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Meetin' o' the Scots 2012

Last year, Landon and I went to Scotland (see those posts: Edinburgh, Rosslyn, Melrose, Trossachs, Stirling, St. Andrews, plus three days in London (1) (2) (3)) and fell in love with it. To say that I am (and have been) in love with the United Kingdom is a bit of an understatement. While I know I can't go to Scotland every year--sadness--I can go to the Scottish Games held here in Charleston each September. 

I'm Ulster Scots through my mom's dad's side--we come from the Clan Buchanan near Loch Lomond. I was lucky enough to visit the area when we were in Scotland, and I wonder why my ancestors ever left it!

I looooove our tartan!
I'd gone to the Games two years ago for the first time, and it was a great way to get excited about our Scotland 2011 trip. It might not be Scotland exactly, but it does give a fun flavor and taste of the Scottish culture without a seven-hour flight and ten days off of work. 

I went with my parents and sister this past weekend: Landon had to work, unfortunately. My dad and I went on a tasting spree, sampling mincemeat pies, sausage rolls and meat pies. All of them got a thumbs up. My mom and sister, who aren't quite as adventurous, went with a traditional fish and chips platter. 

The Celtic Kitchen, where we could get scones, mincemeat pies and all kinds of shortbread.

My favorite part of the Scottish Games is the Opening Ceremony, where a massed band of bagpipes and drums processes around the upper and lower fields.
It's almost time!
Daddy, Mama and Amber wait for the Opening Ceremony. 
The Opening Ceremony was slightly delayed due to the Hammer throw going over its time slot.
Seriously, it's time to start! Charleston in September is NOT like Scotland in September--it's way warmer!
And they're off.
 A video I took of the massed band:

Amber and I found the Heelan' Hound, a tent that sold items for "the discriminating hound." Apparently, that describes Amber's dog, Scrappy, who got a cute Royal Stewart tartan bandanna.
the Heelan' Hound tent
After we got a slushie (not a Scottish drink), we watched some of the Highland Games. Below, the competitor is trying to pick up and then throw a 20 foot, 120 pound wooden pole (called a caber) end-over-end. Piece of cake (or perhaps more appropriately, shortbread)? No way.

I bought a tam to match my Royal Stewart tartan kilt. Guess what I'm going to be for Halloween? :)

Can't wait for Scottish Games 2013!