With school and jobs and the assorted hazards of life, we've never traveled much -- most of our vacations have been quick road trips back and forth to Minnesota (where nearly all of our extended family still lives) for the holidays. Three or four hectic days with family, a turkey dinner, and back in the car for the drive home. Nice, but certainly not up to the monumental occasion of a tenth anniversary and BSN graduation. I've seen most of Minnesota -- or at least all the bits that I want to see!
It took us less than ten minutes to decide what to do -- Go to Scotland.
Why? Neither of us really had a reason, although Mark was convinced it was because I have this strange thing for men in kilts. I just wanted to go, wander around the countryside and enjoy the spectacular scenery. It was surprising that we both came up with the same plan. Well, maybe not so surprising... we've been together a long time.
Friends had gone on two trips through northern Scotland, and the misty, early dawn photographs of castles and green hillsides covered in the rich purple heather were entrancing. It was one of the few times I've appreciated the offer of "Do you want to see the slides from our trip to...?" Usually, by the time the tenth slide rolls around, you're ready to gnaw your arm off to escape. You can only see so many slides of churches, fountains, and monuments. Every single person who has ever gone to Paris takes the same picture of the Eiffel Tower. Every one. Trust me.
Not this time, though. I spent several hours looking through their photos. They were kind enough to spread out their touring maps on the kitchen table and dig out the many boxes of guidebooks they had collected in their travels. They pulled out their own travel journal and told me their travel stories. (Thanks Jim and Boo!).
I was hooked.
What follows is The Plan, information about planning your own trip, and as the trip progresses, pictures and notes from our travels. Ok, not a lot of pictures yet -- but just wait!
The wheels on the bus | NEXT