I learned an important lesson about international travel a few weeks ago:
One should always end a long day of traveling with a bit of kickboxing.
You didn’t know that lesson? Well, truly … I didn’t either. But the estimable Best Friend showed up for my wedding last fall after two mad days of flying (from Zimbabwe to Minnesota), and promptly schooled me with Jillian Michael’s Kickboxing Fast Fix. So, when Husband and I took ourselves off for a Scottish holiday and landed on her doorstep, I remembered the ritual.
A few weeks ago, we arrived in an atypically sunny Edinburgh. With green grass showing and the temps in the 40s … I could literally feel the icicles melting from my soul. [It has been a long winter in Minnesota]. We took a shuttle bus to the city center and rolled our bags across the cobblestones to our home away from home for the next nine days.
After unpacking, we took a brisk walk along the Water of Leith to closest Waitrose^ to procure the essentials (more chocolate! marshmallows to go with the “imported” graham crackers! more tea!) wherein the sun shone, the wind blew, and the hail fell* … we arrived back at home to settle in.
It went a little like this:
Best Friend (eagerly, and with an undue enthusiasm for Jillian Michaels): Do you want to kickbox?
Bethany: No. …. I’ll go change, shall I?
And, as I lay there on the conservatory floor afterwards … dying … I thought that she might actually have a point. I was utterly whipped (especially being unable to sleep on the overnight flight), but I felt good. Not much would have dampened my joy at being in Edinburgh – having lived here for an all-too-brief six months after college Scotland feels a bit like home. I never thought it would take me seven years to come back (thankfully I haven’t had to go seven years without seeing the Best Friend!), but life can do an amazing number on the best laid plans.
But, I was in Scotland. I was going to get to share one of my favorite places with Husband and see it all fresh through his eyes AND eat too much chocolate while having all of the conversations that typically occur in a faithful email correspondence that would make Jane Austen proud. And, thanks to kickboxing, I was well on my way to kicking jet lag and ready for a great trip…
Husband enjoying the view from the Mound, over Princes Street Gardens. (photo: Bethany Grimm, all rights reserved)
^fancy British grocery store chain
*just your typical Scottish day, eh?