Today started as all the rest have so far – with mascara under my eyes I wake up to loud traffic outside the front door and having to remind myself that I’m in England, and no, this pink bedroom that Disney threw up in isn’t my room. I throw on my sweatshirt and head downstairs for Frosted Flakes and coffee. Becca and I decide on the plan and compromise on a time to leave. She’s an early riser and I’m, well, on vacation. After I start feeling like a normal human being we get ready and head out for the train station. Today we headed to Wales – Cardiff Bay to be precise. Cardiff, that’s the capitol of Wales. Go ahead laugh at me for not knowing, but I have a sneaking hunch that some of you might have “fortgoten” that. I thought I had a handle on the train system from yesterday’s “adventure”, turns out I’m more confused now that I was yesterday morning! Thank the good Lord I don’t have have a problem asking people for help (at least in a foreign country).
So it’s a 2 hour train ride to Cardiff so I take that time to work on finishing my book I started back during my 7 hour layover in Toronto, The Help. It’s amazing so if you have some extra cash and want a good read, this one’s for you. Also, I would love to talk about it to people who’ve read it.
I realized today that I haven’t really discussed the weather at all since I’ve been here. Let go ahead and get that done. The first 2 days were the most perfect days I’ve ever experienced (weather-wise that is). It was maybe low 80’s upper 70’s and a blue sky that was only partly cloudy. So beautiful. Like the perfect fall days, just without the colorful leaves. So I soon learned that those days were 2 of 4 for the whole summer that were so nice. Basically since then it’s rained on and off. And it does this spitting rain, not really a real rain, but enough to be a bit annoying. So I also learned that in Wales, it rains even more than in England. I can’t say I didn’t expect it, so it really wasn’t that bad. Today was particularly rainy, but we happened to be inside for the bad parts.
So we get to the bay and the area literally looks like its the modern age placed in a city that is thousands of years old. The shops look new, but the actual buildings are so old and beautiful! I just keep thinking, why is there a grocery shop in that building? There should be a museum in there! Turns out, you only really go to Cardiff Bay to eat. So after getting a coffee at “Costa Coffee” we went over to a Latin American restaurant. They have Starbucks here, but they also have Costa. They are basically the exact same, even their signs are similar. But it’s not like it’s just a local place, cause it’s everywhere. The restaurant was decent but I was surprised to see that they didn’t serve tacos! I don’t know how you get away with it, but the Cuban sandwich I got was awesome. As was the Dark and Stormy, but that’s neither here nor there…
I got my Wales starbucks mug, a must and then we headed out. I finished the book on the way back to Cheltenham Spa. I’m beginning to learn my way around Cheltenham but it’s really only because of the huge landmarks I have to use, cathedrals help tremendously. We prepped dinner and headed out to see “One Day”. Blah it was alright. If you must, Netflix it, or for those in England – LoveFilm it. Tim came home for the night tonight, which is great, I could tell Becca was really missing him. It was their first time apart since they got married. Cute.
They keep rolling in:
1. National holidays here have no meaning to them (other than say, Easter Monday or Christmas and New Years) to the English they are simply “Bank Holidays” and they get a set number of them a year on specific dates.
2. I don’t think I’ve told you this one, but if it’s a repeat, I apologize, it just shocks me every time: The traffic lights move from Red to Yellow then to Green. This apparently is telling the drivers to get ready.
3. It is illegal to put your stick shit car into neutral when stopped, it must always be in gear.
4. The UK flag (it’s a blue background with red strips with white outlines) is actually a combination of all the UK countries – HOWEVER it doesn’t include Wales. So basically it’s just got the English and the Scottish flags. The Welsh do not appreciate this.
5. In Wales the nation language is Welsh, but everyone there speaks English. This only thing is, is that every sign there is in English and in Welsh. I didn’t hear a single person speaking anything but English except for the announcer at the train stations.