Wow, so much has happened in the month or so I have been gone! I am a little overwhelmed with all that I need to get caught up with, but I will do my best :)
MOST importantly, my trip to Scotland was just amazing. I absolutely loved it. I think I will break up my journal entries a bit on here and include a few pics with each one.
Here is a quick run-down of our first day!
Left Chicago for Newark. It was my first trip to Joi-sey, but just to the extent of the airport. I did see New York's skyline (pales in comparison to good ol' ChiCity :) Our flight was about 90 minutes delayed from Chicago, which was kinda frustrating because they listed it as a 2.5 hour flight when in reality it only takes an hour and a half to get there, so if they are just buffering the time in case of delays, I mainly don't get it.... So frustrating in fact that when we finally got there, we discovered that they bumped us to the next day's flight to Glasgow!! I started to get a little (or a lot) freaked out, but my mom was calm and got us back on the original flight, as the tour started that day, so we needed to be there, obviously!
The flight to Glasgow, about 6 hours, was not so bad. There was a nice English girl between us who reminded me a little of Pam from The Office. I wrote a series of Haikus about my first glimpse of Scotland, I think they are pretty clever!
Once we got to Glasgow Int'l Airport, we gathered out luggage and found the doors where Ian, CIE Tour Guide Extraordinaire was waiting for us! We waited for a few more people arriving at the same time to get there and then headed out to the bus where we met Eddie our driver! He was Irish and quite delightfully charming. Ian was Scottish and had a monocle which was pretty neat and very fitting.
Off to the Hotel! We got there way early before our rooms were ready, but they quickly got things together for us, which was nice. We were completely exhausted at this point, and it seemed to hit us right after getting off the plane! A hot shower and quick nap fixed me right up, a city tour of Glasgow and then off to the bar for a welcome drink with our group!
Met Kyla, John and Shauna, and a few others, most everyone was soo nice and hilarious! Kyla and I talked about careers in psych, she was maybe my favorite person I met. The bar tender was very charming and nice, commending me for being brave and trying some hard cider I hadn't had before. Group dinner, more meeting people, then an early night for our early start the next day!
Next time I will tell you about day 2, including new tour members who are great and Loch Lomond!
Very pretty buildings!
my first official, authentic, Scottish men in kilts! Heaven!!
Appreciated this quite a bit, very important for cultural identity, posterity, etc. for Scots. Glad I snapped a pic before we had to leave!
Nothing like lording over fellow art fans! Loved this gallery very much!
Downtown Glasgow reminded me almost immediately of Chicago! We have this clock's distant relative in the form of the Marshall Field's clock :)
I loved Glasgow! Can't wait to post more!