the last of my Scotland pics

Happy Independence Day to my American readers! We're having a rather unremarkable July 4 relaxing, gardening and debating whether any of us wants to brave the mosquitoes and stay up late enough for fireworks tonight. We'll see.

Meanwhile, here is a final batch of photos from our Scotland trip. We spent a night and a day in the seaside village of Oban, seafood capital of the country, port of many ferries to the outer Hebridean islands, and of course home to a whisky distillery.

Stuart took a tour while the rest of us went out for ice cream.

After Oban, our last two nights were booked in Glasgow and near Edinburgh, respectively. By that point, however, we had lost interest in city sight-seeing and were all so smitten by the hiking trails and wild spaces that after the night in a Glasgow hotel, we took off for the nearest mountain within an hour's drive and climbed it.

Ben Ledi in the Loch Lommon-Trussachs National Park did not disappoint. In some ways, this was the most strenuous hike we did: 4 miles up a steep gravel path. It took two hours to go up and only 45 minutes to come back down. It was pretty foggy most of the way, and Anya and I were not keeping pace with the guys, so I only got a couple pictures to share.

Our trip to Scotland was truly amazing. I want to go back. Stuart wants to live there! Reality, of course, dictates otherwise. In any case, we now know that our children have more stamina and independence than we thought. We are newly committed to seeing as many natural and wild spaces as we can with our kids.

Meanwhile, more big things are on the horizon for us, namely a major house renovation that is years overdue and will finally start (fingers crossed) in August. Also, I need to decide if I'm happy where I am professionally, or if I should make more of an effort to raise my profile and put myself out there more. It's always a question of work-family balance and nine times out of ten, family wins out.

Cheers, everyone!


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