Update: We decided to fly to Heathrow and not directly to Glasgow (even though the airport is just 20 minutes from my Mum’s) to save over $600. There are days when I realise my sanity could be worth more to me than that…*sigh*
10 March: 6 a.m. MST
Montana to Denver
Denver to Dulles, D.C. (change planes and go through Customs)
Dulles to Heathrow
Total travel time = 18+ hours
11 March: Arrive at 6 a.m. GMT and then drive 5+ hours up the M6 to just outside Glasgow. Should be interesting.
Bryan, Ian, Cameron and I are headed off to Scotland from 10-25 March. We are primarily going to see my Gran who has terminal cancer (I am so scared to see her, to see what two subsequent treatments of Chemo have done to her. She was already looking old the last time I saw her. Now my Mum says, “she looks like a wee auld woman.”), but here are thirteen things I am looking forward to:
1. The last time I was home was 13 December 2003. It’s been five long years. (Back when we didn’t have a mortgage or the boys.)
2. I haven’t seen Gran in six years. She came over for the wedding reception and when I made it back to Scotland, she was living in England on the Isle of Wight. If you know England well, this is the furthest off the mainland you can get from Scotland.
3. My Mum has only “met” Bryan twice. We were married for eighteen months before she saw him in the flesh. I’m glad she liked him!
4. I haven’t seen my brothers or sister-in-law in five years. My one brother has two kids, one is 10 and the other just turned 7. I’ve only met the youngest once. He was 2 at the time.
5. I need a hug from my Mum.
6. I get to take Ian on trains and buses. I am soooo excited about that. I can’t wait to see his reactions. The fact that he and Cameron are FREE on public transport (up to age 5) is an added bonus.
7. Curry, chip shops, meat pies, crisps, chocolate, soda indigenous to the UK and other fattening food. I plan on stuffing my face.
8. Charlie & Lola, Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine and any other merchandise I can get away with buying. Teletubbies? Not so much.
9. Catching up with old friends. Some of them I haven’t seen in eight years.
10. Saying something and not being the one who gets stared at.
11. Taking loads of pics. I plan on taking as many as possible–for my benefit and Ian’s. I want him to remember as much as possible.
12. British chocolate Easter eggs: a huge hollow chocolate egg usually accompanied with two chocolate bars of your choice. Woolworths alone sells over 1 million varieties ever year.
13. Breathing Scottish air, seeing familiar things: British icons, products in shops, scenery. (I hope to see some of London with Bryan too.) I don’t even mind if it rains.
I’m sorry that you have to go home under such circumstances (prayers extended for your Grandmother), but I think it will be a great experience for you and yours. Best wishes for a wonderful trip!
Airline routes are funny. When we went to Scotland in 2000, my wife needed to be in Glasgow. If we went to one airport (JFK), we would have had to fly into London and then drive as you do. But leaving by way of the sister airport only a few miles away (as the crow flies), we were able to fly right into Glasgow (albeit by way of the Netherlands, but that was a short stop over).
And who knows; you may have been over here long enough to pick up a bit of the US accent, that your friends may stare at you when you talk.
I hate all you people.
I’ve never been out of the country.
You all suck with your plane hopping selves.
i know you meant WHEN it rains. lol. i can’t believe you’ve been away from your family so long! that makes you very brave in my book. “Saying something and not being the one who gets stared at.” i was only in europe for 3 weeks, and w/a bunch of other americans @ that and you’ve now done it for NEARLY A DECADE?? what a relief it is to not be the oddball. glad you’re getting this trip!!
i’m sorry for you about your grandmother!! but…how awesome to go home! that must be so hard…living in an entirely different continent…away from your family!! that’s so freaking brave of you!!
people stare at you when you talk…because they are so jealous of your accent!
Oh, I’m so glad you are able to go! Although the traveling over and back will be a pain…being there will be worth it. I’m sure it will feel familiar and foreign all at the same time.
I am so sorry about your Gran. I’m willing to bet she’s amazing, just like you. I pray she’s comfortable.
We overlap!! Zach and I will be in London from the 21st to the 29th. We are so looking forward to taking this trip. I hope the weather is at least a bit warmer than it was the last time I was there (Boxing Day ’05 – New year’s ’06).
A lot of great reasons to go! I know seeing your Gran will be difficult but it will be an experience your family won’t forget. I am envious and glad that you’re going.
Such a shame you can’t fly into Glasgow. I’ve done that before (and then had to get a train to Edinburgh, then change to Newcastle 5 months pregnant and carrying a two year old, but that’s a different story).
Anyway, hope it’s all you wish it could be and great that you’re getting to see your gran.
Mmmm, number 12. And you’re bringing lots back for giveaways right?
It’s not long to go is it? And you are coming via me (Denver!!) – we have a very weird looking airport 🙂 It is a sad reason for your actual going back but there are a lot of plus points on that list – Woolies Easter eggs…and I so know what you mean about the buses etc. My kids got such a kick out of riding upstairs at the dront of a double decker – but were sh** scared when all the branches banged on the glass etc.
I have the Charlie and Lola American DVDs from Amazon – they were quite reasonable (Amazon.com ) and I don’t mind the kids listening to them so much….they learn a few Britishisms!? Look out for Roary the Race Car when you are there too. It’s not such a plummy English if you know what I mean. Those cakes….and a vanilla slice too, and Marks and Sparks prawn sarnies and Cheese and Onion crisps and Fish and Chips – wow I am almost wishing I could go but a) you haven’t met my in-laws and b) I am still trying to lose weight.
Wow, I’m sending positive vibes your way for that flight 🙂 I’m sure you’re going to have a lovely time. It’s been quite a while since you’ve seen everyone. I’m sure the hug from mum and gran will be far sweeter than anything else 🙂
This’ll be great! But, you may be surprised to find out how “foreign” everything is. You know, you can’t go home again. But just get lots of mum’s hugs, and grandma’s hugs, and you’ll have a wonderful time!!
The trip sounds glorious. My husband lived for a while in England when he was a teen. He still oohs and aahs over Cadburys. Prayers to your Gran.
I send my prayers to your Grandma. When my Grandfather was about to pass away from terminal cancer also it was hard to go see him because you knew it would be the very last time. Still important though of course.
As for the entire trip, I wish you well 🙂 I’ve only been on a plane once so I’m very jealous. I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland/Ireland/England. Until I heard your entry the other day on the word Whessht (or however that is spelled!) I had never heard your accent before. I LOVE IT! So great!! 🙂
What an amazing homecoming. I can’t imagine being away that long. You must be so excited.
I’m sorry that there is also sadness that goes along with the visit, but so good you get to see your grandma again.
I was reading over your other posts tonight and I really love your writing. I’m going to add you on my blogroll, if you don’t mind. 🙂
Thank you for your persistance in commenting on my blog. I appreciate comment! 🙂
Oh yes. One more thing. That pastry looks heavenly!
hey…you weren’t out of line…at all! i have that blog public for a reason. i just haven’t told my hubby or my family about it. they only know about such simple pleasures. and…that’s how it’ll stay. what they don’t know, right!?
anyway…i’m GLAD you stopped by there! you can visit me on all my blogs!!
I am so excited for you to go home. I hadn’t been back since I’d left in early 2004. We were there for 4 insane weeks but it was brilliant. I got to recharge my accent and my humour and I got to eat far too much food that I’d missed. I can’t wait to get back again.
And there really is something different about Scottish air. As soon as we stepped off the plane in Aberdeen everything just felt right… I’m making myself homesick.
You’ll have a great trip!
Sorry I wasn’t over yesterday. I finally am back at my house & have my own computer. It’s tough blogging somewhere else.
I hope you have a trip home that provides wonderful memories, despite the reason you are making the trip. And, eat a fried Mars bar for me. I hope your boys love Glasgow.
How exciting although im sorry about your gran . Must be hard being away from your family, you are so making me want a greggs – guess im lucky i can just pop out and get one 🙂
Oh oh oh you’re making me so homesick. We’ve just booked flights to the UK for the summer, but we’ve only been here just over a year, so it doesn’t really count. Actually I’m not homesick much at all at the moment, so I had to skim your list quickly – don’t want to go there at the moment.
I’m glad to have found your blog.
Sorry to see the trip to the homeland is not under better conditions. However, going home is lots of fun.
I was in Europe for five years. Some of the simple things are what you will find you have missed the most.
Enjoy the trip