Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Road to Scotland

First let me say that we had the best time in Scotland! We ate food we'd never tried, met extremely nice Scots, saw really old things and basically just had fun with my in-laws (mother-, father-, sister- & brother-in-law). I'll try to chronicle here our 8 days (more if you count travel time) and include some of the 700+ photos we took! Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions or I get my Scottish geography or history wrong! There was a lot of it!

Before you leave on a trip like this, there are a thousand details to sort out. My main concern was for my kids since they weren't joining us on this trip. AB was taken care of with a school Focus Week trip to Colorado for an archaeology adventure! She was gone the whole time we were and had a fabulous time with her friends.

EB got the privelege of being spoiled by his grandparents! My folks came up from California about a week before we left and set up camp in our driveway. For the week and a half we were gone, they shuttled him to band, school, piano lessons, etc., picked up AB at the airport, walked and fed the dog, watched the cats, prepared meals, fixed and washed my car, broke and fixed doorknobs, and basically kept the machine running at home. All this in unseasonably warm weather for Seattle (we blame them for bringing it from California!) But a big thank you to them for being the great parents they are!

So, GB & I packed and repacked in an effort to only have carry-ons on the plane. We were successful but this proved challenging when we arrived at London-Heathrow!

Our flight left at 10 pm at night and we watched an awesome sunset from Seatac. Our flight was mostly uneventful (they fed us a lot - thanks British Airways!) and we watched movies and were able to sleep for several hours on the plane. We even arrived a little early in London.

But the new terminal didn't have enough gates to allow our plane in so we had to take a bus to the next point in our connection, passport control. This seemed to be taking a long time even though there weren't many people in line. When we got up to the kiosk, we figured out why - the border control gentleman was extremely chatty! While he was very friendly and helpful and I could have listened to his accent all day, we needed to GO!

We finally made it through security and looked up at the board to see what gate our flight was leaving from and it said 'flight closing' so we RAN through the London-Heathrow airport with all our luggage in tow. They have a very nice airport that looks like a mall but we had no time to shop!! Busily dodging other passengers, we finally made it to the very last gate in the terminal (of course it was) and huffing and puffing, were congratulated by the airline crew for 'making it'!

Once off this plane in Edinburgh, we again RAN...this time to the restrooms! We hadn't had time in London and we were in middle and window seats with an elderly gentleman on the aisle who had trouble moving. So we decided to just wait...and suffer through the beverage service!

It was only an hour's flight and when we got off, Donna & Ken (Glen's sister and her husband) were waiting for us to catch a taxi to our hotel. They had been on the road since 6:30 AM the day before, had been to more cities and countries than we had and were really ready to crash!

Once at the Edinburgh Marriott we found our rooms and GB's folks, who had arrived a bit earlier. Grandma (Glen's mom) then proceeded to tell us a harrowing story of Grandpa's (Glen's dad) trip through the London airport. It seems his carry-on suitcase got caught on the escalator as they were hurrying through the airport and he tumbled over backward down the escalator. A quick-thinking employee saw what happened and stopped the escalator. But not before Grandpa suffered some awful-looking bumps and bruises. He was quite a trouper as the paramedics arrived (via bicycle) and insisted he seek medical attention. But they had a plane to catch so they bandaged him up and G&G promised they would get him more help once in Edinburgh. Once at the hotel, they did make friends in the 'leisure center' (pool, workout room, etc.) with all the young attendants who helped clean up and re-bandage Grandpa each day of our stay.

Needless to say, by the time we met our tour guide, got some dinner in the hotel restaurant and made it up to our rooms, we were ready to SLEEP! And we did from about 9:30 till 1 am...and then we were AWAKE! We eventually went back to sleep and made it downstairs to breakfast at 7:30 am.

Ken & Donna didn't but that's a story for another day...


me said...

I love the stories already!!! Glad you're back and getting ready for the next trip!!!

How much wool & whiskey did you bring home?

SueLo said...

You are the best blogger!! I can just see each of the events you are describing--all very exciting. And your parents "camp?" Wowser, now that's camping! Looking forward to your next installment. Loved the tweets, too. Welcome home.