Kilts and lumberjacks

Long ago I used to volunteer for the Campbell Highland Games.

My friends were the organizers so I naturally gravitated to helping them with the event.

I thought, perhaps wrongly so, that I was of Scottish descent.

Now, 23 & Me has proven me to be Scandinavian (Norwegian), British Isles (so PERHAPS Scottish) and a little bit Portuguese (I have my maternal Grandma to thank for that).

I joke that being mostly Scandinavian and a little Portuguese means I burn easily but I can hold a tan.

LOL.

The other day, I was emailing a friend and he sent me some photos of him in a kilt.

Lordy, how love a man in a kilt.

I was instantly transported back in time to those Highland games, and to my not one, but TWO trips to Scotland.

Tartan kilts, bottles of scotch, purple heathered mountains, black water (at least in Loch Lomond, it’s black), bagpipes, and fresh raspberries.

I love how kilts represent family.

Community.

I love how well they pair with sporrans, hose and jacket.

And as much as I love a lumberjack in a plaid flannel shirt, I ALMOST as equally love a man in a kilt.

Not surprisingly, I have a few friends who wear kilts.

They are burners, naturally.

They don’t wear the tartan variety, mind you.

Just the utili-kilt, lightweight variety kilt.

And still, it has the same funny effect on me.

So whether I’m eating fresh raspberries at a real Highland games in Inverness, or sitting on my bed at home reminiscing, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for men in kilts.

Give me Gerard Butler in a kilt or a man with “Campfire” as his middle name and color me happy.

Dream a little dream

For most of my adult life, I’ve fantasized about going to three places:

  • Greece
  • Finland
  • Australia

I’ve wanted to go to Greece on account of all the beautiful pictures I’ve seen of it – white walls, blue seas, and Mediterranean food.

greeceFinland has made it to my list oddly enough because I love the idea of sleeping in a glass igloo under the aurora borealis. Even in freezing cold temperatures with blankets of snow.

finlandAnd Australia made it to my list because… well… Australia!

australiaAt the risk of sounding ridiculous, I love the accents, the animals, and the beautiful cities.

I haven’t travelled as much as I would like to mostly because in all my fantasies about traveling the world, I never fantasized about doing it solo.

I mean what’s the point of sleeping in a glass igloo under a dramatic night sky unless you’re simultaneously getting your freak on?

Don’t get me wrong. I traveled to Scotland with my sister and I drove all over from Oban to Fort William to Inverness to the Isle of Skye.

I watched a shinty game in Skye with little biting midges flying up my nose and in my eyes while the shinty boys raced like thunder up and down the pitch.

Their thighs captivated me.

I really exposed myself to a different culture and people.

And I want to continue to do so.

But alone?

No thanks.

I may just have to bug my sister to take another trip with me next summer.

The question is: Where do we go first?

And can I convince my sister, who is an avid relax-and-do-nothing vacationer, to go out with me and get dirty/wet while having fun?

That is the questions my friends.

The extent of my insanity

I love the look of tan skin.  It’s healthy.  It glows.  It’s golden.  It sexy.

One summer, I spent several month lying in a tanning bed trying to achieve that golden California blonde look before my 2 week-trip to Scotland with my sister.

I wanted everything about me to scream CALIFORNIA.

I did not want to blend in.

I got bottomed.  I got my hair bleached.  I got a full body wax.  And I had the perfect tan.  See my Scotland tan* and botox face below:

I was so Californian and so fake that nobody wanted to talk to me in the bars.  I swear that men would look but no one would approach.

Oh sure, some guys would get drunk and then say a few words to me, but that was about it.

And that was when I learned that sexy is not what I think it is.

And tanning beds can lead to skin cancer.

I’ve since cut out all my tanning bed activities.  Every now and then I get a spray tan, but for the most part, I rock my pale skin.

At this rate I figure I’ll finally meet someone when I stop trying to look good for anyone and give up on myself.

*Just to show off my one and only real tan, here’s a pic from Scotland.  Yes, that’s me inflating a blow up sheep.  It came out of a vending machine in the women’s loo in a pub in Inverness, Scotland.

Vacation for one

I’m trying to decide where to vacation this summer. I will be vacationing by myself so taking the 10 day hike up Kilimanjaro in Africa is probably out. That definitely requires a companion.

I have several options on the table right now –

australia

If I go to Australia, I’m pretty sure I can get up to all sorts of mischief. I would start by diving the Great Barrier Reef, tour the rainforest, and drink excessive amount of beer at some random festival. Maybe even find a cowboy to take me on a pack trip through the outback. Yeah. That sounds good. Read Things to do in Australia.

scotland

In Scotland I would go fishing in the Isles, take the West Highland line to Mallaig just to enjoy the scenery. Rent a car and drive from town to town, ask the locals where to go and what to do. Plan as little as possible, enjoy as much as possible. Read LookSmart’s FindArticles – 100 Things to do in Scotland before you die.

newzealand

In New Zealand I would definitely have to try zorbing. I would look into other sports there are well – like climbing and maybe enjoy a tramp (hike) or two. See the wildlife in Tongariro National Park. Head to the beaches and lounge around reading smut novels. Learn to be a bum for a week. Read Top Things to do in New Zealand by Lonely Planet.

What I learned in Scotland

What I learned in Scotland:

1. Showers are less drafty (i.e. better) when you have the other half of the shower door.

2. Snogging is just kissing.

3. When your GPS unit tells you to go right on the roundabout, it doesn’t actually mean you turn right. It means you go left and take the third left – in other words, a right hand “turn”

4. Always inspect your shoes for spiders before putting them on

5. Don’t tip the bartenders!

6. If you mix your drinks (wine, liquor, beer) you are in for one nasty hangover!

7. If you’re going to speak to Scottish nobility, don’t act like a jackass.

8. Do not talk on your cell phone while driving – it’s illegal!

9. Scottish men are shy until they’ve had a few drinks.

10. Never ever ever ask what’s under a man’s kilt unless you want to do something with what’s under his kilt!

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