So off we went on a Scottish road trip to the west Highlands. Stunning. We listened to bagpipes as we crossed lochs, climbed bens, and weaved alongside the rivers. Then we came to that fateful tourist shop on the Isle of Skye. As I waited in the car, Fin went to find a map and the Jim'n'I twins went to find something Scottish to purchase and perhaps something ginger to ease my motion sickness. I was sitting in the back seat to allow Jim the best view of Scotland. Unfortunately this meant I was most certainly going to get queasy. They returned to the car with a couple decks of tartan playing cards and a three pack of MacGingers. Cha Ching!
|Yes, I'm a hypocrite|
|Kilt Rock meet Kilt Cookie|
We all climbed back in the car and I began lecturing Fin on the difference between being a loving husband and an annoying little brother. Jerkface. Well there was one MacGinger left. Angus MacGinger. Yeah, if Fin thought MacGinger was irritating before, he had no idea what was in store for him. This had just turned into Saving Private MacGinger. The last brother would make it out of the Highlands dammit, and Fin was going to be photobombed like he'd never been before. We buckled MacGinger in nice and safe and went to find dinner as I plotted my revenge.
We ended up having dinner in a sleepy little town called Plockton. Plockton is back on the mainland and is beautiful. The drive over offered amazing sunset skies. We found a bustling little restaurant and happily ate our way through three delicious courses of Scottish seafood cuisine! Yum! As a bit of a peace-offering to the old ball-and-chain, Angus MacGinger stayed in the car.
So the next day dawned and old MacGinger was feeling the loss of his brothers. As he reached for the bottle to numb the memory it gave us an idea. Whisky Tour! After a dip in the monastery pool (where they used to baptize monks...just kidding, i made that up) we headed off to hit the sauce!
Dalwhinnie was our distillery of choice. I do not know a whole lot about whisky, but I do know this is one of the only whiskies Fin's dad enjoys. Yes, he's an Irishman who does not particularly like whisky. So off we went. Turns out I love the smell of distilleries! Mmmmm! After a nice hour long tour we had a little taste test with three different whiskies and chocolate pairings. Delicious! Poor Fin was the DD, so he just got a smackerel. Jim bought him a bottle as a token of his appreciation. And old MacGinger found a little bottle just his size. After we all had a little pick-me-up we headed off to do some SHOPPING!
Well anyways, Fin and I quickly realized the mistake we'd made in letting the Jim'n'I twins loose in such a sprawling shopping center. Oh boy. Those two are marathon shoppers! I however, really really do not enjoy shopping. Its.....just.....so......boring.
We ended up finding quite a well-suited hat for Jim, and talking Fin out of quite an alarming hat. Oh and it turns out the Macster gets quite bored shopping too, so he opted for a game of hide and seek. Can you spot him? Fin scolded MacGinger for choosing such an expensive satchel to hide in, but I assured Fin that MacGinger showed the utmost discretion. tee hee hee.
|Smallest Scotsman visits smallest distillery|
|Angus MacGinger's great-grandfathers provided nourishment to the troops. |
In their honor, he insisted on always going 'commando.'
We wandered among a remembrance circle, which included the photos and stories of fallen soldiers throughout the years. Young bright faces smiled up at us and we offered our thoughts and respects to those lost in battle. It is a beautiful and touching stopover if you're ever in the Fort William area. Definitely worth a visit.
As we solemnly piled back into the car I reached into my pocket to retrieve the Macster. Oh dear...what have I done? The poor poor little biscuit had simply lost his head. Fin let out an evil cackle and Mom began coming up with ways to reattach it. "No Mom, we have to let him go." Jim offered to eat him but I gave him one warning look and he backed off. The vultures! I slowly climbed back out and placed him at his final resting place as the rest of the family stayed in the car. I think they were giving me space to say my goodbyes. I noted the poetic symmetry of his demise at the memorial as I attempted to hum Highland Cathedral (which it turns out I'm not very good at). I left him there beneath the sign, took one last photo, postmortem, and walked away.
As we drove on, I realized with a panic, that someone might see Angus MacGinger and think we were taking the piss out of the memorial! Oh no!! I may be a bit silly at times, and some have accused me of being a liberal, but I have nothing but respect and admiration for the military. All three of my siblings served in the military, as did many of my extended family members. I frantically asked Fin if we should turn around but he assured me that it was fine, and "chances are some bird already ate MacGinger." This thought both horrified and comforted me.
Beautiful rendition of Highland Cathedral! Give this video a little listen, in memory of Angus MacGinger.