Let me back up a bit. My parents and my brother Chris were all born in the U.K. (if I didn't mention that already). My mum and Chris were born in N. Wales and my mum often spoke of her childhood growing up on the coast of the Irish Sea, in the little beach resort Rhyl. As you can see, it's not far from Liverpool. Another reason I understand why my parents were SOOO excited when the Beatles came to the U.S.
|Notice the double LL in Rhyll? This is the only map I've seen with that. My mum spelled it w/one L.|
There were a lot of laughter and tears. Did I mention this trip was emotional for me? All the years growing up I would hear stories from my parents and grandparents, and to see it and experience it all close up? I was a mess LOL. I was a good mess though (not to be mistaken for a hot mess). Even the Beatles experience I was a mess because there was and never will be a band that I loved as much.
So, when we left Liverpool we rented a car for the rest of our adventure. We asked for a Ford Focus sized car and they brought out a MERCEDES!!! I was in shock and love! First time and probably the only time I'll ever get to drive one.
|I kept trying to remind myself and Paul that we weren't sitting on the "wrong" side of the car or driving on the "wrong" side of the road, just different! LOL.|
|Riding in Michael's car.|
We drove to Chirk where Uncle Howard lives.
|What a truly delightful man. I wish we could have visited longer.|
He told me I look just like my mum :)
|Howard's son Michael.|
|She lived in a duplex.|
Now, my mum would tell us stories of her going down to the beach as a little girl and she would collect seashells. She would then make them into necklaces and bracelets to sell to the tourists. Uncle Howard and Michael were kind enough to take us to the beach my mum talked about so often.
|As we walked along the shore, like my mum did 80 or so years ago, we too collected shells and stones to take home and cherish.|
|The little boardwalk. Candy floss? Crisps?|
|An amusement park along the shore.|
|There are literally sheep EVERYWHERE. Someone told me there are more sheep in Wales than people. I believe them.|
The first day we arrived in Wales, Uncle Howard asked us what we thought of motorbike racing (we call it motorcycle racing in the U.S.). Well we really have no opinion one way or another. Come to find out, that weekend was only 1 out of 2 when they have this HUGE motorbike race! And, would we like to go? Well sure. So Uncle Howard was thrilled. I did not know that this side of my family loved an adrenaline rush LOL! Before motorbike racing they flew planes! I got a chance to meet Uncle Howards' other son Philip. He has 3, Michael, Philip, and Paul. We also met Philip's wife Leslie, their son Marcus and daughter Holly. Also, Michaels' son Damien and daughter Tanya.
So back to the races. WOW!! What fun we had!!
|Philip, Marcus, Leslie and I.|
|What a sweetheart!! I do wish we lived closer! |
Now the bikes are going a lot faster than they look in these videos, because we're sitting in front of a bend. The bikers had to slow down because of that but Paul walked up to the top of the hill on the left with Michael and Philip, and said by the time they get up over that hill, they're going 180 mph! This was a preliminary race we watched. The real race was the next day.
All the men have raced and here's a pic of Michael in a race...
|Michael in a race 2013|
Well, I have to go help our friends decorate for our annual Halloween party and we're late! I will post part 2 this week.