The other side of the pond
I am currently sitting on the front terrace of my cute little Air bnb watching the most incredible sunset over the 11th century church across the street. The past few days have been dreamy and a tad jet laggy. But, hello England! I am so happy to be here!
So, Sunday before I left... my parents threw the best going away party of all time. It included lots of Union Jacks (I just learned that word today, it's the fancy British title for their flag), cupcakes, sweet cards, and some of my favorite people who drove long distances and made me feel very loved. It was the absolute best way to leave the country. Oh, and my dad hung a British flag on the front of our house. We made quite a British scene in the neighborhood.
Fast forward to Friday... I am hauling my 52 pound suit case into the air port with another bag on my back and another one on my arm, and I can tell in my mom's eyes she was thinking "I told you so, you packed too much." But in my defense, all people talk about is the crazy British weather, so what is a girl to do?! Anyways, the kind airport man didn't make me pay for the bag being over 50 pounds and I was off! Bye Alabama humidity!
I would like to pause for a minute and express how much I enjoyed my flight to London. I am officially Virgin Atlantic's new #1 fan! Talk about ambiance. I walked onto the plane and these lovely British stewardesses in "smart" red uniforms looked so happy to welcome me and point me to my seat. There was jazzy pink lighting and some upbeat yet classy music playing and the first class bar was all lit up. It was like I had walked into the friendliest of posh clubs ever. In your seat they provide you with socks, those fancy eye cover things, a tooth brush, and a pen (I love free pens.) Also, no one came to the seat next to me! This. Never. Happens. Hello all the room you could ever want! I drank a glass of wine, leaned my chair back, watched a movie, and basically loved my life for 7 hours and 54 minutes. I'm sorry I am getting carried away. Basically, I had a great flight.
Moving on. I landed in Heathrow, and my British supervisor/mum (who I will refer to as Row) for the year was waiting with a sign that had my name on it. We got stuck in traffic on the M25 (check out that local flavor I just added), but it didn't matter because Row and I have been emailing for 6 months now so we were cyber best friends who were now meeting in person. We ate lunch at a local pub and watched house boats go through the lock on the canal while I tried to tell stories coherently despite the jet lag.
Lastly, I feel the need to talk about Surrey. It's basically perfect and quaint and British. School kids fill the side walks in their uniforms after school, the lanes are narrow and plants grow right to the edges, and all the houses are beautiful half timbered homes or converted brick barns. And they all have roses climbing up the sides. It's magical.
My first 3 weeks are at RHS Wisley in Surrey. I will be rotating on all the different horticulture teams, meeting many of the faces of the Royal Horticultural Society and visiting some of the greatest gardens in the South of England.
And this is home for the next couple of weeks. England, I think we were made for each other. (ignoring the fact that I am Scottish on both sides.)