Saturday, February 23, 2008

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

I've yet to go through all the photos we took in London, so I'll begin with a story from the end of our trip: the journey home.

Have you ever seen this movie? While we didn't meet anyone like Steve Martin and John Candy's characters, it felt like we were living out that movie yesterday. It was quite an adventure.

The mix-up began a few weeks back when we were planning out our itinerary. I was going to go to this women's conference in Edinburgh, Scotland that began the day we were going to get back from London. We booked our return flight to arrive in Edinburgh, and then the conference filled up before I could reserve tickets for me and some other ladies. We were stuck with flying into Edinburgh instead of Inverness, Scotland, so we ended up being 3.5 hours from Dornoch, instead of an hour.

After researching all the options, we decided on taking the bus from Edinburgh to Inverness, it was way cheaper.

Here's a summary of our travels. For comparisons sake, I'll share the departure details:

Sunday, February 17th
2:00pm: drove to a friends home in Nairn. left our car at their house, they drove us to the Inverness airport.

5:00pm: boarded the plane and flew to London.

8:00pm: picked up by James' aunt and uncle, they drove us to our hotel. It was a simple and easy trip.

Friday, February 22nd

3:00am: woke up, met James' aunt and uncle in the hotel lobby who so kindly offered to make the hour trip to the airport at that ridiculous hour.

6:00am: boarded Easy Jet for a prompt 6:30 departure (we even had a row of three seats to ourselves!)

8:00am: arrived at the Edinburgh airport, settled into some comfy seats for a nap to wait for our bus departure at 10:20

10:05am: James saw a Megabus pull up outside. Made our way downstairs to get some good seats (good seats on a bus? definitely an oxymoron).

10:10am: arrived at the platform to realize the bus had already left (but our tickets listed a 10:20 departure)

10:15am: talked to an employee, found out Megabus doesn't depart from the Edinburgh airport, but we are supposed to take a shuttle bus appointed by Megabus to another stop on the other side of the Firth of Forth. From there we would take a second bus to the Megabus depot.

10:20am: called the help number that was displayed at the platform. the man said no buses were being allowed to travel over the Firth of Forth bridge for fear of accidents due to high winds. we realized traveling to Dornoch by bus wasn't going to happen any time that day. (we still don't know what the Megabus that pulled up at 10:05 was doing, and why it left so quickly)

10:40am: got on another bus that traveled into Edinburgh.

11:00am: got off at the stop past a train station. it was the stop past because the bus driver neglected to stop at the train station stop. walked/ran 5 blocks in the wind and rain to the train station.

11:20am: bought tickets for the train to Inverness

11:40am: boarded the train. read, took a nap, enjoyed the scenery. (it was pretty cool to ride over the Firth of Forth rail bridge)

3:18pm: arrived in Inverness. walked a couple of blocks to the bus depot.

3:44pm: got on the bus to Nairn to get our car.

4:20pm: got off the bus in Nairn. waited for our friend to pick us up. rode to their house 5 minutes down the road.

4:30pm: drove our car from Nairn to Dornoch.

5:45pm: arrived in Dornoch. grabbed some food.

6:00pm: headed to the church for Youth Clubs

10:00pm: home. to bed. glad the day was over.


Andrea said...

If you guys were doing the the Amazing Race you all would be sooooo in last place!

Amy said...

Wow what a day!! Trains Planes and Automobiles is one of my favorite movies... Josh's family has a tradition of watching it together every Thanksgiving. :)

I'm Jennifer said...

Amy: I just saw the movie for the first time recently; now I'll think of you guy's every Thanksgiving! Our traditional T-giving movie is Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation and The Christmas Story (the one about the b.b. gun).

Andrea: so true. One thing I forgot to mention was when our plane was landing in Edinburgh, we were both making sure there was a bag in the seat pocket, just in case (we were able to hold it together, just barely). We've never had motion sickness, but there was so much turbulence during the approach we seriously were waiting for the plane to crash.