Guess where I am! You'll never guess! Let me give you a hint!
Alright, that was less of a hint and more of a straightforward answer, but in case you didn't get it, I'm in London. It is the eve of the Royal Wedding and I am feeling very, very excited indeed. And trust me, I hadn't been feeling particularly excited up until this point---I was more sort of "eh" about the whole thing, as I think quite a few English people are, particularly girls born between 1980 and 1986, who always held out hope that one day they'd grow up to marry Prince William---but now that I'm here, and it's happening tomorrow, and they played a stirring rendition of "God Save the Queen" overhead while we all stood in line at airport immigration, and every single shop has bunting in the windows, and all my British friends are writing Facebook status updates about how they're frosting cupcakes for street parties, and I've read two back-to-back Hello magazines with Kate Middleton on the front, and I know I can wake up tomorrow and look out of my window to see parades passing down the street.... well, now I'm excited. Truthfully, it feels a little bit like Christmas Eve here at the moment. Everyone seems poised on the edge of something.
Me, I am mostly poised on the edge of a jetlag crash, but that's my own fault. I woke up in San Francisco at 4am on Tuesday, caught a 6:30am flight to JFK, and arrived in New York just after 3pm. From there, I spent a few very pleasant hours in the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Lounge, eating a truffled mushroom quiche while catching up on work, before boarding my 6:30pm flight to London, which turned into my 8pm flight to London after we sat on the tarmac for an hour and a half because of fog.
Funny thing about flying Upper Class, though, which, thanks to work, I was fortunate enough to be doing, is that you are wholly unbothered by hour-and-a-half tarmac delays. So hang on. Let me get this straight: you want to extend the number of hours I can sit here in my cozy pod with a blanket wrapped around my feet, watching on-demand movies while you bring me a cheese plate and a dish of olives and another glass of champagne and a set of pajamas to change into later? Well, screw an hour and a half, let's make it a three hour delay. Five! Six! Bring it on!
When I arrived in London, I was hit by a powerful wave of nostalgia, which often happens to me at Heathrow Airport. Until I was eleven, I loved Heathrow Airport because it meant we were home visiting for the summer. Between the ages of eleven and eighteen, I hated it, because it meant I was back at school, away from my parents, and about to be socked in the head with a long and inevitable bout of homesickenss. From nineteen to twenty-two, it was the place Sean and I said goodbye again and again, the place I flew into with a broken heart. It's only recently, in the last few years or so, that landing at Heathrow has become a pleasant thing again. It signifies home.
Which is silly, really: I live in San Francisco.
It might be, however, that I am now biased towards Heathrow Airport in a way that I never have been before, having spent a glorious two hours, after clearing immigration and customs, in Virgin's Revivals Lounge, where I had, in this order: a cappuccino, a bacon sandwich, a shot of carrot juice, a fruit salad, a facial, a shower, and a cup of tea.
Yes, I said a facial. A facial in an airport. Can you even?
This is me when I arrived at the Revivals Lounge. I looked exactly like I felt.
Then I had a shower, even though I had a moment's hesitation about undressing in an airport---what if there's a terrorist attack and we all have to evacuate? And I'm in a robe?---because I couldn't resist the shower gel. How could you resist this shower gel?
Afterwards, I felt like an entirely new person, despite the fact that I had to put the same outfit straight back on afterwards.
Here is how you make your picture extra super classy, by the way: be sure and get the toilet paper holder in the background.
Finally, I had to leave the cucoon of the Revivals lounge and head out into London proper, which was rather a cruel wakeup call if I do say so myself---"What? I can't get a facial in the tube station? What do you mean I can't get a facial in the tube station?"---but the journey turned out to be painless and soon I was at my hotel, and now I am probably just going to stay here forever and ever and ever, because turns out this hotel is my new favorite place in the world, so maybe they'll just let me move my husband and my cats in and we can call it good.
(I would like to note that, in the time it took me to post those pictures, someone came in to turn my bed down and left me two slices of banana bread, a thermos of cammomile tea, and two chocolate caramels on my pillow. I hope they realize this means that they will have to load my dead body out of the front floor-to-ceiling window, because it's the only way I'm leaving. Let's not make a scene, okay, hotel? Just let me stay forever.)
Tomorrow I'm going to get up and head out to do what I came here to do, which is to take a bunch of pictures of the Royal Wedding, and then we're going to meet back here because I have a feeling I'm really, really going to need to discuss it. Are you watching it? Are you excited? Will it be you who bursts through the doors of Westminster Abbey, Benjamin Braddock-style, during the part where the vicar asks if anyone knows a reason these two should not be joined in holy matrimony, and shouts "WILLIAM! WILLIAM! IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME!"? If so, good luck getting past me.