Thursday, September 11, 2014

To pack, to ship, to give away and to throw away.....annnnnnnd our trip to Scotland!

Those are the piles I am sorting all of our belongings into!

We are due to fly out on 23 September back to CA.

It's going to be difficult to leave this beautiful town of Haarlem. We have met some wonderful people during our time here. Over the past month we've been trying to make sure to get together with people and now we're starting to say our good-bye's. So bittersweet.

When we arrive in CA we will be staying in a hotel the first night. The 2nd night and for 30 days after that we'll be staying in corporate housing. The company also had trouble finding a place that would accept a dog. Makes us miss owning our own place! The company is also paying for a rental car for us for a month. During that time I'll need to find a car to buy. I have no idea what to buy!  We may end up living in snow country in the next few years, so I will probably look for something with 4 wheel drive or all wheel drive. My last car I drove for over 12 years, I'm hoping to keep this next one that long too!

We have been watching the rental market and the prices are very high. Also, most places will not take a dog. So, we are now looking into buying a condominium. It is a seller's market right now....but we figure if we rent we'll just be throwing money down the drain. We'll see what happens. We are conversing with our realtor recently and she's working hard to find us a place!


Andrew and I took a 10 day trip to Scotland at the beginning of the month. What a beautiful country! We had been there a couple of times before...but at that time Andrew was working, so we didn't have much time to travel around.

On our trip we started in Edinburgh, where we stayed for 3 nights at the Dalmahoy Marriott. What a beautiful place to stay. It's a 20 minute bus ride into town, but well worth the trip!

During our stay in Edinburgh we visited the castle and also took a day trip to Stirling.

Back at the hotel we sat on the patio and shared some whisky we had bought at a shop in town.

Then we took the train to Inverness where we just spent one night at the Inverness Highlands Hotel, right next to the train station. It was very convenient, but just a clean, no frills place to stay.  We had been there before and wanted to see it again and walk around the Ness Isles.

The following day we took the bus to Fort William where we stayed at the Lime Tree An Ealdhain. What a cute place right across from the bay. The restaurant in the hotel was very good also!

The following day went on the Jacobite steam train (Harry Potter train) to Mallaig. Wow....what a fantastic day!

 The Lime Tree An Ealdhain:

The following day we traveled to Oban via bus where we stayed at the Sutherland Guest House.
What a beautiful place right on the bay! The owners are very sweet and helpful.

That first day we stayed in Oban we just walked around, did a little shopping, then later sat on the front patio at the hotel and enjoyed spending some time talking with the owners...while drinking scotch (us, not them.....unfortunately, they were working!).

From there we went on an Island Cruise (with Westcoast Tours) to the Islands of Mull, Staffa and Iona. What a wonderful day!  So much to see......

The following morning we got up and walked to the train station from the hotel and took the train to Edinburgh. When we arrived, we walked to our hotel (the Jury's Inn).

That evening we had a nice dinner...and then decided to go into the Balmoral Hotel for a drink and some dessert. While we were sitting there we started talking to a cute young couple who were sitting next to us. They were celebrating moving into a new place and wanted to share their joy! So cute!  Soooooo, we ended up staying much longer than we had planned....and shared some nice champagne with our new friends! What a perfect way to spend our last evening in Scotland!

The following morning we walked to the Airport Shuttle in front of Waverly Station (right down the street from our hotel) and flew back to Amsterdam. Picture perfect trip!!!