Monday, June 20, 2016


Saturday: I'm down to my last two days and yesterday I learned that I cannot pay for my lodging at the little bed and breakfast with a credit card. Leave it to me to pick the one place where that's not possible. Also, when I booked my trip I booked each segment as a round trip because I couldn't figure out any other way to do it. This is the first time I have ever had multiple destinations when I traveled because doing it that way was cheaper than direct to Edinburgh. So, I fly to Newark and then to Edinburgh and then to Wick where I will be picked up and driven to North Lands. On the return, I fly to Edinburgh where I have to stay overnight because there are no flights out to North America after I arrive until the next morning. Then I board a flight that has a layover in Toronto on my way back to Newark and then another flight to Houston. All fine and good until my husband pointed out to me that I will have to retrieve my checked bag and go through security for each flight. Well, fuck. So I have spent a considerable amount of time on the phone this morning.

The good news is that I can get my bag checked all the way through to Edinburgh where I would have to retrieve it anyway to go through customs. All I have to do at check-in is explain it to the agent and have the confirmation number of the next flight and more than likely I can do the same on the return.

Next item on the agenda was to contact the credit card company with my travel dates and destinations so they won't deny any of my charges and that was easy enough. Then I tried to get a pin number on the credit card for use at an ATM in order to pay for my lodging instead of carrying all that cash. That took several phone calls and three or four agents but I did finally get a pin number.

The last item on today's agenda was getting a hotel for my one night in Edinburgh on the return trip. My flight leaves at 8:20 AM so I opted for a hotel near the airport even though I get in about 1:40. I could have got a room in the city for about half what the hotel is costing me but I figured since I have to check out and get to the airport so early, closer was better. My plan is to make an excursion into Edinburgh since I'll have most the afternoon and evening the day I arrive.

OK, so lists checked off, all incidentals gathered and stowed, rain jacket arrived, niggling details taken care of. Now it's all about the packing of clothes and deciding what to wear on the plane.

Sunday: I got just about everything packed yesterday with still room for what's left and maybe even my smallest pillow and I didn't even use the largest suitcase. I even weighed some of the items in it and made a list so that I know what I can shove in the backpack if the airline decides it's too heavy and wants me to pay a premium. I am so fucking organized about this trip I can't even believe it. 

the sky yesterday evening with the full moon rising

Then we had a huge thunderstorm last night with lots of rain and lightning and the dog was not happy...nervous, pacing, trembling, panting...I finally got up with her and when I went back to bed I tripped over that stupid suitcase and fell completely prone.

I was talking to my friend Denise the other day, whom I met at the residency three years ago at the Buddhist Meditation Center, about this upcoming soiree with total strangers but one, Natali who I also met at the residency, and my usual reservations about holding my own with artsy educated people since we are all expected to participate. You'll be fine she says. Yeah, they're going to ask me what I think and I'm going to go all Bart Simpson on them making faces and doing somersaults. She says my experience will outweigh their education, or at least equal it, but one thing for sure. I have little patience for artspeak.

Monday:  I'm off, abandoning the man, the turtle, the cat, and the dog to fend for themselves.



  1. I am so excited for you! Have a fantastic trip. Safe travels~

  2. I am there with you on the art speak but I feel sure you will do fine and it will probably be a breath of fresh air. Helen Cowart is going too I think. She doesn't seem the art speak person either. It will be a great adventure.

  3. Lord, woman! I can't believe we are both traveling out of the country at the same time, leaving behind our people, our animals, our loves.
    You'll be fine. (Said the woman whose stomach is in complete knots.)
    Love you!

  4. Have a great trip, Ellen. How exciting. I wish I was still in my old haunts in Mississauga.. that was only about 15 mins from the the Toronto airport. I would have come visit you while you're waiting.

    Safe travels.. and enjoy!

  5. Have a GREAT trip! Can't wait to hear all about it.

  6. I don't mind Artspeak, provided people aren't pompous and hot on themselves, which is probably what people think when I do Artspeak.

  7. Safe travels and enjoyable experiences -- looking forward to hearing the tales.

  8. Sometimes I fly a leg, here i land in one country and fly out of another. It saves back tracking a bit , and allows to take more time seeing new things.Have a lovely trip.

  9. Well, you sure are a good packer. You reminded me why it takes me months to plan a trip overseas and I always take tons with me. Have a wonderful experience, eat a scone for me and sleep when you can. Travel makes me so sleepy.

  10. You ARE a good packer -- as others have said. (Don't worry -- we have everything here if you forget something. :) ) Bring clothes for cool, damp weather, because that's what we're having here and we're always warmer than Scotland!

    I imagine it will be good for the rest of those folks to experience someone who doesn't do artspeak.

    I can't wait to hear about your trip!

  11. So how was that trip? Can't wait to hear about it!


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.