Wandering around Wales

On our third day in Wales, we turned 23 years old. We stuck close to home and spent the day in Conwy.  Beforehand we had talked about taking a day trip to London or Liverpool, but it often turns out you’re just as happy (if not more so) just fully exploring and enjoying one place. Seeing that the castle is the main attraction in Conwy, we finally ventured inside. The Welsh -at least according to our Welsh hosts-don’t particularly like the castle because it was built by the British. But it was hard to not be fascinated by it; we don’t get too many castles in NYC. We roamed through the maze of rooms, climbed up dark, spiraling staircases and even met a princess (a 4-year old tourist dressed up in a purple princess costume). IMG_8094These days the Welsh flag flies proudly over the castle.
IMG_8104IMG_8125IMG_8137IMG_8123IMG_8140IMG_8149IMG_8151IMG_8153Anna and Katie fearlessly ascended one of the towers. photo-216While I snapped a picture. IMG_8155As previously mentioned, we are a pretty cautious bunch. During this photo, mom and dad were seeing to it that Anna and Katie didn’t lift a single finger off the railing. IMG_8157IMG_8166IMG_8184Pretty soon, it was time for tea. Of course, we had to go to “Anna’s Tea Rooms.”IMG_8170IMG_8183Tea time really needs to make its way to America. 
IMG_8181IMG_8189I promise you that it’s impossible to take a picture in Conwy without the castle popping up somewhere in the background. So attention hungry, that one.

IMG_8194After tea, we still had room for some more Welsh history. Jumping forward about 300 years (dad, don’t correct me on any dates; time is just a social construct after all) we headed over to Plas Mawr, a 16th century Elizabethan house once owned by a wealthy local merchant.  There are no rope barriers in this house or glaring guards. Not only could you walk amongst all the rooms, but you could pick up the kitchen tools and sit on most of the chairs. Just don’t go near the beds lest you want a scolding from Katie about “BBs” (our less frightening term we use for bed bugs for Katie’s sake). The museum even went so far as to have real carrots, eggs, onions and smashed garlic laid out.

IMG_8200 We peeked into the pantry, complete with a collection of taxidermy.IMG_8201And the beer making room…IMG_8204And the bedrooms…IMG_8206Climbing up to the attic we got (yet another) good view of the castle.
IMG_8207 IMG_8208Afterwards, we mailed postcards back home. People would write letters daily if our postboxes were this cute. E-mail would go out of business. IMG_8209This is pretty self explanatory: it’s the smallest house in Great Britain. A 6 ft 3 inch fisherman once lived here. IMG_8217Then we embarked on one more walk from mom’s guide book. IMG_8220And all feminists shook their heads… Lean in mama! Don’t let no man steal the spotlight. (Or I could just figure out how to use the flash).

IMG_8224Given all the Welsh treats we’d enjoyed, we decided to do some leg exercises on the wall. photo-220And then we worked on our thighs. Some of us appear to be struggling more than others.IMG_8232Finishing off with some dancing on the beach.. IMG_8227See, that sneaky castle peeking its head in again.

IMG_8240Continuing on, we ducked into a nature preserve and Anna conquered the hill. 
IMG_8245Our perfect, simple birthday dinner. Not pictured: a chocolate cake that mom surprised us with. Everyone ought to turn 23 in Wales. IMG_8246
P.S. A birthday from the early nineties when we wore matching outfits. Still trying to bring that back… IMG_1573Emily, Mom, Dad, Katie, Anna and Sean.

This entry was published on July 8, 2014 at 1:41 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

7 thoughts on “Wandering around Wales

  1. john t. williams on said:

    Photo of Anna and Katie atop one of those towers should make clear why we insisted you keep that grip on the handrail.

  2. wordlvr on said:

    Dear Anna, Emily and Katie, This is a lot of fun to follow as the last time I saw you all I probably still lived on Glenlake and you all looked more like you did in the last photo than you do now. I’ve kept up with you through Mary Beth but I like it here, “hearing” your voices. While learning about Wales each time I read a post and seeing signs in its quirky syllable-light language, I love immersing into this branch of the Williams family culture as well. Perhaps my favorite line from this post is to your father: “dad, don’t correct me on any dates; time is just a social construct after all” though I also love you telling your mom to lean in. My daughter spent this last semester in Florence and I learned things from reading her blog posts that she forgot to mention in her Skypes with me. She turned 21 while there and decided to meet a high school friend in Paris for the occasion. My cousin sent her a gift of a Segway tour through Paris at night. When you’re older and your birthdays blur, you and she will never forget your 23rd and 21st birthdays in another country. Keep having fun and keep writing. (I love your red lipstick…even if it’s not red. Very casual glam.) ~Jan Sugar

    • Thanks so much Jan! Great to hear that..
      We spent a summer in Florence as well! What’s her blog address? Would love to revisit the city through another person’s eyes.. Though a Segway tour through the Paris night sounds beautiful, we’d probably be too nervous to get on one, ha.

  3. Happy birthday, ladies! This looks wonderful, what a great way to celebrate a birthday.

  4. wordlvr on said:

    Also, if you could clear something up for me…

    Around here, when people go to the Drake, etc., they say they went for high tea and they mean the tea ritual of which you speak — afternoon tea. My English husband always told me that high tea was a light dinner but certainly not afternoon tea. He has not lived in Britain for years. What is currently the correct phrase for the the tea ritual that you like?

    • We defer to the English man! Not that I really know, but I’d call it “high tea” only if there were lots of delicious little sandwiches and treats involved… more than a scone and cup of tea.

  5. wordlvr on said:

    I will have to continue my search for the definitive tea answer…The Segway tour was a nervous stretch for Julia, too, but there was that issue of having to get back to the present giver. She said it was really fun in the end. Her blog was called webbcites because her last name is Webb. It can be found at juliainflorence.tumblr.com, the first post is at the bottom and the last one at the top. She starts out by talking mostly about two of her main loves — history and food and then it gets almost comically more and more foodie. I was a tad worried about cooking for her when she got back!

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