Thursday, August 19, 2010
Today we celebrated Ella’s birthday. She was actually born on the 20th, but she wanted to celebrate at a castle, and the 7 day pass we bought last week expires today. Also we need to pack and stuff on Friday.
She woke up to a room full of balloons, presents on the table, and chocolate chip coffee cake in the oven. After a lovely breakfast Ella opened her presents and played house with the other children. She wanted to have lunch at the castle, so we left for Castle Coch (I heard one person pronounce it “cork”) about 11:30, arriving about noon. There is a larger castle nearby, Caerphilly, but it doesn’t have a tea room. The weather was hit and miss with the rain, but it wasn’t a big deal because Castle Coch was built in the 1850’s and still has a roof on.
We went to the tea room and set about ordering. The children each got a ham sandwich with yogurt, apple, and orange juice. Bob got a Huntsman’s pie and I got Welsh Rarebit, with bacon. Bob liked his pie, but it was served cold, so I’m glad I got the rarebit. It seemed fitting to have it at least once while in Wales, and anyway it was really good. After lunch we walked around the castle, and found out that there was a castle on the site that was a ruin by the 1500s, and the present castle was built on the old foundation and was externally as authentic as possible. There was a wedding at the castle, and they had a bagpiper. She started up once right as we were walking by, and Elijah just burst into tears. She apologized and went away a little bit. The girls were all thrilled to see the bride entering and leaving.
The children were quite excitable all day, and Bob and I were having a hard time dealing with it. We were also out of water in the car. We headed on over to Caerphilly, stopping at a grocery store for water. I also saw some interesting cereal, and bought it to try. It is chocolate “pillows” with a hazelnut cream filling. Tastes like Nutella on toast. We found the castle, but at this point it was pouring rain and it would have been torture to go in. Ella agreed that one castle was enough, and we turned toward home.
We arrived at the Tesco Extra about 4pm, and went in to buy a cake for Ella and breakfast for the next 2 days. She picked out a chocolate cake with smarties (like M&M’s), Rolo, and another candy on top. After that we crossed the road to Pizza Hut for supper. This one had pizza! They told us that the “children eat free” deal was any order off the regular menu generated a free child’s menu order. So we talked and mulled it over, and finally agreed to get 2 large pizzas, and take the 2 free kid’s meals. But when we went to order she said that a large gets 2 free meals, and that would have been too much. So we got one large, with “cheese bite” crust – oh, it was good! I could eat just a plate of the cheese bites – a lasagna, and three free children’s meals. It turned out just right. Bob wasn’t crazy about the lasagna, but he got full and Elijah inhaled the rest of it (after having nibbled on pizza throughout the meal).
When we got home I sent Naysha upstairs to put some clean socks away, and when she came down she said something kind of offhand about she and Taryn would both have to sleep on the floor tonight. I asked why this was, and she informed me that one bed was a little wet. Why? Taryn had opened the window, which is actually a SKYLIGHT, that morning before we left. Remember the rain all day? Straight down on the bed. The blankets, mattress pad, mattress, and floor were all soppy wet. So we spent the next hour soaking up water, taking the bed apart, and sending linens through the dryer. Slight panic prevailed. Once we got as far as we could, we broke for cake, and then made pallets on the boys’ room floor for the girls.
I really hope it dries up. There are no fans, nor even a hairdryer, in this house. And this is the house we booked directly with the owners, so there is no vacation insurance.