Thursday, February 26, 2015

UK Tour Day 1 - Goodbyes, Airport Lounges, G&Ts, and Hello, Edinburgh!


Somehow I feel like my blog is dull unless I'm out hunting dragons or reading funny street signs in foregin countries. That's not to say that my life is boring. Quite the contrary, I have the most imaginative quests everyday back in my Kentucky living room. They just generally involve Lego and Hot Wheels. They also involve cuddles and kisses and warm hugs. So don't get the idea that I think less of playing trains than taking trains. I just feel like travel makes for better blogging...

Yesterday I dropped the Wee Boy off at preschool, cried a lot and then went to the airport. It's funny -- I didn't cry at all his first day of school. Leaving him in his classroom yesterday was the worst, however, and I suddenly felt a great amount of sorrow and empathy for the parents who do feel that strongly on the first day of school. Because, oh man, all the feels ... all the feels. 

I was flying with fancy Platinum status, but United doesn't do automatic upgrades on international flights. So my hopes of sitting up front for the long haul were dashed, and I drowned my sadness with free drinks from the United Lounge (Platinum travelers do, at least, get into the lounges for free when traveling internationally.) Still, only well drinks were free, so I limited myself to two. I'm not sure why anyone who isn't a business traveler would pay $50 for well-drinks and cheese and crackers, although I suppose I can appreciate the comfy lounge chairs and lack of children hanging around. I snagged an office in the business room and actually got caught up on admin stuff.

My flight was delayed an hour, but the pilot somehow "took a shortcut" to make up for the time. I don't understand why they don't just always take the shortcut, but whatever. It blows my mind that it only took 5 hours and 15 minutes to get from New York to Scotland, but we are living in the future. I was about to sleep for about 3 -3.5 hours, which is par for the course back home. Honestly, I feel pretty much the same as I always do -- foggy, tired, having trouble with word retrieval, and generally like a Mom. 

this picture is Kentucky or Indiana. .. not sure which direction we were facing as i'm pretty sure the plane did a few circles...

Or should I say "Mum" because I AM IN SCOTLAND!!! And look how glorious the day is. My super power is perfect vacation weather, and my streak continues, people.

Immigration officers were supremely kind to me this morning while processing my work visa. Then my bag was the first one off the conveyor belt, and I skipped over to the tram station. The ticket booth didn't take cash, and it only takes the fancy chipn&pin credit cards that we, in America, are 10-years-behind-the-times and still don't have (later this year, I'm told?). But because I'm in Scotland and everyone is kind, the tram man took me aside, took my five pounds, and sold me a ticket manually. 

I'm not going to get political, but I LOVED my tram ride. It's a sore subject in Edinburgh, as the trams were over-budget and over-time to build. But the ride into the city was easy, quick and beautiful. I still audibly gasped when the castle came into view. If you've ever been to Edinburgh, you know what I mean. It's just ... well, it's just the greatest.

Diana met me at the tram stop, and I went straight to Stockbridge for breakfast at Earthy -- a delicious organic grocery store/restaurant. Coffee, eggs, toast, Scottish accents. Perfection.

Other highlights: catching up with an ex-pat at an adorable coffeeshop called Meanwhile. Rehearsing with Diana. Singing and playing music for several hours in a row ... like, that just never happens at home.

Edinburgh! Sorry. I just had to pinch myself a wee bit. The thing that's killing me now is that my family isn't with me. Also, I keep seeing adorable little 2-3year-old Scottish boys speaking in the most ridiculously adorable accents ... and I feel sad that my wee boy doesn't have one. Perhaps it's time to take a school tour over here...

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