I'm grabbing a few moments to post an update here--my parents have been visiting for the last week and we have spent nearly every moment of the last 8 days sightseeing and traveling, and it's not over yet. After an initial evening in London, then a day out in Nottingham followed by a day in Leicester, to a day seeing my friends and finally a four-day trip to Scotland, we have been busy! We got back from Scotland at 6:30 p.m. last night, just in time to get back in the car and drive to a friend's house for another big dinner in Mom and Dad's honor. This morning we are off to Wales for a few days--I figured after all of those castles and sheep we would go to southern Wales for scenery and sheep. Then we're back here on Monday for another special dinner and then it's off to London again the next morning for a few days. After that I'll be hugging my family goodbye as they get back on a plane to Phoenix and I board to train back to Nottingham.
Their visit and our adventures have already produced enough stories to fill a book, not to mention a whole heck of a lot of photos, many of which will soon be on these pages. One thing that I've really noticed since they've arrived, though, is how much England has become home. I see my Mom and Dad trying to navigate the grocery store, understand terms of speech (like "homely" for "homey" and "wind me up" for "annoy me") and I suddenly realize how far I've come. I'm trying to help them out by sharing my hard-won knowledge about English culture, but sometimes I forget. My dad, for example, only likes his eggs cooked over hard, and it wasn't until his soft-centered egg arrived at our Edinburgh B&B that I remembered they always come here with runny yolks.
I've also been struck by the sheer number of good friends who've wanted to meet my parents and have us round for a meal. All of these experiences have really helped me realize that, in almost every way, England has become home. For now.
And now I must pack my little suitcase once again because we are off to Cardiff and Swansea!