A Wee Bit o’ Scotland in the Land of Sunshine

A Caber is a very long, tapered log . They “vary greatly in length, weight, taper, and balance, all of which affect the degree of difficulty in making a successful toss. Competitors are judged on how closely their throws approximate the ideal 12 o’clock toss on an imaginary clock.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_games.

Last weekend I attend my first ever Highland games. Oddly enough (or not) these games took place in Northeastern Florida. Nothing about Florida is ‘high’ in any way. However, the distribution of Scots throughout the world is tremendous. Scots have always numbered high among the rovers of the world, and the equally large number of Highland Games held throughout the world confirms this.

Wikapedia’s entry on Highland Games states that, “the origin of human games and sports predates recorded history. . . It is reported in numerous Highland games programs, that King Malcolm III of Scotland, in the 11th century, summoned contestants to a foot race to the summit of Craig Choinnich (overlooking Braemar).[2] King Malcolm created this foot race in order to find the fastest runner in the land to be his royal messenger. Some have seen this apocryphal event to be the origin of today’s modern Highland games.[3] . . . However, the modern Highland games are largely a Victorian invention, developed after the Highland Clearances.”

Utensils were passed down for generations until too worn to be used. Then new ones were made or purchased.

I enjoyed this event very much from the re-en-actors to the dancers, the clan displays to the plaids and bonnets. But like a large number of people I was fascinated by the Pipers and thrilled by the Pipe and Drum competitions. I took a few pictures (see below), but I will spare you the multiple images of the various Pipe and Drum corps marching to and fro. If you have a Highland Games in your area, please attend. The clan members and other participants are very kind to visitors. I intend to go again as soon as I may.

My favorites, the pipe and drums.

Preparing a snack.

A talented pair of young dancers.

A distinguished gentleman in highland garb

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R & R & R–Relaxation, Recreation, and Research

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Ah the life of the traveling author. 🙂 This past weekend, I had the privilege of visiting one of the Mid-west’s most highly regarded museums. The reputation of the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways is well deserved. The displays are accurate and fascinating as are the voice-overs for each life-size diorama, which are given first in the native language and then in English. The history of the Anishinabe peoples is populated with truly remarkable prophecies, many of which have already come to pass. I can’t wait to finish my current WIP to find out what story is brewing in my head from this inspiring place and the people who created it

The Adventures of Princess Traveler, Nicaragua: The Adventure Begins:

My dream man came to me last night. Enfolding me in warmth and masculine strength, he laid his lips against my neck just below my ear and whispered, “Let’s escape to Nicaragua.”

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“I don’t smoke,” I replied sleepily [I’m dreaming remember, ‘dream man’.]

I felt him smile as he nibbled the tender flesh of my earlobe, his breath gently caressing my cheek. Delightful shivers cascaded along my nerves.

“Silly Princess. Not nicotine, Nicaragua. Nicotine is an addictive substance found in tobacco. Nicaragua is a country in Central America.” He kissed his way from my ear to my shoulder.

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“Mmmmm.” I stretched and rolled onto my back, bringing my front very pleasantly into full contact with his front. “Make love to me,” I purred. “Then you can tell me all about it while I’m in a most excellent state of mind.”

Quite some time later, after I regained my breath and my senses, I murmured. “Where is it you want us to go and why?”

“I want our next destination to be Nicaragua, my sweet.”

“Hmmm.” I still drifted on a cloud of physical satisfaction. “Why?”

“For the adventure of course.”

“Of course.” My cloud floated close to the ground and dissipated in a mist of practicality. I opened my eyes and gazed at my beloved. [Yes my dream man is real, but he still comes to me in my dreams—and a lot of other times too.] With a name like Traveler, I’m always ready for adventure, but even I won’t select a destination out of thin air [or in this case, vivid dreaming].”

“Oh,” he tossed out as if he hadn’t planned to seduce me into agreeing with him all along. “If you must have a reason, how about the fact that we both hate Michigan winters.SNOWcar We’ve been talking for a long time about moving. I’ve done a little research, and Nicaragua is one of the countries that appeals to me for its climate, culture and impact on our economic situation.”

Aerial ViewNICARAGUA[Sigh! I may be Princess Traveler, but that doesn’t mean I’m rich, certainly not as rich as I’d like to be, which is wealthy beyond my dreams.] “All excellent reasons.” [I want my dream man to know I support him.] However, I have concerns about bugs, language barriers, cuisine and accommodations. I need to be certain that what Nicaragua has to offer as a home base will suit my royal wishes. “Give me a few days to do some research of my own, then we’ll talk.”

“I knew you’d agree.” Dream man kissed my nose then proceeded to kiss a few other places and take advantage of the fact that we were still in bed with no commitments that day to anyone other than ourselves. What ensued turned out to be several interesting committed acts, but those have nothing to do with this particular adventure.

I’ll give an update in a couple of days when we know for certain that we’ll embark on a journey to Nicaragua. I’ll also let you know what I learned. Meanwhile, if you’ve got a question about my proposed destination, or would simply like to share your thoughts, please leave a comment.

Home Again, Home Again. . .

A picture of the vehicle I traveled in for part of my journey

A picture of the vehicle I traveled in for part of my journey

Despite a brief stop at home I’ve been traveling since June 4th. I love to travel, and I had a terrific time at both events that I attended. However, two weeks (or thereabouts) seems to be my limit—at least for travel by automobile. I don’t remember being quite so glad to get home to peace and quiet before. I’ve spent the day (since arriving home) catching up on FB and blogs, drafting my very occasional newsletter, doing laundry, and generally taking it easy. Tomorrow I’ll see an MD about the injury to my knee that happened while I was traveling (not debilitating but worrisome because the bruising isn’t going away as it should). I’ll do a little shopping while I’m out as well as pick up my dry cleaning. Then I’ll dive back in to writing and household chores. Those two things will occupy the majority of my time until mid-August when I’ll be off on another (shorter) journey. Do you like to travel? What was your favorite trip? What part of traveling do you like best? If you don’t travel, how do you spend your vacation? Please answer in the comments. Thanks.