We leave Montana in a week. The rooms upstairs are alternately cleaned out and disaster zones as we clean, sort, pack, and pile things to go to thrift stores. Currently, the back bedroom looks great, but the living room is not to be found. I might be sitting on the sofa. Or, it could be a pile as yet unsorted. Sometimes it’s hard to tell. As a trade-off, though, the basement is clean and empty. Yippee!

Our UK itinerary is finally settled. While trying to arrange a few days in Paris, we learned all the inexpensive, but highly recommended B&B’s or self-cater apartments are all booked. Booked? Who goes to Paris the first week of November? I mean, other than us. I thought November is cold and wet and grey — not exactly the high season. At least, that’s what all the tourism websites say. Apparently, all us cheapskates show up in time for low season, rainy season be darned!

In the end, though, it seemed to be cheaper to stay in London for two weeks than try to get to Paris. I found a great apartment in London for 12 days, a little out of the way, but good price and great reviews. Having booked it, though, the landlady came back and said she had accidentally looked at the wrong schedule. The one bedroom we wanted was already booked. She was looking at the two bedroom apartment. Yes, it costs more but she’ll give us a discount … I never did the math to figure out whether it was still cheaper to go to Paris or not. Maybe I just don’t want to know.

On the plus side, if you happen to visit London in the first 12 days of November, we have a free room available for you!

At this point, nothing in the schedule can change too much. All lodgings have been reserved, and the train tickets along the way. At least the card company finally believes that I am taking a trip to Scotland. I’ve had to call them three times in the last month to unfreeze my account or reassure them that yes, I am buying tickets to and within the UK. I know if it truly were fraud, I would be very happy with their level of scrutiny. As it is, though, their level of scrutiny seems over-zealous.

Three weeks until we get on a plane … the countdown is on!