I was up and about; took a really good shower because I knew I wouldn’t have the opportunity to shower for a couple of days. Here is a brief itinerary to show why:
– Drive to Edinburgh and return rental car
– Tram to Edinburgh and find somewhere to hang out until 9:30pm
– Overnight bus to London, UK and arrive around 7am.
– Find somewhere to hang out and write like crazy to catch up on my blog
– Head to London Gatwick airport sometime before dark
– Spend a sleepless night at the airport while waiting to check in at 3:30am for my 6:30am flight.
– Board flight to New York JFK.
– Spend that Sunday meeting friends and catching up.
– Finally crash at my friend Zach’s place and take an over-due shower. 😀
The drive back to Edinburgh was pretty uneventful. People had suggested I visit Perth and so I had decided to take a long route to Edinburgh through Perth. When I was almost into Perth, I had passed a sign indicated a country store and coffee shop not far off the main road. I wondered if I should turn around and go back. But I wanted to see Perth so I drove for several minutes into the town but nothing was really striking my fancy and making me say “Ooo I should stop there!” So, I reached a round-about and just went all the way around and headed back out-of-town towards that store. I’m so glad I did. It was this really cute farm with a really nice shop and cafe. I ended up buying some rolls (for PB&J to use up most of the remaining peanut butter and jelly I had, figs, and Italian pesto that happened to not have any dairy in it.
Then I put Edinburgh in the car’s navigation and hit the road. I really like driving on the other side of the road. It’s pretty fun once you make the initial adjustment.
I had left myself about half an hour of extra time in Edinburgh before I was due to return the car. Well, the address I put in was bringing right into Edinburgh city centre. So I stopped on a side street and tried to put in the road name for the rental place but it was a keyboard or system that would guess streets/towns as you input the letters and so I couldn’t finish putting in Queen Anne street. So, I decided to just find a gas station with WiFi and use my phone to do the final direction to the rental place. I had myself going in circles and was starting to get really anxious as 1pm approached. Finally, I found a Shell gas station (Shell usually has free wi-fi) and so filled the gas tank, opened google maps, input the correct address, and finally got to the rental car place with only 5 to 10 minutes to spare. Fewwww!!!! 😀
Tram back to Edinburgh….
I stopped and listened to a band I had seen when I first arrived in Edinburgh. Only this time, there was another guy in the square with a huge container with a huge wand that was blowing bubbles in the breeze. Lots of fun.
After a little while there, I figured I should go find the bus station. Ended up sitting there for a little while before going to a place called Holy Cow, a vegan restaurant only 2 minutes from the bus station. So I sat there and had dinner and worked on my blog.
Boarded the overnight bus at approximately 9pm. It was a long drive. I probably slept a couple of hours.
Our bus arrived in London at approximately 7am. I walked towards the Victoria train station and found a restaurant/cafe to sit in. The place had wi-fi and so I could connect and write for my blog. I sat there from about 7:30am until a little after 4pm. Writing, writing, posting, posting…
It was a gorgeous day outside. Everyone was wearing summery clothes and made me a bit miffed at myself for staying inside all day. But my reasoning was: I didn’t want to spend 8Pounds for a locker to hold my stuff, I was a bit tired from the overnight bus, and in my mind the adventure was over. I’d seen what I wanted to see in London, and why walk around and get more sweaty and stinky than I already am? 😀
I got tired of that place and so decided to head to the airport at about 4:15pm. Train to the airport, found another cafe to sit at. Connected to the airport wi-fi, and worked more on my blog. When the complementary wifi ran out, I worked on finishing my scrapbook.
Tried to get some sleep at approximately midnight. Maybe slept for an hour or two. Ate breakfast at 3:00am; brushed my teeth, re-braided my hair, and then went to check into my flight. Checked in, through security.
Once the gate was finally up on the screen, I walked to the gate. I went to get a look at the plane from the window and noticed that this plane has no major airline branding (it’s a budget Norwegian Air flight) on it which is mainstream-very common. Duhh… Hmmm Ok well, it’s a little weird but not earth-shattering. Finally boarding the plane, I find my seat and you can tell this plane is a little bit old. The screens in the seat in front of me was old and really slow (it’s all relative) and they have about 10 movies MAXIMUM to choose from and they aren’t new movies at all. I tried to open the flight path/info screen and a little box pops up that says something like “This application is blocked and not working.” If it had only said “not working” I fee like that would have been better than “Blocked and not working” as if they don’t want you to know the flight path. The last thing that made me slightly squeamish about this flight was the flight crew. Usually the flight attendants are very well dressed, uniform, and work well as a team. These flight attendants looked like they all might have just graduated from flight attendant school and were fresh on the job. The flight safety briefing that they do at the beginning of every flight was more basic than I’ve ever seen. Sort of as if they knew that every person had heard this 100 times before and so were skimming over it.
I have to say; I ALMOST got off that flight. One thing on its own wasn’t enough to really make me worry, but all together, it really had me on edge. I wasn’t sure if it was my gut instinct or just a little feeling. The plane quarterbacking away from the gate and thought “Now I’m committed.” It seemed to take forever to reach a high altitude and at one point (still over the UK) I thought for sure we were losing altitude. The plane never seemed to be going as fast as it could either. And the pilot took a route so far north it seemed a little weird. The screens were rebooted a couple of times. I tried watching the Titanic but it froze after about 20 -30 minutes and wouldn’t play anything after that.
The only flight info that was scrolling along the bottom of the screen was the altitude and ground speed. The distance from origin and distance to destination never changed.
The penguin, or whatever cartoon it is, in the top left corner just adds to the weirdness of this all.
The whole thing was SUPER SKETCHY! I would HIGHLY NOT recommend flying with Norwegian Airlines; especially if it is a cheap “budget” flight. I was super thankful when we landed in NYC.
Had brunch with my friend Avni, late lunch with some other friends, and finally headed to Hoboken to catch up with Zach. Showered, did some laundry, told some stories from my travel… and then went to bed. Slept like a baby!
Headed to my former employer’s office to say hello and to wait there until my train home at 10:20am. On the train I chatted with the older lady next to me about my travels which helped the trip go a little faster.
Finally got home to ‘Cuse where Mom and Abby were waiting for me. We had dinner together with my Dad, Grandpa, and Aunt D. Was so nice to see them again.
It is definitely nice to be home but it has been a bit bittersweet for sure. I love traveling so much. The more you see, the more you want to see.
Now, I’m just home, trying to figure out my opportunities, and what my next move is. 🙂