Sunday, December 7, 2014

Wales: a Road Trip p.II

The first time I went to Wales, Angelina and I were whisked around in a car on a whirlwind two-day trip around the country by my friend Jim. You can read my post on that adventure by clicking here.

On this adventure, my Mom and I decided to fly into London, meet up with my friend Jim & his daughter Helen (some of my favorite people in the whole world) and have a little road trip of our own before taking the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin so I could attend my graduation!

We got into London in the early afternoon, where Jim & Helen picked us up and brought us to our hotel for lunch & a much needed nap. Later that night after we were refreshed, we decided to take a lovely evening stroll along the Thames and visit the Tower of London, where they had a gorgeous installation of poppies in remembrance of WWI:




After gawking at the poppies, we took a walk over this beast:


Followed by coffees at one of the cutest pubs I've ever seen. I wish I remembered the name of this place!


We then headed to dinner at a gorgeous restaurant that had a view of the river (I had literally the most SEXUAL salmon tartar of my life. It haunts me to this day.) and spent the night catching up and planning our adventures for the next couple days.

The next morning we got an early start, which was fine with me because I was EXCITED! Why, do you ask?? Because I was finally crossing this adventure off my bucket list:


STONEHEEEENNNGEE!!!!


I'm not going to lie, it didn't necessarily take my breath away. But it was super cool to see and it's in the middle of the English countryside which is absolutely stunning. Despite immense jet-lag and freezing rain, I had an amazing day.

After our henge adventure, we had a 4 hour car ride to Kidwelly, Wales where Jim lives. We stayed at his house that night, then got up the next morning to explore his world:


Which, as you can see, is rather beautiful. The picture above was taken from the top of Kidwelly castle, which we spent our morning exploring:

              


(Helen on a hill outside of the castle. Notice the ghost orb next to her. This place is 100% HAUNTED!)

After our castle exploration, we had a two hour drive to visit Jim's friend's sheep farm in Western Wales. 

I fucking love sheep. I think they're so cute and fluffy. I may or may not have a stuffed animal lamb in the back of my closet somewhere that I don't have the heart to give away - THAT is how much love I have for them. Sadly, they hate me - no sheep I've ever met will let me love them. My Mom however, had slightly better luck: 


The farm itself was mind-blowingly beautiful, with views of the Irish sea - which just made me super excited to get back to Dublin! 



We had tea and a lovely chat with Jim's friends, then headed off on another 2 hour drive to a little town where we spent our evening eating fish & chips and relaxing:



Ugh, I can't for the life of me remember the name of this town, but it was rated as one of Google Map's top picturesque places in the world. I love the candy-colored houses!

The next day consisted entirely of driving to the ferry port, but we did catch some gorgeous views along the way:


We stopped to take a walk on this bridge. Again, because I suck at life I can't remember the name of it (I'll be sending Jim an e-mail so he can tell me & I can update this!) but I actually took a walk here with Angelina & Jim the last time I was in Wales. I remember finding it extremely serene, and having a really strange feeling that even though I was in a very remote part of Wales with no plans to come back, I would see this bridge again someday. I didn't ask Jim to stop here, he decided to do so on his own - and when I got out of the car and realized where I was I was so floored that my intuition had actually come true - and FAR sooner than I had ever imagined!


(View from the bridge. Please take notice of my future house in the center of the photo.) 

We arrived in Dublin late that night, and my graduation was the next morning. It was one of the strangest things I've ever sat through - the ceremony was entirely in latin, lots of people were wearing furry robes, and this one dude did nothing but hold scepter the entire time. I'm literally not joking at all, this all actually happened. In a beautiful room on campus, nonetheless: 





(Jeremiah, Hugh & myself in our fancy robes. One of my favorite pics of the day!) 

I didn't take many photos of my graduation (or any of my time in Dublin, for that matter) but I do have two iPhone gems to share from the graduation after party: 



(My buddies Ben & Evan looking dapper and not at all drunk in our family portrait. Later that week the three of us went to see Slash in concert! An excellent way to say goodbye to these two nuts!) 


(A blurry but excellent photo of the bulk of our group celebrating with our first bottle of champagne of the evening) 

There are few words to describe how much fun I had during my trip, and how much I miss this part of the world and everyone associated with it. I know I'll be back sooner rather than later (some plans are already brewing in 2015...) but in the mean time, I'm definitely homesick for my second home! 

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