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Ostensibly, Spartan mothers, as their sons went into battle, would say, “Come home with your shield, or on it!” I did not say such encouraging words to my son when he left on a trip across the Pond, but I did impart a modified version: “Come home with a bottle of whiskey, or not at all.”
Last summer, he and a high school pal spent 10 days traversing Scotland. They went for the usual reasons: family history, collegial adventures, and spreading their wings of independence. As I have frequented the “auld country” many times, I was able to offer assistance with their itinerary. I insisted their trip be properly bookended—a special tour upon arrival to learn the distillation process and experience the unique varieties that are single malts and an actual distillery tour on their last day.