Its how we can spend the morning at Nendrum Monastic Site in what feels like the back end of nowhere and the afternoon in Crawfordsburn County Park on the coast of the Ards Peninsula.
Its also the reason why I love living in Northern Ireland. I think its why almost everyone loves their life in Northern Ireland, because no matter where you live chances are you're roughly a twenty minute drive from everything you could ever need.
In twenty short minutes I can be spending time with family. I can be shopping and lunching and catching up with friends in the heart of the city. I can be at the beach. Actually I can be at any one of about a dozen beautiful beaches.
Or I can be at the top of a hill with nothing but farmland and tiny villages as far as the eye can see.
Hell, I can't even see my house from here...
We spent a lazy morning taking in the sights at Nendrum Monastery. I've visited the monastic site a few times but this was Toots' and the husband's first time. Of course, it didn't take her too long to start exploring.
And the "No Climbing" signs might just as well have been in a different language
I could spend hours walking around Nendrum alone. Those monks sure knew who to pick a location and even today the views are still beautiful.
For the life of me I couldn't get the whole monastery into one photograph. There simply isn't enough land in front of the building and while I love you all dearly I wasn't about to stand thigh deep in Strangford Lough for a good photo. Some people will, but not me.
It doesn't matter which old relic we visit or how many times we explain to Toots what the building is or what it was used for, as far as she is concerned it is a Castle.
Then she runs around trying to find dragons.
You thought I was going to say she runs around playing princess, didn't you?
Nope, no dragons here!
We had a lovely picnic at the lone picnic table near the visitor's centre before Toots started to show signs of complete and utter exhaustion. We climbed back into the car and a twenty minute nap in the back seat later we were at the coast.
A trip to the beach means one thing and one thing only to Toots.
Trying to bring Northern Ireland and Scotland and little bit closer to each other.
Yes, she spends every second at he beach throwing stones into the water.
It doesn't help that daddy encourages her to do. Even hand selecting the rocks for her.
Lets see where I else I can drag the poor family over the holidays.