Meet Catheryn

Welcome to my blog. Follow along as we explore alI there is to see and do in SoCal including travel, events, food and all things autism friendly. 

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Celebrate Scottish Heritage at the Queen Marys Scotsfestival

Celebrate Scottish Heritage at the Queen Marys Scotsfestival

XXIV Scotsfestival and International Highland Games at the Queen Mary in Long Beach

Queen Mary's Scotsfestival  (c) Cleverly Catheryn

So what's the connection with The Queen Mary and the ScotsFestival & International Highland Games? Well if you didn't know the Queen Mary was built in Clydebank, Scotland, launched in 1934 on the River Clyde for the Cunard Line, and set on its maiden voyage in 1936 from Southampton to New York. We visited opening day to experience all the rich culture and history of Scotland first hand through authentic activities, athletics, dancing, entertainment and cuisine in ode to the Queen Mary’s Scottish legacy. 

Queen Mary's Scotsfestival in Long Beach (c) Cleverly Catheryn

Honoring nearly fifty Scottish clans and host to tens of vendors throughout the weekend, the threat of rain and the cold conditions didn't keep the kilt wearing men and women away from the Queen Mary. Everywhere you looked the sights and sounds of professional and amateur competitions in piping, drumming, massed bands, darts, Highland dancing, and Highland athletics could be seen and heard. Ah and for the Druthy (thirsty) ones there was plenty of Whisky tasting sessions with aged malt experts and craft beer samplings for adult festival goers. 

Let's dance! The competition was brutal, some shined and others didn't fair as well. In the end it was very interesting to watch the drama unfold and see where the last dancer standing. I have a whole new appreciation for these athletes. 

Under the watchful eye of the judges, the dancers performed in the beautiful Windsor Salon 

Under the watchful eye of the judges, the dancers performed in the beautiful Windsor Salon 

Both men and women performed a variety of traditional Scottish dances, including the Highland Fling, the Sword Dance and even the Scottish Lilt. This is serious stuff and the competition was on while we were on board the Queen Mary. Different age groups were battling it out for the best in their category all to a live bagpipe player under the watchful eyes of the judges. 

Next year, one word of advice, Come hungry! (okay that was two) From Hoagies to Brats and Shepherd's Pie, all the regulars for a Scottish festival were there. They even had a Tea room with scones, proper and all you know. 

Meat, meat and more meat! There was not an empty belly in the house to be found.

Meat, meat and more meat! There was not an empty belly in the house to be found.

Few of our favorites from the day, Sheep Herding demos with the Boarder Collies and the Archery! The Highland games were interesting and from the VIP tents you got a great upfront view too (also shelter from the scattered showers) and easy access to the libations. There was some serious weight being flung around, yikes!

There was plenty of Muckin’ aboot (playing around) for the wee laddies & lassies too. They were able to witness Queen Mary’s coronation, knighting ceremonies and even take part in the Wee Highland games. Thanks to the "Dome" The kids activities were sheltered from the elements. The Wee athletics were free for the kiddos, just look at all that was offered! 

She opted for the "Real" Archery, our little lass was totally dressed for the part too.

She opted for the "Real" Archery, our little lass was totally dressed for the part too.

  • Potato Sack Races & Archery
  • Caber Toss and Tug o' War
  • Putting the Stone & Potato Sack Races
  • Lawn Bowling & Tug o' War
  • Potato Sack Races & Archery
  • Caber Toss & Tug o' War
  • Putting the Stone & Potato Sack Races
  • Lawn Bowling & Tug o' War
  • Potato Sack Races & Archery
  • Queen Mary's Quest Knighting's & Coronations
Tartan Dress from medieval Collectibles (c) Cleverly Catheryn

On a side note: I am always looking for new things to expose my daughter to, and since she is obsessed with cultures I just had to find the right dress for her to wear for this occasion so she could you know, fit in a bit more. Thankfully I knew of the perfect place, Medieval Collectibles! I'm obsessed with their site. The dress was beyond perfect and she will definitely get more use out of it when we attend the Renaissance faire later in the year. If you ever are in need of any sort of period costume or accessory, I can't recommend them enough. Pictured is their Girl's Scottish Tartan Dress, a two piece dress with beautiful fabrics and details.

Definitely a step out of the norm, the Scotsfestival had something for everyone. One thing I can say, I do love the variety of family events that are offered at The Queen Mary, when was the last time you visited? An easy way to get the most for less out of a visit is to purchase the Queen Mary Passport. It gets you access to the ship, their 4D Theatre , self guided audio tour and more. There is still time to enter the Reserve Direct $100 Credit Giveaway and they just so happen to have those tickets on their site that this credit could be applied to. Enter below and happy exploring! 

All Things Beauty and The Beast at Disneyland

All Things Beauty and The Beast at Disneyland

Guardians of the Galaxy Mission BREAKOUT at Disneys California Adventure

Guardians of the Galaxy Mission BREAKOUT at Disneys California Adventure