|Maidstone, Wedding & Wales
||[Sep. 17th, 2013|06:47 pm]
What a holiday we had in the uk. Really it was pretty amazing, packing so much new experience into 2 weeks, and all experiences that are kind of special- way different from going to Cambodia or even Bali. Cambodia was good, Bali was great, and on those trips we saw a lot, and did a lot, and relaxed a lot, and of course me and SY did it all together which just made it better.
But the last weeks was done with variously:
Granny Grists- 6 people
Wedding- 50 people
Wales- 11 people
So many people, which just made each experience richer, and made the whole thing this whirlwind of meeting, socializing, and sharing experiences all together. I suppose it feels a bit like the best moments of running the picnic group in Yoyogi Park, but better because the holiday people are all kind of in the same boat as us, of family and close friends, and will likely be around for the rest of our ilves. Experiences that we share with them now will be around forever to share, while the Yoyogi crew we were lucky to see any single person two times in a row.
It's the best of both, and at every stage doing something more interesting than a picnic.
Here's a list of everything new we did, or just everything that was great-
Gardening, and setting stuff up for the wedding. Surprising, because it's work, but it was kind of a first for both of us, and by doing it mom and Karen were so appreciative, we felt like we had really helped out, which was great because they did so much for us for our wedding last year.
First-class train to London. On the way to visit Granny we stopped off in the first class lounge and stocked up on free crisps, drinks, and snacks, then got sandwiches and tea on the train for free. Transfer smoothly through, and then we were-
Visiting Granny Grist. SY got to see what a mini-Downton abbey life might be like, on a small farm with a lovely garden, and have High Tea, and chat to Dad and Ailz and of course Granny, and imagine that kind of life.
Then the wedding! We were in charge of photographing it, and between us did a great job I think. We also gave a little reading in the ceremony in both English and Korean. We shepherded people around a little, and also functioned somewhat as mini-hosts, greeting people as they came in, helping out where we could. I played a lot with Amy's son, Kieran, which was a bit exhausting by the end but was very fun at the start. Baby Ivy was wandering around, and Joe and Vicky were there with baby Aria, and we met Vicky's parents (separated, but don't mention that).
Chat with Joe. I had a good long chat with Joe after the wedding, while our clothes were spinning in the dryer. He seems so much more like the Joe he was as a kid, thoughtful, cool, but also endlessly energetic and looking to jump on stuff, change the conversation, be hilarious.
Imax! Not sure I've ever done that before. Saw Elysium, which was good.
Then Wales! So many new things-
Big Brother House- 11 of us in one big cottage, sharing out chores (we cooked cottage pie with beetroot and pickled red cabbage for everyone on the second night, was delicious), eating what other people cooked all together round the table (Karen's roast lamb and Joe's BBQ were the best), figuring out how to get along with everyone (mostly Vicky's dad Jorg who could be quite difficult to talk to sometimes), chatting to Jay for extended periods (he is very funny), holding baby Aria.
Portmeirion- Site of the Prisoner. A very, very cool place.
King Arthur's Labyrinth- A very cold place, but pretty fun to go into the caves.
The beach- We ran 8km on the beach, ran home 4km in our jeans, swam half-naked in the sea, did the exhausting dune challenge (twice up and down the dune was enough!), climbed on the pill box, took photos of ourselves running (? Sy's idea, we did it three separate times!!).
The hills- We walked up to see the horses and ponies, SY took photos of sheep, we picked wild blackberries, and on the final day we climbed up the big hill to the top, and found Joe's bivouac which was still standing.
The food!- We went out to eat every lunch, to the Dovey Inn, then the Perihelig, then the White Hall, then a canteen in Portmeirion, then a cafe at King Arthur, eating Welsh sausages and mash, black Welsh beef burgers, steak and ale pie with gravy and chips, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, fish and chips with mushy peas (twice), plus all kinds of desserts- buttered Bara Brith, Karen's chocolate cake, rhubarb and custard pie, ice cream, fudge slices, and so on. Lots of cider to drink, and wine, and beer too. Amazing, I must have gained a kilo in a week.
The people- Jay played the guitar, while Joe built bivouacs, Bev cleaned everything and locked all the doors every night, Jorg lectured us about golf when he'd never played it himself, Vicky looked after Aria with ultimate patience, and Alice carried around Ivy on her hip like a tribal lady, teaching Ivy to say all our names though she's only 15 months old. Angela kept Jorg in line, while Doreen was always friendly, and Mom and Karen kept everything running under the surface, probably exhausted from the past few weeks of wedding prep and work.
It was really a great time, and so great to share with everyone, and with SY. I hope we do it again some time!