The Great England Expedition commences. My sister and I are having our first ever away adventure. Oh, we've spent time on our own together, in Nantucket, but never, or at least not in my cognizant memory, a trip together. It is so long overdue it is ahead of its time.
On our perfect flight across the Atlantic today it struck me that nearly 25 years ago I made a similar trip with Liza's daughter Sarah. A quarter of a century ago. Then, she was a new college graduate and a trip to Europe my graduation gift to her. I whisked her off a plane at Gatwick and took her directly to a cocktail party at Sissinghurst Castle. She had no idea what hit her. Between the jet lag and the eccentric intellectual company she found herself in, I remember her as stupefied. Still, it was an extraordinary beginning to what would be a remarkable trip — to Scotland and the home of her namesakes, the Bryces of Saltcoats, southwest of Glasgow; to Paris and on to Switzerland.
So there is really nothing new under the sun. I have made this expedition before, just in a kind of reserve order. You'd have thought my sister and I would have come to England together first. But life rarely delivers in neat, predictable packages.
Having taken the much more endurable day flight over, we landed at Heathrow, the worst international airport on the map, got our luggage, cleared customs, made a deviation to W.H. Smith so I could pick up the third Stieg Larsson novel, caught a taxi and got into London and our digs in Kensington in under an hour. Those of you who have ever travelled to London before will know this borders on the incredible. Liza must have magic travel karma. This is in a class with having parking karma in NYC or Boston. I believe I will hold her to that for the remainder of our junket.
Truffle: Getting to shepherd my big sister to a new world, something she did so often in so many ways when I was a mite.
Quote of the day: "A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost." (Marion C. Garretty)