Monday, 4 April 2011

Wales Weekend

This weekend, we went to Wales. It was one of those great weekends where we just felt like everything was coming up Hawkeyes. Matthew took Friday off, and we rented a car and drove down to Swansea, to a B&B on the seafront. Here are the routes we took - yes, in order to avoid London, we went north to go south. We went a "direct route" - ha ha - on the way there, and then on the way home, we went northward into Wales to the Brecon National Park. It was a really great weekend.
Apparently, in England all roads lead to London. In order to go south to Wales, we had to go north to Birmingham to avoid London & the M25. I guess the M25 = ring road of doom. And actually, when we were driving away from London there were still signs telling us how many miles to get there. Crazy.

 We stopped for lunch at a super dodgy pub... It was called the Black Horse, in Bedworth, at the yellow dot just before we got on the motorway (aka highway). There were about 5 men in it, all drinking pints in oppressive silence, and there was a van outside that made sandwiches that you were allowed to bring into the pub to eat. It was pretty much the most depressing place to sit and have lunch, but Elizabeth managed to have a great time, playing peekaboo using a stool:

(I still haven't figured out how to make those line up. Sorry.)

It took us about 5 hours to get there, and I was pretty stoked. Check out the signs!! Welsh!!
I look totally crazy here, but I'm not very good at taking self-portraits on the Blackberry, so this was the 3rd or 4th attempt. Hence the totally genuine expressions for both of us. 
How many llath to a mile?
 I think Welsh sounds like Elvish from Lord of the Rings. I didn't think anyone would believe me, and so I tried to 'non-chalantly' secretly video people speaking - big surprise, that didn't work out so well, and I have a few muffled videos on my phone. :( So here is a you-tube video of Welsh speaking - you need to watch until the lady in the pinky-red sweater speaks (about 20 seconds - and I don't recommend watching more than that):

 and here is Liv Tyler from Lord of the Rings, speaking Elvish.
.... same same??? I think so too. I have also decided to teach Elizabeth to say "Ta-rah, ta-rah" instead of goodbye. I might just try to get her to speak with the lilt-y way of the Welsh. Everything they say sounds like a little song!

We were based out of Swansea - and here's a tip from both us and my cousin Ross: don't plan to stay in Swansea. It is super chavvy - and for those of you who don't know, a chav is a chuddy person. Someone who drinks tall-boy cans of cheap beer in public, while wearing sweatpants and no shirt, and swears a lot. They usually have bad tattoos and, if they are a girl chav, bad boob jobs. However, Swansea is both the birthplace of Catherine Zeta Jones, and a great jumping off point to Mumbles (in Welsh: Mwmbwls - wtf), a beautiful seaside town with lots of gorgeous hilly, green walks, and the Gower peninsula (in Welsh: Penrhyn Gwyr), which has a cool old castle.

We went on this 'walk' just outside of Mwmbwls - we asked a lady if the walk was stroller-friendly. In her lilting Welsh voice, she told us, "Aye, there ar-r-r-re a few rocky bits, with some tree roots, y'know, but I should think your pram will be just fine, y'know. She's a loavelhy one, idn't she?" Always a lot of breathy sounds at the ends of words, and trilling r's - and every sentence either ends with 'y'know' or 'idn't she?'.
Please note: Elizabeth slept through the entire walk. Also, this 'walk' was more of a 'hike' and the terrain was definitely not stroller-friendly. We ended up carrying the sleeping babe in her stroller for probably 1/3 of the walk, through wet sand & muddy patches. It was a bit of a workout, but it was a lovely walk.
This is Matthew, running back to get his very expensive, very nice camera that fell out of the stroller when we carried it across this particularly big stretch of stroller un-friendly wet sand. Please note: Elizabeth didn't fall out of the stroller, not even one time.
 When we asked the people at our B&B where we should go with Elizabeth in Swansea & area, they said, "Ah, you should go to the Gower Heritage Centre. It's loavelhy, and there're so many things for a wee one to do there, y'know." So we went. It was totally random. Kind of like a mix of the Edmonton Valley Zoo, with the Ukrainian village. In no particular order, we saw: a petting zoo (big points with Elizabeth), a working water wheel, antique tractors, a bomb shelter (complete with air raid siren that scared me), a wool mill, a blacksmith shop, a puppet theater, and a bumper car area. So bizarro.

Who is more excited - Daddy or Daughter? A gold star for you if you said Daddy.

Elizabeth liked the bunnies best.

Elizabeth liked the pony, but was scared of the goat. And it is probably because goats are actually totally scary looking - they have horizontal pupils!! Did anyone else know that? I was actually freaked out by the goats too. 
Super creepy, right?

Elizabeth pats Matthew on the head when she sits on his shoulders. So cute.

Right after this photo was taken, Elizabeth smeared her hand in bird poo, and then I 'cleverly' wiped it off, using the sleeve of my coat. After gagging for a few seconds, I got some baby wipes and cleaned off my coat, and her hand. Baby wipes can get everything out. Someone needs to tell Kelly Ripa that Tide-To-Go isn't where it's at.

See how her little right leg is tucked under her? She likes to sit like that now, and as a result, often falls off of toys like these. Silly Elizababy.     


Gina said...

You are right on the bres (Welsh for "money" :))with your comparison between Welsh and Elvish. But do you really mean the chuddy chav girls wear sweatpants and no shirts? That would make assessing their boob jobs easy, I guess.

Great pictures of the E-bunny! Love her!

natasha said...

I think Elizabeth needs her own pony :)