Tuesday, June 30, 2015

On the banks of Loch Lomond

I think one of the reasons we enjoy balancing city breaks with time in the countryside when we travel is because of the need to plan vs. wing it. Our trip to Scotland is a great example. In Edinburgh, we had a pretty good sense of how we might fill our time there. Certainly, it had its unexpected moments (who could have anticipated a swim in the Scottish Parliament, after all), but for the most part, we saw and did the things we had intended to do. And it was gloriously busy and exciting and memorable.

But as we drove toward Loch Lomond, at the very southern end of the Scottish Highlands, it became clear we could roll down our window and throw itineraries and guidebooks out into the fields. This wasn't a place where you check sightseeing boxes, unless that list includes shaggy cattle, mountains bleeding into deep blue waters, cozy shops selling wool blankets, and trails that lead you into forests. In which case, check, check, check and check.

This was a place where you want to maximize your time. Not the way Frommer's or Rick Steves might suggest, but instead to simply embrace each ray of sunshine, each passing cloud, each amazing viewpoint.

And so we did.

We hiked, picnicked, boated, tossed pebbles and dipped our toes in the water, stood in line for ice cream cones, and any other number of things during our brief time there. I could probably give you a travel tip or two about visiting the Loch Lomond area. But I'd rather you just fill your time the way a place like this would want you to: exactly as you see fit.

I won't be posting much here this summer, not because we don't have any travels planned, but simply because I'm being realistic about how I want to spend my free moments while the kids are home from school. This may be our last British summer and I'm carpe diem-ing it, not whiling it away on the laptop.

You can keep up with our travels and day trip adventures on the Arrows Sent Forth Facebook page and on Instagram. I've got a much more lighthearted post planned soon, too, so if you're looking for a laugh, hopefully you'll find one here in a few days. (On a related noted, can somebody get Little Arrow to start taking afternoon naps again so I don't have to write at midnight?)

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