Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Peaks & Valleys of Trip Planning: The Winds have settled. . .

After writing my Vernazza post, I stared at my map and guidebooks: . . . train over from Glasgow to Fort William, hire a car and drive A830 (aka Road to the Isles), stop in a fishing village and a castle or two, cross by ferry to the Isle of Skye, drive single track roads, stopping to see sheep, baby Highland cows and a Rock that looks like a Kilt, train to Edinburgh to stand on Arthur's seat and hear the 1 o'clock cannon sound off from a castle, sit in a pub and eat (not Haggis) but some seafood and maybe drink a good scotch . . . I think of these things as I listen to Caledonia playing in the background.

I ask myself, so why did I stray? The answer, Italy! :) Well, the winds have settled and I'm back on course! Sometimes I can experience a little bit of self doubt and second guessing during the planning stages. And it somehow surfaces the closer I get to the departure date (or in my case the planned departure date). I call them the Peaks and Valleys of trip planning! LOL! I remember when I planned my trip to Prague, I was like what was I thinking.

A fellow Slow Traveler, AnnieNC, said something in one of her comments that put things into perspective for me, "Well, all I can say is follow your heart. You can go to Scotland another year (and you can also go to Italy another year)...You can't go wrong either way." She's so right and I needed to be reminded that I can't go wrong either way. I should just be grateful to be able to travel. I truly am....very grateful.

Ticket prices . . . still hovering around $800 and up. I'm remaining optimistic though for another airfare sale after Labor Day Weekend! :)

Thanks everyone for listening to my little whiny vent session during my valley period of trip planning and thanks Annie for the reminder that I really can't go wrong either way!


  1. I love your analogy....it really IS peaks and valleys. Glad what I said helped and that you're feeling more settled. I too always go thru phases of indecision and doubt and procrastination (which is where I am right now...I don't know where I'm going this year and I'm not really trying to figure it out!).

    A rock that looks like a kilt...can't wait to see your photos of that!

    Off topic...but I just read that Paula is not coming back to Idol and I am bummed. I wanted them to go back to three judges but I hoped that she would be one of them. I will miss her (deep down, I think I really enjoyed some of those random rambling moments she had!).

    Hope you're having a good week and I have my fingers crossed for bargain airfares coming your way!

  2. Hi Annie, thanks again for the reminder. And glad you liked the analogy. :)

    You shouldn't worry about making any decisions. It will come to you and summer isn't over yet. I'll be looking forward to hearing your decision.

    I'm always up for some AI gossip! LOL! I'm so bummed too that Paula won't be returning. I do tease about her spaciness and ramblings while on the show but that's just her. I still like her way better than Kara and I think it just won't be the same without her. :( I'm hoping that she will change her mind. Personally, I think Ryan Seacrest is being paid waaaay too much for what he contributes to the show. I think he's getting that partly because of his KISS radio show's following. I think Simon may be worth that kind of money but not Ryan. Come AI producers, show Paula the money and let's get to AI Season 9! :)

    Thanks again Annie and have a good day!

  3. Hi Kathy, thanks for reminding me that summer isn't over yet. It's true and plus, when you travel in winter, you don't have to worry as much about not finding places to stay etc.

    I read another article that said that maybe this is Paula's roll-of-the-dice to get them to give her a better contract. I agree with you, give her what she wants! Agree with you completely about Ryan - his new contract is enormous! Plus I think Simon will really miss having Paula as his side-kick because I don't think Kara has the same sense of humor that Paula has and their interaction won't be as fun to watch.

    You have a good day too!

  4. Oh, I forgot to say that I love your photo, with the map and the books. Great shot of travel planning at its best!

  5. Hi Annie, thanks for liking my photo. And you are soooo right. Best thing about winter travel is the ability to book on short notice. I'm just going to enjoy my summer like I have been and not worry about it. Plus we have three more salads left to do! :) I'm looking forward to your couscous! I still need to get more ingredients before the weekend though.

    And you're right, somehow I don't see Kara and Simon playing. The other thing I really like about Paula is how she would stand up and dance when she liked a performace. She was so enthusiastic and cool about that whereas the other judges would just sit there, even Kara.

    I think she only gets paid like 3 million per episode. Listen to me "only" 3 million. :) But hey if they are shelling out 45 for Ryan they should shell out what Paula is asking for. I may have to join the get Paula back bandwagon now that I'm thinking about the disparity. Afterall, girls sometimes gotta stick together for equal pay and recognition. Oops there I go.

    I'll get off my soap box now. Have a good one Annie! :)

  6. Me again,oops, I meant to say 3 million per season. :)

  7. Kathy, I love the sound of that itinerary: "...train over from Glasgow to Fort William, hire a car...stop in a fishing village and a castle or two...stop to see sheep, baby Highland cows and a Rock that looks like a Kilt, train to Edinburgh to stand on Arthur's seat and hear the 1 o'clock cannon sound off from a castle, sit in a pub....drink a good scotch..."

    You really can't go wrong with a plan like that! But half the fun of a trip, I think, is in the planning and weighing so many great options -- including where to go (in Scotland or elsehwere!)

    Isn't that a great thing about a blog, you can kick all kinds of ideas and questions around to help you reach the best decision, for you!

    (Hey, maybe that's what Paula is doing with AI -- throwing out some ideas to see what sticks!)

  8. Hi Sandra, thanks for liking my itinerary. And yes, one of the greatest things I love about blogging and our blogging community is the ability to learn, throw out ideas, get ideas and inspiration and the wonderful list just goes on. I love it! And I am so appreciative.

    And yes I think that is maybe what paula could be doing. Throwing out the idea of Idol without her and then seeing what comes of it. I hope it works and she gets the raise.:)

    Thanks again and have a great day.

  9. Very apt description. You should have heard me before my October trip...at one point, I was so far off track, I was considering Poland! Just to do something different. But my heart pulled me back to my original inspiration, just as yours has in drawing you back to Scotland. I know you will have a wonderful time. I think Scotland is perhaps the place in the world that my Dave most wants to visit someday...the Highlands especially. Thinking positive thoughts that cheap airfare will turn up for you!!

  10. Hi Anne, thank you so much for the pep talk. I think that's a good point about being drawn to our original plans. I've always depended a lot on my instincts and it has never let me down yet. And also thinking about what Annie said that I couldn't go wrong either way. In the end, I decided Italy will be there next year... and I went back to my original draw to Scotland!

    That would be cool if you and your family could travel to Scotland too. I can't wait to see a part of the Highlands. That is something that I have always wanted to see. I will hopefully have some cool photos to share with you all when I return. :)

    Thanks so much for your comments Anne and have a great evening.

  11. Me again, Anne much thanks to you and everyone for the positive Low Airfare thoughts. :)

    Have a good evening....it's almost Friday!

  12. Kathy, I had to laugh, because I went through the same thing planning my trip to Thailand, I guess Italy is always on my mind. But like Annie said, you can't go wrong with Scotland, and I am sure you will love it. Your itinerary sounds great!I can't wait to hear all about your trip.And I do hope the airfares go lower for you.

  13. Love your description - you can see the thought that has gone into your planning! I've not been to Scotland so will await your blogging with anticipation! Great advice from A - you really can't go wrong wherever you go...I am with you thinking that traveling is such a treat! - I don't understand but often wonder secretly (?) why people don't like seeing their world. Love the composition of your photo too...menehune

  14. Hi Candi, I know what you mean. I laugh about it too. Isn't Travel fun. :) And yes, Annie is right, I really can't go wrong either way. Seems like we all go through some form of what if stage. But with your successful Thailand trip, all of our decisions do work out very nicely in the end. Glad you liked my itinerary.

    Hi M, glad you liked my itinerary too. yes, Annie's reminder that I can't go wrong either way really helped to settle me down from my self doubt and I miss Italy period and I am happily back on track with Scotland. I did throw myself into my guidebooks, internet research and of course slow Travel to inspire my trip itinerary and I like it too. I can't wait to go and I will be very happy to share all of my experiences. I hope to bring back some Scotland photos too. It is interesting that there are some people who aren't as curious about the world, I'm not one of them. Since as young as I can remember being I have always been a traveler at heart.

    Thanks Candi & M for your comments. Scotland....Whoo hoo! :) Have a good day.

  15. LOL, at first when I saw "3 million an episode" I went "whoah!" 3 million a year does seem low, considering what a phenom Idol is AND how much the boys are making. And you are so right about gendar inequality...makes me want to write a 'save paula" letter to Fox!

    About the salads, just wanted to let you know about the next Slow cooking challenge. There's a sign-up thread on the Slow Talk Food board and this time, we are going to do "Small Bites" (appetizers, snacks, tapas etc). Instead of choosing a recipe, each person will choose an ingredient and then everyone will make something different using that ingredient and share their recipe.

    It's a new twist and I think it will be fun. Anyway, hope you'll join in if you want too. People are picking their ingredients on Slow Talk (I picked avocado....yum!).

    Almost Friday!

  16. You are so right when you say that we are so lucky if we can travel. I love to read your thinking patterns. The world is so big and yet so small. I want to go to so many places and it's hard to get myself pointed away from Italy but when I find myself pushing towards another direction that too becomes a gift. I have never been to Scotland but I have heard so many wonderful things about it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and plans. I look forward to many stories and photos of the upcoming trip.

  17. Hi Annie, :) I think Idol makes millions, plus they have a deal with i-tunes for the music and performance downloads and I’m sure they make big bucks from that too. And considering what they are paying Ryan and Simon and who knows what they are paying Randy, I should think that they can negotiate with Paula to give her more money. I may have to write an I want Paula back letter to Fox too.. Paula has been there since day one just like Ryan and Simon and yet she is paid far less. It just seems unfair to me.

    That’s so funny that you mentioned the next Slow Cooking challenge, this morning I read parts of a thread discussing it before heading to work because I wanted to copy the next two salad recipes. I was going grocery shopping tonight to get the final ingredients for your wonderful couscous salad and thought that I would try to get any additional ingredients that I will need for the next two salads. The next slow cooking challenge sounds like fun. And I think it is a fabulous idea to pick an ingredient and find an appetizer type recipe for it. Great timing for all the holiday parties and potlucks coming up. I always tend to bring a bowl of fruit since I don’t know of any good appetizer type dish to bring. Might be fun. I’ll go read the schedule more in depth tonight and see if I can find something to contribute. Avocado sounds so good. That was a really great selection. Thanks for the heads up Annie. And yes, can’t wait for tomorrow to be over and the weekend to begin. :) Have a great Thursday.

    Hi Barb, you’re so right. There are so many places to visit and then there’s Italy. I could honestly just travel all over Italy and be very happy. But it’s also fun to see other places too because as you said it makes the world smaller by doing so. I enjoy learning from everyone and I also enjoy sharing whenever I can and I will be glad to share my thoughts on Scotland when I return. We really are very lucky to be able to travel the way that we do. Not very many people have that opportunity and I am humbled by that thought. Thanks again for your comments and have a great day today.

  18. I think we all suffer a bit of self-doubt and second guessing during the planning stages of a trip due to that long list of places-to-visit that we all have in our minds. As Annie mentioned you “can't go wrong either way”. Where ever you go, you’ll have a great time and will come back with such great memories and fantastic photos.

    I’m hoping that the airlines put out a sale soon for fall travel so that you can start the fun part of travel planning. I’ve never been to Scotland but I’m eager to see it through your eyes.

    I hope you’ll join us in our new culinary challenge. I’m really looking forward to so many new appetizer recipes. My ingredient is potatoes because I have in mind doing the Spanish “papas bravas”. I like Annie’s choice; avocado is one of my favorite foods!

  19. Hi Maria, thanks so much for your comments. And I totally agree with you. I think the self doubt does come from the fact that there are so many places that we want to see that each decision is so important. I do feel pretty good about Scotland and yes like Annie said, I really can't go wrong. None of us can. I will be very happy to bring back and share a bit of Scotland so maybe some of my blogging buddies might want to go someday. Thanks so much for your low fares thoughts.

    I am very interested in the new challenge and I think Annie's avocados and your spanish papas bravas are excellent choices and I can't wait to try them. I'll have to check out the boards and ponder whether I can come up with a good enough contribution. I wouldn't want to disappoint anyone.

    Thanks to you and Annie for the encouragements. It really does sound like fun and I really enjoy the Sunday Salad Samplers.

    Have a great evening Maria!

  20. I always go through that self doubt and second guessing, even just with the places I choose in Italy before each trip. Your itinerary sounds so interesting! Crossing my fingers for you for low airfares!

    Wow, I sure learned a lot reading all of the comments. All the latest gossip on American Idol and how Paula has not been paid enough (thought the days of the boys making more were finally over) and the new Slow cooking challenge...

    I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

  21. Hi Girasoli, thanks for your comments. I know what you mean. I even second guessed myself for my trip to Italy the previous years trying to decide on the Dolomite tour and my day trips. So I guess it happens no matter where you travel too (new or familiar). So with Annie's comments of you can't go wrong, I think it is a good feeling to have to get rid of the second guessing.

    And yes, poor Paula. It's so not fair that they are meeting her asking price when they have shelled out so much for Ryan and Simon. She twittered that she is in fact leaving Idol. Not sure if that is still a ploy to get the good old boys from Fox to cough up the bucks or if she really is leaving for good. So sad. I'll still watch AI, but it sure won't be the same without her.

    Have a good one!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.