And More Vacation In Wales

From my cousin’s driveway

I’ve been home from Wales since Friday night and believe I can say with confidence that this trip I suffered absolutely no jet lag. That’s certainly made life easier.

It was a good trip. I love my family and our friends over there and feel cherished by them. If you walk around the shops for long you’ll see signs that mention cwtches. That’s a Welsh word for hug, but a hug that actually borders on a cuddle. They’re great huggers, these Welsh folk of mine. Even those who didn’t know me greeted me with a hug and kiss. I’m kinda missing that….though if friends here did the same here it would seem a bit weird. We’re huggers in the South, but now I understand why I may hug so tight….it’s my heritage.

My cousin Kerry did not work the whole two weeks I was there. The main purpose of my trip was to go to a concert for the band Squeeze, popular mostly in the 80s and in Britain more than the States. I spontaneously bought these tickets in the wee hours of the morning over a year ago when I was Facebooking instead of sleeping, and their concert schedule came across my feed. They were playing in Cardiff, about 30 minutes from my mom’s hometown of Newport. I loved Squeeze in college, I knew my cousin Kerry loved them, too, so I bought us two tickets on the second row. We had a blast….the spontaneous decision was a good one.

The tickets came with the VIP package, which wasn’t important to me until I saw how much we laughed about our treasures. We got our pictures taken with them, which had us giggling because of its cattle call nature. They obviously wanted to move us along. We are quite certain that was just for show and they are treasuring the large canvas they had made of our picture when we left.

Squeeze and the Lanyard Women

We’re got tote bag, a signed song list from the concert, and a tour poster.We’ve gotten the most mileage out of the VIP lanyard. We now call ourselves “lanyard people” (VIP seems tacky) and in any situation, such as a line at the ladies room, we talk about pulling it out and saying “Don’t you know who we are?” It’s fun to be a fake VIP.

We went to the coast one day, Porthcawl, had amazing fish and chips and took a walk on the boardwalk. Thankfully no rain that day, and temperatures were very mild. It was glorious.

Porthcawl, Wales

I also went to a funeral when I was over there. The husband of my mom’s late cousin died and I decided that I needed to be there. I met or was reacquainted with many members of my family, including one of my first cousins I hadn’t seen in about 20 years, at my Nana’s funeral. I’ve written about this on Medium. Here’s my friends link.

View at

The trip home took almost 28 hours. It would have been five hours shorter if I hadn’t brought home a small Marks & Spencer’s fruitcake that a friend of my mom sent her. For some reason, they had to test it, even though it was thoroughly wrapped in the M&S packaging. I’d taken off the wrapping paper it was delivered to me in, knowing that would cause a customs delay. I missed my plane as a result of the search….that time when you see it still sitting at the gate, but the door has been closed.

Customs had no problem at all with the load of candy bars I was carrying with me. My family loves British chocolate, especially a Cadbury bar called Crunchie. They will be one of my contributions to Thanksgiving, along with mashed potatoes and salad. I get to provide the basics!

Here’s another Medium piece I wrote about the guy sitting next to me on the last leg of my trip. A tale of me trapped on a plane, exposed to chemical weapons. Or that’s my story.

We drank lots of hard cider. This was in Cardiff, and the cider was mango.
Father Christmas after the city’s tree lighting celebration
They call this Giligan’s Island – in honor of the sailors
Scones, jam, and clotted cream
Newport Cathedral
Inside the cathedral
A good idea, wherever we may be


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