March 2016

Deep in the mists of Glencoe

The new year has come, winter is fading, and another trip to Scotland looms in just a couple of months. I seem to always plan trips for April/May/June, and so I’m forced into overdrive to finish my projects on time. Going overseas for several weeks is a convenient deadline, and this has been especially true the last four years while working on my novel.

This year is no different.

Before I head off to France and Scotland, my novel will be in the hands of alpha readers. People other than me and Sarah will be reading it… Read more...

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Edinburgh's Old Town Majesty

There are so many reasons to love Scotland. The wonderful pubs, castles, history, nature, whisky — not to mention the incredibly welcoming people! But if I’m forced to provide one reason for why I keep going back to Scotland and have written about it every week for 5+ years, it has to be the constant beauty that fills the eye everywhere it turns. There’s a primal quality to Scotland’s beauty that connects one to something older and forgotten, the rediscovery of which, at least in me, requires art to be expressed. That’s why I’ve written 100+ Picture This posts.

The best way to see this beauty is to rent a car and just get out there and drive. Read more...

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Five great small towns in Scotland

I enjoy cities when I travel, but I’m most happy when exploring the countryside, combing over the hills and glens for secret places and small towns. The cultural texture is just more immediate where globalization’s far-reaching fingers have farther to stretch, and it is among these places where the character of older times remains strong. Experiencing those “older times” is a large part of the joy I get out of traveling. To feel different, to feel out of place — not in an uncomfortable way — is a magical feeling.

I most often find that feeling in Scotland’s small towns, and once you get beyond Edinburgh and Glasgow that’s pretty much all there is… Read more...

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Benromach 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Some time ago I received a sample of Benromach 10 with the understanding that I would taste it and share my thoughts, whatever they might be. You can’t imagine how happy I was to receive that sample. It has been a secret wish of mine to get into writing whisky tasting notes. Though I admit some doubt in my olfactory faculties, command of vernacular and vocabulary may well make up for any deficit in that realm. We shall see, I suppose.

For regular readers, Benromach will be no stranger. I’ve written two articles here about my visits to the distillery, and it remains high on my list of favorite distilleries in Scotland. Read more...

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View across Loch Trool, Galloway Forest Park, Dumfries & Galloway

Scotland’s munros are well known and the focus of many outdoorsy travelers who seek adventure. However, most of us don’t own crampons, ice axes, and rappelling gear, nor do we seek day-long ascents into the lofty, snow-covered peaks of Scotland’s highest mountains. And yet, we still want to get out in nature and experience the scenic beauty that overflows Caledonia’s shores.

Less obvious are Scotland’s gentler hikes, those not so taxing or daunting as to keep us by the hearth fire with pints close at hand. If anything, there are far more casual hikes than munro-baggers… Read more...

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