Okay, as I type this post out on the train I have been traveling for… I believe eighteen hours and I’m finally on the last leg of my trip ending up at Waverly station in Edinburgh. So, let me take you back to checking my bags in Logan International Airport. It. Was. Bedlam. Seriously everyone must have called each other up and decided to fly out of Boston on the 31st of July. So I kinda sorta started to panic just a little because even though my flight wasn’t leaving for another three and a half hours but the line for checking luggage was insanely long, like I’m talking halfway down the E terminal long, and 2/3 of that length was made up of a soccer trip going to Brighton (more on them later). I made the bold decision to see if I could upgrade my seating to ~Premium Economy~ which here means way more leg room, better food, bigger seats, and first on first off privileges which I was totally down for. Long story short I was able to charm my way into upgrading my seat on both legs of my trip for half price, how? I don’t have a bloody clue. Maybe it was because the kind woman behind the desk was savor in the time before she had to deal with I SHIT YOU NOT like over 100 kids under the age of 15. Maybe it was the suppressed look of panic behind my eyes at the thought of having to go to the back of the line. We will never know the true motivation behind her kind actions, however it happened and I almost cried. I also would like to state for the record that I cried in the bus station before I had even left Portland. I don’t know if you want to know why but since you’re here on my blog I will keep assume you are a little invested in my emotions. I cried because without my parents support and encouragement I don’t know if this trip would have happened at the time it did. I cried because I was nervous that the UK border officer wouldn’t let me into the country (this is a reoccurring theme), and I cried because I was going back to a place I openly refer to as my heart. So there was a lot going on. I got through TSA without any issue (well, except for holding up the line because I couldn’t find my liquids bag) and I had this really cute bow in my hair and the lady ~laughed~ and literally said “oh you’re so cute. It’s a little bow. A little girls bow. You’re so cute.” UM WHAT?! So that was something that had never happened, but it did, so tick that off of the list of weird things people I don’t know have said to me. I ate a mediocre dinner. There were only two other things that happened before I boarded my plane that are worth mentioning: 1. My plane was delayed by a half hour and I found out because my parents texted me about it (it was never announced officially in the airport lol) because a plane from airFrance was for some reason taking a lot of time in clearing the gate/they were just taking longer than was expected. 2. Someone (read a child I assume) threw up right by the gate so not only are pushy people crowding closer and closer to the gate (as if that was going to make the French plane move any faster) and it smelled like vom.
By the time I got to my seat on the plane I was ready to sit and listen to my podcast The Adventure Zone and read Tina Fey’s Bossypants and struggle to remain hydrated by alternately chugging and sipping the truly massive bottle of water I had purchased in the airport. I sat next to a sweet little British man who smelled like gummy bears and we both settled into a comfortable silence for the rest of the plane ride. Guys- GUYS I actually slept!! I had a weird three bean chili thing for my dinner with a tiny bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (for those who are familiar with my wine preferences there is nothing I love more than a glass of Sauvignon Blanc). I pretty much passed out for a couple of hours waking up in time to eat the breakfast they supplied, and then I passed out again waking up when my ears popped as we descended into London.
Okay- so there are two things of note that happened to me whilst in London. The first is that on my little card doohickey they have you do for immigration for occupation I put ‘writer’ because that’s what I am (side note this was a really cool moment) and the woman who was my border officer had clearly had a long day already and here I come bleary eyed and just a little sweaty:
Border Officer: So, you’re a writer?
Me: yes, I am.
Border Officer: What do you write?
Me: Mostly fiction.
Border Officer: Are you famous then?
Me: (brain short circuits, a look of horror and confusion I’m sure crosses my face) <snort laugh> oh no, I’m still working on that.
Border Officer: Oh, you just look like you might be a famous writer.
Me: <uncomfortable laughter> Well thank you, but yeah- not yet. Hopefully one day. Hehe.
Border Officer: Enjoy your visit (hands me back my passport)
Me: Thank you! (Bows a little)
I BOWED TO A BORDER OFFICER.
This can be used as evidence that I should never be allowed in public without a handler. ANYHOO the other notable occurrence while in London was that the bloody tube wasn’t running into central London. So there went my low cost way to get to Kings Cross Station. I ended up using my Oyster card to get a place on the Heathrow Commuter and that took me to Paddington Station where I flirted with the idea of riding the Piccadilly line, but by that time I was done lugging my suitcase up and down stairs so I hailed a cab and took it to Kings Cross. By the time I arrived at the station I had just enough time to buy my ticket, look longingly at the crowd in line for the Harry Potter 9 3/4 platform display (I had visited it three years ago and OF COURSE I had claimed the Slytherin scarf #hisshiss) and power walk to Platform 0 to catch the 12.00 train to Edinburgh. And now I’ve caught you up to the present which is an odd thing because by the time I publish this I will be in Edinburgh hopefully tucked into my bed with a cup of tea. I’m completely in love with the English countryside, and I understand why so many romantic period pieces use it as a backdrop. It just seems to be semi frozen in time, and the further I get away from the US (I love ya America, you can be a beautiful place but the pace of life is exhausting) the slower the pace becomes maybe that’s just me getting further away from certain elements in my life, or maybe it’s that there is a different pace to life here. And isn’t that’s just wonderful.
I made it. I’m back in the place I fell in love with three years ago, honestly walking off of the train it felt as if I were being embraced by an old friend. Seeing all of my favorite places as I walked through the city brought on a uniquely warm feeling I hope to have again and again and again. I am safe, I am happy, I am home.