we’re such a married couple right now

Brains Beer, Cardiff

The first sign we came across as we drove into Cardiff is above….they’re pretty serious about beer in these parts.  Haha, but the beer company is actually called Brains?  Any way, we had a really great visit to Cardiff to see Heather’s old camp counselor.  On Saturday we ended up waking up late and then going into town.  We walked all around the Christmas markets, the Cardiff Castle, the city centre, and then over to the Winter Wonderland.  Luckily we had connections as Sally’s husband runs the “Cardiff Winter Wonderland,” so we got to go up in the wheel and go ice skating for free!  It was beautiful and was last year ranked #2 top place to ice skate in the UK (the first of course being at London’s Somerset House).

Cardiff with the Welsh flags everywhere after the rugby match

Heather & I ice skating in front of the Cardiff Town Hall

Saturday night we ended up chilling with Sally at home which was just perfect.  I definitely fit into the ‘homebody’ category a lot of the time.  We played HSM3 Dance Party on the Wii, ordered Chinese take-out, watched X-Factor (the better British version of American Idol), and then watched Blood Diamond.  It was a wonderful evening in and we learned about cider and black for the first time ever which was delicious (hard apple cider + black currant squash).  Sunday we woke up late again and enjoyed a typical English breakfast of eggs, grilled mushrooms, sausage, ham, and potatoes, with tea, coffee, and juice.  Then we wandered around the bay, docks, barrage, and Welsh Parliament, and walked across the locks to Penarth, Wales.

Welsh Parliament

looking back on Cardiff from Penarth

On Monday we went to the Imperial War Museum with our history class to look at the exhibit on World War I and then we had the rest of our class in the cafe in the museum.  I love that.  Then we had an extended English class where a local writer came in and talked to us about writing about London–she was funny and a great speaker.  On Tuesday we went to a 18th and 19th century sculpture auction at Sotheby’s and then walked around to other schmaltzy commercial art galleries in the area.  Then Heather and I enjoyed “burgers” at the Carnaby Burger Co., in our new favorite area off of Oxford St., Carnaby!

inside the auction at Sotheby's

Sir Peter Blake's art at Waddington Gallery

Colin Self's hamburger/hot dogs at the James Hyman Gallery

LUNCH

Now, I’m off to meet my cousins in Notting Hill.  Tomorrow is France to visit Olivia.  I never dreamed I’d be in France for Thanksgiving.  It’s a little odd being away from all of my family for the first time at a major holiday.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who get to celebrate it! More soon.

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