I am off to do family ancestry work and research in Scotland. Viaggiatore and I were going to go on our own, but after some advice, opinions, suggestions and orders by well meaning friends and family, and some consideration on our part, we opted to bring Mr. Black along as a travel companion.
Mr. Black has not been out of the states before, so I gave him the option of leaving from either New York or Boston, noting that whatever city we leave from, we'll be staying there briefly when we come back, so if he'd like to see either of them, that would be the one to choose as our point of departure.
He chose New York.
There is a contingency about New York, I told him.
The flight from Boston goes straight to Edinburgh, Scotland. The flight from New York has a layover in Paris. If you choose to leave from New York, we will be stopping in Paris. I had planned on going this route myself, because I love Paris, and I'd never miss an opportunity to stop and visit. Of course, he was excited to go to France, so New York to Paris it is. We'll stay for a little while so that I can introduce him to this magnificent city:
As it turns out, it's cheaper to fly to London from Paris and then take the train to Edinburgh, as opposed to flying directly to Edinburgh from Paris. ?!? So as fate would have it, we will be dashing through the fabulous city of London, which I love just as much as Paris. Next time I go to London, I'll stay a while. My last visit wasn't nearly long enough either.
I phoned Mr. Black to tell him we'd be going through London. He was ecstatic!
Will we be going through Kings Cross Station at all? He wanted to know.
Yes, I told him, we will, as a matter of fact.
He is *the biggest Harry Potter fan* in the United States, I think. Moreso than you could possibly imagine, and I'm not exaggerating.
Could we stop at Platform 9 3/4? He asks.
Yes, there really is one, now.
Yes, we can, I tell him.
I'll have a photo of him pushing that cart through the brick wall. Thankfully, no one there will be surprised. Hopefully, he doesn't go through the wall!
Then we're off to Scotland by way of rail, and what a lovely way to travel through the countryside and see it all! I wonder if they'll offer chocolate frogs on that train...
Then we will spend time going all over Scotland, researching my ancestry, and looking at all of the castles, towns, cathedrals, and landscapes. As it turns out, three historical groups in that country are hosting a year long celebration called "Homecoming Scotland 2009"; in which they want everyone even remotely Scottish or even interested in Scotland to Come Home. There are myriad festivals and celebrations. Isn't it ironic that it coincides with my family research trip? I thought so, too. It will be incredible. We're going to meet up with some new friends there, as well, which will be nice.
Now then... unbeknownst to the
In the spirit of the truly adventurous wanderers who've gone before me, I will be driving in Scotland. It wasn't part of the original plan, but some of the places I need to go are a bit remote (no trains and buses). Soooooo..... fair warning to all and sundry in Scotland. I will be careening around parts unknown in a standard transmission vehicle, driving on the other side of the car, on the other side of the road, on the other side of the world.
I've only recently learned that Scotland is one of the few European countries that have one lane roads for two lane traffic. God bless them.
And, God bless us. I have a feeling that Mr. Black may very well reach a whole new level of intimacy and understanding with The Almighty, through fervent prayer from the passenger seat and thankfulness at the end of each long day.
I will have so many good stories when we get back!