For all of the traveling that I do, you would think that I would be better at it by now. Inevitably, I forget some vital item on every trip. The days leading up to this trip were even more hectic than normal because now both of the younger children have come down with some sort of ‘creeping crud’, we are traveling internationally and we will be away for a full week. The trouble is that poor travel planning can take a huge chunk out of your emergency budget. The more mistakes I make, the more my ‘free’ trip becomes a money pit. Heck, I didn’t even have an ink pen with me so that I could fill out the Landing Card required before you go through Immigration.
Airport Food is Ridiculously Expensive
First, because of all of the chaos related to diagnosing the exact nature of the ‘creeping crud’ that was plaguing our house, I forgot to eat. With a nearly 12-hour travel day ahead of us, that was not a smooth move. When we finally got a chance to sit down to eat at an airport restaurant in Philadelphia, two sandwiches and drinks ended up costing us nearly $40 with tip. I couldn’t help but think about how every time we visit my father, my stepmother sends us back home with a shopping bag full of sandwiches, chips and snacks made to everyone’s exact specifications. I guess that is one of the many reasons why my children tells me that “Grandma Ann rocks harder” than I do. One day I’ll get my act together and live up to the high standards that she has set!
My Shoes are NOT Made for Walking
Second, I did not pack good travel shoes. Now, I did spend some time thinking that walking shoes would be a good idea given the amount of walking and sightseeing we would be doing, but that thinking never translated into action on my part. In my defense, my feet had been partially numb and swollen to the extent that my toes looked like big old sausages ever since Monday. I’m guessing this is because I was wearing my 4-inch “Stuart’s” all day in honor of the first day of classes. Given what I had to work with, I didn’t see anything in my closet that would work, so I opted – yet again – for fashion over function. By the time we made it to Glasgow, I was crying ‘uncle’. I begged my husband to find a store where I could buy some cheap sneakers and be out of my misery. He agreed, but my aching feet would not allow me to comparison shop as I normally would and I bought the first pair of shoes I could find that met my needs. To my dismay, the store did not have any walking shoes in pink, so I chose a pair of mint green walking sandals. Now my giant feet look like they are criss-crossed in spearmint chewing gun. The price on the shoe box said 59.99 and I figured that was a good price given that it was a name-brand shoe. However, what I failed to take into consideration was that this price was in British Pounds Sterling. At an exchange rate of $1.55 per pound, my new shoes cost me $92.78. With just $100 in my CLOTHING jar, those darned shoes wiped out my stash in one fell swoop. Argh!
Well, all of that money I wasted due to my poor planning is gone now, so there is no sense in sitting here feeling sorry for myself. If the rain will let up a bit, we’ll go and do a little sightseeing. We’re thinking of visiting a famous castle on the banks of Loch Ness. Maybe we’ll even catch a glimpse of ‘Nessie’ herself. Whatever we do, I’ll take some pictures and try to post them in just a bit. Until then . . .