JenkinSunts family holiday in North Wales

Well, in usual fashion it’s been some time since I’ve blogged but after a week away in Wales I’ve got lots to tell you about so get a cuppa and take a seat!

I finished a very busy few weeks at work with a piano lesson just before our holiday.  I was so exhausted I thought I might just fall asleep on the keys but I slogged through it – mostly because I wont have a lesson until the 3rd week in September now – eeeeeek.  Although I didn’t start off so hot, I think some conscious part of my brain shut itself off and after that things seemed to improve.  I must be diligent and make sure I keep up the practice but I always say that and never really succeed though so who knows what will happen?!

After the usual packing issues (Mr. J seemed to fill a suitcase and a half on his own and seemed to have packed everything but the kitchen sink!) we set off to Wales on Saturday morning with LittleSunts in the back acting as journey DJ.  After what seems like weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks of rain, it was a bit of a surprise to find ourselves driving to Harlech on a warm, sunny day.  We certainly weren’t complaining though and I for one was definitely hoping for more of the same for the rest of the week!  We arrived at our lovely cottage just before tea time and the relaxing began!  After Mr.Js brother (P) and his girlfriend (H) arrived and settled in, we had a few games of table tennis tables which was good fun.  The dining table wasn’t quite the right proportions which is my excuse for Mr.J beating me!

After a very long lie in on Sunday, Mr. J and I did the big (ish) food shop for the week before all five of us had a wander up the hill from the cottage.  There was a great view from the top – the hills or Snowdonia on one side, with the beaches and castle of Harlech on the other:

North Wales - July 2012-024.JPG

Mr. Js Mum and Dad (MIL and FIL) arrived later that day, just in time for a barbeque and to sit around a fire:

On Monday we all went on a walk together along the coast.  We walked along the Wales Coast Path from Borth-y-Gest to Criccieth.  The walk started through a more wooded area running parallel to some small beaches and coves before we came along a very pretty sandy beach behind Porthmadog golf course and then onto a very long sandy beach, where I managed to fly the kite for a bit.  It wasn’t a long walk and it didn’t take us long to get to Criccieth, where there’s also a castle perched on a hill.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/grahamjenks/7664367662/in/set-72157630793860276/

Mr. J made us a lovely roast dinner, and although it’s all a bit of a blur now, I’m pretty sure we played Articulate in the evening, which was really fun.

On Tuesday, it was time for the event we’d all been waiting for – the Harlech Olympics 2012!  I made everyone a healthy and filling breakfast of American pancakes before we all headed off to a random field in Harlech to compete in the games!  We did (in no particular order) a:

  • straight relay race
  • beanbag race
  • egg and spoon race
  • sack race
  • three legged race
  • balloon relay race
  • dressing up race

Mr. J has made a video montage of all the silly pics so look out for another post for these or check back here as he isn’t around right now and I can’t find the version without music to upload…..  I promise you it’s fun though and definitely worth coming back for another look!

In the evening we also played the after eight game.  For anyone who has not played this, the aim is to get an after eight from your forehead and into your mouth without using your hands.  Check out LittleSunts and my FIL :

On Wednesday, the weather wasn’t as good in the morning so we drove to Criccieth and then along the coast to Abersoc and then on to Aberdaryn.  By the time we got to Abersoc, the clouds had gone and the sun came out and it was lovely!  Aberdaryn was especially nice (although P did hit me on the back of the head with a hard frisbee so I was a tad grumpy for a while!)

North Wales - July 2012-385.JPG

In the evening, we played the box game (you have to pick up a box without using your hands of putting your hands on the floor) and a variation of skittles (mini skittles, which you have to knock over with a ball attached to your belt with string!) which were both really really good fun.  Perhaps not the best preparation for Thursday but still tons of fun!

On Thursday, we went up Snowdon via the Pyg trail.  It felt a bit cheaty since you start so far up the hill but we still made it to the top (and since it’s £10 to park at the car park there I did feel less guilty about the shorter route!).  LittleSunts did an absolutely frodo-ing* amazing effort to get to the top in under 2 and a half hours; not because of the fairly quick time up, but because she battled her way up whilst fighting off and dealing with a panic attack so I was super super proud of her for getting to the top.  We took the miners track on the way down, which was a bit scrambly but made it more fun.  About half way down the steepest part of the miners track scramble, Mr. J realised he needed to get a move on so he could meet his Dad for their train trip so me and Mr. J hotfooted it the rest of the way down.  I think we did about 5km ish in about 45 minutes but since about 1km was a fairly steep scramble down I feel we did pretty good!  Mr. J still managed to get some snaps on the way down though:

North Wales - July 2012-404.JPG

North Wales - July 2012-408.JPG

More fun and games were had in the evening – I think maybe Pictionary and the chocolate eating game (where you have to roll a 6 or a double and then put on rubber gloves and glasses and then chop up chocolate with a knife and fork).  It was lots of fun when someone nearly got the chocolate into their mouth, only to have it snatched away at the last minute when someone else rolled the magic number!

Nearly there now folks – hang in there!  Friday was Mr. Js birthday – yippee!!  I got to use my ‘Happy Birthday’ banner:

I think Mr. J had a good day.  I hope he did anyway!  We went to Harlech Castle, drove along the coast to Barmouth for a spot of lunch and then bagged some geocaches on the scenic way back to the cottage via Betws-y-Coed!

North Wales - July 2012-459.JPG

North Wales - July 2012-469.JPG

Mr. J also took these later in the evening when he went to collect his Birthday meal of Chinese take away.

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North Wales - July 2012-014-2.JPG

We all watched the Olympics opening ceremony and I think it’s safe to say we all really enjoyed it. Unfortunately the holiday did end on a slightly sad note, as we did not win the Euro Millions!!

The only thing I haven’t mentioned is that I managed to get a bit of reading done in between games!  I didn’t make a start on Perdido Street Station but I finished the Habit book, Ready Player One (this was brilliant!) and Artemis Fowl.  I also made some headway with the latest ‘Hollow’s book I’ve been re-reading which is on my kindle so not too shabby!

Sadly, it’s back to work tomorrow.  But, I do still have the rest of today to watch some more Olympics.  I’ve become madly obsessed with handball already.  I watched a really exciting women’s match between France and Norway on Saturday night and I even dreamt about handball.  I think it could be the perfect sport for me but I’ll have to see if I can play it here somewhere and if I can squeeze it into my schedule!!

Finally – we went to see Batman: The Dark Knight Rises last night.  Frodo-ing awesome.

* This is my new substitute swear word!

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