This weekend, I escaped from reality and spent a delightful few days once again in beautiful Scotland.
It was a weekend of moments of falling down and falling up– falling into and falling through– falling ultimately into something wonderful.
My bonnie lad met me at the Glasgow airport, and our adventure began.
We walked around the busy city center, and browsed through a few shops. Blair even insisted that we spend time wandering through my favorite craft shop, Paperchase. I could hardly believe that he would voluntarily endure such torture– but he took it with a smile and refused to let me leave before I had seen everything.
At his suggestion, we took a bike taxi through the crowded pedestrian-lined streets, passing beneath glittering Christmas lights while notes from street musicians fell upon our ears.
I laugh when I think of our first (ever) meal together. Blair took me to a cafe and we both ordered massive, messy hamburgers. I of course made a huge mess while devouring mine.
Halfway through, I realized that this was technically our first “date” and I was spending it with fajita burger all over me. The polite princess in me rebelled against this, wishing desperately that I had chosen something far more delicate to eat.
Yet this meal represents a glimpse of the newness of our relationship– and the beauty of it. For the first time, I have resolved to be completely, unabashedly, uncensored.
From the first day, I told Blair that I intended to be completely honest with him. He would get the bad with the good– every last thought and feeling, without restraint. All of my hesitations, reservations, and emotional walls remained crushed under our feet. He gets the Mandi that chows down on a way-too-large hamburger during a first date.
He gets the real me– the me that feels no fear.
During the next few days, I got to view the Highlands through the eyes of those who truly live there. Those who have lived there for generations.
I heard stories of running through sand dunes, swimming in frozen sea waters, wandering to yonder, and all the drama of a tiny town.
I loved visiting the little villages that one can walk to within the span of ten minutes– but that are very different from each other.
I loved tasting the delicious local cuisine, and enjoying it alongside the dearest person.
Beautiful Scottish voices ringing in my ears, I got a little taste of their country’s rich heritage. And, I got a little more insight into the past of the man I call my Märchen-Prinz.
One afternoon, I endured a real and literal fall.
I had heard stories of how impossible it was to catch a sheep. In a place where sheep outnumber humans, I could hardly believe my ears.
Why are sheep invincible? They’re apparently fast. And scared. Upon hearing this, I found myself rising to the challenge. I was going to catch a sheep if it killed me. I was going to be the one.
Let’s just say… it didn’t go exactly according to plan.
We herded the sheep a little bit (more like they either were walking away from us or curiously staring us down for half an hour). At the completely opportune moment, I ran. And ran. I ran as fast as my feet could possibly move, practically flying across the wet pasture.
I got within 3 FEET of the sheep. Within the space of a well-timed tackle. And then…. faceplanted.
You got that right.
Bellyflop into sheep poop.
This is the face of a defeated champion.
I had the most wonderful time with this man. Blair treated me like a princess every single minute that we were together, and I felt so cared for. We laughed, talked, and enjoyed each other’s company for hours (days) on end. Butterflies continually took up residence in my belly. I am falling so hard.
I was so incredibly sad to leave him.
But, in the end, this is only the beginning.
Mama told me to come home to Texas with an Austrian prince on my arm… and I’ve done her one better. I’m coming home with a prince of the Highlands. :)
My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.
Oh, Mandi, your sheep story made me laugh out loud! Now that I know you can get a good burger in Scotland, all my food worries about Bethany’s trip are over. I am glad you are keeping good records of all your adventures. I think you have the material for a best selling YA book! I am happy you are getting to live your fairy tale.
It’s so nice to hear from you, Mama Lisa!! I miss you bunches. I’m very glad my story made you laugh. :) I was laughing quite a bit myself between bouts of yelling. What a compliment though– I would LOVE to write a book!! You may just be giving me the inspiration I was looking for. Can’t wait to see you soon!
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