Scotland-June 2016

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I am super lucky to have amazing friends in all over the world. One of my favorite friends, Katy, lives in Scotland and well it’s just not that easy to get to from Australia. I had planned to be back in the States in June and had this insane idea to drop off my bags in Chicago and continue on to Scotland. In theory it made sense, in actuality I was tired! But getting to hang out and chill with Katy and her friends (my friends), was worth flying to the moon and back.

I flew British Airways, well because I had a coupon. It should have been a simple connection in Heathrow, since it’s their hub. It was a NIGHTMARE. I only made my connection because the flight was delayed. The worse part is I normally avoid Heathrow at all costs. I arrived on the day that United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union. And the day the pound dropped to it’s lowest value against the dollar in over 30 years. It was interesting to be there on that day.

Katy surprised me this time at the airport. Even though I knew she was picking me up, it was nice to see her at baggage claim.  The Royal Highland Show was right by the airport, so we decided to check that out.

I think Katy just wanted a excuse to play with the tractors….. And I don’t recommend eating a burger in front of the cows. I got some pretty ugly stares and moo’s.

Then there may have been some drinking, dancing in the rain and pakora…

There were grand plans to go the Highland Games the next day, but it got called on account of rain.  So we did something unprecedented for Katy and Flo Adventure, we just chilled out. We went and saw the movie, “Me before You”. I warned Katy to bring tissues, man did we cry.
The next day we headed off to the Gleneagles Spa . I was always hearing about how Katy and Helen would go to the spa. I wanted to spa too! So I got to spa with Catherine, Helen and Katy. It was AMAZING. I could make a annual spa trip. It was just as I imagine including getting kicked of the quiet room.

I am so thankful to have had that weekend away. I needed a break and a break is what I got. And I finally got to meet people who I’ve only known virtually,Catherine and Helen,who are just as awesome in person.

The pre-birthday celebration was pretty fantastic!

Now it’s time to prepare for the big birthday celebration in Germany.  Stay tuned.

@DuoBoots, where have you been all my life? Edinburgh, Scotland October 2014

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When I arrived at customs in Edinburgh, I was asked the purpose of my trip. I said to buy some boots. The agents laughed and said boots? I said yes, Duo Boots. She stamped my passport and wished me luck.

Since it appeared that my hotel room was not going to magically become available, I decided to hit the streets and take care of this boot business. I was staying at the Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor so it was nice stroll down Princes Street to visit my friends at the Duo Boots.

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I spent the better part of an hour trying on all sorts of boots and shoes. The ladies were quite nice in indulging me. I am happy to report, that yes, I found boots and shoes to take home with me.

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Boots,check now off to find some scotch and shortbread.

Since I was on Princes Street, I decided to visit the castle. Now for those you planning a trip to Edinburgh, the easiest way to get to the castle is take a taxi to the top. Option 2, is to walk across the North Bridge. Or take Option 3 and take the stairs in the middle of hill and then walk up a insane curvy road ( worse option, trust me)

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Edinburgh Castle

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I noticed the Scotch Whiskey Experience on my way to the Castle, so after touring around, I decided a little scotch would help me warm up. Plus I was not about to climb those stairs/hill again.

I learned there are 4 regions in which Scotch Whiskey hails from and that each region has its own distinct aroma. Highlands, Lowlands, Islay and Speyside.  Apparently I like Whiskey from the Highlands.

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Now properly warmed up, it was time to head back to the hotel. Again I was not about going down those stairs, so I jumped on the Hop On Hop Off Bus. And fell asleep. Like you did not see that one coming.  I woke up in time to remember that I needed to head back to Duo to pick up my boots.  I was really sleepy at this point, so I decided to pop into to Starbucks, for the wifi, and as luck would have it, some shortbread!

IMG_2133Scotch, Shortbread and Boots. DONE! Mission accomplished……..

Edinburgh Scotland- October 2014

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Time for some shortbread, scotch and boots…..

The day before departure, I kept getting notices from United saying that due to weather, ATC issues from the  fire the previous week at the FAA tower, there were a lot of cancellations so check flights before heading to airport. Great. I was scheduled to fly thru Frankfurt connecting to Edinburgh. Since I was up at 4:00 am and thought I would check my flight. Still good, but the direct flight to Edinburgh had seats open and upgradeable seats.  In true Flo reservation fashion,  I could not change my flight online. So I called reservations and was able to change my flight. So instead of seeing my German friends, I arrived in Edinburgh at 7.45am rather then 12.45pm

I actually arrived at the airport on time and did not have to make a mad dash for boarding, for once. I got settled and started chatting with my seatmate and texting a few friends. The purser was going around asking everyone if they were familiar with how the seats work. It was a nice touch, but I was familiar, so ignored the demonstration.  Apparently the lady sitting in front me of me, felt like I need instructions and gestured that I pay attention. WHAT? No proud of what happened next….

DYKWIA moment.Yep, Do You Know Who I Am?  Pretty sure the words I am a 1K and flown over 100,000 miles this year came out of my mouth.

That’s when my seatmate asked had I been drinking, just as the purser approached our row for the seat demonstration. “Do we need to cut you off? Put a star by your name?” Seriously? For the record, no I had not been drinking. I was just highly annoyed that some silly lady thought I needed instructions on how to use a seat…….

I smiled politely and said, no, I will behave. Hmmmmm

Anticipating loads of flight time ahead, I tend not to sleep well the night before a international flight. Sometimes it works, so that I fall asleep and stay asleep or sometimes, I am tossing around like a hamster on a wheel. This was a wheel flight.

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I arrived in Edinburgh ready to go to bed….. But since I had arrived earlier then anticipated I was unable to get into my hotel. So off to Starbucks I went for the wifi of course, but the coffee and Bacon Buttie were not bad either.IMG_2104Stay tuned for more of this adventure…….

Hello Edinburgh……

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I have to laugh at myself sometimes. I gave myself a challenge of visiting 50 countries before 40. In order to do this I would need to actually go to places I’ve never been. Ironically, the next few trips are not new countries, but new places. Oh well, it’s going to make 2015 interesting.

When I was in Tanzania, I met a nice couple that live in Scotland. We have since kept in touch and I mentioned that I wanted to go to London to go boot shopping. Yes boots. Well lucky for me,maybe not so much for my friends, there is a  Duo Fit Ship in Edinburgh. So I can get my boots, visits a new place and see some friends. Win win.

Why am I flying to the UK for boots? I am tall, have wide calves and big feet. Finding boots to fit are a problem. Duo Boots have 21 different calf sizes, 3 widths and various heights.  I think my biggest challenge is going to be suitcase space!

So I made the decision, but I had to find flights. I considered the direct flight from Chicago to Edinburgh on United for about a hot minute. They fly a 757 on that route. Anyone that knows planes, know that 7 hour 35 minutes on a 757 is pushing the level of comfort. So to spare my bum, I opted to go out of my way to Frankfurt and Brussels.  Yes I realize that I would have been better off time wise, but nope. I flew Newark-Dublin once on a 757, that was the first and last time.EDI

 

So other then buying boots, eating shortbread and drinking scotch, I guess I need to research what there is to do in Edinburgh. I am looking forward to discovering a new city and catching up with my friends!