Saturday, April 30, 2011


Before I left for my Welsh Odyssey, I obviously did some reading up on places to go, things I should see and do, the local culture and, my favorite, the cuisine. Wales doesn't really have any kind of particular cuisine that it's known for, but it does have one little, adorably delicious treat that I stopped and bought every chance I had.


They are funny little cakes, baked on a griddle like a pancake but very dense almost like a cookie. They have raisins or currants in them, as well as spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, and are dusted with sugar the second they come off the bakestone.

Absolutely delicious.

I got these adorable heart shaped Welshcakes from a little shop in Cardiff Bay called Fabulous Welshcakes.

Fabulous Welshcakes in Cardiff Bay

I've been scouring the internet for recipes and I'm definitely going to make some Welshcakes of my own, so stay tuned!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Castell Caerdydd

One of the things I was most excited about seeing in Wales a castle. Here in the states the oldest homes we have are only about 200 years old, maybe 300 for the earliest settlements. And while I love doing things like touring old Southern Plantations, they just do not hold the history and the allure of a castle.

A fucking CASTLE.

I don't know why, but it blows my mind. And the best part was I actually ended up getting to see three of them! Swansea castle is located in the heart of Swansea, but it's really just the ruins of the castle that once stood there. Oystermouth Castle is located in Mumbles, but I only got to see it from a distance because it's closed for repairs and renovations. But Cardiff Castle - Castell Caerdydd in Welsh - did not let me down!

Walking up St. Mary's Street you can see the castle in the distance. The road is lined with Welsh flags, which have dragons on them. How badass is that?
From outside the castle walls

Because I'm a total nerd, I listened to my audio guide as I explored every nook and cranny of the castle grounds. I learned quite a bit. For example, the castle started as a Roman fort around 55 AD and eventually the Normans built the keep (pictured above) at the end of the 11th century.

In the 17th century, the castle was acquired by the Bute family, one of the wealthiest and well known families in Cardiff and all of Wales. They built this Gothic inspired Victorian mansion in the 1860s.

A prayer room inside the mansion.

Inside looking out.

A sculpture commemorating all the unknown Welsh warriors and soldiers throughout the ages.

Inside the keep.

The stairs leading up to the very top of the keep.

Oh hey, tourist!

Walking inside the battlements.

The castle was donated to the city of Cardiff in 1947 and has been a working museum and attraction since then. Apparently they have concerts - Green Day played in 2002! - and every year Cardiff University holds their summer ball there. Just to put that into perspective for you, Northeastern's annual formal dance is held at the Marriott in Copley Square. Not. Fair.

In conclusion, I would just like to state for the record that I would live here, inside this castle, if I could. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cymru 2011

Cymru. Pronounced [kəmrɨ] or, for normal, non-linguistics nerds, kuhm-ree.
It's the Welsh word for Wales.

As I hinted at in my last post, I took a trip to Wales. Wales!

I know it seems like an odd, extremely random destination for a vacation, but I had good reason for going. Hannah, my roommate of 4 years and best friend from college, moved to Swansea, Glamorgan in Wales in January. We hadn't seen each other in almost a year and we were well overdue for a reunion. Not only that, but I felt bogged down and exhausted by the humdrum routine of life. I needed a break, so off I went!

Ten days in Wales with my best friend was exactly what the doctor ordered. I have many more photos to share with you, but here's a little taste just to whet your whistle.

The marina in Swansea. This is Hannah's neighborhood.
No big deal, right?

Dylan Thomas, Swansea's most famous resident until Catherine Zeta-Jones came along.
Side note, I was there while she had her break down. They LOVED that.

A little photo op during the walk along the beach to Mumbles.

Every sign in Wales is in Welsh as well as English.

Trying on hats just in case my invite to the royal wedding comes through.

The latitude and longitude of Swansea.

Beautiful bridge in the marina.

The Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.

Cardiff Castle. CASTLE!
More on that later.

Hannah and I, reunited and it feels soooo good!

More to come soon!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Oh, man. It's been a loooong time since I've written anything. A seriously long time. Long Time with a capital L and capital T, to emphasize the importance and meaning of the phrase.

I'm sure you've all been wondering where I've been. Have you been coming up with crazy ideas as to my whereabouts? Like maybe my computer was stolen. Maybe my apartment caught on fire and I've been turned out on the streets like a 19th century orphan. Perhaps I decided to pull an Eat, Pray, Love and drop off the grid (seriously considered that one). Maybe I died or, even worse, decided to stop writing this blog.

No, no, and no to all of the above.

The truth is I just haven't felt like writing. I know that's not a very good answer and I hope you'll forgive me for it. Sometimes I get so caught up in myself, in my own head, that most of my energy and focus goes there. And there are things that have been going on in my life that have required quite a bit of introspection lately. I know it's not the best excuse, but it's the only one I've got so I hope you'll understand.

The good new is that I'm back! Some awesome things have happened since my last post - iPhone! Trip to Wales! - and I'm excited to share with you. Stay tuned for the updates, musings and general ridiculousness you've become used to, as well as a new look and some fun new features.