After a long lie (Scottish way of saying sleeping in) on New Year's Day, we got up and got to work. Jenna and Hannah hadn't had a true Christmas Meal, and James and I hadn't had one at our house so we decided to have a Christmas/New Year's meal. It was absolutely delicious; there was tons so we'll be eating leftovers for days.
We also adopted some new traditions (thanks goes to our Scottish friends for introducing them to us) that will be a part of James and Jennifer Christmas's from now on.
First we had about 100 of those little confetti poppers; they created a wonderful mess.
Then we introduced Jenna and Hannah to crackers. We don't understand why Americans don't have this tradition. We're definitely introducing them to our families when we get home. You and a friend pull them apart and whoever gets the bigger half gets the prize inside. The prizes vary, some of our prizes were a bottle opener, miniature scissors, a little mirror, a yo-yo, etc. You also get a crown (and of course you must wear it the rest of the night) as well as a really cheesy joke that you take turns telling.
But the best after dinner treats were the Confetti Cannons. So much fun. They contain a CO2 cartridge that's activated when you twist it, and tons of confetti gets shot out, accompanied by a loud popping noise. We all got a huge kick out of Hannah who was the most entertained by these toys, if only we had her reaction on video.
What do you do when you have a huge mess? Might as well make a bigger one!
"Pretend you're bored!" It doesn't take much to amuse us.
After that huge meal, we needed to do something active on Friday, so we went for a hike. In Golspie, the town 10 minutes from Dornoch, there's a mountain called Ben Bhraggie (you'll see it in the background of this photo. It's not quite tall enough to be a mountain, but we'll just call it that for now) and on top of it is a statue of the first Duke of Sutherland (Sutherland is the county we live in). You can read all about what the Duke is known for here.
It was a steep trail but the views were more than worth it.
James was looking up at the statue, it's right in front of us and it's huge.
Check out that blue sky, it's a rare and glorious sight when you live in Scotland.
This picture is for Janet. We used your gift! Christmas/New Years dinner leftovers made it all the way to the top with us and we enjoyed delicious ham sandwiches. It wouldn't have been possible without the handy dandy picnic bag you so generously gave us last year.
The trip down was a slip-slidy mess; it was getting colder and the path was turning into ice.
Poor Hannah had shoes with not much tread and ended up going down on her bum for a bit since it was easier than falling over and over again. But she was a trooper and smiled through it all!
And to catch you up to current events, today was a day of shopping and sightseeing in Inverness
We discovered if you jump up and down enough, the pedestrian bridge shakes a whole bunch. (Remember what I said about it not taking much to amuse us?)