Dolphin spotting with Captain Casper the sea dog! 

From Scotland with the Wee White Dug, a tale of adventures in the Highlands, including the Pump Room and Spa Exhibition in Strathpeffer, a view of Castle Leod (seat of Clan Mackenzie), the Touchstone Maze honoring Scotland’s historic sites, a Moray Firth cruise with Dolphin Spirit Inverness, enchanting music at Embrace Gifts shop along with wood carvings at Victorian Station, the Eagle Stone of The Pictish Trail, and more. Just further proof, as if we needed any, that your Scotland trip deserves quality time in Inverness-shire and at least a glimpse of the Northern Highlands.

Scotland with the Wee White Dug

Today I’m going to share with you an eclectic mix of Victorian spa town in the Scottish Highlands and a dolphin spotting adventure on the Moray Firth.

Last Saturday after an early breakfast at our B&B near Portmahomack, we set off along the NC500 route between Tain and Dingwall to make the 34 mile journey to Strathpeffer. Strathpeffer lies a few miles west of Dingwall.

The village sits in a wide mountain valley or strath. Leafy, and surrounded by mountains it has the look of an Alpine village to it.

Arriving in Strathpeffer is like stepping back in time. The Victorians have left an instantly recognisable imprint on the architecture of the village. You half expect to see elegantly dressed ladies, strolling down the street on the arm of top hatted gents with mutton-chop whiskers.

The Victorian Station

When we arrived at the station a cute little shop calledEmbrace…

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Five-Phrase Friday (6): Apples to Apples

It’s that time again–your day of the week for lovely little English phrases in a family of five.

Ever play the card game Apples to Apples? Usually four or more players take turns serving as the judge of which noun or proper noun (red card) best goes with the adjective (green card) drawn, or vice versa. You score points if your card is chosen by the judge. I’m sure there are entire blogs and clubs dedicated to the wonders of this highly entertaining game, but no, I’m not going to look them up. Here’s my two cents–or nickel plus a penny, as it were.

  • “Golf-Ball-Sized Hail” – A compound modifier the game presents as a stand-alone noun (oh, look, another compound modifier!)–see Five-Phrase Friday (4) for more compound modifiers. Even my series title is a compound-modified phrase! Crikey! Another one! They’re everywhere!

My favorite winning combination from playing the game with family on holidays (not my win):

  • “Chewy Warts”

And feast upon these choice pairings I came up with while shuffling through the deck today:

  • “Dead Bird Watching” – Like the traffic construction sign “Slow Men Working,” where does the pause go? After “Slow” or after “Men”? After “Dead” or after “Bird”?

I think it’s the nonsensical morbidity that does it for me there, though: Is the dead bird watching something, or is someone who is dead watching the bird? Hmm… Live people watching dead birds is much less interesting, except for the mental illness factor.

  • “Sultry Underwear”

I’ll let you ponder that one.

  • “Philosophical Amputations” – delightfully cryptic, bizarre, eerily metaphorical

Bonus: “Cranky Inside the Sun” – How creative of the game makers to come up with “Inside the Sun.” I wonder what it’s like there.

One of our family members, who shall remain anonymous, still insists that Dolly Parton is the best noun for any adjective. Even if it’s a negative one, he just likes thinking of her.

I think we’re overdue to break out the apple crate once again.

May your weekend be full of play.