Thursday, June 7, 2012

10 Things to Say About the UK

Updating my blog whilst in England and Wales has proved to be a challenge - not because I don't have a few minutes to do it at the end of the day, but because it's been two weeks across the pond and I already have a billion and one photos to sift through, and a million and two great adventures to highlight.

So I'll just do a 10 Things post - not top ten, because there are too many tops to equal just ten.... but here are a handful of highlights so far!

*CAUTION - boatloads of photos ahead*

1. Gracie shares my love for old cemeteries - and 1000 year old tombs of Welsh princes. 

In fact, Gracie shares my love for the UK in general, and has informed me that when she is in college, she wants to study abroad. I said perhaps we can send her away earlier, like high school. Will suggested, over the phone, that we send her sooner than that... like second grade. (he was kidding, but I don't think Gracie would mind)

2. The beach! 

Or more importantly, Southerndown Beach! This is where Will lived in Wales when he was a teenager, and where he took me on our very first date. 

3. St. Fagans, and the Museum of Welsh Life

Where my girls got to imagine life as old fashioned Welsh girls

... and boys.

4. Castle carvings and statues and gargoyles, oh my! 

in Cardiff, Wales

Gorgeous interiors in Cardiff Castle

Medieval graffiti in the Norman fortress inside the Cardiff Castle walls  

I can't stop taking pictures of these things!


 (Cardiff Castle, Wales)

Which are, apparently, the best places to do headstands.

 And also, apparently, the best places to play dress up.

The girls have been to three castles so far - Cardiff Castle, St. Fagans Castle, and Castle Coch (which I'm super jealous about, as I missed it due to a rotten sinus infection)

They would have added the ruins of Ogmore Castle to their list, but as we drove past, there was a horse riding party going on nearby, with a large tent and Native American teepee beside it... so when I said, 'Look at the castle!' Gracie excitedly shouted, 'The castle is a TEEPEE!' and Annelie excitedly shouted, 'The castle is a WHITE TENT!'

By the time I got them straightened out, we'd passed the castle, unseen by all but me.

Oh well.

6. Welsh coal mine! 

Or more importantly, the Lewis Merthyr Colliery, which is in the Rhondda Valley, where the girl's Grandad lives (he's the one who awesomely showed us all around Wales for a week), and where the Hopkins family has lived for generation after generation after generation, ect... and also where Will took me on our very first date.

7. We've had the best time seeing our British friends and family 

And the girls have had the best time being spoiled by everyone.


With peas and mash. I am in love with the stuff.

9. Jubilee parties GALORE.

The girls' favorite party was the village party... because of the boys, I'm afraid.

I was watching Gracie, my boy-crazy 7-year-old, merrily jumping in a bouncy castle...

...when she stopped, and shouted, 'I AM NOT A LITTLE GIRL' and the next thing I knew, she was tackling a band of 8-10 year-old boys.

This led to a British-American war that entertained everyone for at least an hour. The war only ended when it was time for the races....

And the two Americans took the GOLD! I was quite proud of my girls for winning - Annelie took first prize in the 5 and unders race, and Gracie beat out all the 6-8 year olds. GIRL POWER.

10. We went to London to see the Queen! 

First on Sunday to see the pageant on the river Thames, which was great fun.

We also went to London to see the end of Jubilee carriage procession - hoping to be at Buckingham Palace, but were instead caught up in a giant mob of people at Trafalgar Square.

Gracie and Annelie, happily sitting on shoulders, did see the Queen's carriage and soldiers! But I only saw the back of the heads in front of us. Ah, well, that's okay. At least I waved to the Queen and the other royals during the pageant on the river.

And that is more than enough pictures for now.

Two weeks down, approximately six weeks to go! We're having an amazing time. Hope you are all having a great summer so far, as well!


Debs102 said...

Really glad you enjoyed being in my home town of Cardiff, Wales - I live just outside the city centre and it is the best place to live! We have this word Hiraeth - sort of translates into a longing for the homeland, something I get every time I leave Wales. Debs :-)

Meeling said...

So fun!! Thanks for sharing. So glad to hear that you're having a great time.

I love Wales. I was there about 10 years ago and it's stunning. I love castles and old cemeteries too!!

T. Z. Wallace said...

I want to go to the UK so desperately! After a rotten week, what a treat to get to live vicariously through you, if only for a moment.... More pictures please!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Oh, wow! What beautiful pictures! You must have had such a wonderful, wonderful time!

It probably won't surprise you to know my favorites of the pictures above are the graveyard ones. ;)

btw, do you know you have Word Verification turned on? I don't remember you having it before.

Julie Dao said...

Sooo much fun! I am jealous! I have never been to Wales. I'd love to revisit the UK one day.

Kelly Warren said...

what a fabulous trip you are having! very neat that Will took you back to the beach where you had your first date, and of course, the fact that the American girls took the GOLD would be the highlight! :-)

Melissa said...

Are you all just completely exhausted at the end of each day?! What amazing adventures you and your girls are having. I'm so happy for you!

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