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Thursday, I was up for 24 hours straight as I traveled from Scotland to Indiana, only able to sleep for half an hour on the trans-Atlantic flight between Dublin and Dulles. Friday, I attended an American high school football game and sorted through (or tossed) 51 pieces of mail. Saturday, Dad and I went to town, and he said he had never seen anyone so excited to visit the grocery store. I found candy corn, Twizzlers, peach rings, and vanilla sugar wafers, things I hadn’t seen for a while, and I was on a sugar high for the rest of the day.

The most severe reverse culture shock has come when I sit on the right side of the truck as a passenger instead of a driver and sincerely believe that we are going to CRASH because we are driving on the WRONG SIDE of the road.

The leaves are changing, harvest is in full swing, the colt is bigger than I remember him to be, and man, is it good to be home.

 

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A Trip to Skye, Forgetting Where I Was Going, the North 500, and a Buttery

A Report on My Recent Two-Week Trek Around the North of Scotland

Skye has some of the most dramatic scenery I’ve ever seen. The ancient, volcanic Cuillin Hills rise 3,000 feet out of the ocean and The Old Man of Storr towers above the northern Skye roads.

I spent three days on the island (known best through “The Skye Boat Song”) driving the single track roads and stopping to watch wildlife. The most beautiful sight from those three days was an albatross gliding in the arc of a rainbow over the Atlantic Ocean. The powerful bird glided for a few minutes, only flapping its wings once, facing the wind head on.

My two favorite photos from Skye feature sheep in front of the Cuillin Hills. The sheep grazed with the cattle near Glenbrittle Beach, and there was no fence to prevent them from wandering over to the car park. The first picture gives a sense of place for where that sheep lives: at the foot of the Cuillin Hills. The second picture shows the ewe square and balanced, head up beautifully, as if she were performing for a judge.

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Scotland at Last and an Accidental Trip to Inverness

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Sunrise at West Sands, St Andrews.

I drove north across the border of England and Scotland a couple of weeks ago, and it was a milestone moment.

My family is from Scotland and I’ve grown up with movies, music and food from here. I’ve wanted to visit for a long time and through several twists and turns didn’t until now. Being here means a lot.

So I’ve enjoyed Scotland, and have so far visited Dumfries, St Andrews (where my grandparents met), and Edinburgh, and — accidentally — Inverness.  Continue reading