Friday, June 30, 2023

2023 San Francisco - Day #1

Rolling from Carmichael about 1245 pm, Sharon and I headed to San Francisco for the weekend to spend some time with Jack. With a short stop to change drivers at the rest stop in Vallejo, it took us about two hours and twenty-five minutes to get to the hotel [Fair Oaks to 50 to 80]. We are staying two nights at the Petite Auberge.

After getting settled in the room, we walked to Jack's apartment. Sharon chose the bed and breakfast because it was fairly close to Jack's apartment. We hung out with Jack and Jason, caught up and watched the Giants game.

The four walked to dinner. We made a quick stop for a cocktail at the PeaceKeeper. We had dinner at Del Popolo. The restaurant is literally next door to the hotel where we are staying.

Sharon and I split a LITTLE GEMS CAESAR salad [pangrattato & grana padano], BURRATA AND SAN DANIELE PROSCIUTTO [eucalyptus honey, pistachio & Focaccia] and a QUATTRO FORMAGGI pizza [crushed tomato, mozarella, pecorino, asiago, ortler, Calabrian chili & garlic]. The meal was good, but surprisingly expensive.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

President Woodrow Wilson's "Pilgrimage of the Heart"

Walking back to our hotel in Carlisle after dinner during the Hadrian's Wall hike, Tom noticed this plaque on the wall. As part of his ‘Pilgrimage of the Heart’ in 1918, President Woodrow Wilson visited the area where his mother, Janet (Jessie or Jeanie) Woodrow Wilson, was born. His mother was the daughter of the Rev. Thomas Woodrow and his first wife, Marion Williamson.

This loosely fits into my long term project to read books about all of the presidents.

President Woodrow Wilson's "Pilgrimage of the Heart"
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This plaque is located on Lowther Street, Carlisle, United Kingdom. The GPS coordinates for this location are 54° 53' 34.6" N 2° 55' 58.8" W.

The Mother of Thomas Woodrow Wilson,
was born in Carlisle.

Her Father, The Revd Thomas Woodrow, M.A.
was Minister of this Church
then worshipping in Annetwell Street
from February 1820 to June 1835.

This Tablet is placed here to commemorate
President Woodrow Wilsons "Pilgrimage of the Heart"
to this Church, 20th December 1918.

Former Congregational  Church, Carlisle

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears

My book for June was Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears by Michael Schulman. I heard about the book from several sources, including Bill Simmons mentioning that he was reading it on one of his podcasts.

Oscar Wars is the history of the Academy Awards. The book starts at the beginning with the formation of the Academy and the development of the awards. It skips through the last ninety-five years with each chapter roughly focusing on a decade. I really enjoyed the chapters highlighting the 60s and 70s. It chronicles the battles, rivalries and behind-the scenes drama as the prominence of the Oscar grew.

The book is right in my wheelhouse. Over the last ten years, Sharon and I have focused on watching as many of the Oscar nominated films as possible. We have also started to go back and watch older movies that were nominated for the Best Picture.

Nevertheless, I only give the book a lukewarm thumbs up. Although I really enjoyed some parts of the book, there are sections that are a little slow and tedious. The chapter [Nine: The Harveys] about Harvey Weinstein is fascinating; this chapter almost makes the whole book worth reading by itself. Weinstein is almost literally singularly responsible for a shift in how people campaigned for the Oscars.

[Note to self], I need to watch All About Eve, Sunset Boulevard, Easy Rider, Bridge of the River Kwai and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Oura Ring Anniversary Data

For Christmas, Sharon gave me an OURA ring. It is a smart ring used to track sleep and physical activity.

Over the first six months of use, my strengths have been training volume and the timing of my sleep cycle, while my recovery index has been my weakness. When I retire, I am going to experiment with my workout schedule to try and improve the recovery index.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Flora Macdonald Painting

Over the course of our trip to Scotland, we explored several sites related to Bonnie Prince Charles and the Jacobites. Wandering through the Scottish National Portrait gallery, I came across a wing devoted to the Jacobite Cause. It included a portrait of Flora Macdonald. We had visited her grave while we were touring the Trotternish Peninsula.

Flora Macdonald Painting
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This painting is located at 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland in the Scottish National Portrait Galley. The GPS coordinates for this location are 55° 57' 20.4" N 3° 11' 35.5" W.

Flora Macdonald Flora Macdonald
Flora Macdoanld
by Richard Wilson
oil on canvas, painted in 1747

Flora Macdonald famously helped Prince Charles evade capture in the aftermath of his defeat at Culloden. With the prince disguised as her maid, they left Benbecula in a small boat just as the militia were closing in. Charles was eventually rescued by a French ship. Flora, meanwhile, was arrested and taken to London where she was placed under house-arrest until the general amnesty for Jacobite prisoners in July 1747. This portrait was painted for a young naval officer on the ship which took Flora south. Both he and his commander, Commodore Smith (an early patron of Wilson), made sure Flora was treated well. She became something of a celebrity in London, and this image explicitly identifies Flora - in her white beribboned tartan dress - as a Jacobite heroine.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

American River Parkway Hike

Sunday morning, Sharon and I hiked along the American River Parkway from Hazel to Jim's Bridge and back. We covered 5.1 miles in just under two hours.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Ted Lasso - Season Three

Saturday night, Sharon and I watched the last two episodes of season three of Ted Lasso. It is part of our effort over the last couple of days to catch up on the finales of Survivor 44, Succession Season 4 and Ted Lasso Season 3. Sharon and I finished season one in July 2021 and season two in November of 2021.

The series follows Ted Lasso, an American college football coach who is hired to coach an English soccer team in an attempt by its owner to spite her ex-husband. Lasso tries to win over the skeptical English market with his folksy, optimistic demeanor while dealing with his inexperience in the sport.

The third season of 12 episodes premiered on Apple TV+ on March 15, 2023. In March 2023, Sudeikis said that the third season "is the end of this story that we wanted to tell", but that there are possibilities for spin-offs.

Although season three has gotten some criticism, I enjoyed it. I highly recommend the series. As I said after watching the first episode of season one, I was very surprised by the tone of the show and touched by the portrayal of the main character.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Succession - Season Four - Spoiler Alert

Friday night, Sharon and I watched the final episode of season four of Succession. It is part of our effort over the next couple of days to catch up on the finales of Survivor 44, Succession Season 4 and Ted Lasso Season 3. We finished season one of Succession in June 2020, season two in early July 2020 and season three in December of 2021.

Season three aired from March 26 to May 28, 2023 with ten episodes. This is Succession's final season.

The show centers on the Roy family, the dysfunctional owners of Waystar Royco, a global media and hospitality empire. In episode three of season four, Logan Roy [Brian Cox] dies. The final seven episodes revolve around a presidential election, his funeral and the fight for control of the company. In the end Shiv Roy [Sarah Snook] abandons her brothers and supports selling the company.

I have been lukewarm on the show over the first three seasons. The show goes in circles with the Roy sibliings abusing each other. Nevertheless, even through the endless sibling abuse continues, the arc of season four feels right. The death of Logan Roy, Shiv last minute decision and the sale of the company provide a satisfying conclusion to the series. Overall, I give season four a solid "B".

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Survivor: Season 44

Thursday night, Sharon and I watched the final episode of season 44 of Survivor. It is part of our effort over the next couple of days to catch up on the finales of Survivor 44, Succession Season 4 and Ted Lasso Season 3.

The show was filmed from June 5 through June 30, 2022. It premiered on March 1, 2023. The season concluded on May 24, 2023. This is the twelfth consecutive season to be filmed in the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji..

Yamil "Yam Yam" Arocho was named the winner of the season, defeating Heidi Lagares-Greenblatt and Carolyn Wiger in a 7–1–0 vote.

I continue to be surprised by the people that are making it to the end; I would have never thought that Yam Yam or Carolyn would be sitting in the final three. As I have said before, I would really love to see the show filmed in other locations.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #29 - To Sacramento

Up early, Sharon and I finished packing up the room and then checked out. I tried to order an UberXL, but gave up and had the hotel order a cab. We pulled away from the hotel before 8 am. It took us about twenty minutes to get to the airport.

Checking in, dropping the luggage and working our way through security was relatively painless. Sharon and I had breakfast at the airport (breakfast sandwich and french toast).

We caught an 11:35 am United flight from Edinburgh to Chicago. Tom, Sharon and I were in an economy plus row. It was a relatively painless flight. I was very comfortable. Using the wireless, I worked on the blog entry for yesterday. Afterwards, I read my book [Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears].

We were on the ground just after 1 pm, but it took almost thirty minutes to taxi to the gate and start to unload. We walked straight into a giant mess. There were so many people trying to get through passport control that they formed a line back towards the gate. After inching forward for about an hour, I downloaded the mobile passport control app and entered our information. We jumped into that line. We got to a point about 10 or 15 people away from the agent, but got stalled. We ended sitting in one spot for almost 30 minutes. I got pretty frustrated. In total, it took us almost two hours to get through the passport control.

Tom used Global Entry and was way ahead of us. He collected all of the luggage and waited. We rechecked our luggage. In this area, there were probably a hundred people trying to rebook their flights; they had been in passport control so long that they had missed their connections.

Leaving the International Terminal, we took a train to Terminal 1. Going back through security was fairly quick with CLEAR and TSA PRE.

It took us over three hours to get through passport control and into the terminal where the gate for our connection was! Luckily, we had a six hour layover...

After wandering the terminal, we ended up having dinner at the Wicker Park Seafood & Sushi Bar at one end of the C Concourse. Although having airport sushi seems like a bad idea, Sharon and I split miso soup, adamane and tidal wave and red dragon rolls.

Our flight to Sacramento left about thirty minutes late at 8:40 pm. Although I consider sleeping my superpower, I usually have a hard time sleeping on planes. This time, I was asleep before we took off; I don't remember the plane taking off. I slept about three hours of the four hour flight. We were on the ground about 10:50 pm.

Eric picked the three of us up. We were home in Carmichael just before midnight.

It was almost exactly twenty-four hours door to door.

[Note to self], we are getting Global Entry before our trip in September.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #28 - Edinburgh

For the first time in four weeks, we stayed three nights in the same place. This gave us two full days to explore Edinburgh. I intended to take full advantage.

Planning to spend the day just the two of us, Sharon and I had breakfast at the hotel. I had salmon and scambled eggs, while Sharon had french toast.

Afterwards, we headed back to the top of the Royal Mile. Sharon wanted to shop in the multi-story complex at the Tartan Weaving Mill and Exhibition. While she shopped I started down the Royal Mile. I explored all the way to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scotland Parliament building.

Starting back up the Royal Mile, I met Sharon at St. Giles' Cathedral. It is the cathedral for the Church of Scotland. We toured the church.

Afterwards, we started down into the Grassmarket area. Sharon continued shopping. I made a quick side trip to take a picture of Greyfriar's Bobby.

For the first time in the trip, it started to rain! I had made an ill-advised decision to leave my rain jacket at the hotel. After a false start at The White Hart Inn, we had a nice lunch at O'Oliviero. Sharon and I split a Caprese Salad [Fior di latte with fresh tomato and basil, rocket, oregano and extra virgin olive oil.] and a Capricciosa Pizza [Tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, olives and artichokes]. It poured while we ate.

Sharon decided to take an Uber back to the hotel. I struck off on my own. My plan was the Rick Steves' walking tour of New Town.

I started by visiting the Scottish National Gallery. Although small and very crowded, it included a few Titans, Raphaels, Ruebens, El Grecos and Rembrandts, including a Rembrandt self-portrait.

Continuing to follow the Rick Steves' New Town walk, I took a short detour to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Given all the different stops on the trip, I enjoyed the Jacobite room. I found the Sean Connery portrait unusual.

I finished the walking tour wandering down Thislte and then Rose Streets. After a futile attempt to find a shirt to wear home, I headed back to the hotel for a short nap before dinner.

Anna-Marie, Tom, Sharon and I finished the last night of the trip with dinner at La P'tite Folie. The restaurant occupies a beautiful, half-timbered Tudor house that once housed a Polish Catholic church. We started with a drink at Le Di-Vin Wine Bar in the nave of the church.

Sharon and I had both Pan-Fried King Scallops [Horseradish Pomme Purée, Crispy Pancetta, Jus] for a starter. Tom, Sharon and I all had Roast Rump of Scottish Lamb [Gratin Dauphinois, Aubergine Caviar, Beetroot Purée, Black Olives and tomato Veal Jus] as a main. It was not the best lamb of the trip. For the first time on the trip, the four of us finished the dinner with two cheese plates.

Back at the room, Sharon and I started packing. We are heading home tomorrow.

Monday, June 19, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #27 - Edinburgh

Sharon and I both started the day with a continental breakfast at the hotel. Afterwards we walked to Edinburgh Castle to meet Tom and Anna-Marie. Tom had pre-purchased tickets for the entry between 9:30 and 10:00 am. We breezed through the enterance and started to work our way up the castle.

Unlike Stirling Castle, Edinburgh Castle does not offer tours. We used the Rick Steves' book to plot out our attack. Areas of the castle that we toured included:
  • Argyle Battery;
  • Crown Square;
  • Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone;
  • Royal Apartments;
  • Great Hall;
  • Scottish National War Memorial;
  • Royal Scots Regimental Museum;
  • Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum; and,
  • National War Museum Scotland.
Walking out of the castle, I was shocked at the number of people queued up to enter the castle. I heard someone say that they were sold out for the day.

Just out on to the Royal Mile, we stumbled across a group with owls. Sharon paid to hold the largest owl.

Tom, Sharon and I ended up having lunch at the Ensign Ewart Pub. In an example of how interwoven things have been on the trip, we had just seen an Ensign Ewart display in the Dragoon Museum. At Waterloo, he had captured a French Regimental Eagle. Tom and Sharon had a scotch egg, while I had a ham sandwich.

After lunch, we intended to visit The Scotch Whiskey Experience. In his Scotland book, Rick Steves called it Malt Disney and said that there was a ride through the distillery process in a barrel. Unfortunately, they had shut the ride down.

Instead, Sharon and Tom shopped their way about halfway down the Royal Mile. We split off the Royale Mile and took Jacob's Ladder up to Calton Hill. There were some amazing views of the area.

We wandered back to the hotel along Princes Street.

For dinner, the four of us took an Uber to Kora by Tom Kitchin. This will vie for the best dinner of the trip. For the table, we started with a selection of olives and Mackerel [Smoked mackerel pâté]. I had three oysters.

I had a Sea Trout starter [Loch Etive sea trout ceviche, lemon, summer savory, melba toast], while Sharon had Scallops [Hand dived Orkney scallops, pea, lettuce, lardons]. For mains, Tom, Sharon and I had Sika Deer [Pithivier of Castle game Sika deer, roasted loin, Free Company beetroot].

We grabbed an Uber back to the hotel and crashed.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #26 - To Edinburgh

A travel day.

We had breakfast at the hotel. Both Sharon and I had pancakes.

After breakfast, we packed up the room and loaded the car. We headed to the Rosslyn Chapel. Tom had bought tickets for noon. The chapel features predominately in the conclusion of Dan Brown's Da Vince Code book.

I really enjoyed the chapel. Although fairly small, it is very unique. Unfortunately, no photography is allowed inside. A docent gave a fifteen minute talk about the history and features of the chapel. Frankly, I had more success listening to the Turkish guides on our trip last year than I did deciphering her Scottish accent.

We had a leisurely lunch at the cafe in the visitors center. I had a chorizo panini, while Sharon had a ham sandwich. When we were finished, we headed towards Edinburgh.

We rolled up to the hotel before 3 pm. We are spending three nights at the Bonham Hotel. I think that this is the nineteen hotel that we have stayed in on the trip!?! On the flights home, I am going to try and get Tom and Sharon to rate the hotels and dinners like Sharon and I did after the Oregon trip.

The Bonhdam Hotel is located on a quiet street so it was easy to park the car and unload all of the luggage. Our room was actually ready. It is a nice room with a bigger bed than the Victora Square!

After getting everyone checked in, Tom and I dropped the rental car at a Europcar site at the St. James Quarter. We caught an Uber back to the hotel.

Anna-Marie, Tom, Sharon and I had a cocktail in the bar to celebrate dropping the car. I am very glad to be done with the driving! I will write a longer post about driving in Scotland after the trip is over.

Sharon and I took an Uber to Dishoom for an early dinner. We ate at Dishoom when we were in London in 2018 and tried to go there in London early in this trip. I think that Holly actually originally recommeded the restaurant to Sharon. When we ate there in 2018, I have no idea what we had. I was determined to keep better track this time. We had: 
  • DISHOOM HOUSE CHAAT - Warm-cold, sweet-tangy, moreish Golden-fried sweet potato covered with cool yoghurt, pomegranate, beetroot, radish and carrot, Tamarind drizzle and green chutney lift it nicely
  • LAMB SAMOSAS - Gujarati filo (not Punjabi shortcrust) stuff minced lamb, onions and spices
  • CHEF'S EDINBURGH SPECIAL--SALLI BOTI--this is a first-rate Parsi classic, a notable example of which is served in the inimitable Britannia & Co. Tender lamb is braised in a rich and flavoursome gravy then finished with crunchy salli crisp-chips. Served with buttered Roomali Roti.
  • HOUSE BLACK DAAL - A Dishoom signature dish - dark, rich, deeply flavoured. It is cooked over 24 hours for extra harmony.
  • MURGH MALAI - Chicken thigh meat is steeped overnight in garlic, ginger, coriander stems and a little cream. Slightly pink when fully cooked.
  • with some rice and plain naan.
Catching an Uber back to the hotel, Sharon and I crashed early in the room. We facetimed with Jack, Drew and Carmen for Father's Day. Sharon watched a documentary on Martina Navratilova.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #25 - Stirling Castle

The plan for the day was a visit to Stirling Castle.

After breakfast at the hotel (pancakes for me and small Scottish for Sharon), Anna-Marie, Tom, Sharon and I walked to Stirling Castle. Just as we were entering the castle, we walked up to a tour that was starting. Tom, Sharon and I followed the tour for the next hour.

The guide (Andrew) did a very nice job. The history of all the places that we have visited is so interwoven.

After the tour, we walked throught the royal apartments and the military history museum. It turned out that they were celebrating King Charles birthday. We watched a band, a bag piper and a 21 gun salute. We then explored the Queen Anne Garden.

We wandered down into the town and had lunch at No. 2 Baker Street. I had a Chicken & Bacon Sandwich [Chicken breast and beechwood-smoked streaky bacon with mayo, served in sourdough with a salad garnish], while Sharon had a Fresh Garden Salad [Dressed rocket with roasted sweet potato wedges, spring onions, cucumber, pickled watermelon and fresh mint. Add marinated chicken or grilled halloumi].

Sharon and I split off from the group after lunch. We wandered the city center and Sharon did some shopping.

Eventually, we wound our way back to the hotel. For one of the first times on the trip, we laid low for a couple of hours and took a nap.

In the late afternoon, the four of us went to Mass at St. Mary's.

We finished the day with dinner at Mamma Mia. Sharon and I split Le Bruschette Mamma Mia [Tomato, basil, olive oil, and balsamic glaze]. For mains, all four of us had SUGO MAMMA MIA. It was their signature pasta speciality: a Southern Italian Ragu slowly cooked with selected Scottish short ribs of beef in a rich tomato sauce with garlic and herbs and plenty of pecorino cheese.

Walking back to the hotel, we crashed fairly early. Sharon ended up watching a George Michael concert on the BBC, while I played with the photos from the day.

Friday, June 16, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #24 - To Stirling

Sleeping fairly late, we had breakfast the hotel (three egg omelets). Although Sharon liked the bed, the shower and the quiet, this is my least favorite hotel on the trip so far.

Packing up the room and loading the car, we headed back to St. Andrews. The road that I had used the previous night was closed so I had to take a longer route back to the city.

Sharon had booked a walking tour. We spent about an hour and a half exploring the city. The stops included the R&A Old Course, the castle, the Catholic Cathedral destroyed during the reformation, the Black Friars Chapel also destroyed during the reformation and the West Port city gate.

After the tour, Sharon and I shopped in the pro shop at the R&A Old Course. The city was very busy. It turns out that it was graduation weekend for the university. Sharon noted that this was probably why they had a hard time finding a hotel.

We had a quick lunch at the One Under Bar in the Rusacks Hotel. Sharon and I both had a One Uder Cobb Salad.

After lunch, we headed towards Stirling. We made a stop at the Kelpies. Part of the program at the Loch Ness Centre talked about mythical Scottish creatures, including the Kelpies. A water kelpie is a shape-shifting spirit inhabiting lochs in Scottish folklore. It is usually described as a black horse-like creature able to adopt human form.

We made a second stop at the Falkirk Wheel. The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift in central Scotland. It connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal.

We finally got to Stirling about 5:30 pm. At some point, I need to write more about driving over the last week. It has been an adventure.

We are staying two nights at the Victoria Square. This is a very nice hotel. We have a large room overlooking the park in the front.

We finished the day with dinner at the hotel. The food was very good. It could end up as the best meal of the trip. I had a fantastic scallop starter, while Sharon had a beet salad. Tom, Sharon and I all had lamb.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #23 - to St. Andrews

A very long travel day.
We had breakfast at the lodge. Sharon had scambled eggs and sausage, while I had scambled eggs and salmon.

It was a 30 mile, 40 minute drive from the Loch Ness Lodge to the Tomatin Distillery. Tom had a nightcap of their scotch whisky the first night that we were at the lodge. I decided that we needed to tour at least one distillery.

We had a very nice tour followed by a tasting. As the driver, I took my tasting home in little bottles.

From there, we drove to Pitlochry. It was 71 mile, 1 hour and 20 minute drive. We had a nice lunch at the Old Mill. I had a Peppered Pastrami Sandwich [peppered pastrami, sauerkraut, dill pickles, mustard mayonnaise & charred rye bread], while Sharon had Beer Battered Buckie Haddock [french fries, minted mushy peas & tartare sauce].

After lunch, we continued southeast. The last section turned out to be a much more difficult drive than I expected. It was only 60 miles, but it took more than two hours. At one point, we ran into a road that was closed due to a poice action. About half of the drive was along narrow country roads and through villages. Several of the roads were essentially one lane. In the little villages, cars were parked everywhere blocking the street and clogging traffic. Dodging cars, trucks and buses, I felt like I was in a video game.

We finally got to the Kilconquhar Castle Estate about 4:30 pm. I was beat. Unfortunately, I was also shocked at the room. We ended up with what I would describe as a motel 6 hotel room. This will definitely be the worst lodging of the trip. fortunately, we are only here one night.

After settling in the room and getting cleaned up, we headed to St. Andrews for dinner. It is about a 25 minute drive. Sharon had made an 8:30 pm dinner reservation at the 18 at Rusacks at St. Andrews. On the fourth floor, we had a great view of the 18th fairway and the golf course at St. Andrews.

Sharon had ROBATA GRILLED RABBIT LOIN [AIR DRIED HAM, BARIGOULE & BASIL] as a starter, while I had NATURAL CUMBRAE ROCK [CLASSIC LEMON, MIGNONETTE & TABASCO]. We both SCRABSTER HALIBUT [CAULIFLOWERS, MORELS & CLAMS] as mains. After two medicore nights of food, the meal was good.

By the time we drove 25 minutes back to the hotel and crashed, it was 11:30 pm.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #22 - Inverness

The day included:
  • Breakfast at the Loch Ness Lodge. I had pancakes, while Sharon had scambled eggs and sausage.
  • A visit to the Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre. We had a great tour guide for an hour walking tour of the site. The tour guide did a great job about bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites. It really tied together a number of places we have been in Scotland.
  • A visit to the Clava Cairns. I enjoyed this site more than I expected. The cairns are 4,000 year old bronze age burial chambers.
  • Lunch in the food court of a mall?!? Sharon and I split a small margherita pizza. I was grumpy about this choice. I would have liked to find something more quaint in Inverness. With four adults, the decision making process is much more complex than if it was just Sharon and I.
  • After lunch, Tom and Sharon went on a search for some medicine to treat thier Highland Midge bites. I need to write more about the battle with the midges in a future post...
  • A Rick Steve's Walking tour of Inverness.
  • After the walking tour, the four of us wandered along the river.
  • We had dinner at Cafe 1. I had oysters as a starter and Fillet of Pork [Pancetta, dauphinoise potato, carrot & cumin puree, oyster mushroom & cognac sauce] as a main. Sharon had a Seven Crofts Gin cured Scottish salmon [pink grapefruit gel, pickled vegetables, melba toast] as a starter and Panko breaded Chicken Milanese [spaghetti pomodoro, rocket parmesan, Amalfi lemon] as a main.
  • We finished the night with a drink in the palor at the hotel.