The weather outside is frightful! Our flights have already been rebooked to later departures, so we're spending more time than expected at home than at O'Hare today but will arrive in London only three hours later than originally planned.
There are still weather advisories, watches and warnings, 99.9% of schools in the area are closed today, and it's actually snowing again. It's possible that we'll get bumped back again, but I'm keeping my chin up and hoping for the best -- hanging on to a glittery nugget from Katie who told me that she was in the vicinity of the airport last night (when things were pretty bad) and she saw airplanes coming and going.
We considered having someone drive us to Chicago -- the weather isn't quite as bad there -- or even driving ourselves, but that opens other cans of (unpleasant) worms and we've decided to just go with the flow and the airlines' automatic rebooking... It's all an adventure, right?
So to help keep the thoughts happy and up, let's move forward with a little preview of what we'll be doing.
Leaving our home, dog and cats in capable hands, we'll take a Wednesday evening flight from O'Hare, arriving in London and likely hugging Madeleine by noon-ish (local time) on Thursday. We'll settle in and rest for a short time and then probably hit the streets, meeting up late for coffee with a former neighbor girl (now woman) and classmate of Ali's -- still friend of us all -- Maro, who lives in Greece but will be in London! Katie actually went to Greece and visited Maro on her last trip to Europe.
One or two people might get up VERY early on Friday morning to stand in line and see if tickets might be secured for Frankenstein! If so, we'll likely be SRO on Friday night. (The more delayed we are, though, the less likely this will be; I have consoled myself with the thought that perhaps they will hit Broadway and then I can go to New York again.) (That works for me!) During the day on Friday, we'll see London a la Maddy and Katie.
Sometime on Saturday, Rusty, Kate, Al and I will make our way north a bit and pick up our rental car. It is going to pain me to leave Maddy behind in London, but she is there for school and that's important. This is not the last we'll see of her, though, and so we look forward...
We'll drive (drive!) north in a sort of easterly way, seeing whatever we fancy, finding a place to stay the night, sightseeing our way to and through Edinburgh, over to Glasgow, and then, by Sunday evening, to the west coast where we've secured lodging at a B&B for our entire time in Scotland.
On Monday, I expect to take in the sights, possibly ferry over to the Isle of Arran. Or maybe back to Edinburgh or Glasgow. It's all a bit unstructured, which suits us!
On Tuesday, we'll be driving north into the Highlands. Originally, I wanted to go up to Inverness (actually, the further north I looked, the further north I wanted to go) and drive down the Loch Ness shoreline but, unless we want to spend our entire vacation in the car, it's just too far. I've decided to save that for my next visit. We'll probably go westerly -- I'd love to see Stirling Castle, visit the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond...
...maybe over to Oban, up to Fort William -- I'd be thrilled (for some reason) if we made it all the way out to Mallaig. Truth be told, I wouldn't be opposed to double-booking and staying over up there somewhere -- going with the flow!
Wednesday will be more of the same -- a variation of either Monday or Tuesday -- it all depends!
On Thursday, the girls and are doing something fun and fibery! I am indebted to Yvette, who no longer blogs but is a FB friend, for mentioning a recent trip home to Scotland (from France) which prompted me to ask questions and she told me about some yarn shops close to our location. (And, OMG, this is where I declare my love for the World Wide Web and technology and the amazingly wonderful and connected world in which we live!) There'll be more on this, but all I'm going to say right now is that I am very (squee!) excited about Thursday and can't wait to share!
On Friday, we'll leave Scotland and head south to Wales where we'll meet Maddy -- possibly picking her up in Liverpool or thereabouts. That's all a bit unplanned yet, too. Dumfries, The Lake District, The Pencil Museum... come what may! We'll spend Friday and Saturday nights in Wales, and head back to London on Sunday.
The return flight leaves bright and early on Monday morning! Katie's actually staying on for another 9-10 days; she and Maddy are talking about taking the Chunnel to Paris!