See that little monkey in the tree? That would be Ben.
He is way above me on a ropes course that is about thirty minutes from Aberdeen at Crathes Castle called Go Ape. Have you heard of Go Ape? They have tree top adventures all over the UK that look super fun to me! We recently requested that they give us a couple of spots on their nearby course, being that we are an adventuresome family and all. And they kindly obliged.
This turned out to be perfect for a new set of Chino House Activities I like to call Everybody Doing What They Want.
Also known as: We Will Not Spend Every Minute Of Our Lives Together.
Of course, when we woke up for our day of adventure, we found that it was raining.
Do you know what they do at Crathes Castle when it’s raining?
The same thing they do when it’s not raining. People still go on ropes courses and visit the castle gardens in the rain.
This brings me to something I have noticed about the people in Scotland (and in Ireland and England as well). The rain does not stop them.
At home, way back when I lived in Arkansas, do you know what we did when it was raining? Nothing. We stayed inside. If we had a soccer game, it was cancelled. If we had planned to go hiking, we stayed home.
But here in Scotland, nothing stops for the rain.
While I find it a little bit annoying to be wet and cold, I have to say that I am enormously impressed with how everyone else endures it.
Since we are adapting to life here, we put on our wellies and coats and got on with our day. Undeterred by the rain.
It turned out that what Mary Polly wanted to do was to spend the day with some friends at the mall. So we dropped her in some puddles downtown and told her not to talk to boys.
The rest of us headed out to Crathes Castle, and in the October rain, the castle grounds happen to be the most beautiful shades of yellow and green you’ve ever seen.
There is a four mile trail around the castle in the woods that Cole was looking forward to doing alone. He took off from the parking lot and we didn’t see him for hours.
Simon and I played in front of the castle for a while, and then we went inside and he did the scavenger hunt they have for kids his age. You have to find a clue in each room of the castle and then you put all the clues together to answer a riddle. Once he’d answered it, he turned in his paper and got a little certificate saying how clever he is. He loved it.
After we finished the scavenger hunt, we put on our hoods and went to see how our monkeys were faring.
Taido and Ben were still high in the trees when we found them. There were trails below the ropes where we could walk right under them and watch. They had gone through most of zips and jumps but we caught them on their last couple. They were definitely having fun and did not seem to even notice that it they were wet.
We made a video of Ben doing a zipline and swing. So much fun! He was not the least bit bothered by having been rained on all afternoon.
There is something super satisfying about getting outside and enjoying the day even though the weather is not ideal. Somehow, it feels like you have conquered the day instead of letting it conquer you.
Of course, one of the best parts of getting wet is coming home and getting dry again. That evening, over warm bowls of soup, we all agreed that it had been a great day, and that we might spend many more days with everyone doing just what they prefer.
Thanks so much to the sweetest National Trust Host at Crathes Castle who helped us with our scavenger hunt and to the guys at Go Ape who love to play in the rain! Our session at Go Ape was complimentary, but all opinions are our own.