From Beaches to Bagpipes

Well, I’m here! A hop across the pond and I’m in the sitting room of some old family friends in Edinburgh. The weather is a little gloomy, as expected, but not bad at all. I’ve been informed it’s actually rather warm today, which is just slightly frightening, but I’m sure I’ll adjust.

The flight wasn’t as awful as it could’ve been– the packing, however, is a whole other story. The flurried madness increased in velocity until we were up to our ears in clothes and had both bags teetering on the brim of the weight restrictions. Fifty pounds, contrary to popular belief, is not quite as large a number as it initially seemed. But after some shuffling around, a few tears, and several last-minute eliminations, the suitcase was thrown into the car along with my family and we were off to SFO.

My dog was more focused on his peanut butter treats than his bawling owner (me) during a heartbreaking good-bye, but I’m sure I’ll recover from that trauma some day. An endless stream of photos and farewells saw me through security and soon, boarding the plane, where everything was terribly, wonderfully British. “Flavour” and “colour” were no longer what they once were. I’ll add those (and “pants”) to the list of things I need to get used to.

The flight was smooth, or as smooth as a 12-hour transatlantic flight can be. I had to awkwardly inform a non-English speaking couple that they were sitting in my reserved seat, a decision I regretted as soon as the little boy sitting behind me starting kicking. Ten minutes into the flight, the person in front reclined their seat into my lap. The lady to my left kept me alert with gentle snores. Despite all of this, I was optimistic– the flight to Heathrow would only last so long, and then a second one would take me to Edinburgh.

Upon landing, the stomach of the little boy behind me seemed to reject the plane food– all over the back of my seat. My equally disturbed neighbors made quick work of unloading and then I was free! Well, kind of.

If you have never been to Heathrow airport, you don’t understand just how terribly confusing it is. Amidst loading zones and upstairs departures and oddly-ordered gates I wandered until I racked up the nerve to ask another woman for directions. I scraped into the gate with fifteen minutes to spare and managed to order a latte (with only a little difficulty with the new currency). I sat next to a spare seat on the flight and was met by family friends, Imogen and Trona, on the other side.

Which brings us back to me in their living room.

Tomorrow I’m hopping on a train to Darlington to see my cousins and their 6-year-old son and will be moving between relatives once in England. I was only here in Edinburgh for a day, but considering I have the whole upcoming year I’m not too torn up.

Till next time!

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