In the throws of the longest stretch of warm weather that I could remember, Connie and I took the girls and Frank on our first proper holiday in a very long time - maybe ever. Connie and I took Frank camping once, before Joni arrived, and Joni and Etta have been a few times to Canada and even on work trips with me "down south", but as for a real proper holiday we'd been lacking, mostly due to Canada trips and other things cropping up.
But finally, Connie and I had had enough and a break was needed. We went to Glasgow for four days and stayed with my mum and dad and had a good time in their garden in paddling pools and going to a concert that Connie had always wanted to see (and that I'd always wanted to see with her) and then, packed the car to the gills and headed to Aberfeldy.
Connie hadn't been to Aberfeldy before - but had been to Pitlochry. We'd travelled through the place back in the dark of winter in 2010/2011 on our holiday home from Houston, and spent near enough an hour total in the town before carrying on towards St Andrews and Dundee. I'd, however, spent many a time there - it was a close base for one of the four main Scout Summer Campsites, Tummel Bridge (the other three being Sluggan Bridge, Spean Bridge, and Barnacarry Bay).
It'd been a few years since I'd been in Aberfeldy, and it was as charming as I remembered it, and certainly as charming as I had hoped it would be. The weather was perfect, if maybe a little warm. We'd hired an Airbnb for the few days, following on from a test of this service back in July last year when Hyder and Meghan got married in Fife. It turns out that with a few small caveats hiring a house out is ideal for us as a family.
Namely, having the whole space for us all (especially Frank) is perfect. A set of bedrooms, kitchen for snacks and food, and a garden - well, it is ideal really. The house I'd found and we'd booked was a very good price for the time we were away and it lived up to it's description, and was quite lovely, if a little rough around the edges - large spiders in corners not cleaned as often as you might at home, for example, or a lack of blinds in some rooms meaning the entire black dark we need to sleep was hard to find.
In the end, for the first time in a very long time, I lay on the grass with a coffee and Joni and Frank and started at the clouds and relaxed. I hadn't realised how much I needed it, and how much Joni, Etta and Connie needed it too, obviously. We were a wee self contained unit for a few days, and I adored every single second, even not wanting to leave.
When I was young, my family went to Blackpool a few times and Alton Towers a few times, and I love my memories of those trips. I also went on a lot of abroad holidays when I was a bit older, and I feel like "staycations" are more likely. Scotland is a wonderful place that I can't quite believe that I get to say is my home country and where I'm from, and over the next couple of months Connie and I need to start taking advantage of the outdoors and holidays, and camping and Airbnb-ing.