A major perk of working for the University is that we have a full week off for Christmas and New Years. I've met some wonderful friends through work, so we all decided to rent a cottage together on Loch Fyne over the break. After many planning meetings and messages, we found a perfect place, organised food, and coordinated transportation. We even managed to go grocery shopping with all seven of us. On our first morning there, we went for a long walk on the icy trail near our cottage.
Most mornings, we woke around 9:30am and turned on the kettle for tea and coffee. We spent three days working on a jigsaw puzzle, watched movies, knitted, and truly r e l a x e d.
Loch Fyne is famous for the best oysters in Scotland, so we visited the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar for lunch. The group ordered a plate of crispy oysters, and Garrick and I shared a plate of crab claws before our mains arrived. I had the Salmon and Cod Burger, and Garrick, the Hand Dived Scallops. This was one of the best meals I've had in Scotland, and would highly recommend a visit.
After lunch, the sun was setting (oh, Scotland), and I snapped this photo of the loch.
For Hogmanay, we stayed at our cottage for a game and curry night. I made naan breads and the rest of the group each made a delicious curry. On New Years Day, we went to dinner and a ceilidh at The George Hotel in Inveraray. Garrick and I partnered with our friends to learn the dances, and came back together for Strip the Willow at the end. At one point, Garrick missed a step and a member of the band said, "Pay attention!" in the mic. I couldn't stop laughing.
Garrick reminded me that next year we will be making new memories in Germany over the holidays. I am so grateful for our time in Scotland, and I know it's a blessing that we're so sad to leave. The night ended with a live piper, and then we were off to our beds.
We love these people: (left to right) Sam, Ken, Jane, Nicole, Robbie, and us. Happy New Year! 2015 is a big year for the Allens with another international move around the corner. Stay tuned.