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My Mama

(When I lived in England in 2004/2005 I would periodically send e-mails home to friends and family. This was one of those emails – I hope you enjoy! Happy Mother’s Day!)

A Father’s Surprise

My grandma loves England. My grandma loves England so much that she’s gone abroad just to go on a garden tour, yes, a tour of only English gardens. So when she found out that her only granddaughter would be studying in England for a year, she booked her flight to London and convinced her long-time college friend, Betty, to go with her. Really, it was a great excuse for her to visit the UK again; this would be her sixth visit to England.

I couldn’t be more excited to have them come out and see me. Not only would I get to be with family again, but I’d also get some much-needed ‘supplies’ from home (i.e. tortillas, batteries, shampoo and conditioner, scarves, and basically anything I could think of, because everything is cheaper in America.)

About two weeks ago I was talking to my mom on the phone and she mentioned that my dad was also sending me a surprise! ‘Oh fantastic,” I thought, “Maybe he’ll send me Reese’s Pieces (he knows I love them, and can’t get them out here), or an article he saw on a band I like since he likes clipping things from newspapers sometimes.” I thought of all the possibilities of what the ‘surprise’ could be….

My grandma’s flight arrived in London at 7:30am on Friday, the 29th of October, and she told me she’d call if she could when she landed, to let me know she and Betty arrived safely, but she said ‘not too worry’ if she didn’t call since she would be busy and a bit stressed. She told me to expect the two of them sometime in the afternoon.

Around 2pm I began to get a little worried and considered calling Peter (the tour guide for the weekend) to make sure everything was ok. I also considered calling home to ask my mom and dad if they had heard from her, but I remembered that my mom was going to an all-day workshop and my dad was going to work early. I heard my mom’s voice in my head telling me not to worry and to be patient. Luckily my best friend, who was also studying abroad in Australia, eased my mind and called me around 2:30pm. We talked for a little bit, but my thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a car.

I quickly got off the phone with her and ran outside. I gave my Grandma a huge hug and a kiss and I turned around to welcome Betty. But, there was one problem.

When I turned around it wasn’t Betty who I was looking at… it was my mom! MY MOM!!!! Thousands of thoughts were racing through my mind and I didn’t know whether to laugh, or cry, so I did both.
I heard her say, “Surprise! I’m Betty.” But at that moment I couldn’t comprehend what exactly was going on! I invited my mom, grandma and Peter into my house and gave them a very brief and scattered tour. They proceeded to give me treats and things from home. As this was happening I was still trying to put everything together – boy did they have some explaining to do!

About a half hour later we were ready to go begin our weekend of sightseeing and touring. And what do you know; the weather began to clear up the moment we left the university, and was actually unbelievably nice the whole time.

On the way to our Bed and Breakfast my mom and grandma filled me in on everything. They told me how EVERYONE knew about this surprise…EVERYONE, that is, except for me and all of my friends. So, for ALL of you who knew about this, I congratulate you for not letting the cat out of the bag!!!

It was on the way to the B&B when I finally calmed down and stopped shaking. I called my dad and thanked him for my ‘surprise!” I’m still so happy and so surprised; it’s very surreal. My papa’s gift was a very unselfish and amazing surprise, I’m very lucky to have such great parents!!!

Here are some pictures from the trip:

This one is hands down, my favorite picture from my entire time in Bournemouth, England.

Notting Hill on a Saturday!

Buckingham Palace changing of the guard.

White Cliffs of Dover


Us posing in front of Stonehenge with a local paper!


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