Sunday, May 18, 2014

Vacation: two weeks and counting

I only have today off for my "weekend" since I subbed out working Monday in exchange for having next Saturday off for the CSU reunion retreat, and I have to tackle both laundry (this means the laundromat: such a time suck) and yard work to get done before church later.

My grand vision of coming home from work last night and sorting laundry so I could leap from bed today and be the first one through the laundromat door? Yeah, that didn't happen. Naturally, I'm sitting on my couch, enjoying a (unusual for me) second cup of coffee reading and writing this instead. A procrastinator to the core, that's me!

Of course, the day's still young.

In addition to next weekend being booked with the retreat (which I'm very much looking forward to, by the way), these next two weeks are so packed with work assignments (my desk calender at the office is a sea of blue ink) and projects to tackle that if I wasn't going on vacation immediately after them, I'd be tempted to run away anyhow. That said:

Two. Weeks. Until. Scotland.

Two. Weeks.


It still doesn't seem quite real to me yet, possibly because there is so much I have to do in between times. But I have made a bit of progress with my to-do list: seven of the 19 items have been crossed off. And I've started tossing clothes in the direction of my suitcase (fortunately there's not much call for long-sleeved shirts in Florida at the moment) so, I'll have less to search for and can, at some point next week, start culling the herd. While it could be tricky, I'm determined to pack as light as a woman going overseas for two weeks can without living from a backpack, so I decided to take the small suitcase, rather than the behemoth I could probably pack myself into: for one, we're going to be on the move quite a bit and I don't want to have to haul the thing up flights of stairs at B&Bs, not to mention the big one would likely take up the entire back seat of our rental car (which is supposed to be a Vauxhall Astra, which looks (online) small but sorta snazzy. I do like saying Vauxhall. I am such a complete dork...).

I've also dug out of my change jar the £11.75 leftover from the unforeseen layover of 2009, when an Italian baggage handler's strike caused us to miss our UK connection from Rome back to the States. Though belied by the stamp in my passport that says I have actually been to England, 24 hours spent largely in a hotel, on the tube and in Heathrow Terminal 5 does not a visit make. I suppose I could have traded it in for dollars long since, but I knew I'd have the opportunity to use it eventually. :)

I only have a hundred pages to go in Sir Walter Scott's "Rob Roy," (I felt compelled to reread one of his books before heading over there) so will finish that before it's time to leave. I've been very much enjoying looking up many of the archaic words in it, and I'm not sure how I managed to read it as a teenager without having access to the (shorter, two-volume) OED. I have to say, too, that the Internet has failed me on several counts when I've tried Googling the odd word instead of immediately hitting the dictionary.

Speaking of books, that's one thing I need to add to my to-do list: determining the reading material I'll take with me. As a general rule, I have a tendency to over-estimate the amount of books I'll need on trips (and generally just end up hauling them around without cracking the majority), so will limit myself to no more than two: one fiction, one spiritual reading. The problem is, which two? I should definitely begin that process so I can start eliminating! Many would say this problem could be solved by some sort of e-reader but A) I can't afford one and B) even if I could (and call me a Luddite if you want) I prefer actual books, thank you very much. You can't scrawl margin notes on a Kindle.

And as an amusing conclusion, this past week Historic Scotland's Facebook page offered a "Who In Scottish History Are You?" quiz, which I took just for fun. Apparently (according to the no-doubt-completely-accurate quiz), I am St. Margaret. I was quite pleased with that result, actually, since I've always liked her story (and I didn't think I was much like Flora McDonald or Mary Queen of Scots, two of the other female results possible). I'm looking forward to visiting both her chapel (built by one of her sons, King David I, it's the oldest building in Edinburgh) and saying a prayer at her grave site (at Dunfermline Abbey).

Now, on to the chores...

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