Thursday, March 31, 2011

So Much to Plan, So Little Time

Wedding planning has taken over my life. I've been slipping on planning our trip to Scotland. May is quickly approaching (although the weather right now would make it seem otherwise).

Neither plane tickets nor hotels have been booked. Disaster. I must work to change that this weekend. Hopefully saying this here will make it more likely to happen.

Monday, March 14, 2011

World's Most Underrated Cities

Beautiful Providence
Travel and Leisure recently did an article on the world's 10 most underrated cities. Many of the cities I had never heard of. Bratislava?

There was one very special city that I had heard of. Providence made the list!

Glasgow, Scotland also made the list. I've been thinking about where to go on our Scotland trip and was wavering on Glasgow. Maybe I should reconsider.

Check out the entire article here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Germaphobes Anonymous

I confess, I'm a huge germaphobe. Usually I'm pretty good at keeping my insanity under-wraps. I walk through the world and people think I'm a normal person. In reality, I would love to live with a germ zapping force field around me that would kill the germs off anyone that came near me. It is becoming increasingly hard for me to not run in disgust every time a person coughs without covering their mouth.

This is why when I saw the New York Times article How Not to Get Sick From a Flight I immediately dropped everything and read it.

I already have a system that I believe helps keep me safe from germs on flights.
  1. I take Airborne before I go to the airport. 
  2. I try not to touch things in the airport or airplane.
  3. Since it is impossible to not touch anything, I carry hand sanitizer with me.
  4. I try not to touch my face.
  5. I wash my hands as much as I can without having to enter gross public bathrooms. If I do have to go into public bathrooms I have another system to try and leave cleaner than I went in.
  6. Pray that the person sitting next to me isn't sick.
This may seem crazy, but I would like to point out that lots of people take it a step further. The people interviewed for the NY Times articles were buying all sorts of things to keep the germs at bay.
  •  Disposable face masks
  • Antiseptic spritzers
  • Airline seat covers
  • Portable air purifiers (hangs around your neck)
  • Nano UV scanners (uses ultraviolet light to kill germs on surfaces)
While I completely understand what motivates these people, I'm way too cheap for all that. The article also mentioned that some people wipe down the arm rests and trays with disinfectant wipes. That is something I could get down with.

Although most of the article didn't give me tips I could use, it did give me a comforting new fact. Major airlines deep clean their planes once a month and do lighter cleanings more frequently than that. This made me happy because I didn't think they were deep cleaning those suckers at all.

Any other germaphobes out there? We've got to stand together...but not too close.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Plaid Could Suit Me

I started out scratching my head about Scotland. I wasn't sure where to start. Usually Trip Advisor is my go-to-site but I didn't feel like I could start there this time. You search by city and I didn't even know which city was the right one to start in. Once I get into the nitty gritty details of the trip I'm sure it'll be helpful. I'm just not there yet.

I ended up going to my beloved NYtimes.com. I typed Scotland into the travel section and got the best overview. It explained:
Loch Ness Monster aka Nessie
  • Scotland has amazing seafood and restaurants. It also gave a short list of the best restaurants. Fiance loves seafood and has been slowly making me appreciate it more and more.
  • Teeny tiny country. It really does make more sense to look at Scotland as a whole in planning your trip because it is so small. The major cities aren't far from each other. It seems totally feasible to rent a car and road trip from region to region. 
  • There is a lot of deep history to explore. Castles, cathedrals, museums, William Wallace (gotta hurry up and watch Braveheart), Loch Ness monster, the list goes on.
  • The end of May is the perfect time to go!
I've decided that even though drinking scotch isn't my thing, it would be dumb not to check out the whiskey region. Plus, Fiance loves scotch. I'll be the designated driver that day.

Next up, nailing down dates and looking at flights.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Introducing Scotland

This weekend we got an invitation to a friend's wedding in Scotland. Now I can officially start planning our trip there at the end of May. One small problem. I know nothing about Scotland.

Usually when I go to a new destination I already have things in mind that I want to do or know a couple of the exciting tourist attractions. In this case I'm clueless.

What do people do in Scotland? I have no idea. I picture highlands, scotch, and kilts. I don't drink scotch, I can only spend so long running in circles on some highlands, and I think kilts are for men. I have some Scottish ancestry so it would be interesting to learn more about that. Fiance and I have been watching the show Who Do You Think You Are so we've been on a genealogy kick. Other than that I'm drawing a blank and since I'm the travel agent in the relationship I need to figure it out.

To start, I'm reading Lonely Planet's intro on Scotland. Wish me luck.

Any suggestions?