29 January 2008

Arizona, Oklahoma and Home!

I never really thought of Arizona as a resort area. Mostly I think of the desert and burning hot sun. However, my views have recently changed. Last week I had a business conference in Phoenix, Arizona. We stayed at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa. I should have known by the name alone that the hotel would be fantastic, but it was beyond what I would have expected! It was amazing! And an amazing time was had by all. As a brief overview: I had an incredible massage and entire day being pampered at the spa, followed by a lively pub experience of 'American football', with 50 beers of tap, (the Brits were impressed with that!) then some time by the pool, excellent steak dinners, a ridiculously huge breakfast buffet, Starbucks constantly, more whiskey than I would need for a life time, and fun work colleagues to laugh with. Sure there were meetings in between all of the fun, but even those were interesting. Considering the surroundings, it was hard to not have a good time regardless of what was going on.

How amazing is this place?! I had to include pictures so everyone could see just how fantastic Arizona can be! Well....how fantastic my resort was! :)

The trip was significant for two reasons. One, I got to know the people I work with on a completely different level, and actually really like them! I didn't dislike anyone before the trip, but its different when you have a chance to share a laugh over a 7 & 7 as opposed to sitting at an office desk. Two, I found out that my home is no longer America. Yup, that's right. Being in Arizona, surrounded by my fellow Americans, I felt slightly out of place. I am used to the British twang. I am used to the lifestyle that Great Britain offers: relaxed attitude, dry sense of humor, pub culture. Generally just a lot softer and more laid back attitude to the Americans. Finally the UK is my home.

I love almost everything about this country. I think the only 3 things I don't like about the UK are that my family is so far away, the awful weather and nationalised health care. Other than that, I love being here and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world! I love the crazy outfits people wear, I love the diversity of people and culture, I love that they have Chip Shops! Fries anytime I want them! how perfect is that for me?! I love that people hang out in pubs and its such a different feel than saying you are going to a bar in the states. I love that rugby and football are on all the time, and people take it really seriously! I love so many things.

I went from Arizona to Oklahoma. Figured if I was in the states, I should stop off and see the family. It was great to see the parents and brother and sister and the kids. But I was missing the UK. Sure, a big part of that was missing my husband. But it was more than that. I was missing London. I was missing the bright white door and red brick that is my flat; I was missing the familiar beep of the train door shutting 10 seconds too soon; I was missing the hustle of an early morning commute; I was missing the little, red post boxes; I was missing the familiarity of smaller portions, higher prices and less variety! (yeah, if you can actually miss those things!) I was missing the UK and I wanted to go home. Finally...I am home....

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