Mist and sun greeted us this day. The teens are still not quite on Scotland time and they are waking far too early for my liking. At least we can get out the door at a reasonable hour.
Plans for the day? Getting lost of course, Doune Castle, meeting friends Nick and Karen at the Kelpies, and changing the blasted van in for what we originally reserved.
Brimming with excitement we head toward Doune. Happily we are surprised it’s just down the road from the farm cottage we’re staying in. With only a few missed turns, we make it into the tiny town. It is so cute and charming. Definitely a town of fairy tales.
Pulling up to the ruin, I think it finally REALLY hit me. I. AM. IN. SCOTLAND. Just a little giddy I became. A proverbial three year old in a candy store.
I was quite sad to see how dilapidated much of the structure is. Time and circumstance have not been kind to this landmark. The areas that are still in good condition are a sight to behold.
There are passable underground storage areas that were quite cool in temperature. And I found the nod to Outlander filming in one of them. This is happy, happy.
Into the main upper building, the big hall, some smaller rooms up spiral stairs, that open out into a roof top area for viewing. Smaller than Stirling Castle, but the feeling of importance and grandeur still emanated from within.
The other section houses the kitchen that the Outlander set is fashioned after. All smiles climbing the spiral stairway knowing what was waiting for me as a prize. I conquered my new found spiral staircase fear in order to stand in that space. Absolutely thrilled to find rooms off and above the kitchen as well.
The grounds still beautiful and serene. A very good location for keeping invaders out and easy to fortify. The picnicking would have been wonderful I imagine as well. My boys went to walk along the river. A good experience for all of us.
Time to get ready to go see The Kelpies in Falkirk to meet friends. Online friends are always a risky business. Is it a real relationship? Will we be the same in person. So far two for two the answer has been a resounding yes. Nick (@lifeafloat on Twitter) and his wife Karen along with pup Ziggy are even better in person than chatting over time zones. Easy conversations, hugs, and laughs. Definitely real friends. To know there is a real connection is a blessing and encouragement.
The Kelpies were cool and interesting, very much worth the visit too. A sad and happy goodbye before getting back on the road.
Now tackling the car issue is at hand. The stress of this bait and switch is weighing deeply on both my husband and me. We head in together to get the expensive car switched back to the vehicle I reserved initially. Our suspicion definitely seems correct when we explained to the clerk what happened, he immediately agreed to switch out the vehicle and credit us back money. HM. So we were bait and switched! So frustrating to be up sold as exhausted international travelers. We happily left the airport with a smaller family van. Without that weight on our shoulders, the entire family breathed a sigh of relief. A good ending to a frustrating and financial corrupting situation.
Costco was the last adventure of our day. Pizza to take out and hot dogs for all to enjoy. An inexpensive dinner and snacks for our brood. We also found some needed items that would fit into our wee refrigerator. The clerk was amazed by my husband’s membership card, but it worked!
Comfortably settled into our home away from home, we enjoyed a strong beverage and terrible television.
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