As its the birthday run, the hubby and I took some time off work to go up and visit his parents in Aberdeenshire. We had originally planned on a sneaky trip to the borders, or maybe Oban, but with the stress of the bathroom and that going over budget, we decided that sneaking away to the countryside and being fed cake sounded like a very good plan.
We also got to meet Ruby properly, their now 16 week old puppy Visla. And she is gorgeous, and she knows it!
The weather was too kind. It was bright and sunny the whole visit. We started our trip with us all going to Crathes Castle where Ruby showed off her recall and we got her into the water for the first time. I had to take my socks and shoes off and wade in the river to encourage her to do so, and we had good results. Missy joined in for a paddle too, clearly taking the opportunity to cool off.
We stopped in at the cafe which was very busy and bought drinks and cake and dog-friendly ice cream for the dogs. Missy loves ice cream and, not being allowed dairy, it is a huge treat for her to get anything akin to it. Then we finished the walk and it was good to see them both interacting with one another - Ruby has mostly grown out of the typical bad puppy habits; she isn't jumping on other dogs faces and understands a growl means that the other dog wants space, so the visit in general was much easier than I expected!
The next day we decided to let the puppy rest and the hubby and I took Missy to Dunnattor Castle which has been on the to-do list for a while. Its a half hour drive to Stonehaven where the castle is situated and its impressive from the onset. You have quite a walk to get to the actual castle from the car park, but it does give plenty of opportunity to get some really nice photos!
It was a fairly intact ruin with some fun tid-bits of history. It held off Cromwell and had its fair share of scandals - including the "Whigs Vault" where 167 Covenanters were imprisoned for three months in a tiny vault. Some died whilst others attempted escape or where tortured. Its last Earl was also convicted of treason for supporting the Jacobite rising and the castle was subsequently seized by government.
It was another glorious day and, whilst at first it was very pleasant, after a few hours it was unfortunately getting too hot. Missy does not do well in the heat despite her short coat and she started to hobble a little so we decided to see if she wanted to cool down by the sea. She dipped a paw in but wasn't interested so we called it quits and headed back so that she could cool down properly and have some sleep.
We finished the evening with a puppy walk at Castle Fraser and, as it had cooled considerably, it was much more enjoyable for everyone! Missy chased rabbits and Ruby delighted us all with some sprinting, although she really does need to grow into her ears! Shes at that really funny stage where she's starting to look like a dog, but isn't quite there. Her legs are too long and gangly and her ears are hysterically too large on her. She takes it all in her stride though and clearly doesn't care what we think.
On our way home, we all stopped at Stonehaven. The hubbys parents had decided to try Ruby in the motorhome (latest update is that she hasn't chewed it to bits yet, but has figured out that its tremendous fun to jump between the seats) and they decided to go with Stonehaven as, if it was a disaster, they could easily get home. We joined them for a walk on the beach and some ice cream before deciding to head home ourselves. Lovely as the visit was, its always nice to go home and sleep in your own bed.
This weekend has been a busy one and I'm aware this post has rambled on long enough, I'll update you all on this weekends adventures later!