Monday, February 21, 2011

Last Sunday in Cardiff!

Since Sunday was my last weekend in Cardiff, Ben took me to the Custom House for a Sunday roast via the Barrage, which runs along the water.  We got some work in on the way.

Ben working the wheel:

and me, pushing some coal:

Then we reached Custom House for a well deserved roast dinner!

After a very satisfying dinner, we met Thom, Katy and Sandra for drinks and celebrated my last night out in Cardiff.

Thom and Ben, drinking very manly fruity drinks:

Ben's look of drunk satisfaction:

Thom, Ben and I finishing a drink together:

and Katy, Sandra and I enjoying the night.  I of course kept to my trusty Grey Goose martini:

What a great last night out and to top it all off we had a flaming banana dessert:

Now that's the way to end a great night ;)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fish & Chips on a Windy Day

Saturday Ben and I headed into the bay on a very windy day!  I tried to show just how windy it was by taking a picture of the flags flying stiff straight in the wind:

Also the whitecaps in the water:

Ben had to take shelter in this sculpture on the bay, can you spot him?

Luckily we didn't blow away in the wind and made it to Harry Ramsden's for some traditional fish and chips!

Apparently you have gravy on your chips (or fries as us Yanks call them), curry sauce for dipping and mushy pease (mashed peas) to eat with your fish, it was excellent!

Ben ordered an extra plate of chips and an order of bread and butter then wrapped his chips in the bread and butter and ate them like a sandwich, so bad and he knows it!  ;)

We washed it all down with beer and a fancy water:

Very traditional English food indeed!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Roath Park

Since Sunday was such a beautiful, sunny day, we decided to head over to Roath Park in Cardiff via the bus.  Here we are patiently waiting for our bus to arrive:

One quick ride over and we arrived at Roath Park, a Victorian style park:

It even has a green house!

We headed inside to the warm humid air, felt just like Florida!

My camera kept fogging up because it was so nice and warm inside :)

I loved all the palm trees, reminded me of home!

Of course we don't have many koi swimming around in Florida ;)

I loved the tropical greenhouse, I think we could have stayed for hours!

but....there was much more to be seen, like the lighthouse on the lake:

Here I am holding it up:

there were also tons of swans and on the lake, Ben and I had bought duck food at the greenhouse so we could feed them:

I liked this guy because he was the awkward teenager who hasn't quite grown into himself yet:

He definitely got the most food ;)

After feeding the swans we headed inside to the warm cafe for tea and scones, so English!

In all, a beautiful day out on the lake and another great day of exploring Wales!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ben's Birthday!

I know, I've been a horrible blogger lately!  However this next post is a fun one, because it's all about Ben's 28th birthday!

Ben turned 28 this weekend and we celebrated with cake, sparklers and champagne, then headed out to see the BBC orchestra perform and ended the night at the fancy Le Gallios restaurant.  We couldn't get the camera off video mode until dinner, so enjoy the videos!

Ben's sparkler cake:

The thunderous applause after the first performance:

And finally off video mode, here we are enjoying dinner and drinks at Le Gallios:

Happy birthday to Ben!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

OK, a little late on the New Year's post, but not too many pictures to share, for once I wasn't very snap happy!

I started the night out at Imogen's for champagne and appetizers (or starters as they are called in the UK).  Here is Imogen opening up a bottle of champagne:

then we headed into town to watch the fireworks at midnight.  You may recognize the ferris wheel in the background from a previous post when Ben and I took a spin:

These photos are my attempt to capture the fireworks going off:

And here is a shot of Imogen taking pictures and Christian with the half of Katie's face out of the shot, sorry Katie!

after the fireworks were done we ended the night and headed home.  
A nice start to 2011 :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry English Christmas!

So I had my very first English Christmas this year and only my second Christmas ever outside of Florida!

Ben and I headed out on Christmas Eve and took the train to Manchester, to spend the Christmas weekend with his cousin Faye, her husband Charlie and their boys Charlie and James.

Of course we started the journey with a bottle champagne because that's how we roll:

We also ran into one of Ben's friends, Bernardo, and invited him to sit with us and play some rounds of Uno:

He lost every round, but we were pleased with our winnings :)

We also admired the landscape along the train ride, the English countryside was still covered in blankets of snow:

Always nice to look at when it doesn't delay your train trip!

After the four hour ride, we arrived in Manchester and straight away headed to church to see Charlie and James in the Nativity play:

Here's proud Dad Charlie:

and Ben, studying the hymns for the play:

Charlie and James, after the play:

and me with my Christingle, an orange with a candle at the top, toothpicks with rasins and sweets and a red band going around the orange, very English indeed!

So that was our Christmas Eve night and of course we were up at 7am for Christmas, per Charlie and James' request of course ;)

The beautiful tree was absolutely surrounded by presents!

some presents required assembly by Dad:

Here is a picture of Ben's Christmas wrapping skills.  I think the bows are really the crowning achievement:

Here I am holding up my sushi making kit from Ben and there is Charlie (aka the photobomber) in the background:

Ben, loving his gift from me, a box of poo, so sweet!

also admiring his new straight razor, although he does look just a tad creepy..................

and of course I had to get some shots in of Elvis, the family dog:

she mistook Ben for a climbing post:

and here is Ben using all the shaving gifts I got him, a badger hair shaving brush and shaving soap:

and the straight razor:

to be followed with his new after shave, all from Taylor of Old Bond Street, established in the year of Queen Victoria, 1854, so English!

After the gift opening was done, we popped open a magnum size bottle of Moet:

Faye presented her beautiful cake (while Charlie photobombed in the back):

Charlie took James' new scooter for a ride in the kitchen, of course:

and red flannel twins James and Ben toasted to Christmas:

Ben had champagne but James opted for his 'boy wine' or slur, us Americans know it as sparkling white grape juice ;)

After an amazing traditional English dinner prepared by Faye we headed outside into the night to light some Chinese lanterns, apparently another English tradition:

Ben getting our lantern ready:

Faye with her lantern lit, getting ready to release it:

Ben lighting our lantern:

 getting ready to set our lantern off into the night:

and away it went!

Ben helped Andrew with his lantern:

and off his went too:

our lanterns floated off into the night sky, which meant our Christmas wishes came true :)

The next day was Boxing Day which is celebrated pretty much everywhere in the world EXCEPT for the U.S. and since no one really knows what it means, it's pretty much a day to visit family and friends you couldn't be with on the actual Christmas day.

We took the day to visit two trees planted at a local park in memory of Ben's grandmother and grandfather.  As snowy as it was, the park was still beautiful:

there were even sheep there!

Charlie brought his bike:

and Matt and Becs brought their dog Monty (Montgomery):

here is Ben posing with the sheep:

after the park we went to a local pub for some pints and traditional English pub food:

What a perfect ending to a wonderful English Christmas!