Thursday, 22 July 2010

Thursday, 15 July 2010

South Wales

Pembroke Castle

This year Pedro's annual birthday trip involved a foray into South Wales. We wanted to take his 4X4 vehicle on its first roadtrip through somewhat rugged territory. Our plans were a bit spoiled by a brakedown that lasted almost three days and extended our trip by an extra day. But despite the car troubles, we did a bit of hiking along the coast and probably sat around a bit more than we would have otherwise.

Pembroke Castle moat

When we got restless we took taxis. The villages are pretty close together so it wasn't too bad.

Welsh cheese: Caerphilly, Welsh Brie, Red Devil (spicy!), and Harlech (with horseradish)

We stumbled upon a gourmet food shop in Pembroke; it had a huge selection of Welsh cheeses so I had the lady behind the counter put together a little picnic selection for us.

We stayed at a self-catering cottage (no-frills country house) in a village called Freshwater East. The local pub had delicious food (local fish, mussels, and pork) and put together a special ice cream sundae for Pedro. Plus, they had a huge fish tank that kept Isabella absolutely transfixed.

We only managed to get in a good coastal hike once - and it was absolutely stunning. Pedro had Isabella on his back in the child carrier and we hiked up and down the rolling hills along the coast from Freshwater. There were spectacular views. The scenery reminded me a lot of Cornwall, and also of how much I want to go back!

Our last day was spent wandering around in the village of Tenby - in the rain. Thank goodness the child carrier closes up like a little capsule and keeps Isabella out of the wind and the wet. To matters more uncomfortable, the place we were staying had closed, so we couldn't even go back just to get out of the rain. After enduring too much frustration from the mechanic ( who could never give us an estimate of when the work would be done), we decided to take a taxi to the garage and give them the evil eye until they got moving.

In all, the trip had plenty of high points and at least we were never at each other's throats! I'll post a slideshow in the margin soon.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Isabella the Flower Girl

We have been planning my good friend Kathryn's wedding for the last year. My role as a bridesmaid included making the flower girl dresses so that they would match the bridesmaids gowns. So I sent swatches of fabric and Pedro's mom was able to find just the perfect material in Puerto Rico.

Kat and I made the crowns for the girls and the end result was totally adorable. They looked like two little fairies flitting about the church and the field where the reception was held. My friend Amanda graciously offered to do my hair, even though she was dealing with a house full of boxes only one day after moving.

Instead of a traditional wedding cake, the couple opted for a cheese tower, using traditional British cheeses. Isabella kept robbing it of its grapes throughout the reception. We were experiencing one of the hottest days of the summer and this cheese tower got pretty ripe before the night was over.

It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have been to. The weather was unbelievable. Isabella was a perfect flower girl - she spent over three hours dancing on the dance floor, up WAY past her bedtime, but happy the entire time. Seriously, we couldn't have asked for a better experience.