Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Disneyland for Big Kids...and Surprising Gus Gus!

WUD UP WORLD OF BLOGGERS (I'm still convinced I'm the only person who reads this...oh and my Dad).

So this post has been in progress for 37 years...I tried to get a life, but now I'm back!
So, anyway, let me tell you about this...

The trip planning all started with my dream of going to Islay aka my Disneyland aka heaven. Don't judge that my heaven is a whisky haven.

For those of you who don't know, Islay is a Scottish Island and home to the most amazing whisky distilleries...Ardbeg being my absolute favorite ;-)...and my Ardbeg bottle collection is starting to create quite the storage problem in my flat - drink faster?

Anyway, back to the story.

My dad, aka Gus Gus, aka Mr. Mom, aka the best dad a girl could ask for, was walking 10 days of the El Camino route in Spain before he was to join me in Islay for some whisky tastings/drinking/gulpings...so I had a great idea!I would surprise him in Spain to congratulate him on a great walk, grab a father/daughter dinner, head to church and then take off to Scotland!...so this is what I did.

The trip, for me, started in Porto. I arrived in Porto at 8am and kicked it off with a food tour at 10am! Great planning right?

The food and people of Porto are amazing. We basically ate the most amazing things for 6 hours before enjoying an afternoon of Portuguese wine and wine cave tours. I love life.

I 100% recommend the food tour I went on (https://tasteportofoodtours.com). Amazing tour guide, fantastic food, and so well coordinated! I was in a food coma after the first stop, but we kept trucking #getmetoobesity.

Amazing wine caves! Watt upp Taylor's!

Then met up with the Canadian Navy for Burgerfest?#wheninporto

AND OMG THE SEAFOOD! I ATE EVERYTHING BELOW, NO LEFTOVERS. Seriously, the best food to ever grace my belly. DID YOU KNOW YOU COULD EAT BARNACLES? They're amazing! The restaurant was called Ostras & Coisas...GO NOW!

After that food coma - it was time to get my butt up to Spain to somehow surprise Gus Gus.


Uhhhh......take a bus?


So I hopped on a bus to Spain!

Not much to talk about there besides the fact that I survived. YEAH EMILY!

So let's talk about surprising Gus!

I printed out pictures of all of the travels my dad and I have been on as well as pictures of all three of his darling children. Each photo had a sentence on the back that said a little something about why he is the absolute best human being on this planet (which he is). I had no idea how I wanted to surprise him, but as the man can't sit still...I ended up finding his hotel and giving them to reception. I didn't get out of the hotel in time (he came back right as I was about to leave)! I told the receptionist that she needed to give these to my dad and when she asked "how will I know who 'Gus' is...I said, 'just wait for the loudest human being.'" ...she had no problem identifying Gus.

When Gus Gus walked in, she handed him the photos while I awkwardly hid in the corner hoping not to be seen. SUCCESS BROTHA!

Gus Gus teared up a bit going through the cards and when he said "ahh I've got to call my daughter to thank her for sending these (uhhh dad- no stamps...) he looked up to find his favorite child (hear that Lauren and Augie?).

So we tore up the town of Santiago de Compostela for one more day before heading to my heaven!

Oh, but before we left good 'ol Spain...we just had to sort one thing...The fact that Gus Gus booked his flight out of the wrong airport in Spain. No big deal...as long as Gus has his sandwich!

So we finally made it to Scotland!
Let me just walk you through this...
We started every morning with a breakfast dram at the most amazing BnB called the Bowmore House...possibly the best breakfasts that I have ever eaten in my life. And the hosts are some of the most lovely human beings you will ever encounter. I can't wait to be reunited with this gem in May! We also jumped on the Scottish Routes (http://www.scottishroutes.com/tours/4-day-islay-whisky-tour/) tour...DO IT NOW!

So Day 1:
Deanston Distillary and BnB check-in!

Deanston ended up being Gus' favorite and it was a great way to kickoff the trip!

AND THEN! We made a wee stop at where my whisky loving all began...Oban...ahhhhhhh---the start of a very expensive addiction.
and then....OFF TO ISLAY!!
After checking in to the most amazing BnB...we hit the hay and rested up for an aggressive Day 1 on Islay.
Day 2 (the monsters of Islay):
Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Laphroaig
so this was the day where we had 12 drams before lunch. To say that I was "crawling" by lunch would be an understatement. But I was in my heaven. Let's see some photos!

Lagavulin and my future husband Iain McArthur. I also got to pull the whisky for the gang #dreamcometrue.
Then off to my FAVORITE distillery...ARDBEG! I always keep a bottle of their 10 year close to my side...#probablynotok. Stunning distillery and I can't wait to come back!
ahh....I love you Ardbeg.
Now Laphroaig! Let's just enjoy some photos of this beautiful, beautiful place...
Also...when you buy a bottle of heavenly Laphroaig, you get a small plot of land on Islay - so heck yes I claimed it and planted my American flag! I also collected my rent of whisky from the distillery. I could get used to this life.
So...since I realize this post is getting longer than a work week...so I'm just going to throw the rest of the trip at you and let you paint your own story. In a nutshell:
Day 3/4:
Bunnahabhain, Bowmore, Caol Ila & Kilchoman(teeny tiny little shop) :-)
Day 5:
Emily and Gus Gus train back to London to wrap this father daughter trip up! Oh and Gus insisted on wearing one slipper and one gym shoe the entire time. We we're quite the trendy due.

Oh...can't forget the shoes...
All in all the best father daughter trip and easily the best trip I've ever been on. Cheers to an amazing time, life and the best dad a girl could ask for.

Over and out world.