Well, the flight over to North Wales was a little nutty, thanks to the Detroit airport, however I did make it eventually. I just felt bad for my Dad who waited in the Manchester airport for HOURS… not knowing what flight I would eventually be on. Traveling without cell phones is annoying. How did we do it before?? Well, everything worked out, I was just really tired.
We went to the Maes Garmon Farm B&B, where I checked in and met up with my friend, Linda, who had already arrived. Linda is a friend here in Rochester (we bike together on Tuesdays) and she was in Ireland the week prior, so she trekked on over to Wales to meet up with me! We stayed at this awesome B&B that is in an old farmhouse. They use local food and even have their own chickens for the eggs. I was also stoked that they serve veggie sausage. So our breakfasts were filling and healthy. Perfect!
After I got settled, we headed over to the pub to see the family. I had talked my cousin Sammy into visiting from Portugal and her brother, Mike, and Mom live in Mold, so there was good reason to make the trip. We all hung around and apparently there was a lot of clapping and saying “YAY!” on my part! I blame the jet lag and the beer.
The rest of the trip was more of the same. A bunch of us ventured out to see some nearby castles (Denbigh and Ruthin) the next day and at the end of that, we stopped over to see Uncle Ern and Aunt Marie. They are my favorite and I was brought to tears seeing them again. I was just so happy to be there. I never ever cry, so you can imagine how I felt. Ern had a stroke recently and is having his 85th birthday, so I just feel blessed to be able to take the time to see him again.
Saturday there wasn’t much going on, so Linda and I went to the market in Mold and then Loggerheads park and tried to hike to the top. We didn’t have enough time to get to the spot I really wanted to see, but it was a nice long hike anyway. There were a lot of sheep and berries and heather in bloom. Beautiful Fall day and it was nice to stretch my legs. We finished at the Three Loggerheads pub with a pint of local beer while waiting for Dad to pick us up.
After that, the 4 of us went to a castle ruin nearby, Caergrwle and hiked around it. The whole thing would be off limits in the US, or full of rock climbers!
Sunday, we went up to Hope Mountain for a service. My Aunt Carolyn passed away this past June, so we sprinkled her ashes all over the mountain, which is where we left my Gramps. Carolyn loved Wales, Hope Mountain and our family there! This was my Mom’s only sister, so it was very important to be there with her and I was happy that so many of our Welsh family were able to attend.
After taking time to soak it all in and appreciating each other and the view, we all went to the Druid Inn for lunch. Great Aunt Elsie turned 80 this week, so it was partially a birthday party for her! The food was amazing and there were so many relatives to chat with. My parents and myself snuck away to see Ern and bring him some cake. I was in the kitchen chatting with Marie, and he came in to make sure she wasn’t eating all the cake! Totally caught her nibbling! A great day.
Later that night, my cousins and myself all went around Mold for a pub crawl. It was nutty. Monday we got a late start, of course, but we did have enough time to go to Caernarfon Castle and we walked the wall around Conwy just in time for a beautiful sunset over Conwy! Beautiful. That was about it. Short trip when all the travel to and from is counted. I am still exhausted!