For all those who thought I would have travel updates: my bad! Here’s the first of my summaries from this semester.
Ironic that the first travel post I’m going to make is about the end of my semester, but it is what it is.
Thursday, May 18 represented my last full day in Salamanca. After many tearful goodbyes and vise-like hugs, I pulled myself away from the lovely friends of En Vivo to grab a couple hours of rest before collecting my bags and making my way to the Salamanca estación de autobuses. A few friends were there. Some, like me, were boarding. Others came to say goodbye. Tears had run dry by this point, so instead we exchanged bittersweet smiles as the bus pulled away. It was over.
A few hours later I found myself lost in Madrid Bajaras, searching for a Ryan Air check station. Aftr listening to…
A bumpy start to be sure of this holiday in Scandinavia. My flight was delayed a bit, but daughter Jessica’s flight was so delayed, that her flight from Istanbul to Copenhagen had left without her. She was able to secure a seat, but not until much later, arriving nearly 7 hours later than scheduled in Copenhagen. Thankfully, technology today had allowed her to let me know once i found a place to receive Wi-Fi (stood outside the SAS lounge near customs in Copenhagen and found out why she was not already there. This was more delays, and by the time i received the information and directions to our accommodation, rode the Metro to Kongons Nytorv, and found our Airbnb located above the Cafe Zalt on Kompagnistræde , our hostess had had to leave for a meeting, so, i hung out, dragging my suitcase around Copenhagen for all that time without knowing actually when or if Jessica would arrive that day! Thankfully, the weather was decent and by evening we were finally together and ready to explore. In just a couple of days, we have accomplished a lot! Here are a few highlights
These past two months have been such a blessing with our whole family together at home. Daughter Jessica, returned in June from her two years in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, having taught kindergarten at The American School. She made so many friends, both at the school and the US Embassy. She had purchased a car and explored the countryside as much as possible on long weekends. On longer breaks, she took in Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Ecuador. She was able to come home for visits occasionally. She will miss her classroom assistant, Ms Cuty, very much – she just loved that wonderful lady. As she gave me a hug (the boys and i visited Thanksgiving 2013), she says to me, ‘in the classroom, Miss Jessica is my boss, outside, she is my daughter.’ I will never be able to adequately thank this wonderful lady!.
Now, she has just landed in Dubai, UAE via Delta Airlines for her next two year stint at teaching. This time, she will be teaching kindergarten at Dubai American Academy, a world class private school.
Taking her to Kansas City International Airport yesterday was a difficult task for me. Emotionally, i’m just a basket case. Of course, i’m thrilled she has the courage, tenacity, and hard work ethic to graduate number one in her Central Methodist University class of 2013 with honors at age 21, then to apply for and obtain a foreign teaching job, then do it again, travel all over while she’s in those areas, but at the same time, I want her safe at home. But she’s probably not in any more in danger on her travels than she is on our north Missouri farm.
It was certainly nice not to have to leave home at 2am to make the flight like it was for Tegucigalpa! But it is now 23 hours from our house to her apartment in Dubai.
So, maybe i burst into tears occasionally because of the change? my children are grown and leaving (left) the nest? making lives of their own? Geesh, those should make me happy! What’s wrong here? I am happy – just not ready.
Since it is Friday, we probably won’t hear from here until Sunday or Monday, when she is settled into her apartment and utilities are turned on. What a difference in weather and culture! It’s currently 93 feels like 107F in Dubai – not bad, we’ve been having that in north Missouri, EXCEPT, it’s 1 am in Dubai.
At last the day arrived for our flight to Scotland. We deliberately scheduled our stay to include being in Edinburgh for the big vote! On September 18, citizens of Scotland will vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a referendum that will give them the opportunity to become independent from England.
Edinburgh has endured through the ages, with archaeologists really not able to establish the exact date of the famous castle of the same name which serves as the anchor for the town. Some references to the castle exist from 600 AD. However, it is certain that the castle became a royal principality under King Malcom III with his youngest son having died here in 1107 AD. Edinburgh has been the capital of Scotland since 1437, but under English rule since 1707.
Allen drove us to the Kansas City airport for our first and uneventful flight to Chicago, however, mechanical failures on our trans-Atlantic 757, caused 2 hours of delay as the plane sat at the gate with every seat booked. Once underway, however, the flight was excellent. Thankfully, I slept a good deal of the way, but the boys stayed awake watching movies until our break through the clouds to a dark and misty Edinburgh – the weatherman describes it as ‘murky.’
Since we had no checked luggage and most of the passengers were locals, we proceeded quickly through customs due to a short line and the late arrival. After exchanging a few dollars into pounds, we found a call booth to ring Dave Stewart, our ‘meet and greet’ guy for the apartment. What a treat to discover that he arranged for us to check in 2 1/2 hours earlier than the 2pm standard checkin time!
Both boys took long naps, then whilst Nathan continued sleeping, Dallas and I found a grocery store only seven minutes walk away. After a snack of Scottish-made butter, cheese, and freshly baked bread, we toured the John Knox House and a made a quick run through the Museum of Edinburgh, both a short stroll east of our 1 Parliament Square apartment.
Nathan’s knee was beginning to bother him, so he headed back to the room – taking fine photos along the way; Dallas and i stopped by the grocer again and selected some meat (including a chub of haggis, and chips, all made in Scotland to augment our snacks, as well as eggs and biscuits for brecky. We have found this to be a tremendous savings to prepare our meals in the full kitchen versus eating meals out.
As the terrified screams from participants of the Edinburgh ghost tours wafts away in the late hours,our eyes grow heavy and we drift off to sleep.