i've been in wales for the past few days. the home of my ancestors.
we got on the bus at 6am thursday morning and unfortunately our usual bus driver glenn was amiss and replaced by this guy named terry, who was just out of control. not only did he drive the bus like a madman, but he loved making jokes about us pretty girls with pretty roses in our hair and he loved speaking over the loud speaker of the bus and he was just too much for me. on our day trip this week, i really hope glenn is back.
anyway, we took a three hour drive to wales to tintern abbey which was peaceful and beautiful and lush and green. audrey and caitlin recently made rain boots purchases. everyone in london calls rain boots "wellies" and every time i wear mine, they get rave reviews from the london natives. one time glenn, my fav bus driver, said "oh look at that! legitimate footwear!" it made my day. anyway, after tintern abbey, we went to a coal mine. yes, a coal mine. their reasoning in taking us to a coal mine was because since some of us have welsh ancestry, we should want to see how they live. excuse me, i have welsh ancestors, but they were royal people, not coal miners, and even if they were, i don't think they would want me to relive that dreadful lifestyle. it was dark and claustrophobic but we got to wear fun hard hats with lights on them. as we were leaving, this coal miner man looked at our boots and exclaimed: "grape wellies! pink wellies! spotty wellies!" it was so cute. they love the wellies here.
after the mine we went to the welsh living museum where we walked around a replica of an olden day welsh town and got to see their little houses and farms and such. apparently the people back then were much smaller because the houses and everything were my size...built for someone 5ft3. good thing we don't live back then, because that man of mine would just not fit in that little house.
and then we went to our hotel, where we ordered papa johns and watched the olympics in bed. there isn't a tv at the center, so it was soooo nice to be able to watch tv. i miss it, not going to lie. and i am sorry but papa johns pizza is the best fast food pizza around. never fails to satisfy. and maybe i ate an entire medium pizza by myself, maybe i didn't. but maybe i'm on my period so it doesn't even count, but maybe i'm not.
i slept like a rock in my hotel full size bed and then woke up this morning and enjoyed a lovely continental breakfast and got back on the bus and ventured to caerphilly castle which is my favorite castle we've seen by far. it looks like it's straight out of a medieval love story.
after the castle we stopped at subway and then went on a church history tour. our tour guide peter took us to hall farm, where wilford woodruff lived and converted over 1,000 people. we got to hike up to herafershire beacon, this ridiculously steep hike where the apostles in england would meet to contemplate and discuss church matters. the view was incredible to say the least, but i kid you not when i tell you that it was the steepest and windiest climb i ever could've imagined. but it was worth it.
our final stop on the tour was the first meeting house in england, which is arguably the oldest meeting house in church history. i say arguably because the nauvoo temple is the oldest building in church history, but it's a temple, not a meeting house. technically. anyway, it's located in eldersfield, which is this teeny tiny farming town in the middle of no where. our tour guide told us some incredible stories about brigham young and wilford woodruff and others who sacrifices so much and endured so many hardships to establish the church in england. we sang "the spirit of God" and sat in that ancient building and i was so overwhelmed with gratitude. i am so blessed to be part of this gospel and i am so grateful that i get to enjoy it today. the church is true, i promise.
we then got back on the bus, stopped for dinner, listened to terry the bus driver's terrible jokes, drove through london and parked right outside of palace court. i am now curled in my london bed, tired as i've ever been, very excited to be alive and thriving. i hate to start a countdown because i love it here so much, but david told me today that i only have fifty more days here. fifty! never in my life have i felt more bittersweet about something. i love the girls here, but i miss my dysfunctional family. i love riding the tube everyday, but i miss my car. i love living my dream abroad, but i love the comforts of home.i love all of these experiences i'm having here, but i can't wait to jump into my boyfriend's arms and kiss his face.