Monday, February 6, 2012

Tenby, Wales

Wow, did last week fly by!  Making the travel arrangements for our trip back to the States during Aaron's half-term break has pretty much taken over our lives.  As Josh and I were talking through things (what still needs to get washed, found, called, bought, printed, packed), we came to the realization that although we've traveled internationally enough for it not to be a totally foreign concept (internationally! foreign!  ha!), we've never made a trip quite like this -- essentially two separate trips that just happen to start at the same time and place.  What it means is that we just have to be more precise about what gets packed where and who takes which bag on the front end of the trip since we'll be splitting up once we clear customs in Houston.  It will all work out, I'm certain, but I have to admit that I'm more than a little bit angsty about the steps between getting off the plane in Phoenix and getting to the hotel that night on my own.  Something about making sure that I don't leave any luggage or Aaron behind... :)

Anyways, on to our weekly update:

Sun:  Ahhhhhhh.  My day at the spa at St. Brides was, in a word, divine.  I may technically be a year older, but I left there feeling 10 years younger.  Aaron and Josh joined me for lunch between treatments (yes, plural!) and then Aaron sweet-talked his way past the spa reception to see the cliff-top pool that was probably my absolute favorite part of the package.  I could have (and almost did!) hung out there all day, despite the rain, just watching the waves roll in on the beach below.  I'm still not 100% certain just what the boys did to fill their time while I was getting pampered, but I'm fairly confident that the words "screen" and "time" played a starring role.

When we got home, Aaron decided it was high time that we showed everyone what "home" looks like, so he made this video (dramamine alert!):

Mon-Weds:  School/work/boring Mommy stuff.  

Thurs:  Aaron's class participated in Mass at the school.  He had a part to read and did a great job -- he's quite confident when it comes to speaking in front of a large group!  (Sorry, no pictures or videos -- I felt that pulling out the video camera or my iPhone would be inappropriate given the reflective tone of the "assembly".  I'm sure we'll have ample footage to make up for it when the St. David's Day performances and the class assemblies roll around!) Afterwards I stayed at the school to help out in the library, re-alphabetizing and shelving the books to make room for more.  All in all, it was a great way to pass the time on my birthday -- a period of quiet reflection followed by doing something that felt both productive and useful!  We finished off the day with a yummy chicken pot-pie (my favorite!) and Josh brought home a chocolate cake.  

Fri:  In preparation for the St. David's Day festivities at school (also known as Eisteddfod),  Aaron has chosen to enter a photography competition.  We took advantage of the sunny (albeit COLD!) conditions after school to go down to the beach so that he could snap some pictures to fit the theme for Year 1:  The Sea Side.  After sorting through the 50+ pictures that he took, these are the four that he's picked as his best.  He'll have to narrow it down to his favorite and decide whether or not to frame it before he turns his submission in this Thursday.  Judging will take place over the half-term break, so we won't know until we get back from the States how he did.


Sat:  We drove to Cardiff and got to Costco just as the snow began to fall.  By the time we were done with our shopping, the parking lot was transformed into a not-yet-slushy whiteness, but the temperature had warmed enough that instead of snow it was a light drizzle that was falling.  

This is supposed to show the snow falling outside
St. David's...
Aaron and Josh dropped me off at St. David's mall to continue shopping (I'm running myself out of clothes that fit!) before heading off to Techniquest for a few hours of male-bonding over bubbles and gas and waterplay.  It rained the whole way home, making us all more than a little ready for an early night.

Sun:  Josh made up for the "laziness" of the day before by meeting up with a friend from work for a 13 mile run /swim.  The run was planned; the swim an unhappy result of a combination of the rain from the day before and misplaced footing on the side of the path they were running on.  He came home, soaked and bunged up, to find Aaron and I just finishing up a late late breakfast and getting ready to play in the water ourselves.  Aaron wanted to construct a waterwheel, but when we realized we didn't have all the materials listed in his book of science experiments, he decided to see what would happen if he combined his Hydrodynamics set with his Marble Run set that has a "waterwheel" for the marbles to go through.  The results were mixed -- the tower was more water-tight than we expected, but the channels don't hold enough water to make the waterwheels run consistently.  Once we added the marbles to the mix, though, everything spun, splashed, and splooshed quite satisfactorily.  

Josh's half-marathon in the morning left him more than a little hungry, so by 4pm he was puttering around in the kitchen.  His long runs always seem to work out to Aaron's and my advantage and this time was no different -- for dinner he whipped up a batch of corn pancakes to go along with the lettuce wraps that we had already planned.  He also tried out a recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding -- the dessert that we shared at the spa on Sunday.  It wasn't quite the same as what we had there, but it was still delicious and the perfect way to slow down at the end of a weekend that went by way too fast!  

I haven't decided if I am taking my computer along on holiday, so updates for the next two weeks may be sparse.  The camera is coming along, so I will try to keep track of all that we do/see/eat at least in picture form and share with you when we get back.