We’re in Wales (and have been since yesterday). Last night we stayed at The Trefeddian Hotel in Aberdovey on the western coast, a hotel I had been to twice as a child, and where my late grandmother spent two weeks every summer for thirty years.
It was a lovely trip down memory lane, though way too short. Once again, we are in the middle of a rush-here-rush-there trip. Our first 10 days of our trip, spent in NYC, were more relaxed, but since we got to the UK last week, it’s been non-stop having to be one place while getting ready to be at the next. It’s tiring, and with a baby, everything takes longer: a 4 hour trip takes 5… a casual stop at the gas station (excuse me, “petrol”) becomes a crying extravaganza. We are now settled in our bed (me, hubby, and baby, all in a full-size bed) in the guest room at my cousins’ house in Rhosemor, Wales.
SPEAKING OF WALES! Have you ever heard Welsh? No? If you want to know what it sounds like, read English backwards, and add in some Hebrew “chhhaah’s” wherever you want. We had a great time driving the last couple of days while looking at all the road signs. Here are some for your reading pleasure:
Another joy of traveling with our 8 month old is that there has been no break from her whatsoever. None. We’ve been traveling mostly without a playpen, so we can never leave her on her own (nothing is childproofed) and she is fully present (and terribly awake) for every nice dinner, every lunch with old family you want to catch up with, and she’s totally jet lagged, so she goes to bed at eleven. Right now, however, she sleeps on my left, after one of the most difficult evenings with her ever. We didn’t even bring up the fact that she’s probably wearing a dirty diaper, and that we might want to put on her pajamas. The child is finally asleep – leave her there!
If you’ve never visited the UK and are overwhelmed with the question of, “what does one eat while traveling in the UK?” Well, I’ll assuage that anxiety – pub food. And then… pub food. We have it for lunch and dinner pretty much every day. You would be hard pressed to find any other type of eatery. Since I no longer indulge in beer, some of the fun has been removed, but I can take fish n’ chips practically every day of the week. And how about those Yorkshire puddings!! And roast beef? Shepherd’s Pie anyone? Just throw me some battered fish, some chips (French fries), some mushy peas, and the “red sauce” (ketchup) and I’m good to go. Tomorrow, we go to Scotland… Haggis maybe? I think I’ll stick to the more English cuisine instead.
But this trip to visit my family (and show off the Monkey) has been, as always, lovely. I had lunch with my 97 year old great aunt, and have seen multiple cousins.
While driving to Newbury the other day, my father said that he has always been sentimental for family, and for keeping those strong connections though, has he made clear, without the “clawing kind of neediness [for sentimentality]”. I think I’m about the same (and also hope I don’t have the clawing way about me. This side of the family lives so far away that we see them every year or two at the most.
Another day of our 5 1/2 week trip come and gone, and still haven’t lost our passports, our wallets, or our minds. Most importantly, Monkey waved hello for the first time tonight. Was it my cousin Kathy who made her do it? Was it being in another country? Or perhaps, was it just Monkey being a most wonderfully impressive 8 month old, and us being incredibly in love? I’ll figure it all out tomorrow, I’m sure.
On to Scotland!