Taureans AREN'T spontaneous!
Trip Start Sep 22, 2012
29Trip End Oct 19, 2012
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This month, l mention a 2013 return trip to my sister-in-law, with the vague idea of taking my mother. This journey would be the first one on my own agenda, so it would be her only chance to visit England and Scotland from whence her ancestors originated. Angela suggests taking my brother for both assistance and 'job-sharing'.
It is a fine idea.
But with his work, it also limits us to school holidays. Christmas is obviously too cold and hostile, so l postulate Easter 2013. "Too far away" he says, "but l can get leave this September"!
So suddenly - with eight weeks to organise everything - someone who likes certainty in organization (and in particular, a guaranteed decent bed at day's end) is planning a seemingly spontaneous return visit to England!
Just after the Olympics...
And with an 85yo in tow, there are extra considerations: hotels with easy access and ideally triple rooms with three single beds (not so common), nearby tube stations with escalators or lifts and an itinerary suiting someone who won't set the cracking pace of May!...
So Tripadvisor and Booking.com here l come!
Surprisingly - or maybe not, given the hours spent on the internet - all the main bookings are done within a fortnight. A London hotel from our previous shortlist is quickly selected and another highly rated one booked for our return stop after Paris. A $500 win for a hotel voucher has made for a very cheap weekend in Paris. The Eurostar and Caledonian sleeper trains are done. Airfares? Check!
Hilary is joining the road trip segment, so searching for quad rooms is taking time. Two doubles are proving easier although nowhere near as cost-effective. And those doubles have to include at least one twin for Ian!
So all that remains is to plot an itinerary around the UK, hunt down the must-see attractions, check the travel forums for any tricks such as queue-beating tips, keep an eye on what Scottish Highland weather involves, prune the last packing list back to, say, 10-12kg and the inevitable minutiae such as fixing buttons on coats, prepaying bills that will fall due and organising a Travel Money card.
And the guttering that slipped down the list last time...