On Tuesday, the 2nd, Scott and I, along with Sarah and Ian, Simon and Maria, and Kate and Faisal, headed off for the Glenmorangie House (pronounced 'glen-MOR-angie', like 'orangey') for three days. There we got to take a free (everything was free actually) cruise on Loch Ness, go clay pigeon shooting (I hit three out of ten in the air!), and take a tour of the distillery, followed by a whisky tasting.
The hotel - what a disservice calling it a 'hotel', it really is a house - was amazing. Our room, Morayshire, was massive, with a super-king size bed and a large, deep bath... ah, bliss. It overlooked the Avenue of Trees and further down, the water.
Each night (after pre-dinner drinks and canapes, of course), we were served a five-course meal, by one of the top chefs in Scotland. I couldn't pronounce even half of what was on the menus, but I loved nearly all of it. I especially loved how they served nearly half the courses with some sort of Glenmorangie cooked or poured in. Each morning we were served a four-course breakfast; I mean, I didn't know breakfast could HAVE courses. And for our 'light lunch' on the second day, we had sandwiches, butternut squash soup and salad. All this, of course, helped soak up all the whisky we drank.
We also had time to go take a walk by the seaside. It was beautiful. After our morning shoot, we wandered along rocks and sand of the shore and collected interesting shells and stones. Shells far more interesting than what you'd see at Lunderston Bay. And get this - we even saw a dead minke whale washed ashore. We thought it was a seal, at first, as it was already torn apart by the vultures and was missing a head, but it was in fact a whale. With a dead squid in its stomach. It was FASCINATING. Could only have been there a couple of days. I was furious my camera batteries had died halfway through clay pigeon shooting, meaning I couldn't get a photo.
It was such a lovely break. It was even nicer spending it with friends. I have such a greater appreciation of whisky now, and can even say I understand why the older the malt, the better. I used to like Glenmorangie Original, but now that I've tasted its 18 year old, its Qunita Ruban and its Nectar D'Or... oh yum.
But that's not all. We came back on Thursday night and collected the kids. Friday we just tried to have a relatively chilled day, and then Saturday we took them to Battery Park for the Myths & Legends festival, where they got to listen to storytelling and get their faces painted. Then that night we went back to see the fireworks and the mythological phoenix rise from the ashes. It was fun. I love fireworks and this year they did not disappoint.
So that's November so far. We've got a few other things planned, so it ought to be a fun month. The opening night for Panto is at the end of the month, so I've got lots of work to do, getting ready for it. And two kids' birthday parties, Cameron and Caspar. And probably some other stuff. Oh, yeah, like Thanksgiving! It's going to be a busy, busy month. But methinks it'll be grand.