Last weekend we took the boys to the annual Scottish Highland Gathering and Games in Pleasanton, so they could witness the majesty of strong men in kilts, bagpiping, sheep dog trials, “hairy coos”, and haggis. We all had a ball.

As you’ll see from the gallery, there was a lot going on. In addition to the “oreo” cows, we got to see birds of prey like Kayleigh and (li’l) Bob the owls. Kayleigh was an enormous Asian hunting owl, while Bob was just a wee screech owl. We watched the sheep dog trials and met the sheep, and saw some beautiful antique British racing cars, one of which looked very much like Sir Topham Hatt’s. There was also a kids’ area with games and face painting. The lads even got to practice the art of pitching toy sheep stomachs (haggis vessels) into a cauldron!

Everyone was especially enthusiastic about the caber toss, which features enormous, strapping, kilt-clad lads and lasses hoisting what’s essentially a telephone pole up-and-end-over-end before it hits the ground with a loud “thunk!”. Needless to say, the guys wanted to practice their own caber-tossing skills at home with an appropriately sized prop, an aluminum extendable paint-roller pole.

After all that fun, combined with gorging on carnival food and ice cream, the guys completely crashed in the car on the way home. I thought Finny might never wake up!

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