It’s over, and time to go home, and in this final blog entry, I get to talk numbers, and I do love numbers!!!
Our day began on a slightly sour note. The front desk at the Courtyard Marriott Glasgow Airport neglected to give us our wake-up call. Fortunately, my internal clock must have been turned on, and I woke up at 6:30, just 15 minutes later than we had planned. It does get one’s motor running a little fast though, when you first come to!
We had already decided to head to the airport and get checked in, (and worry about food after), so we were out the door shortly after 7 – where we proceeded to get lashed with rain and wind. Arrggh! It is not fun trying to lift and arrange your bags into a tiny car while being hammered by wet cold raindrops, but we got everything sorted away, and thankfully it was just a short 5 minute drive to the airport from there.
We dropped off the trusty little Vauxhall that had stood us in such good stead for the past four weeks, and in doing so, noted that Mary had driven 3964 miles (6379 kms) during that time. It may not sound like a lot for a month, but when I look at the map of Scotland, and think of what we did and saw, it sure as heck is a lot.
During our month-long adventure we stayed in 13 hotels, 4 inns, 4 Bed & Breakfasts, 5 guest houses, 1 farmhouse B&B and 1 castle, and only one of those nights had been booked before we left home back on August 29th. Everything was on a “make it up as we go” basis. I can say without hesitation that we would stay in every one of those places again, except one, and that is a pretty darn good batting average.
When doing a trip like this, one of the most difficult things to calculate is how much to budget for accommodations. The answer of course lies in the humourous old colloquialsim, “how long is a piece of string?”, but in this case the answer is “how much do you want to spend?”
Based on our travel history, and a little advance research, I had come up with a rough budget of $200/night Canadian as a number I could live with (including breakfast, parking and taxes). Our average cost for 28 nights was $185 and while there is no question we could have spent less or more than that, given our enjoyment level, it couldn’t have worked out better.
After our shaky start to the morning, everything else went smoothly on the way home, although maybe I could have chosen a different word than “smoothly” as our flight from London to Toronto featured almost non-stop turbulence.
Our 26-hour journey home from our Glasgow hotel to our front door in Langley, saw us spend time in 4 airports (Glasgow, Gatwick, Pearson and YVR), 15 hours in the air, and six hours of stopover time. If you’re wondering where the other 5 hours went, that covered morning time before our first flight, and time spent collecting our bags at YVR before making our way home to Langley, courtesy of a late-night pick-up from our son-in law Ben – thanks Ben!
During our trip, I took over 5,500 pictures using both my iPhone camera and my Canon EOS Rebel T6s. I used a Tamron 18-270 mm zoom lens for a lot of the outdoor pictures I took. Oh, and Mary picked up 47 new pins for her pin-wall.
Despite the number of sweets we ate, we both managed to only put on 2 pounds and I’m sure that was kept to a minimum by the fact that we walked an average of 8 kms a day, while climbing anywhere from 11 to 46 flight of stairs (gotta love Fitbit!).
And one last number…..we did 6 loads of travel laundry the day we got home!
We laughed a lot. We got wet. We discovered new foods. We dressed up in funny costumes. We learned a lot about the history of Scotland. And, we had an amazing time. Our adventure met and often exceeded the lofty expectations we had for our 40th anniversary trip.
And best of all, I got to spend it with the lovely lass in the picture below. With that ever-present smile and the hairy knees, how could I resist? I wonder where she’ll take me next?