FUN-travel: UK & Whisky Festival Trip Recap

June 26, 2017 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: UK & Whisky Festival Trip Recap 

Our tasting at the Bowmore House

  • I learned a whole lot at “Scotch School”…

…and drank more single malt whisky in 5 days…

…than in my entire life…

…just wee little drams mind you…

…and some just a wee little bit bigger!

  • My personal favorites were the ones finished in a sherry cask.

And we were so LUCKY to have gotten a room in Islay at the Bowmore House B&B. The first week of January not a room was to be found. And then by magic…one opened up! Andrew, the owner, made the trip so much more memorable and a totally different experience! We would have never had the 2 special tastings or benefited from the wealth of whisky knowledge he has.

  • And while I now have an appreciation for fine whiskies…

…my distilled spirit of choice…

…is still an extra dry Gin martini straight up!

Many people we encountered during our trip said, “I hope you’re having a good time.” To which my response was, “There is no other option. It’s compulsory!” That’s pretty much how I feel about travel.   I WILL always have a GOOD TIME!

Ardbeg Fesitval Day

Also many people were concerned that we were traveling to the UK so soon after the Manchester bombing. But we believe it is never safer to travel then when there’s been an incident like that. Everyone was on high alert. Then the London Bridge terror attack happened.

Hairy Coo (as they pronounce them)

We were never anywhere near a big city, let alone a big town, other than Glasgow for a train to plane change. A terror attack can happen anywhere in the world and unfortunately it’s becoming far too common these days. But it will never make us so fearful that we wouldn’t travel.

  • That being said…

…it makes us very, very happy we are…

…almost at the end of our bucket list!

FUN-fact – Our Daily UK Weather Report – sunshine mixed with clouds and rain. And that was pretty much it. Only caught a few occasional short sprinkles until the last day when it was pretty wet in Oban. And when we arrived in Paisley before our flight to Islay. It took longer to take a cab then to walk 500 meters to the Ashtree House Hotel. Big thanks to Chris for packing those umbrellas!

FUN-video – The UK & Whisky Festival – Movie Trailer

June 19, 2017 by · Comments Off on FUN-video – The UK & Whisky Festival – Movie Trailer 

At 16 days, this was the shortest international trip we have taken since Chris retired in 2009. And it was great to travel with only a carry on bag. Enjoy!

FUN-photos: UK – Scotland

June 19, 2017 by · Comments Off on FUN-photos: UK – Scotland 

The whole reason for taking this trip was to experience Fèis Ìle…The Islay Festival of Music and Malt!

  • Whisky tasting is a whole lot like wine tasting. Swirl, smell, sip, swallow…and then the taste…                        …soft & subtle…or strong… smoky, spicy, salty, sweet?

After spending the night in Paisley, the town next to the Glasgow airport, and a short 45 minute flight we arrived in Islay at 9:15. That gave us 3 full days on the island, where we made it to 7 of the 8 distilleries, and tasted a record 35 different single malt whiskies!

  • Our last two days were spent in Oban on the west coast and southern part of the Scottish Highlands.  We took the ferry to Kennacraig where Alex & Barbara awaited us for the scenic 2 hour drive back to their home. We met them on our “Slow Boat to Singapore Cruise” in 2016. We had a lovely time exploring the sights, which included a tour of the Oban Distillery, and of course drinking more whisky!

By the end of our 5 days in Scotland, we had tasted a grand total of 45 single malt whiskies…plus 2 rhubarb gins (one with ginger added) & 2 liqueurs…mind you they were wee little tastes…

…some just a wee little bit bigger!

FUN-photos: UK – Conwy, Northern Wales

June 17, 2017 by · Comments Off on FUN-photos: UK – Conwy, Northern Wales 

Lucky us again! The rain came when we boarded our train for the 4 hour ride north. We arrived in Deganwy just in time for happy hour!

  • The Conwy Castle loomed large across the bay awaiting our visit the next afternoon.

We spent our first full day taking a 90 minute train ride south to the base of Mt. Showdon where we discovered the delightful little village of Betws-y-Coed. Home to Britain’s first artist colony this secluded alpine area was more of the same “just oh so cute & quaint.”

  • After returning back to Deganwy we enjoyed a nice stroll along the waterfront and climb up the Conwy Castle. Then the rain came so we took cover in the Albion Pub for some local craft beer.

On the second day Mari, our driver & tour guide, gave us a grand overview covering 140 miles where we saw 2 more castles, a working woolen mill, the slate museum, the town with the longest name in the world, and ended in the sweet little village of Beddgelert.

FUN-photos: UK – The Cotswolds & Bath, England

June 17, 2017 by · Comments Off on FUN-photos: UK – The Cotswolds & Bath, England 

Lucky for us we left San Diego on a non-stop British Airways flight before their computer melt down that stranded thousands for three days! We opted for a UK rail pass as our main mode of transportation.

  • The first three days were spent in The Cotswolds, the most unspoiled area in England, that covers roughly 25 miles across and 90 miles long.

Our first full day we had a driver take us to the “ever so cute & quaint” surrounding villages and ended at Blenheim Palace. The second day we headed out from our Lower Slaughters Country Inn for a walking tour of the “just picture post card pretty & more cute” villages of Bourton-on-the-Water AKA “the Venice of the Cotswolds” & Stow-on-the-Wold.

  • That was followed by two days in Bath where the town was celebrating the Bath Festival.

The weather was incredible with unseasonably warm record temps and lots of sunshine!

  • This adventure was all about seeing parts of England and Scotland we had never seen, in addition to northern Wales. But the MAIN REASON was for Fèis Ìle… The Islay Festival of Music and Malt!


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