Here is my insane schedule while I was in Scotland...lots of photos and recaps coming! I get a bit tired just reading about it all again!
May 9 -Arrive Glasgow and make our way to Stirling. Spend the day getting a few groceries, cell phone SIM card**, go to dinner, take more calls in one evening than uncle is used to getting all week (I'm quite popular in Scotland!), watch Britain's Got Talent then collapse in bed. Wake up to Skype with the Suburban and Little Prince.
May 10 - Wake up just before noon. Scramble to get ready in time for Long Lost Cousin coming over with his son. Spend the afternoon with them, take photos, learn about each other and grow our family. Introduce a string of visitors to Long Lost Cousin and his son, they both probably wonder if I am related to everyone in Stirling - most likely, yes. Uncle made dinner so we stayed in and chatted then under the cloak of darkness went to auntie's DIL's house to decorate the front gate for her 40th birthday.
May 11 - Manage to wake up by 11am. Scramble to get ready and out the door to make it to the local Rotary lunch meeting on time. Mingle with Scottish Rotarians, have lunch, exchange flags with them, get photo taken for the local paper then get a lift back to uncle's house. Change into more casual clothes (hello, I'm meant to be on holiday) and get on the road to Edinburgh. Take Granda's 80 year old cousin to dinner, give her chocolates, take some photos and get back to Stirling in time to go to the pub for the birthday celebrations. Drink lots of Irn Bru and have photo taken with Kevin Drinkel (former Rangers player and former next door neighbour of uncle). Marvel and the way dogs in pubs are accepted without anyone batting an eye.
May 12 - Manage to wake up within the 'breakfast' time frame. Auntie thinks I'm the best house guest ever as I make my own breakfast and tea every morning. Go to nursing home to visit great-uncle's wife who doesn't remember me but is fine with watching an episode from season 1 of Real Housewives of New York. Go to Stirling castle for the afternoon as it has been a long time since I was there. Take lots of photos, guess which country each tourist is from, watch uncle fall down the stairs (spend the next three days succumbing to a fit of the giggles anytime anyone mentions anything related to stairs), watch German tourists pick uncle up and ask if he is ok while glaring and auntie and me. Get back to the house, auntie went to work for a few hours, uncle played on the interweb. Walked guard dog to the old village and the post office then come back to make dinner for everyone. Watch Britian's Got Talent finale...go Pudsy!
May 13 - Up by 10am, breakfast and visit from auntie's son and his family. Visit garden centre for lunch and shopping. Quite a fun place! Auntie went to work and cousin Willie and his wife came to pick me up to to go the Falkirk Wheel and dinner. After dinner go on a little pub crawl and cousin Willie played the drums at the open mic night.
May 14 - Wake up at 9am (getting the hang of GMT in time to go home!), go to Callandar for lunch and a wee bit of tourist shopping. Pop into M&S for a few things then home to visit with auntie's other son and his family before going to dinner at the Portcullis, which was amazing! Then home to chat, skype, pack and figure out how I will get everything in one suitcase. Best game of Tetris ever!
May 15 - Wake at 6am, finish packing and get dressed. Make sure I have everything, eat some tablet ice cream (blech, it can't compare with my Gran's tablet), get on the road to Glasgow. Catch flight, settle in for 7 hours, try to read, watch movie, doze. Arrive at Toronto to be greeted by the Little Prince running up to me with flowers. Home sweet home.
**If you are traveling somewhere you will have roaming charges, here is a tip...have your cellphone 'unlocked' before you go. For help with that let me know. When you arrive in the other country go to the local mobile shop and get a SIM card, load it with some data/text/call dollars and put it in your phone. This is what I did the moment I got to Scotland and it meant I could use my own phone, with my own contacts, email etc and gave me a Scottish phone number I could give out. It cost me 15 GBP and saved me probably hundreds in roaming fees. When the plane landed in Toronto I just switched the SIM cards and got back on the system I use here**
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Have a fabulous day!