Well, the countdown to our trip officially begins today -- we leave one week from tonight (and the Air Canada replacement tickets appeared on my visa statement today, so I guess we really are booked!). I am getting very excited, although I still have a lot left on my To Do list! I am most excited, of course, about seeing PetDoc and Noise. I have missed them dreadfully over the last few months and am very much looking forward to having some time with them and seeing their new "space." This will also be the first major trip Serdic and I have taken together (we have had long weekends in a variety of places, but this will be our first real vacation together) so I am very much looking forward to the experiences we are going to share in one of my favourite cities in the world.
This trip is deliberately being planned to not be planned, if that makes sense. Usually when I go on vacation I have a schedule and an itinerary mapped out for each day, and while I'm a big fan of allowing time for serendipity to take hold and going with the flow, I also like to have a basic idea of what I want to see and where I want to go in order to make the most of my (usually very limited) time in any given city. This time, though, we are planning very little in advance and instead are hoping to each day just pick an area of the city and explore. I have been to London several times and so have done all the big "touristy" stuff, and that's not the stuff that interests Serdic anyway (he much prefers getting off the beaten track and wandering) so we're hoping to really sink our teeth into the city and not be typical tourists.
We do have a couple of things booked and planned. On the Saturday morning all four of us (me, Serdic, PetDoc and Noise) are going to take a tour of Buckingham Palace. I'm a huge royalty buff (although I prefer the history, not the current lot) so I'm looking forward to this. I have, of course, seen Buckingham Palace from the outside several times, but this tour is only available a couple of months a year (usually when the Queen is elsewhere) so this is the first time I've had the chance to go inside.
I think the thing I'm most looking forward to, though, is the concert the four of us will be attending Sunday evening. There's going to be a celebration of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 60th birthday in Hyde Park, complete with performances by some of my favourite theatre people and followed by fireworks. Andrew Lloyd Webber's shows were in many way responsible for sparking my love of theatre and so I have great affection for him in all his wackiness, and the concert should be a grand time.
We also are planning a couple of nights in Edinburgh later in the week. Again we don't have a long list of "must see" items, we mostly want to just wander and get a feel for the city. We do have a day trip booked to Loch Ness ... not so much to look for the monster but because we wanted to get out of the city and see the Highlands, and this tour was an economical and interesting way to do that without renting a car. Also, Rick Steves recommended it, and anyone who has traveled with me knows that I always do what Rick tells me. So I'm really looking forward to adding a new city to my list, and I have my suspicions it will become one of my favourites.
So lots of excitement and planning going on. Given the airline drama of last week I will still worry a little until we are actually sitting on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic (and until I am actually in possession of a refund for the Zoom tickets!), but so far, it seems like everything is a go. And I can't wait!