I had a trip to the mainland last week. On Tuesday, I crossed on the ferry to Ullapool and drove to Glasgow. On Wednesday afternoon, I drove back up the A9 to Inverness. On Thursday and Friday, Catherine, Katie, my sister, her daughter, and myself did wedding-y things in Inverness. On Saturday, because the Ullapool ferry was cancelled due to strong winds, I drove down the A82 to head for the Skye ferry, only to be told just beyond Drumnadrochit that the road was closed because of a rock fall, and so I turned back and headed to Skye on an alternative, and rather snowy, route.
Y'all wanted to know all that, right?
Here are some photos of our trip: none of them are clear because they're all phone photos and most of them are taken whilst 'on the move'.
When you have a wedding to plan, you don't have time to stop and take a photo. Oh no ... if you want a photo, you do it whilst on the move.
This is something I've learned in the past few weeks.
The road was clear on the drive south. Even although the A9 between Inverness and Perth is not my favourite drive, some of the very rugged and absolutely Scottish-winter-scenery was lovely.
This snow cloud arrived and blocked out all the lovely blue sky.
This car was parked outside the flat in which Catherine and I stayed that night. She'd flown to Glasgow - definitely the ideal way to travel, except that it leaves you car-less for the rest of the trip. Just to add to the American-ness of our trip, we had breakfast the following morning in TriBeCa, on Dumbarton Road.
Their stack of pancakes was simply amazing! So amazing, in fact, that in my rush to devour them, I forgot to take a photo of them. That is not what bloggers do. Except when faced with that level of tastiness.
The drive back up the A9 to Inverness was rather more interesting. We were very aware of God's care over us on our drive north, and His withholding of the worst of the blizzard until we were safely ensconced in our Inverness restaurant.
The first thing Catherine and I had planned the next morning was a visit to a hotel in Inverness. Yes, you guessed it - to make wedding plans! THIS is what the trip away was really about, and we were going to enjoy every minute of it.
The hotel was beautiful, but even more lovely that day was the surrounding grounds, covered by a pure white blanket of newly fallen snow.
So, so pretty.
We were told that there was a wedding happening the following day, and the bride had chosen A Winter Wonderland as her wedding theme. Considering that this was the first real snow of the whole winter, it would seem that her end-of-January date was well chosen.
Thankfully, Catherine hasn't chosen a 'theme' for The Vodding. Much as Fronk's (y'all know Fronk, don't you? From Father of the Bride?) voice is heard on a regular basis (Catherine mimics him, both well and regularly), we have avoided such extravagances.
So far, at least.
What we haven't avoided is that heady mix of laughter and tears. They arrived - aplenty - when we, along with Katie, Marina (my sister) and her daughter, Iona went wedding dress shopping.
How many of you know the anticipation felt by the mother-of-the-bride-to-be whilst sitting on this side of these closed curtains in a Bridal Wear shop?
Iona couldn't wait to see what was to be revealed.
And just as Catherine appeared, Katie went from anticipation,
I'm guessing y'all spotted the reflection at the bottom right corner of the mirror on the wall! :)
And so it would appear that this wedding business is well and truly real. Mr Banks has already begun the loosening-of-the-tie routine.
Meanwhile, us ladies are having a ball. And a bawl.
Both in equal measure.