Going Across the Pond

Edinburgh Castle (Freefoto.com)

Edinburgh Castle
(Freefoto.com)

We left for Edinburgh on a Monday in July…Flying all day (and night) on an airplane isn’t my favorite activity in the world. I’ve gotten better about flying but I still don’t love it. I was in hopes that the all night flight would at least have wifi available. This would allow me to get ahead on some work so that I do not have to do so much in those first, few tired days.

My hubby had been enjoying a Scottish history documentary while I was away at a PhD conference. Not only did this mean that he was way more up on Scottish history than I was, but it also meant he must have been really missing me to sit through a 20 hour documentary about how the Brits and the Scots went at each other for 600 years.

I had checked the weather…it was to be in the mid 60s and drizzling when we arrived. Just about what I’d imagined Scotland would be like.
Hello, Vauxhall! (This was the car we reserved. No, I had never heard of it either.) We decided to drive a stick shift, which we thought would be interesting since neither he nor I have driven one of those since the old Toyota station wagon days (circa early 1990s). In my defense, I did actually learn to drive using a stick shift, but the difference here is that the stick shift is on the left, since the steering wheel is on the right. Blimey!
So, we were to start in Edinburgh and then head to the highlands of Scotland for a few days. Stan thinks we should spend our whole vacation in his “home country” (ha!) but I convinced him that there is more to Europe than some rocky hills of Scotland.
We arrived to the airport with our backpacks and laptop carriers. No checking luggage for us. We were going low budget, and low maintenance. This is, in general, the Rick Steves’ philosophy of travel: a tight budget keeps you close to the people and really experiencing the culture. It was a good thing that we didn’t check any luggage, as our plane had mechanical difficulties (always soothing to the reluctant flyer), and we had to change planes at the last minute.
Unfortunately, I also discovered once we boarded our final plane that would take us across the Atlantic that it was not wifi-enabled. That’s okay. As all efficient virtual workers know, plan ahead!! I had downloaded some research papers to grade that did not require a connection. Really, this online teaching gig has its merits, but you do have to be creative when the unexpected occurs. Planning ahead has saved me from missing deadlines.
A few hours of sleep later, and we were touching down in the home country. Here we go!
~Tara

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  1. Love “seeing” these amazing destinations through your eyes and camera! So that’s Rick Steves’ trick?! I always DVR his shows on any destination I plan to visit and he’s always got great tips. Now I can learn from you too. 😉

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