Hi guys. This blog post is going to be a bit down and dirty. ;-) I’m running on about an hour and a half of sleep in the last two days, compounded with almost 5 miles of walking and bed is calling my name…loudly.
I set off from Atlanta yesterday on my roundabout path to Glasgow. Who is it at airlines who comes up with these itineraries anyway? Part of it was my own fault. I sacrificed a few hours and an extra flight segment in the name of a half off business class frequent flyer ticket. All journeys have to start with the traditional luggage and shoe pics though!
Finally, after 3 flights and about 18 hours of travel, I arrived in Glasgow to find the day partly sunny and relatively warm. Definitely better weather than I was expecting based on the long-range forecasts I had been perusing from home. I actually made it through immigration and customs with absolutely no waiting and made my first stop in the airport at W H Smith to top up my UK cell phone. For 20 GBP I have 4000 minutes, 4000 texts and 2GB of data to get me through my 18 day trip. Should be plenty provided I don’t get carried away tweeting pics. Then I remember what data cell services is like in the Highlands and I stopped worrying so much. ;-)
Next stop was the Avis rental counter to pick up my chariot for trip. Knowing that the girls from OutlanderPod would be joining me later in the trip, I booked a minivan (or people carrier as they are known in the UK). Unfortunately, their only automatic transmission one came back with a damaged tyre this morning ( I have absolutely NO IDEA how something like that could hapeny. Hush Mom and Vicki. Stop laughing.), so they substituted a station wagon (estate car in UK speak). Not sure I’m crazy about it. I kind of like the way the minivan sits up higher on the road. I have some emails in to Avis to see if I can swap it for something else if one comes in.
Even on little sleep, I had no problem making the short drive from Glasgow to Edinburgh and arrived at the Edinburgh Marriott by 3 pm local time. It looks much the same as it did when Mom and I stayed here on our first trip to Scotland. As a matter of fact, I am sipping a Strathmore water and munching on Walker’s shortbread from the Executive Lounge right now, just like I did on that trip. There was no time then to rest though, I had to be on the Royal Mile very shortly for the first Outlander related gathering of the trip.
I changed my clothes, hopped in a taxi and arrived at the Albanach Bar to meet my fellow Outlanders for a pre-theatre dinner before heading over to the Lyceum Theatre to see Outlander cast member Grant O’Rourke star in The Venetian Twins. I took some time to snap some pics on the way to the Lyceum and even capture some video of a bagpiper playing on the Royal Mile.
We arrived at the Lyceum which is a beautiful theatre. Luckily the play was hysterically funny and I was in no danger of falling asleep once the house lights went down. Afterwards, Grant was very sweet and came out to talk and talk pictures will the 25+ Outlander fans who were in attendance.
After the theater, Deb and I started out with the best intentions of finding the proper bus route to return to the hotel for the night but ended up catching a taxi instead, just as my fitbit was registering my 10,000th step for the day. All told, the step count was at 11,272 by the time I was back in the room.
Well, as usual, I think that was a pretty jam-packed first day and I surely didn’t want to start out behind in posting on the blog! I am headed for a well-earned rest.
Stay tuned tomorrow as I head up to Crieff for the 2nd annual Outlander UK Gathering.
Slàn leat an-dràsta!