Yesterday was a day of airports and airplanes. We left our hotel in Edinburgh at 6:45 in the morning and touched down in Honolulu around 10:30 last night. Along the way we stopped in (and ran through) the airport in Philadelphia as well as LAX. Besides some slight frustrations at each (well, that last sprint at Philly was more than just a frustration), the flights themselves went well: all arrived a little early, each fed us well.
The trip went well. We had nice weather, at least while we were out and about at each site. The rain tended to fall while we were in the bus. The weather was cool to cold, with one or two days that were shorts-worthy. We got to do most of our itinerary. We weren’t rushed as much as we had been in the past. Traveling with students in a large group is definitely different than traveling solo at your own pace. We did get to retrace some of my itinerary from last year’s Scotland trip, particularly in visiting parts of Hadrian’s Wall at Steel Rig and seeing the Augustinian abbey in Jedburgh. We also stopped at the Scottish border, which was cold and windy and wet, making it just right for the moment.
One of my personal goals was to track down the three Rivers of London books that I had not read yet. One was a novel only available in hardback in the US at this point. The remaining two were novellas. I found the novel and one of the novellas at the Blackwell’s in Oxford. When we got the hotel that night, I found that the novella (hardback) was actually signed by Aaronovitch as part of an independent booksellers promotion. I found the other novella (paperback) at the Blackwell’s in Edinburgh. Collection complete. The bookseller there recommended another series in a similar vein. I picked up the first book in that series.
I refrained from starting those books on the trip. Instead, I finished Jamie Smith’s book on Augustine. I also started reading through some of Augustine’s letters on my Kindle (where ancient texts are often free or cheap). Beyond that, it was a trip of looking at landscapes and enjoying the countryside. My downtime in the hotels was spent on paperwork, room checks, and regularly sifting through the purchases of the day.