Monthly Archives: June 2016

Oban, Scotland

Overlooking this seaside town is McCaig Tower. It’s the best place to watch the sunset in my opinion. There’s a creative garden on the way up as well. 

Next whiskey stop – Oban. This was our first distillery tour. The Oban distillery is one of the oldest (1794) and smallest due to its inability to expand because of the cliff behind it. 

Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila – Islay, Scotland

Stop number four on our whiskey trail was Bunnahabhain distillery. There’s a long narrow road down to this area. We think some nearby houses are for distillery workers. 

Stop number five was nearby, the Caol Ila distillery. 

What’s distinctive about Islay whiskey you may ask? It’s the peat.  There’s a smokiness to Islay whiskey that makes it quite distinct from other whiskey in Scotland. 

Ardbeg & Bowmore  – Islay, Scotland

Stop number two during Islay’s weeklong whiskey tour – Ardbeg. They have an excellent restaurant here and lots of parking so it makes for a nice stop. You can also get your photo taken with a large still! You’ll notice they had one whiskey named after the Kildalton cross. Ardbeg turned 200 last year (2015). 

Stop number three – Bowmore. We went into the tasting room here which had a small terrace area. 

Lagavulin & Kildalton Cross- Islay, Scotland

Have you ever seen Parks and Rec? This is the distillery that Ron Swanson visits. 

Lagavulin was stop one for us during Islay’s weeklong whiskey festival. They turned 200 this year (2016). We just happened to pick the day they were releasing their special offering to visit. There was already a long line of people waiting to get their 125 GBP bottle. You have to realize that the roads tend to be one way with passing places so to have that many people in one place caused some problems for parking and passing. 

We were signed up for a whiskey food and tasting master class and made it just in time. The instructor had us start off drinking a smokey whiskey. Then we put a mint on our tongue and had another sip. The smokiness disappeared! We matched our various whiskies with an assortment of food. It was quite a treat for our taste buds. 

Wandering around the grounds, there was a bag piper, food offerings, and a crafts area. 

We walked along the rocky shore to the castle ruins for a great view back on the distillery. 

After our visit we decided to keep going on the road. This random adventure allowed us to meet a peacock, find the Kildalton cross and ruins, and find an honor system coffee, cake, and tea stand. We seemed to peak the interest of some nearby sheep as well who came to take a look. 

Yoga Rooms

A new trend in air travel is to have a yoga room. I’ve noticed it in a couple of airports, including in San Francisco and Chicago (O’Hare). 

That SFO, the yoga room is in the connector between Terminal 1 and 2, closer to T2. There is plenty of signage so you should be able to find it easily. 

The space has dark hardwood and a mirror covering an entire wall. A sign asks you to take off your shoes as soon as you enter. There’s space for one to sit and leave some luggage. 

A bin in the corner has foam rollers (!!!), yoga mats, and some big pillow tubes if you will. There’s a sanitation station as well for you to clean off your mat once you’re done. 

I spent 45 minutes getting my body loosened and ready to travel. There were quite a few of looky-loos who I just ignored after awhile. Half way through my practice another woman joined me and a third joined just as I was leaving.

The lights are dim so it provides an excellent relaxation space. A sign does note that no sleeping is allowed however. 

At Chicago O’Hare, the yoga room is on the second floor with the USO and mother’s area. There’s also a cool indoor herb garden. 

The space has lots of natural light coming through a large frosted window. The door is left open (otherwise it locks shut) but this doesn’t affect the feeling of the room as this area is more or less empty or filled with airport staff trying to find a quiet space away from the hubbub and craziness of the airport. 

There is a cubby area behind the mirror to store luggage and shoes. There are not as many “other items” as there are at SFO but the room comes with a basket of well used mats. 

Overall both of these places provided an excellent experience and I highly encourage you to take a look next time you see a sign at an airport.