When you look on the map, the distance between Lyon and Scotland doesn't seem that long. Well, not if you are Canadian and "just down the road" is a three-hour drive, but I digress.
Our journey took a lot longer than it needed to, but that seemed to be the theme of our trip so far.
It started off with waking up at 330 AM. Not an easy task on any day, but especially not after spending a day being hungover from the the night before's shenanigans AND having to ignore the pounding drum and bass of the salsa concert that was taking place in our room.
OK, so it wasn't in our room, but with the old flat's acoustics and lack of sound-proofing, it sure felt like it.
We arrived at the airport after a harrowing taxi ride...the windows had fogged over and yet the driver seemed to not care. Sure, he would occasionally wipe a bit away but it didn't seem to be where his field of vision was...
Thankfully we arrived at the aiport on time and alive (all the while the statistics that more people die on the drive to airport rather than on the plane was running through my head).
The flight to Amsterdam was uneventful - although there was a terrifying moment at the Lyon airport when I inserted my memory card into a photo-making machine and it wouldn't come out again! In the end I had to forceably pull it out with all my might, scratching my memory card as I did it. Now you know how finicky those things are.
Panicked, I put it back in my camera only to find that half my pictures of Lyon and Paris were wiped out! I FREAKED! Thankfully I had downloaded some of those pictures onto Cat's computer, so it was only a matter of downloading them to the net when I got back to Lyon. There is nothing worse than losing your photos!
We had a four hour layover in Schipol airport, which was a great airport to have a long layover in. It's like a giant mall with fancy shops, a casino, a hotel, massage zones and tons of restaurants and bars...even a Rembrandt musem!
Of course, we were so bloody tired and feeling ill at our jetlag and lack of sleep that we spent all of our time at McDonalds, which had comfy couches you could sleep on. No sleep came for me as I was busy ravaging Stephen King's "Cell" but Ross had a quick one. Then we went on exploring the rest of the massiveairport for a bit. At one point as we were walking through it, Ross laughed at a security sign and quickly grabbed my camera. I had no idea what he was taking a picture of until he showed me this:
Gotta love Dutch (the language, not the film).
Eventually though we got to board our plane (KLM, no less) and it was just a quick hop to Glasgow, where Ross's father was picking us up and driving us the three hours to their place in Aberdeen.
I slept the entire way there which was just as well since all of Scotland seemed to be enveloped in crazy thick fog (and when I say all of Scotland, I mean it, considering Glasgow is on the West Coast and Aberdeen is on the East Coast).
When we finally arrived in Aberdeen, I was so bloody out of it. The problem was that by waking up so damn early, my body got confused and brought on a delayed set of extreme jetlag. To make matters worse, this was Xmas Eve! This wasn't a night to retire in your bed at 6 PM, but I did so anyway. I said quick hellos to Ross's mum, sister Jo and her partner David (whom I knew when they came on the boat with me while visiting last summer).
Of course I was soon joined by Ross and roused by his dad a few hours later in time for Xmas Eve dinner.
And was soon joined by Cat and Chris who had flown into Aberdeen on a later flight.
The dinner was good and the minute Ross sat down to eat, the phone started ringing off the hook with calls from his friends who wanted to hang out that night. Apparently on Xmas Eve, everybody goes out and gets pissed at the local pub. While that usually sounded like fun to me, I was so out of it I didn't know what to think. Neither did Ross for that matter, who, after going out for a cigarette, came back in and announced that he had just puked in the back garden. We never let him live that one down for the rest of the trip.
Anyway, it was inevitable that we go to the pub, especially since it was literally at the end of his street. The Mariner was a quaint, typical Scottish pub beneath a hotel and done up with a nautical theme. There we were joined by Ross's best mate Jhodi and settled in our seats for an evening of Tennents Beer and Vodka Longs, Bob Hoskins (whom I swear was in the bar) and elderly Scotsmen out in their kilts.
Of course, Ross not only had to cope with jetlag but with the persistant teasing by his sisters. I felt bad for siding with them, but I tend to jump on the bandwagon.
The night ended when Ross had heard enough embarrasing stories about him and I felt like I was going to pass out. Of course it didn't end there since everybody forgot about wrapping the presents for the next morning.
And I fell in love with Ross's cocker spaniel. My own dog is on a road trip somewhere in Texas (long story) so I immediately pounced on this one. Poor thing!
Finally, after all the presents were wrapped and placed under the festive tree, we retired to our beds and slept while visions of sugarplums danced in our heads.
Next up: Xmas Freakin Day...finally!