TIPPING AND TOWERS

Today’s plan went a bit wonky, but we easily caught the train to Caerphilly and toured the castle there. The weather is crazy gorgeous, so there were a few more folks out and about, making photography without people wearing fanny packs in the shots a bit more trying on our patience. We succeeded pretty well, so here are a few shots of Caerphilly. You may notice the giant leaning tower. I had the urge to pose either pushing it over or holding it up, but controlled the urge. (Thank you, Sandy, for giving me THAT LOOK.)

This castle was built mostly for defense, rather than as a royal holding, so it is definitely less glam than others, but it does make one wonder how anyone could get in if you didn’t want them to. Some reproductions of the war engines were also on display. I had a Monty Python moment, imagining cows being hurled at the siege army, but recovered before shouting, “Run away!!”

Instead of traipsing on to Abergavenny, we headed back to Cardiff Bay and the surrounding area for a few trinkets, then settled in for champagne and tea service. Sandy has been drooling for scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, so she is now content.

Aside from a fit of the giggles, we carried it off with some dignity, and no injuries. Why they kept playing Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia” is anyone’s guess. That, and “Me and Mrs. Jones” were on quite an impressive loop.

Also, not to be an uncouth American, BUT, we seem to be dining in France these days, as achieving the check for the meal takes longer than the meal itself. (And we are taking our time at it.)

The staff is lovely, so I do hate throwing myself in front of them to beg for the check, even though we’ve told them we have finished. Hours ago.

I believe I explained we’re only here a couple more days, so we’d like to do more in that time than stare at empty plates and glasses. They are so sweet, though, with their, “loves” and “lovies,” I forgive them immediately.

Meanwhile, despite reports of tips not being expected for cabs, pubs, etc., Sandy is single-handedly determined to tip everyone with whom we come in contact. Cabbies are stunned and grateful, bartenders are bemused, and wait staff blush discreetly. She’s told several young men to “Have one for yourself,” which has been well received. One added on a whopping 1.75 for what must be the cheapest ale in the place.

I am afraid they will all be quite downhearted to see us go.

Tomorrow we visit the coast. Gower, Swansea, Mumbles (how cute is that?) and Rhossili via See Wales Tours. (I always think “Sea Whales” when we say it.)

This is going to require that we wake up and actually get ready on time. (Which has been challenging. We like sleep.)

Since the temperature seems to be hovering near the 80s, we are definitely overdressed for the beach. Pack coats and long sleeves for the 50s, you get a warming trend. “That’s the way baseball go.”

Until tomorrow, then! Or as I like to call it, “When we finally get the check.”

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