so like i said, we arrived in edinburgh, scotland at 10:15 am, wednesday, november 30. the ten minutes it took to get from my plane seat to the terminal felt like a century and a half. the fifteen minutes it took to get through customs and claim our bags felt like a million jillion years. but as soon as we stepped into the waiting area and realized we were done with the last of the line-ups and questions and bag checks and squishy flights, the years and centuries of waiting were reversed and i was 24 again, happily. and there was barclay's uncle, brian, and barclay's cousin, annabelle.
there were hugs and introductions and all that, and then we jumped into their car and headed off.
i felt like i'd stepped through a magical wardrobe into some alternate universe that i'd heard of but never visited before. it was exactly what i thought it would be like--the sheep dotting the rolling green hills, the water coming up onto rocky beaches, the CARS DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD.
i know i'm a rookie at life for never having experienced this, but for real. so trippy.
we took turns sitting in the front seat, though i couldn't stay quite in the seat because i wanted to look at everything all at once.
brian took us back home to meet his completely fantastic family, who live in the most adorable area and house. ruby, anne, & matthew fed us pancakes and croissants and we did origami and i told them about my horrible sweaty airplane seat mate and they made jokes in their thick scottish accents and then we hiked up a volcano with them, even though we hadn't slept in hours and hours and it was still technically 5 in the morning our time.
the volcano's name was arthur's seat, and it was absolutely massive. the sky was grouchy and the wind was obnoxious, but i barely noticed. half sleep-deprivation, half awe, i'm sure. barclay had visited arthur's seat the last time he'd come to scotland, and on that trip he'd told his mom, "someday, i'm going to bring my wife here. this is amazing."
so there we were.
and, like anything worth experiencing, you had to have been there to understand what i mean when i say: the view. THE VIEW.
the tippy top of the volcano was so windy that i couldn't stand up straight. i held on tight, because being blown off a 900 foot hill would've been a nasty start to our trip, for sure.
it was hard to leave our place on top of the world, but we eventually made our way back down to earth.
we went back to brian and anne's house for a meal and some drinks with barclay's grandparents before finding our hotel and negotiating with the receptionist for a room with a view.
and thus, day one ended with us completely crashing into bed at 10 pm, having said, "i can't believe we're here" close to 98 times.