to drive. Catherine tried the samples and liked them, especially the first two. We ended up buying a bottle of that first whisky.
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The beautiful castle where we are staying. There is a cozy fire and a beautiful lounge.
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Dinner in the castle. Delicious bread pudding for dessert.
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A dram of whisky by the fire after dinner.
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The castle is beautifully decorated for Christmas.

We had a wonderful day, and we had a beautiful drive from Edinburgh to the highlands!

Posted by danielcatherine 23:58 Archived in Scotland Tagged christmas castle highlands bread distillery pudding inverness dunfermline dalwhinnie st._margaret Comments (1)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 9: I Spy

With My Little Eye

overcast 85 °F

We started our day by going to mass at St. Raphael’s with Daniel’s grandma. St. Raphael’s is the oldest Catholic church on Kaua’i, but both times we’ve been there we’ve gone to mass in the new church building. It was nice but very hot and humid, to the point that Daniel and his grandma’s glasses fogged up when we got out of the car. After mass we bought some mango bread and some flowers from a fundraiser.
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We then went to Pizzetta in Koloa Town. Catherine got a slice of pizza and Daniel got penne pesto pasta. Daniel’s grandma had the caprese. It was a great lunch. We split a chocolate lava cake for dessert.
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A picture of the spaghetti harvest on the wall of the restaurant. Daniel has used this joke with his students for April Fool’s Day (that spaghetti grows on trees). We took a picture of this image that seems to support the joke.

After lunch we joined Daniel’s parents, his sister Hilary, and her kids Aubrey and Dalton who were having dessert and shopping at a nearby shopping center.
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Catherine and Aubrey playing “I Spy with my Little Eye.”6FD45D98-23F8-4246-B21F-F4A8CE404A56.jpeg
Aubrey leading the way while we play “I Spy.”
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Aubrey’s look of disbelief at our inability to spot the thing that she claimed to have spotted (a quarter mile away, completely invisible to her from where she was, and matching none of the description she gave us.)
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Daniel’s dad, Ed, with Dalton.
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Daniel with Aubrey.

Afterwards we went back to the house and finished watching the Mayo vs. Donegal match via GAAGo. We had tried to watch it yesterday but not been able to finish it. Mayo won and is going into the semi-finals against Dublin next week!

Then we went to Daniel’s Aunt Jackie and Uncle Peter’s house for their party. Each family on this trip is hosting a party night during the time we are here. Their theme was Asian fusion, and we had rice, noodles, teriyaki beef skewers, pineapple, watermelon, and pineapple upside down cake for dessert. It was a delicious meal. We spent time talking to Daniel’s family and enjoyed the first party.

Posted by danielcatherine 01:30 Archived in USA Tagged church party mango match bread mayo asian_fusion mass aubrey dalton i_spy_with_my_little_eye Comments (0)

Maui and Kaua’i Day 4: Tricks and Treats

all seasons in one day 91 °F

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We got up and went straight to Julia’s Best Banana Bread stand. Last time we were here we loved their bread, and we had to go back. The man at the stand told us he was going to show us “a trick and a treat.” The treat was banana bread samples.
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The trick was that he yells “hup hup hup” and throws pieces of bread, which causes a mongoose feeding frenzy. One of our fellow customers at the stand had never seen a mongoose, and thought they were rats. The man at the stand explained that they’re “like Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.” We bought two loaves of banana bread, some passionfruit lemonade, some passionfruit butter, and some dried mango slices with li hing mui powder. Then we headed for the blowhole.
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We went a bit too far, and saw some beautiful places beyond the blowhole.
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Our Jeep.
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The wind at the blowhole is always incredible, and so are the views. We didn’t stay too long, having seen it before, but we were glad we went.
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Next we went to Honolua Bay, where after a short hike through the forest we arrived...
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...at the most amazing snorkeling location we’ve found. There were three diving boats in the bay, and lots of people snorkeling from the shore. We saw a lot of fish and, most amazingly, a small sea turtle! We’ve never snorkeled here without seeing a turtle.
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We went back to our room and had lunch after snorkeling. We had our leftover musubi, chips, some Julia’s banana bread, and the passionfruit lemonade. After that we headed to Upcountry!
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We stopped at Maui Wine for wine tasting and admiring the beautiful views from the cottage where King Kalakaua stayed. While there we had a nice conversation with a couple who had moved to Maui from Chicago, as well as an employee who was studying to become a teacher. Catherine recognized his surname as a Portuguese name, and he said his ancestors were from Madeira. We talked a bit with him and then headed back to Ka’anapali.
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Some Upcountry Maui views. It looks a lot like the Azores, and in fact many of the Portuguese people who came to Hawaii seem to have settled in this area.
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As we drove we talked to Catherine’s parents and got an update on Flora, who is doing very well and playing happily at their house like she does at ours.
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On our way back we stopped at the Maui Pineapple Store in Lahaina. Catherine went in, and the cashier asked her if, in addition to the pineapples we were buying we would like some fresh cut pineapple. Catherine accepted the offer, and we ate this delicious pineapple. After that, we went to have dessert at our hotel.

Posted by danielcatherine 01:25 Archived in USA Tagged turtles king wine pineapples snorkeling lahaina honolua bread portuguese kalakaua upcountry julia’s Comments (4)

Hawaii Day 6: Exploring the Island

semi-overcast 84 °F

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We started our Sunday by going to the Traditional Latin Mass in Waihe'e, which was a little bit of a drive away from where we're staying. It was nice to see a different part of the island, and the people we talked to afterwards were very friendly. It is an extremely small community. Across the street, there was a warning about some rather dangerous dogs, but thankfully we didn't encounter them.
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After we left, we went to Tasty Crust, a diner in Wailuku. It was an interesting, small place. The clientele seemed to be almost all local, and most people obviously already knew each other. Nevertheless, the service was friendly and the food was delicious.
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We had banana pancakes, linguiça, and a biscuit. Katie and Anthony got omelettes, and we all split a piece of macadamia nut pie for dessert. Everything was excellent.
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We then went on a hike to see some ancient petroglyphs. We parked near the general store, and then hiked along the trail until we got to the cliffs where they were. It was very hot as we hiked, but we persisted until we reached our destination.
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The petroglyphs. These were close to the road, and may have been faked, but looked a lot like the ones we saw at the actual site.90_C1AB3D1A-4..B9B8381F500.jpg90_E6A8980C-B..61EDDB31976.jpg90_F8974F8D-1..2926D207933.jpg90_5EBF7DA0-0..4CDDF41ADE2.jpg
The definite petroglyphs. These apparently tell a story, and we were able to identify several human figures holding various objects, as well as what appeared to be a canoe. The information card explained the glyphs but didn't say what the story was.
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More of the area around the glyphs.
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We had a great time hiking!
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Found this by the side of the road. The perfect souvenir? But it probably would be hard to bring it home...we left it by the side of the road.
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Post-hike shave ice!
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We then sat at a table downstairs overlooking the ocean and played cards for a while.
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We ended the evening at Mulligan's, an Irish pub in Wailea. There was live music, which was vaguely Irish (they played a couple Pogues songs amid mainstream pop and rock). The food was very good, and we had a great time.
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Posted by danielcatherine 02:04 Archived in USA Tagged church music hike pie irish brunch petroglyphs latin cards pancakes bread wailea tasty mass waihe'e wailuku crust Comments (0)

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