Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 25 - Heading to Scotland

As if the tree drama from last week wasn’t enough, this week was AWFUL. It was just one thing piling up after another. Good thing I’d be ending the week in Scotland.

I had been worrying about Wrennie, my ancient cat who was at least 16 years old, skin and bones and getting thinner with each passing day. She was so frail that I was concerned that she wouldn’t live through my trip and although Lori had offered to take her to her house while I was gone, I was concerned that that would be stressful for the cat, never mind for Lori if Wrennie died while I was gone. Then she had an attack of sorts after coming up the stairs from the litter box. She collapsed on the kitchen floor and was gasping for breath. I truly thought I was watching her die but she snapped out of it after 10 minutes. But it’s what I needed to see so I called the vet and made an appointment for Tuesday afternoon to put her down. When I took her in, the vet said it was a thyroid problem that had already affected her heart and I was making the right decision because she wouldn’t live another 2 weeks. That made me feel better and I took her home and buried her in the garden. While it’s never easy, I was at peace with my decision.

Then I got a call from Erica on Wednesday at work. She had dropped her kids off to mow and weed whack but they called her to pick them up early saying that a strange, half naked man was in my yard and his wheelchair was in the alley. I had Erica hand him the phone and it was Dwayne – the tree butcher – back in my yard. He’d been pulling things in my back yard for who knows how long. I spoke to him and threatened to call the cops if he ever set foot in my yard again and I think he got the message. But to be sure, I called the administrator at the halfway house to make sure he wouldn’t be coming back when I was in Scotland. She assured me she’d already talked to him with threats of eviction so I could only hope he got the message. Who needs this?

Thursday was a miserable day at work. That’s all I’ll say. MISERABLE! I could not get out of the country soon enough. I knew exactly what I was packing clothes wise but actually spent more time deciding what knitting to bring. Whatever, I went home Thursday, happy to be doing laundry and packing. All I had to do was get through Friday. I bailed on water aerobics in favor of having more time at home, going to bed with just about everything done so I actually had some leisure time on Saturday morning, which was nice. Anne’s dad dropped her at my house at 11:00 and Lori drove us to the airport. We were on our way!

All I ever hope for is uneventful travel and we got our wish, having no issues with connections and getting on our flight to Edinburgh without and problems. Unfortunately I didn’t sleep at all so was exhausted when we landed but I’d cope. Or so I thought.

The only thing scheduled on Sunday beyond the airport transfer was dinner so we checked into the hotel where we lucked out because our room was ready. We dropped off our suitcases and headed directly to Edinburgh Castle. Big mistake. Not only was it 16.50 pounds to get in but it was clear I could not function. After walking around with Anne and Molly (another person on the tour who’d transferred with us from the airport) for a bit and absorbing NOTHING, I opted to sit on a bench while they kept going. I actually fell asleep sitting up! They checked back with me a couple of times and when they were done, I opted to head back to the hotel. Since our hotel was directly below the castle (the pic is from in front of our hotel), I walked down a series of steps rather than taking the longer route but was so unsteady on my feet that I had to clutch the railing the whole way down. I grabbed a 2 hour nap and woke up a new woman. Now for the official welcome dinner and start of the tour.

Well, there was absolutely no welcome about it. We met in a private dining room on the top floor of the hotel and ate but there were no introductions at all. If you hadn’t made the effort to introduce yourself before we sat down, you were high and dry. Clearly this wasn’t going to be a Philip and Jean trip, which we’d known ahead of time, but when the mediocre food came, I began to wonder if it’d even be in the ballpark. Oh well. It was great to see Eileen, Gail, Cindy and Erica and I’d have run no matter what. A leadership free leader wasn’t going to impact my fun and I had a full night’s sleep ahead so would face Monday morning fresh and happy. Edinburgh here we come!

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