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!
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!
I can't stop taking pictures of these things!
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.
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.
8. STEAK AND ALE PIE.
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.
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!