Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My journey to Scotland and back


Well hello, blog-o-sphere! I have finally joined your world, thanks to my good friend Dennis Smith. As I stare at this blank screen, brainstorming how best to break into this new realm, I've decided to start with a flashback to my recent journey to Scotland. I can't wait to share my adventures with you!

Here we go!

DAY ONE - 4/27/12

And I’m off! Headed to Scotland for a much-needed vacation. It was just a year ago that I crossed these same waters to explore London with my parents. Just a year ago…and a whole year ago. In some ways, it seems like yesterday that Prince William and Katherine Middleton were preparing to wed. And in other ways, it seems like forever ago – so much has happened since then.

And yet, I feel like it was just yesterday that we were riding the Tube, visiting Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace, grabbing an “American” snack at KFC, sleeping on the trundle bed, watching the changing of the guard, and walking circles around London.

This trip will be much different: I’ll be with natives who know the ins and outs. We’ll drive in a car (on the “correct” side of the road) and take shortcuts. No more paying for public transportation or waiting for the Tube. I’ll get to see the day-in-day-out of life in Scotland (including the lovely rain and cold weather that comes with the month of April).

       

I got to DFW in plenty of time – early enough to take a lengthy walk around Terminal D and observe. People-watching is a favorite past-time. The neat thing about Terminal D is the mix of cultures. As the hub for international flights, my fellow passengers are not all like me – traveling on “holiday” to a foreign country – but many of them are returning home from this foreign country. I spoke with a guy at my gate who was returning home to London after completing a grueling work assignment: laying off a team of finance professionals as part of his company’s downsizing. Rough week. Despite the tone of his trip, he was kind enough to calm my fears of missing my connecting flight at London Heathrow on the way to Edinburgh. He said it should be simple and quick, and I should have no problem with the slim one hour between landing and taking off. Crisis averted (or so I hope).

As this is my first time traveling abroad solo, I’ve been a little anxious about booking the flight and selecting a seat. I didn’t know how easy it would be to select a seat 24 hours before take-off. While there was the option to pay for a pre-selected seat, I took a gamble. When I logged on to choose my seat last night, lo’ and behold! I found the perfect seat. It is directly behind the emergency exit row that has only two seats. I’ll have plenty of leg room, an easy out to the toilets, and a panel to lean against when I *try* to sleep.

So, I totally scored. On a less exciting note, my row was one of the last called, meaning my options for storing luggage were slim pickings. Well, even though I am not sitting in First Class, my carry-on suitcase is! Great...except for the fact that I think I put my iPod in my suitcase instead of the backpack I have at my seat. I don’t think I’m allowed to go into First Class to get it (and I would be embarrassed to pull it down to look and then not be able to find it). So, I’ll be music-less for the next 10 hours. That’s okay, though. I’m choosing to view it as a good time to reflect. My seat is very near the wing, and I can hardly hear distinct sounds around me, so in some ways I feel like I’m alone. I’ll read a bit, do some Word Finds, maybe watch a movie, and then spend some time in thought as I try to get a little bit of rest. The next week is going to be full of excitement and relaxation and memories. I can’t wait to get started!

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