Me: "This is why people pay travel agents."
For much of the last two days, my mom and I have been in deep trip-planning mode. Mom being a dedicated -- and incredibly detailed -- list maker, became slave to her notepad and the guidebooks. I, being the more Internet-savvy, dusted off my pounds-to-dollars conversion knowledge and have basically made TripAdvisor bow to my will.
I have emailed so many Scottish B&Bs today that I'm automatically writing the date the U.K. way -- day/month/year -- rather than the American way, and spelling enquiry with an E, rather than an I. I don't think I've ever had so many tabs (between 35 and 45 at least) open on my computer at once. Truthfully, how we'd have managed without benefit of Googlemaps to tell us precise driving distances between say, Stirling and Oban, or the exact CalMac (Caledonian MacBrayne) ferry schedules from places like Lochaline to Fishnish or Mallaig to Armadale, I shudder to think.
Not normally of a draconian bent, my mom became fanatical about writing down every address/phone number/website related to anywhere we're going or staying, and is keeping us to a brooks-no-lollygagging timetable.
I thought we should budget time for a little bit of lollygagging, but was overruled. I did, after all, say I wanted to see as much of the country as possible. Be careful what you wish for, eh? :)
Still, we've accomplished a lot: our itinerary is complete, we've secured accommodations for more than half of all our destinations (and the others have at least been sent enquiry -- see? -- emails) and have, very importantly, determined where we'll attend Mass the two Sundays we're in country.
Unfortunately, some sites aren't keen on processing purchases using overseas credit cards (Seriously, whatever happened to the slogan "Visa: it's everywhere you want to be"?), so a bit of international calling might need to be undertaken, should a few of the emails for help not pan out.
And while there have been a few moments of missed communication and late night-I'm-tired-and-I-already-read-that-B&B-description moments of fussiness, we've also cracked each other up with our no-doubt wretched pronunciation attempts of names like A'Chomraich or Ach Aluinn, which would no doubt make many Scots cringe, and somehow managed to fit in practically everything that was on both of our wish lists...even if it will be quite the flying fortnight.