I’m reluctant to admit it but “Must visit Scotland” wasn’t even on my bucket list last fall when Cathy Maxwell invited me to join her on writing retreat in Scotland. But I thought, “This is too good of an opportunity to pass up.” And I’d known Cathy for years, knew she was a blast to hang out with, has the most infectious laugh, and the others she invited would be just as wonderful. I was right.
Fellow Avon author Kerrelyn Sparks would be my roomie for most of the week as we shared a room at the hunting lodge. I’ve known Kerrelyn for some time, always enjoy her company, and she was the perfect roomie.
I’d never really researched Scotland because I write stories set in Texas or England and that’s where I’d always focused my research. But interestingly, as I was writing my May 2015 release, The Duke and the Lady in Red, my heroine was making plans to move to Scotland and I decided my subconscious was urging me on. Who knew what research or ideas would fall into my lap if I just opened myself up to the possibilities?
My first glimpse of Scotland happened from the plane as we descended out of the clouds. Ah, the green! The green! Presently my neighborhood is on watering restrictions. We can water every other Tuesday. So to look out the window and see such deep green was breathtaking.
Five of us were on the flight: Cathy, Kerrelyn, Bonnie, Deb, and myself. We caught up with Elizabeth Essex at the airport. Denise would join us later that night.
Customs was interesting. The agent looked at my American passport and said in a heavy Scottish accent that took me a moment to translate, “I see you were born in England.”
“Have you a British passport?”
“No.” I do have dual nationality but I’ve never applied for my British passport.
“Good then. I’ll let you in.”
Ooookay. Not everyone is a fan of the English, apparently.
Then we grabbed cabs, muddled through the traffic. Once we checked into the Grand Central Hotel we were off to explore Glasgow. The statue of Wellington is famous for always having an orange cone on his head.
A light misty rain began falling, so we hopped on the city tour bus. It was damp and chilly, exactly what I expected of Scotland. We stopped for a bite to eat at A Play, A Pie, and a Pint. Kerrelyn talked me into sampling haggis balls. Much to my surprise, I found them tasty. Washing them down with a half pint helped. It was the first of many half pints I enjoyed throughout the trip.
A grand time was had in Glasgow.
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