Monday, August 30, 2010

A Week Out of London

Last Saturday Daddy and I boarded a National Express coach for Bristol.  The trip that was supposed to take two and a half hours took three and a half hours.  We arrived, chilled out, ate dinner, and Daddy and I made plans to go to Bath.  Those plans did not work and instead we hung around the house, walked to Sainsburys (if I remember correctly), and I got to skype with Becky and Chris : )  That was SO exciting!!!!

The River Avon
Monday morning I woke up bright and early and Daddy and I prepared to go to Baaath.  The bus ride was a tad longish but we passed by beautiful countryside!  We arrived and at first were a bit at a loss as to what direction to walk.  Well, we headed toward the city centre where I decided to pop into a few shops to look for a dress for the wedding!  I found one and headed off to find Daddy at Starbucks.  As I walked I was amazed at the beauty of  the town.  It was incredible!  The Starbucks was in an ancient building!!! It was two stories and absolutely beautiful!  We walked around the centre, along the River Avon, took photos of the garden, shops, streets, etc.  I found an adorable little boutique with ADORABLE umbrellas....I think I may have to start an umbrella collection! 

Oscar the Cat
I bought a map and we began to figure out how to get where we wanted to go.  After wandering a bit and poking around shops, petting a cute kitty outside a pub, and seeing some cool masks we began walking in the direction of the Royal Crescent.  Well, in order to get there we had to walk by so many inviting shops.  Yes, I had to pass them by.  Well, most of them.  BUT, next time, I will go back strictly for shopping purposes ; )

The Royal Crescent
We made it to the top of the hill and saw this circular set of buildings.  I thought that was the royal crescent.  Nope, we walked some more and saw it.  I must say, it is beautiful.  There is a hotel in part of it.  I must look up the prices.  That is where we met John Cleese.  Turns out, I don't know him from Monty Python (I knew that), BUT I do know him because he was in the BBC version of the Taming of the Shrew (one of my favorite Shakespeare plays). 

The Royal Victoria Gardens

We then walked through (briefly) the Royal Victoria Gardens before making our way back to the City Centre to find some lunch.  Just as we began to eat our lunch, outside, it began to POUR rain.  Out came my brolly (there ya go, Mama) and we huddled under it for shelter from the downpour.

We then decided we had had about enough and headed back to Bristol.

Tuesday came around and we went to the bookshop where I bought more books, including, for two pounds, the complete works of Dickens in one volume (I need to double check and make sure they are all there).  Either way, the book is beautiful and it was a great bargain!  Oh yes, on the way home I bought some CUTE CUTE shoes for the wedding.

My Leg Room ; )
Wednesday we prepared to head off into the wild grey yonder for WALES! 

Of course it was raining and I did not have my wellies.  I had practically no leg room ( I managed).  And, it was BEAUTIFUL! 

We arrived at the castle and it was closed.  So, we peeked around and began searching for our cottage.  VERY long story short, we found it.
At St. Briavel's Castle!

Then, back to the castle where I saw my aunt and step-grandmother for the first time in about 10 years.  I met loads of people and then hung around until it was time to go to the church for the rehearsal. 

**Side note: I wore flip flops the whole time.  Even in the rain.  It was interesting.**

The George Pub!
Anyway, then Daddy and I watched the rehearsal and headed up to the pub where we were supposed to be eating dinner.  They were not prepared for 15 people because it was a tapas (snack) night.  BUT before Daddy and I found this out we had already ordered drinks.  So, everyone else arrived and ordered drinks to and THEN we trooped up the hill to another pub that was not ready for almost 15 people to come and eat.  BUT they did serve us our food, an hour after we ordered it.  The bride and grooms food came last because apparently it had never been ordered.

Making Cupcakes!
Thursday dawned bright and early.  Daddy and I got ready and headed back to the castle where a busy day ensued.  I arrived and they were putting together the beautiful cake tiers.  Then, I helped unwrap the tea cups (THAT was a fun job!). Then, I ironed.  Then, I got to help decorate the cup cakes = )  Then....I did odds and ends "assist" with the bunting hanging and placing a few tea cups with flowers in them around the castle.  AND, throughout the afternoon most of the rest of my family arrived : )

We headed up to the pub where we HAD made reservations and ate dinner.  They served us very promptly and it was VERY yummy!!! I had my first half a glass of wine that I finished and enjoyed : )  It was a sweeter white wine that went very nicely with my salmon!  All in all, that evening was wonderful! 
Tintern Abbey

The wedding day (Friday) dawned bright with sunshine!!!  Daddy headed to the castle to help with food prep while Uncle Gavin, Roy, and I headed out to do some exploring!  We stopped quite often to take photos and eventually ended up at Tintern Abbey!  Incredibly beautiful!  The whole area is!  Then we visited the Coach House and Stowe Court.  They are two properties that my grandparents used to own.
The Coach House

We headed back to the castle where I helped set out cupcakes and sweets (yes, very enjoyable job).  I asked where Daddy had gone and I was told they had gone to the pub.  THEY LEFT ME!!!  Ok, I calmed down and was like, whatever, they will get me.  Well, it was almost two and the wedding was at three thirty.  We had a 15ish minute drive back to the cottage and I had to get dressed.  I should have remembered, three men won't think of this.  I went up to the pub and when Daddy saw the time realized, oh, we need to go, Kirsten will need to get dressed.  Well, we left 5 minutes later, arrived home, got ready, and were out the door 40is minutes later = )

Family : ) Yes, we missed the "act weird" memo.
When we arrived at the castle my aunt, her fiance, and my cousins, and Jess and Bex's boyfriends were waiting : )  It was great to see them all!  I took a quick video tour of the castle and a bit later we headed into the church.  The wedding was a bit late starting but once it did was very lovely!!!  The bride looked BEAUTIFUL!  It really felt kind of medieval!  I mean, an OLD church, a Norman castle. Helloooo!

The Bride and Groom
Afterward we put the remaining food out, toasted the bride and groom, and ate yumminess!

All in all it was a wonderful week, wedding, and family time!

I think I would love, at some point, to live somewhere between Bath and Wales : )  It is so peaceful, beautiful, and amazing there!!!

I am now back in London....waiting.
Below is a walk through of the castle...well part of it. You will have to turn your head sideways through parts of it.

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