The cat woke me up asking for his breakfast. I lay in bed for a moment, staring up at the ceiling, trying to get my brain working. Then it hit me. Woo hoo! This was Travel Day! The all important first day of our Scottish vacation. I glanced over at the clock. . . . . Oh, no. It's so early . . . and so long before we even head to the airport. My excitement dwindled some. I might have even whined a bit (I should mention now I am not a terribly patient person.) Well, I was wide awake so I might as well start the day. The cat's voice was getting louder and I had a huge list to cross off before we even stepped foot out the door. . . . .
But I'm getting ahead of myself. A bit of backstory first, I think. My husband (in future reference, dh) and I have always had Scotland and Ireland on our bucket list. After doing a bit of research, though, we realized we could only really visit one country with the amount of vacation time we had. So we chose Scotland, and figured what we didn't get to see or do is what future visits are for! We traveled at the beginning of May (8th-18th) 2018, and considered this trip our 25th wedding anniversary gift to each other. While we didn't go wild, we did splurge in a few places (more on that later.) We left our two kids home to house sit and were glad to get the occasional text from them. They followed our journey on Google pix, as well, whenever our cell phone pictures would back up online.
Before we left on our trip, I scoured tons of web sites for trip reports about and photos of Scotland, anything we could use for our own trip. And I love to share the same now that we've returned. (If you look at my profile, I also have given it a shot at an online blog of sorts, where you can find many, many pictures from our Scottish adventure.)
But fair warning – I love to write, and am assuming some of you reading my report will be headed for Scotland for the first time, which is why I tried to include lots of details (not always to everyone's liking.) If it seems I concentrated on some of the “major” sites in Scotland, well, I did. They only became “major” sites because so many people want to see them and we were no different. Feel free, therefore, to skim over any sections that might not interest you or if you feel your eyes starting to glaze over. Otherwise, enjoy our journey!
Day 0/1 (Tuesday, May 8/Wednesday, May 9)
Fast forward to mid-afternoon of Travel Day, or Day Zero as I call it. Made it this far! Turns out patience is not a deadly disease after all! Having extra time actually turned out to be a good thing, as it took quite us awhile to decide what to wear to the airport.
Side note: For any who are interested in how we packed, I do have a separate packing list. Feel free to message me if you would like a copy. We don't pack terribly light, and with our choice of airline this time we didn't have to, since we were allowed one checked bag each for free. But we do pack sensibly. We got along fine with one 36L backpack and one smaller backpack each as our carry-on items, and only one small (20-inch) checked bag, since our trekking poles were prohibited as carry-on. And as long as we had to check a bag, we also threw in some other disposable items (a couple of Atkins protein shakes and bars, some extra old – and therefore disposable – underwear, and extra printed trip information that could be thrown away each night after we were done with it.) It was a bit heavy at the start of our trip (around 12 pounds) but by the mid-way point contained only the trekking poles and a few pieces of paper. It also made for a much easier trip home, when we stuffed it full of our dirty laundry and used our carry-ons for the important souvenirs.