Soaring Through The Sky 2020 Round Up



Happy New Year!

Each new year we like to reflect on the year passed. 2020 was of course an odd year to say the least, Covid-19 happened, and the world went into lockdown.

For us it meant missing out on special occasions, holidays and for most part of the year unable to travel outside of our local area... But it did also bring us new life….



2020 Travel Destinations by Month


January

We welcomed 2020 in by celebrating in Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, where we were joined by Shannon’s mum & dad and we danced and partied the night away at Mark Ronson on stage in 'Hogmanay in the Gardens'. We enjoyed amazing fireworks displays each hour and had such an amazing time (now looking back, we wonder if events will ever be the same again, just look how many people are crowded together with zero personal space)


> click here to read our Hogmanay blog post <

Also in January we took a road trip around one of our favourite places in Scotland - Glencoe, we love the area in any season but winter is always just a little more special with the snow on the mountains

For Pam's 32nd Birthday we spent the day in Oban, and celebrated with family


> View our 'alternative Scottish road trip' blog which includes Glencoe and Oban <

January 25th marks Burns Night, celebrting the life and works of famous Scottish poet Robert Burns, so in January we headed to Alloway, his birthplace and visited his childhood home and the brilliant Burns Birthplace Museum, as well as taking time to explore the pretty village of Alloway



> Click here to read about Robert Burns <

February

In February we went on holiday (remember when you could go abroad?!) We were going skiing but of course we had to add a few extra places into the mix - we spent 24 hours in Geneva, sightseeing, exploring and eating

> click here to read our blog on how to spend 24 hours in Geneva <

The next day enroute to skiing we stopped at the beautiful town of Annecy

> click here to see the beauty of Annecy <

And then we spent a week skiing in the Portes Du Soleil region which is on the French - Swiss border


> Have you been skiing before? If not, read our 'first timers guide to skiing' blog <


> Click here to see the very best of Portes Du Soleil region <

Pre-covid we took the train every day into Glasgow for work, and for Christmas we received vouchers for the 'Glasgow Central Station Tour'. The tour was brilliant and very informative, it was a behind the scenes tour where we explored the disused rails and heard stories about how the station was used in WW2

March

For Shannon's 32nd Birthday we headed down to Dumfries and Galloway for a long weekend, exploring the South West Coastal 300 (SWC300), whichis a breathtakingly scenic 300-mile circular road trip which is hugs the South West Coast of Scotland taking in its beauty and charm, where we explored history, enjoyed nature, a little adventure and an amazing afternoon tea in a castle!


> Our South West Coastal 300 Road Trip Itinerary <

We went on a Highland safari with 5* Highland Safaris based in Aberfeldy, Perthshire where we travelled in a 6WD Pinzgauer up and around the breath-taking hills and mountains, armed with binoculars we learned about the local culture and history of the surrounding lands whilst spotting golden eagles and red deer

> Exploring Scotland on a Mountain Safari <

April

And then the UK started taking Coronavirus more seriously, and lockdown restrictions were put in place, in April we couldn't travel more than 5 miles from our home and we were all recommended not to drive anywhere, so we started exploring our local area. We went a long walk to Castle Semple in Howwood / Lochwinnoch

And April was the month we found out we were pregnant!!! And we were due in December!

May

Shannon had started working from home in March and throughout the whole of 2020 Pam would stay working in the office in Glasgow as she was classed as a key worker. Glasgow was deserted during the lockdown(s) and it was such a great opportunity for Pam to get out and explore the city during her lunch breaks


> Click here for our 'Glasgow During Lockdown' post <

May

May 5th was our 10 year anniversary and it was also the date of our wedding. Of which, up until a few weeks before, we actually thought might still be able to go ahead (paha!) We were due to go on a 10 day holiday, travelling around Croatia before getting married in Porec with our close family. But alas, our wedding along with so many others, was cancelled. Instead, Pam's parents came round to our garden for a socially distanced

get-to-together

June

Spent another day exploring Renfrewshire, this is Calder Glen Falls in Lochwinnoch

July

One sunny evening in summer, when it doesnt get dark until after midnight, Pam and her mum went a socially distanced walk around Paisley and took the time to appriciate its beautiful buildings

We headed back to Castle Semple in the middle of the night to view the Comet NEOWISE which was closest to Earth on July 23, passing some 250 million kilometres from earth

In July lockdown restrictions allowed us to meet our family in a socially distanced outdoor space, so we made the most of it

August

In August for a brief time we were able to go further than the 5 miles we were previously allowed so we headed to Ayrshire and visited the grounds of Dean Castle

A UK government initiative was launched called 'Eat Out To Help Out' and we made the most of the discounted meals at various restaurants (the best of which are listed below)


At 5 months pregnant we decided to climb Conic Hill which is on the banks of Loch Lomond and is short and fairly easy walk


> Take a read of our post 'An Easy & Rewarding Hill Walk' <

We took a trip down to Lanarkshire to visit the world heritage site of New Lanark. The museums were cloed due to Covid restrictions but we still were able to wander around the area and also took a long walk around the Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve and the stunning Corra Linn Waterfall

We visited the grounds of Pollok Park in Glasgow (Pollok House is currently closed due to Covid, but we have visited before and it is a wonderful place to explore). Within the park you can get up close to the beautiful Highland Coos

Sticking back to our local area we explored the village of Bridge of Weir, we usually visit for its great restaurants (listed below) but it was lovely getting fresh air and some much needed steps

September

For Shannon's Birthday Pam had got him a supercar experience, but with all the lockdown restrictions it took until September before we headed to Ingliston near Edinburgh and Shannon got to drive an Aston Martin and Lamborgini and ride at high speed in an Ariel Atom

The lifting of restrictions in September meant we could finally leave Scotland, and so we took a road trip with Pam's parents to the Lake District, visiting Grasmere, Keswick, Ambleside and Windermere


> Read our post 'Spending A Day In The Lake District' <

We also took a road trip around the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, visiting the amazing Loch Ard, Loch Arklet and Inversnaid


> Read about our road trip here <

October

As the lockdown restrictions were still at ease, and with our baby due in a matter of weeks, we decided we still wanted to get married in 2020, before her arrival, and so with just a few weeks in the planning, we set the date and got married on 20th October. Pam loves dates and this was a special date as it symbolised the 10 years we have been together from 2010 to 2020. 20.10.2020

We got married onboard a yacht in the middle of Loch Lomond, current government restrictions allowed us to have a maximum of 20 guests, but the boat held less, also, our original wedding we were only to have 11 guests, but with local restrictions in place throughout the UK we only had 6 of our family members. The day was beautiful, Loch Lomond was as ever stunning and we had the best time. We then had a socially distanced dinner and overnight stay at the nearby Lodge on Loch Lomond

With Shannon's mum and auntie here for the wedding we also explored some of Scotland as Shannon's auntie had never been to Scotland before. We visited Edinburgh and took them on our favourite road trip up Loch Lomond, through Glencoe to Oban


> Glencoe and Oban Road Trip post <


November

Well lockdown started again but also we were now nearing the end of our pregnancy so we just enjoyed spending time together indoors watching lots of tv. We binge watched Vikings and The Last Kingdom and loved them!! (Have you watched either?)


December

At 38 weeks pregnant and finishing work, Pam decided she just had to take a (slow) walk to see the Christmas lights in George Square, as once she left the city, due to tier 4 lockdown restrictions she wouldn't be able to go back to the city. With no Christmas Markets this year Glasgow City Council had instead made a beautiful light installation on the Glasgow City Chambers building

Pam finished up work at the start of December and we didn't want to sit around any longer so on her first day of mat leave we decided on one last walk, we went to Muirshiel Country Park in Lochwinnoch and done a 2km walk to the top of Windy Hill where we had amazing views across Renfrewshire, with Glasgow and Ben Lomond also in the distance

And for Christmas, we received the best present we could ever have wished for. Our beautiful baby girl Georgina was born on Christmas Day

Whilst the country was upset they couldn't celebrate New Year with their friends and loved ones, we were more than happy to have a cosy evening in with our baby watching the New Year celebrations from around the world on TV



Best of the Year


Best travel experience

Views at lunch of Mont Blanc and Les Dents Blanch


Best new destination

Annecy


Best revisited destination

Geneva


Best Food - Scotland

Paesano Pizza (Miller St, Glasgow, G1 1DT)

Kokoro (116 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow, G2 3DH)

Tantrum Doughnuts (28 Gordon St, Glasgow, G1 3PU)

Nuku Nuku Japanese (189 Hope St, Glasgow, G2 2UL)

Falafel To Go (116 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3DH)

Idle Hands shop & Bakery (44 Main St, Dunlop, KA3 4AN) (where we got our wedding cake)

Lairds Table (Craufurdland Castle Estate, Kilmarnock KA3 6BX)

The Boarding House (Main St, Howwood, Johnstone PA9 1BQ)

The Coach House (31 Main St, Bridge of Weir PA11 3NR)

Trattoria Roma (12-14 High St, Johnstone PA5 8JX)

Amaretto Italian Bar & Kitchen (60 Main St, Bridge of Weir PA11 3AB)


Best Food and Drink Abroad

Hotel d’Angleterre buffet breakfast, Geneva

Le Grenier A Pain Châtel, France (ready made baguettes, which we would eat on the ski slopes each day)


Best bars

Well being in lockdown most of the year, and Pam being pregnant, it was all about the craft beers in the house for Shannon this year, he tried and loved way to many to name


Best accommodation

Hotel d’Angleterre, Geneva


Best Reads

Harry Potter


Home

Still renovating ‘Diana’s Cottage’ and creating a nursery


Best of Scotland

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay


Family

Having a baby and getting married


Climbs

Conic Hill


Road Trips

Hiring a car in Geneva and France


Helping

Giving blood


Animals

Deers at Dean Castle and Highland Cows at Pollok Park


TV Shows

Vikings

The Last Kingdom

The Queen's Gambit


YouTube

Flying The Nest

Kinging- It



Click here for all our Scotland blog posts


We would like to wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year! Here is hoping we can get rid of Covid this year and all get back to normal (of sorts)


Also, from the bottom of our hearts we want to say thank you for your support in reading this blog and encouraging us to keep going.





WHAT’S NEXT IN 2021

We have wishes for 2021, such as to see our families more and for them to see our baby. We also would love to get travelling again, and whilst foreign holidays will probably still be off, even if we could explore more of Scotland that would be amazing. For now we are content with our baby and Pam will enjoy her mat leave



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