Kilts, Scotch, A Highlands Wedding

Scottish Rainbow

A Highlands Rainbow (compliments of Mom!)

This post was an exciting post to write … my identical twin got married in the Scottish highlands over the summer and Jess and I were lucky enough to make it out there to party and celebrate.

We were visiting Jess’ friends and family in Saskatoon right before Scotland. So we flew from Canada to Glasgow and met up with my brother Dustin and his fiancee, now wife, Fran. It had been quite some time since we had seen them last, and It was truly great to see them again. We caught up quickly and it became a reunion that went fluidly, as if we had just hung out the week before. Dustin has been in Glasgow for quite awhile now and it was fun seeing where he lived, what he’d been up to, and what a day-in-the-life of Dustin entailed. It’s always enlightening to put yourself in the environment of someone else; it is impossible to capture through emails, skype calls, or blog posts… to really understand how someone has been living you must go to where they are and see it through your own eyes.

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Sunset over Glasgow

Glasgow had a perfect “feel” to it. It was a familiar feel from the first time I went to Scotland; I think I like the Scottish culture a lot. They seem to be quick to joke, laugh and of course … drink. So in accordance with tradition we went to a couple restaurants, wandered timeless streets, went bowling and perused multiple pubs. We even made it to Edinburgh for a day to check out the Fringe Festival, the world’s largest art festival.

1. Edinburgh Castle   2. St. Giles Cathedral    3. Random stairs on an old street    4. The Fringe Festival
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After Glasgow and Edinburgh we all worked our way up north to a small town called Aberfeldy. They are known for the Dewar’s Distillery and the people there were unbelievably friendly! I typically hate small towns, but I could actually see myself living in Aberfeldy someday (just for a tiny bit) because the scenery is incredible and the people are so awesome.

IMG_4534Anyway, we all met up in Aberfeldy at a massive mansion (10 rooms & 3 floors) that Dustin and Fran had rented out for the wedding week. It was a perfect location and we partied, laughed, and socialized there, right up to the wedding day (and after). My grandparents made it all the way from Canada…. Evan from San Francisco (our longest lasting friend!) and Farrell came all the way from Texas … people from all over Scotland and Portugal drifted towards Aberfeldy and we found ourselves in the company of great people to celebrate Fran & Dustin’s wedding.

Drinking ensued…

IMG_2748One morning I went to check on the hot tub … I found broken glass, a blood trail, beer bottles, confetti, a Scottish Pound, cigarette butts and a lemon drifting lifelessly in the hot tub current … the water was so low that the jets were gasping for air and shooting streams of water that splashed and launched well outside the hot tub.

 

The inside wasn’t much better….

And so it went every morning, I would wake up, try to figure out what happened the night before, we would all go on a massive cleaning spree (fix various things that got broken), and then ease into the afternoon with another beer and a shot of Scotch.

Drinking at wedding  Kilts

At some point in all of it, we managed to go Canyoning, get Dustin married, visit the distillery, and do a tour of Castle Menzies before leaving the highlands….

The wedding was awesome … I was Dustin’s best man, Fran wore her raggedy vans during the ceremony (the shoes she was wearing when they first met), they passed a quaich around so everyone could drink Scotch from it (during the wedding), and friends and family all took pictures, participate in the wedding and all around had an awesome time! It was an incredibly personalized wedding surrounded by good people and no one took anything too seriously. The traditions were applicable and interesting, we all sported our Kilts (per “tradition” …) and just had a great time.

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Once the wedding was over we said goodbye to all our new and old friends and headed back to Glasgow with Dustin and Fran. It had been a massively entertaining wedding, a good reunion with old friends and family, and a fun opportunity to meet new family.

Castle Menzies:
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After turning in an outrageously priced rental car ($1,600 usd for 10 days), almost getting kicked off our plane back to China (KLM sucks), and 60 days on the road … Jess and I departed on our last leg of the journey. We headed back to China via a 5 hour flight delay in Moscow, the tiniest hostel room I’ve ever seen in Beijing, a train to Zhengzhou (yeah, no one’s heard of it), and a death defying taxi ride back to the middle of nowhere; we finally made it to our home away from home and geared up for another 10 months of teaching in rural China …

Jess and I are one month in currently and gearing up to go to Hong Kong and Macau next week.

Dustin Me at wedding

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