104 - I'm baaaaack

Had a great trip, and it was rife with adventure... not the least of which was the 24-hour travel marathon I experienced on the way home. So I'm tired even though I slept for ten hours. I'm uploading photos as I write this, so tomorrow I'll start blogging about the trip, but here are some hilites:

-- Heathrow? Not a friendly airport. Interview with immigration went something like this:
Scowling Lady: So you're here on holiday then?
Me: Yes
Scowling Lady: So you're on leave from work are you?
Me: Yes
Scowling Lady: What are your plans while you're here?
Me: (pointing to section on form where that was already filled out) Edinburgh, Dunkeld, then heading toward Northumberland, Dumfries, Largs and back to Edinburgh
Scowling Lady: How many days will you be here?
Me: 8
Scowling Lady: I need to see your return tickets.
Me: I don't have that, they don't print your boarding passes until the day you leave. (duh... you work in an airport and you don't know that???)
Scowling Lady: So you're on holiday?
Me: Yes... (didn't we already cover this?)
Scowling Lady: And you're just on leave from work?
Me: Yes... (and this?)
Scowling Lady: And you don't have any proof that you intend to return home?


We ended up pulling out a copy of our itinerary. That seemed to satisfy her. At this point I was thinking of telling her that I didn't even want to be in England if everyone was as friendly as her... (but I know a lot of English people and they're nothing like her). Figured it would be a bad idea. Also a bad idea to tell her I intended to find a nice street to squat on while I live off the dole, but the idea amused me anyway. She didn't once even welcome me to the country, it was like she was looking for a reason to turn me away. Welcome indeed...

-- Got lost in the woods at Birnam... not fun to be in the woods in a foreign country with no way to know where the hell you are and no one to really contact. I even took a picture of the sign post we were to follow on the way back and we actually took it and still got lost. I swear they moved the trail... We crossed the A9 on foot... that's like playing Frogger with a broken joystick. But we finally found signs to Dunkeld and all was well.

-- The bonfire / fireworks at Chillingham? Never saw them. 40 minutes in a line of cars to get into the castle, and having to be led in a back way by people who worked there. What a mess. They were friendly though, I have to give them that. And the room was a lot nicer than I expected. In fact, I slept the best at Chillingham than anywhere else.

-- Return flight delayed by two hours. They said if I kept my original itinerary and missed the connecting flight, I'd be in DC overnight, but they said Jamie would be fine. So we split up and I was put on another flight... 8 hours and 45 minutes of sitting in the middle seat -- but they did upgrade me to Economy Plus for free. Five hour layover, during which Jamie calls me... because United was delayed, she's missed her connecting flight, Delta charged her $100 to change her ticket, she ends up stuck at the airport overnight and just made it home about two hours ago. So even though I travelled for 24 hours and that sucked, she travelled for almost 36 and ended up being propositioned by a security guard... how's that for comforting? The person who's meant to protect you, being the person who creeps you out? Thank God there was another lady stuck there, too. So she wasn't alone. But I was worried.

All I did today was go get some Mexican food and unpack my suitcase. Looking forward to climbing into the tub tonight and going back to bed. I'm worn out.


  1. Welcome back!! I want to see those pictures!!

  2. welcome back indeed...Hope you are well rested tomorrow so you can give all the details.... :)

  3. Welcome back! we missed you! What would a trip be without some travel difficulties anyway? Looking forward to hearing all about it!

  4. Welcome back can't wait to hear the full updates

  5. Welcome back. Can't wait for those photos.

  6. I'm really glad you're back!!!!Your pictures are really nice!