After a quick night in Edinburgh we met Will’s sister and her wife at the airport, picked up their rental car and hit the road for our little haven on the river in Aberdeenshire.
The countryside was ever bit as beautiful as I thought it would be, complete with sheep dotting almost every hill and pasture.
And thankfully driving on the wrong side of the road was a little easier once we got out of the city, although the narrow two-lane country roads made meeting a car coming the other direction a little intense.
We couldn’t check in until 4:00 so we stopped in a little town called Aviemore to pick up some groceries, and ended up walking around the small main street of shops, and eventually grabbing some lunch.
Aubrey was just done with everything at that point, but thankfully she passed out while we shopped.
Based on the Airbnb description I had a feeling the house we had rented was going to be a winner. It was in the highlands, away from the hustle and bustle, located right on the Nethy River, and it even had a hot tub. I could not, however, have imagined that it would SO awesome.
This is the only rental I took pictures of. Partly because the Airbnb listing hasn’t been updated with pictures to show all the remodeling and redecorating the owner has done, but mainly because if I was to recreate a living space, I would do it exactly like this. I love every piece (except maybe the yellow chairs – although they did make the space pop) in it!
I’m dying for that blue chair!
And the leather ones.
We immediately lit a fire and made our number one priority pure relaxation. It was so easy to do there.
The next day Will and his Dad had planned to fish, so while they enjoyed the cold, rainy rivers, the girls headed back to Aviemore for some shopping and lunch.
The following day Will had planned to visit a number of distilleries so we could ascertain which Scottish whisky specifically we preferred. But the idea didn’t pan out so instead the group, minus Will’s Dad who opted to take advantage of one more day of fishing, loaded up and went to the Balmoral Castle, a.k.a. the Queen’s summer home.
There is a free audio tour included in admission so we grabbed a couple of the handheld speakers and went on our way.
The grounds were just stunning. I felt as though I should be requesting that my horse be brought around so I could go for a quick ride through the countryside 🙂
In one of the rooms you could see some of the old toy cars and such the royal children have played with over the years, along with videos of them actually riding in the cars and playing at the castle.
And then Aubrey decided to throw the mother of all fits so Will and I made our way back to the entrance.
On the way home I finally got to stop and take a picture of a highland cow. I hooted and hollered and hissed, and everyone else did as well, but this cow would not look up at me. So this is the best picture I got. I figured it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to climb the fence into private land to get a better shot.
We cooked at the house every night, soaked in the hot tub both in the mornings and the evenings, and enjoyed the peace and togetherness we had at the house. It was wonderful.
Our next stop was Inverness, home of Nessie the Loch Ness monster!