Friday, November 30, 2012

Coastal Hike

While the guys were road-trippin' to Northern England to pick up Ryan's Defender, Laine, Debbie and I decided we should get out and make the most of our day. It was going to be a beautiful day so we opted for a coastal hike just north of Aberdeen at Forvie Sands. This was actually my first Explorers hike with the AWA back in February in which it was really foggy and my pictures didn't turn out so well. I was pleased to replace those foggy pictures with these beautiful clear ones.

Beautiful Hackley Bay
We hiked about 8 miles and though it was cold we had the sunshine with us all the way; well, until it started to set at 3:00 in which we had to high tail it back to the car. We made it just in time and all in all, it was a great day with my girls!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Making Dreams Come True

Remember that post when I mentioned that Land Rover Defenders, pheasant hunting and hunting dogs were all part of my husband's dream life? Well, he is making that dream come true. Yep, that's right....we have a 1989 Land Rover Defender sitting in our drive way. And remember when I said the dream was also Laine's husband, Jonathan's dream? Well, they also have a Land Rover Defender sitting in their driveway but it doesn't have quite the years as Ryan's does but it fulfills both of their needs and dreams and that's all that matters.

Jonathan's new toy

Jonathan bought his locally but my dear husband decided that his was worth driving 10 hours round trip to pick up. Did I mention it was a 1989? And do you know these things don't go very fast? So, he rented a trailer and recruited two of his best buds to road trip to Northern England and pick up the monster truck, box oh right, Defender. I do believe it a great time was had by all and the look in my husbands eyes, the excitement he gets when he buys a socket wrench set at Costco so he can 'work' on it (remember 1989, that makes it 23 years old) and when he talks to Jonathan about it reminds of a young boy opening up his first train set and who am I do deny someone that pure joy? You may be laughing but that my friends is what it is, pure joy on my sweet husband's face now that he has a big boy toy to play with!

Here's to off-roading and hoping we can take this bad boy back to the US without it costing us an arm and a leg!!

Stay tuned for what the girls did while the guys were away!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Beating the Winter Blues

Another weekend gone! Despite the very, very long nights the days are still flying by! I'm not going to lie, the sun going down at 4:30 is starting to get to me but I am religious about taking my vitamin D, exercising and getting outside as much as possible to try to soak up what sun light there is....seasonal affective disorder (SAD) you will not take over this house! Speaking of beating the winter blues, this is what we did to conquer it this weekend thanks to some amazing fall weather. I hope there are many hiking days left this season. I just can't get enough!

Saturday: I went to Scolty Hill with Falene and her lab, Kady and after our hike devoured some delicious Swiss hot chocolate from The Chocolate Shop.

The glass starts with hardened chocolate on the inside, then hot milk is poured in and it's topped with a chocolate disc. Heavenly.
Sunday: Ryan, Angus and I along with our friends Jonathan, Laine and their pup, Bailey went for a short hike in Kirkhill Forest. This is a great walk and it's only 10 minutes from Aberdeen which makes it even better!

What do you do to beat the winter blues?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sunday Stroll

The fall foliage is in full force right now and even though we've been having winter like temps, I'm hoping the colors cling on for a few more weeks. Sunday we went out for a stroll in the Crathes woodlands that surround Crathes Castle. We were surrounded by reds, yellows and oranges and I tried to take it all in, for this is probably my first 'proper' fall with the temperatures, colors and all and I am lovin' it!

My loves

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Last Thursday, I headed out to hike Clachnaben, one of Aberdeenshire's famous hills, with the AWA Explorers. It was 4.5 hours and 11 miles of huffing and puffing, laughing and venting and just soaking in everything that makes me love Scotland. I spent most of my time chatting with Laine. Since we'd both been gone collectively for over 3 weeks, we had lots of catching up to do. I told her it's surreal being able to have girl talk while hiking through some of the prettiest countryside I've seen to date. And not to mention, an extra bonus, of walking up on a real live pheasant hunt, complete with Scottish tartan, Land Rover Defenders and working dogs; all of which our husbands dream of.

Clachnaben, that rock thing was the highest point of our hike but was reached 5.5km into it

Some of the AWA ladies on top of the rock

Yep, that's snow still on the hill top from the previous Friday's snow

My girlies

This hike was challenging, beautiful and long and probably my favorite hike I've done so far! And the leader of the Explorers has asked me to lead the next hike since she'll be out of town. Eeek! Luckily, it's scheduled to be at Loch Muick and we all know I could do that one with my eyes closed ;-) Here's to Take 5!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Guy Fawkes Night

Who is Guy Fawkes you ask? And why does he get a night named after him? Well, let me tell you....
Guy Fawkes is the most notorious of British traitors and one of the conspirators of the"Gunpowder Plot" which was a secret plan to overthrow King James I and blow up the House of Lords. It is said that some of the other conspirators started having second thoughts about the plot and on the planned night of the 'Gunpowder Plot', 5th November 1605, Guy Fawkes was caught, tortured and executed. On the same night, bonfires were burned to celebrate the safety of the king and it continues to be commemorated every year with bonfires and fireworks.

A little nursery ryhme to help you remember:

Remember, remember the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason, plot
I see no reason gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

So, last night, on the 5th of November we participated in the festivities by attending a free fireworks show put on by the Aberdeen City Council at the beach. The fireworks were set to James Bond (a Scotsman himself) theme songs, ending with the newest Skyfall by Adele. It was 30 minutes of spectacular fireworks, sparklers, friends and hottie totties (Bailey's and hot chocolate).

Here's a little preview of our show (thanks for letting me steal your pics and video, Nary :-)



When Mom and Dad were in Seattle back in July they were able to see the Chihuly exibit and loved it! So, when we found out it was coming to the Dallas Arboretum, we had to get tickets! The whole family headed out Sunday morning before Ryan and I had to get to the airport. Unfortunately, Ryan and I were only able to see a fraction of it but it definitely caught my interest and will revisit when it comes to a city near me again!

Chihuly is glass blown art work by Dale Chihuly. The pieces are amazing and at each one you find yourself asking, "How does he do that!?!". I highly recommend checking it out; Texas friends, it's in Dallas til the end of the year and each piece is placed throughout the beautiful arboretum. It would make a great family outing and you could even bring a picnic!

This one's called 'Dallas Star'

Just missing a few!

And, my favorite little family just happened to be in the pumpkin patch taking Easton's 1 year (his birthday is tomorrow!!) pics and family pictures. So glad I got to get one last hug from this little nugget...
Happy Birthday, little man

And my bestie!