I envy the backpacking friends in my life. I have them, you know. Those carefree souls who stuff three tee-shirts, a pair of jeans, 2 pair shorts and a comb in a backpack for a four-week trip. Unlike me, they don't spend hours pouring over electrical circuitry sites for whatever country they plan to visit in order to ensure hair dryer compatibility with foreign outlets. And they don't just accept, as I do, that their bags will all exceed the 50 lb. maximum at the airport weigh in. (By this time I know better and just build the overweight luggage fees into the budget.)
In short, I am a travel coach's worst nightmare. I pack crap I don't need, pack way too much of it, then spend hours between hotels counting bags to make sure we haven't left a fifty-pounder behind.
All of this a long way of saying, look out world, Dena & Blair are preparing to travel again. We laid down yesterday afternoon to discuss our travel plans which proved to be a mistake as we both promptly fell asleep. But we talked early this morning and it looks like a England/Scotland tour is in the works.
England is one of those places where we always plan to visit but never quite get around to. It's like California - yeah, yeah, it'll still be there when I'm ready. But while we both want to get away, neither of us feel up to the task of visiting a non-English speaking country (lazy Americans). We love history, museums, churches, and architecture, plus hills and countryside, so England seems a good fit for us. Plus, Blair's brother has been there something like 8 times, and has tons of tips on where to stay, eat, shop, etc.
We are the classic American tourists. Map and tourbook in hand, video recorder slung around the neck, and tennis shoes on the feet, we don't even attempt to hide the fact we're not from around these parts. We also do all the cheesy tourists things which this trip will include visits to Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the like. Again, I wish I were like my cool traveling friends who manage to find out where the locals hang out and then go there and blend in. But I'm an uneasy traveller. I haven't done it enough to be good at it, so I'm always thinking we're being misled or ripped off. I prefer to stay in areas with other tourists and get ripped off there.
But this trip, who knows? Some writers I know through the Cat Writer's Association live in England, so maybe I'll get some insider tips on little known towns or places to visit. Now we just need to pick a date and commit and start practicing posh English accents.
I'm sure we will totally be able to fool everyone.