Things I won’t miss about traveling internationally.

There really are a lot of things I will miss about this year, some of them are things I will look back on and smile for the the rest of my life. But a few things, I will be so very happy to leave on this side of the Atlantic.


1. People assuming that all Americans are morons.- I knew that people did this, but I’ve been shocked and a little hurt at how few people seem to care if I know they feel this way. One woman in particular refuses to this day to admit that some Americans can be intelligent. 

2. People asking me about Donald Trump.- I do not want to discuss this with you or with anyone else, because even though I am an American, I am not a moron.

3. Our idea of “plenty of room” differs greatly- in a bedroom, on a bus, and most especially on the road. Two millimeters between car wing mirrors is not “plenty of room”.


4. Passing people on sidewalks- in the us, 95% go right. Over here, it’s anyone’s guess. I’d estimate that about 55% go left, 35% go right, and 10% don’t give a bother and just run right into you.

5. People asking very specifically were staying.- you know, sometimes I don’t want strangers to know where I sleep at night. 


6. The God-damn power outlets.- ok, this one is stupid, but it’s infuriating to get all settled in bed and realize that you forgot to turn on the outlet into which your phone is plugged so it won’t charge. 

7. Planning.- I love planning, but I am sick to death of it. I’m so very over choosing hosts, dates, times, hostels, trains, buses, flights and food. I want to go back to just choosing what clothes to wear and what to cook for dinner. On a similar note, very excited to make money again. 

8. Having little to no say in what I eat.- this one goes with planning, but I miss being able to choose a salad for lunch, or to eat a small dinner, or have a smoothie for breakfast. I dedicate 10 lbs of this trip to having almost nothing to do with dishing my own plate. Consequentially, Tyler is the thinnest he’s been since high school for exactly the same reason.


9. Public transportation.- I’m all for saving our natural resources, but for the love of all that is good, stop kicking my seat!

10. Not killing spiders.- This one is completely beyond me. At home, if a spider enters my home, it deserves to die as swiftly and as violently as possible. Here, people don’t even seem to notice them (Read, spiders everywhere). One of our hosts requested that instead of killing spiders, we capture them and release them into his bedroom (??!!!!!!). 

Ok, so to sum up, I’m pretty excited to come home. Although if it weren’t for this fluffy little monster I would be willing to keep doing this, yes even with the spiders, forever.

Scafell Pike.

Scafell Pike is the tallest peak in England, and for us, the final mountain in the Three Peaks Challenge. This peak was a great hike for a lot of reasons, though it is the lowest and shortest of the three hikes. 

Scafell Pike is thus named because it was originally thought to be the second tallest peak in England, next to Scafell, which stands directly east. After the ordinance survey, it was discovered that the not yet named peak to the west was actually 10 feet taller, and it was therefore given the name Scafell Pike. The mountain is located in the fells (mountains) of Englands Lake district, an incredibly beautiful part of the country. 

   
 We summited Scafell Pike two days after our summit of Ben Nevis, so we were quite sore, but feeling optimistic. Our wonderful friends Bert and Erin Carlstrom took a train to Penrith, and we picked them up there before heading to a campsite in the Lakes. It has been inexpressibly comforting to be able to see the two of them every few weeks, and even though we keep thinking that we wont see them again while on this trip, we always do! 

  
Our night squished into the little tent was stormy, though warm enough with all four of us. We started our day with a search for coffee, which we almost gave up on, but in the end, succeeded. The trail started in sheep fields full of newborn lambs, enough people must walk past them that they werent even scared. From there the trail became steadily more steep, but we were feeling confident. 

  
The mist descended within the first two miles, and the false summits started. We often thought we could see the outline of the summit, just to reach the top and find that it kept going up. Certain members of our party (who wished to remain unnamed) continually tried to convince the rest of us that we had already reached the summit cairn, but as certain other people continually argued, if there is more up, there is more mountain!

  
Reaching the summit was a great feeling, all the more so because Tyler and I had found some medals in a gift shop that say “3 Peaks Challenge” and we had bought some champagne for the occasion. We had Bert take pictures and Erin give us the medals, which I realize sounds silly, and it was. 

   
 The hike back was full of laughter and Harry Potter games and trivia, because Bert and Erin are just as cool as we are. 

  
The hike was amazingly beautiful, but my favorite part was sharing it with people I love, that we will never actually say goodbye to. 

The Three Peaks Challenge was amazing, and were really proud of ourselves for finishing it. 26 miles of hiking, and over 9,800 feet of elevation gained. We definitely earned our whisky that night!

Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis is the tallest peak in Scotland, and in fact, the tallest peak in all of the United Kingdom, at 4,414 ft. Its name has been shortened form the Gaelic Beinn Nibheis which means “Mountain with Its head in the Clouds”, which is a perfect description.

  

  
Tyler and I had set out in February (with our ascent of Mount Snowden in Wales) to complete the “Three Peaks Challenge” and hike the tallest peaks in England, Wales, and Scotland, so our second ascent took us to Ben Nevis in Scotland. The hike starts nearly at sea level, so the climb is nearly 4,000 feet, meaning that it is the longest and most difficult of the three peaks. We were lucky with the weather, it was chilly but not wet or windy, and the trail was dry. The hike was almost all stone steps, which is a good thing, as the mountain attracts almost 100,000 visitors a year. We decided on this hike that Tyler and I are ideal hiking partners. We seem to set a good pace together, not fast, but steady and consistent. Our breaks are short, and we usually talk the whole time, although I think we mostly do that because even when we’re not in Montana, Hiking=BEARS. 

  
The trail leveled out for a bit and we had amazing views of Glen Nevis, right at the base of the mountain, as well as an imposing view of just how steeply the trail would climb from there. Shortly afterward, we started to encounter snow fields, which were wet and slushy from being trod on, although for us this just means more things to laugh about. The mist set in during the last half mile, and even though we couldnt see anything for the rest of the hike, it was still beautiful. 

   
 
Summit of Ben Nevis is the dome of a collapsed volcano, on which rests an observatory that was built in 1883, and which remained active until 1904. The geology would have been fun to study, but unfortunately we were standing on 7 feet of snow! 

On the hike back down we passed a group of men about our age who were about halfway up, none of them were doing very well. One of them was carrying a pint of whole milk, and he kept drinking out of it as he hiked. I cant think of anything that would sound worse during a hike than milk. I don’t even know what to say, or why Im telling you this, but it really surprised me. In fact, we’ve summited two more mountains since Ben Nevis, and each time before we started I jokingly asked Tyler if we remembered our pint of milk.

  
Somehow, we dont know how, it took us the same amount of time to get down as it did to go up. I still think we must have gone through a stargate or something and lost an hour of our lives. 

  
All in all, Ben Nevis was an amazing hike-if you ever get the chance to do it yourself, take it!

Edinburgh and Camping the Highlands.

Well, this might sounds strange, but Tyler and I have not had time off alone together since August. I know most of you think that this whole trip has actually been time off, but I assure you, it has not. We work at least 5 days a week, and almost never get two days off in a row, so we dont often get to go far from the farm. We love the work, but it is exhausting! Its also surprisingly exhausting to live in someone elses’ home.

So we took a week off in the middle of May for our first vacation! We spent three wonderful days in Edinburgh, which we first had to learn how to pronounce (ed-in-bra). We stayed in a great little hostel that was actually a converted church, and we got to eat Mexican food! We spent our days in the city wandering around, looking in on little tourist shops, getting a pint or a whisky at a pub, and listening to music. 

  
One of the highlights of this stop was the Elephant House Cafe. If you dont know, this is the cafe where JK Rowling sat and scribbled the first few chapters of Harry Potter on napkins, when she was too poor to afford a notepad. The cafe is now a very thriving tourist spot, as most major city tours at least pass by the place. We got coffee and cake and sat in this magical little spot for a long time. One of the best things is that people have taken to writing messages to JK Rowling on the walls of the bathroom, and as I knew about this, I had what I wanted to say prepared. As it turns out, everyone, everyone writes to Jo. There was hardly a square inch of space. It was definitely the most emotional bathroom Ive ever been in. It feels strange to say it, but it was beautiful to see how much those stories mean to people, and the things they learned and valued from them. 

   
   
Another highlight was tracking down Scotland Street. If you’ve never heard of the 44 Scotland Street books, you should! They’re Tyler’s current literary obsession. We found the street, tiny and quaint as discribed in the books, and we visted the Cumberland Bar, which is a pub most of the characters in the book frequent. Although the employees had never actually heard of the books. 

  
We caught a bus to the airport the next day and picked up our rental car. I can’t believe how lucky we are, but we got to see our dear friend Emma again! She was home from Skye for a bit, so we stopped by her parents house on our way out of Edinburgh, where they lent us a tent, sleeping bags, and camping pads. It was an incredibly generous thing, and something that we will appreciate forever; I only hope we can return the favor someday.

  
We then traveled north to a little village called Aberfeldy. I happen to love Aberfeldy whisky, but the main attraction of this place is that it is where JK Rowling currently lives. So we tracked down her house and took a picture of the gate, all the while saying things like “She drives down this road“, and “She buys her groceries here”

  
Next was the incredibly beautiful drive through Glencoe National Park, where we had to stop a million times to take pictures, and onto Fort William, where we found a great and very cheap campsite. Our campsite host was named Bill, and he was a delight to meet. He came to our tent the first morning and gave us his version of what the owls sounded like the night before. We had stayed up all night listening to them, but his was almost as great.  

   
 
It turns out that Fort William is maybe the cutest town ever. There is a great pedestrian zone, with little pubs and shops, and really friendly people who arent yet sick of asking tourists where they come from. Our first day in Fort william was climbing Ben Nevis, but in true Richardsonsinnorway fashion, I have to dedicate a whole post to any major peak climbed. (It just occured to me that I didnt dedicate one to Ben Rinnes, but Ill just tell you that I was big, the day was hot, and it went very well.) Ok, so check back soon for information about Ben Nevis-and for now, know that it was absolutely the best mountain summit of my life. 

  
We spent a day driving down from Fort William, down to Oban, and past Loch Lommond to the Lake District, where we collected our sweet, crazy friends, Erin and Bert Carlstrom, from the train station. I say crazy because they took a train to see us for just 20 hours, 7 hours of which were spent squished into a tiny tent with us, and 6 of which were spent hiking the tallest mountain in England. It was wonderful to see our friends again, even for a short time, I cant believe how lucky we’ve been to see them as much as we have. So we hiked Scafell Pike, which again, needs its own post, and we therefore completed the Three-Peak Challenge; Climbing the tallest peaks in England, Wales, and Scotland.  We drove back to Emmas parents house after the mountain, and they let us sleep in their camper before our flight to Ireland the next day. 

   
 Vacation was a success!!!

Living with Muggles.

Well, its no secret that I love Harry Potter. I only have to put it in writing just in case you dont know me, or you know me from a long time ago when I still wanted to be cool. I LOVE Harry Potter. I think the stories are great, very well written, especially for growing kids, and I think they accomplish all of the goals JK Rowling set out to acchieve when she wrote them. They teach kids not to be biggoted, to be brave, smart, and loving, to have a sense of humor, and sense of right and wrong, to not be spoiled brats, and to love people in spite of their own personal disagreements. There have been some great studies done on readers of Harry Potter, which prove that my generation, “Generation Hex” is the term I prefer, is the most accepting, and least biggoted generation in [a really long time. Sorry to be vague, Ill try to look it up before I publish this, but chances are I will forget].

  
Tyler and I spent 3 weeks with a family “O’the biggest Muggles I ever laid eyes on” this month, and I actually learned a lot; about myself, about my husband, and most particularly about parenting. We were staying just 3 miles outside of the village of Dufftown, the “Malt Whisky Capital of the World”. The family with whom we were working consisted of a stay-at-home mom, a dad who worked (?), and two girls, Heather age 8, and Kirsten age 13. They lived in the big house, while Tyler and I shared the little steading with a woman named Lynn and her 17 year old son, Kyle. What a group. We had high hopes going to this farm, but quickly became discouraged. While the work wasnt exactly exhausting, we found ourselves incredibly tired by the end of the day. Of course, dealing with children is always exhausting, but what we discovered was making us so tired, was the fact that we were expected to perform for these people 24 hours a day. Ill get back to that.

  
Our work was really interesting, although we were expected to work 4 hours a day longer than our agreement stated. But the work was fulfilling and fun so we didnt complain. We learned to tile a bathroom, from start to finish, and we learned how to pick and point a rock wall. The pointing was very fun, as its just pushing mortar into the cracks between the rocks and then smoothing the whole thing out. As you can maybe imagine, this work required a bit of thought in the beginning, but after a while it became pretty easy. We started listening to Harry Potter on audiobook to help pass the time. This was around the time that we began to notice little things we disagreed with, which are always good things to point out and discuss when you’re considering raising children with someone. 

The girls’ father made several comments to us early on, things about how he worked so much (but where!?) that he felt like he was missing their childhood. He would come in for dinner at the same time as us, we would sit at the kitchen table with his kids, while he would turn on the TV, sit with his back to all of us, and “ask” for things like salt by holding his hand over the back of the couch. The girls themselves were their own packet of frustration, as they particularly had no sense of bounderies. The hardest thing though, was to see them interact with kids their own age. They are home schooled (but when!?), and while I personally have seen a lot of people do homeschooling really well, these kids were not getting the beneficial side of it. They had no idea how to relate to other kids their age, and they behaved much younger than they were. It was strange to me that the kids had never read Harry Potter (I know a lot of parents didnt want their kids to read it), but that their mom was so proud of this fact, telling us how they read non-fiction books about World War II instead. 

  
They were, as best I can describe it, children raised without magic. Im absolutely not saying that kids need to read Harry Potter to have a magical childhood, please dont take it that way. These are kids who are growing up in one of the most beautiful and culturally rich places on earth, yet have no interaction with it. Right after they picked us up from the airport, Angela told us that they like to have workers because it “gives the girls culture”, yet every night the whole family told us how everything we do differently than them is wrong; its difficult to learn if you can’t listen. 

I write all of this, mostly because this blog is a great way for me to process things that happen, but also to publicly declare that I do not want to be a biggoted person, or a person so set in my ways that I cant even listen to the views of others, no matter what I believe. I learned a lot about what I do and do not want when it comes to raising children, something up till now I imagined I would just figure out as I went. I guess being with the Muggles taught me that I’d like to view the prospect of having a family with more intentionality, and absolutely bearing in mind the responsiblity that comes with it. 

(Speaking of responsibility, , The whisky pictures are because I shattered my phone so I have almost no pictures from our time there, also we drank a little bit.)

The Spirit of Speyside.

There are few things better in the world than a great festival. Especially one that centers around something you love. For Tyler and I, that festival happens to be the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which we did not happen to know was occuring until about 2 weeks before it did. It also happened to occur in the little village just 3 miles from where we were staying. We had been staying with a family in the Speyside region of the Scottish Highlands, right outside Dufftown, though the nearest post office is in Elgin, 30 miles away. 

There may not be a post office within 30 miles, but there is a LOT of whisky. 17 currently active distilleries  to be exact, and prominent among them are such names as Macallan, Glenmorangie, The Glenlivet, and Glenfiddich. This festival attracts people from all over the globe, all with a shared love of whisky; and we got to join them!

Friday the 29th of April was Tyler’s birthday, and we fully celebrated this year! I didnt want to get him just another thing to carry around, so this year, I asked a few of his friends and family to send me videos of themselves wishing him a happy birthday, and here is the result for you to see! Just know that this collection of videos is what happens when you ask a bunch of people to send their love, and it absolutely blew us both away. Here it is for you to see!

Click here!
So back to the festival. We walked into town on friday for the Speyside 2016 championship whisky judging, where we got to taste the top 6 whiskys from Speyside for the year, the only competition where the winner was chosen by the drinkers, not the makers. It was a great night, we sat at a table with three experts, and enjoyed every minute.


 On Saturday, we walked back into town and took a wood working class with a professional craftsman. The whole workshop was green, meaning it had no cords, and no powertools. We spun the wood on a pedal powered lathe, and burned marks on them using scraps of wood. 


That night we went to a Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee), where we got to learn some wonderful country dances, and listened to some beautiful traditional music by a great band called, Im not kidding, Footerin’ Aboot. 

On Sunday, Tyler entered into a barrel racing competition, which is not the same as it is in Montana. This was literally rolling a whisky barrel down a street and back up it again for time. He did terribly, but it was very fun! 


Later, we went to a whisky fair, where we got to taste some of the oldest and most expensive whisky in the world, and have some really wonderful conversations with not only the other whisky lovers, but with the actually distillers. It was a complete honor to be a part of this festival, and I can’t believe how lucky we are. 

Skye by Car, a Journey in Pictures.

We took a day off to spend with our sweet friend, Emma, and we rented a car! And drove on the wrong side of the road! And the wrong side of the car! Tyler is a pro though, and he mastered it in no time. Though, we both kept trying to get in the car on the wrong side. We spent a very busy day, doing everything on the Isle of Skye in one exhausting day. Here’s what we saw, enjoy, and keep in mind, Scotland is actually just one huge painting. 

On our way to Neist Point,  

The very sweet way the Scots might pronounce Lighthouse.

    
The Lighthouse, in all its glory.

 
Next stop was a tour of the Talisker Scotch Distillery, which was free (although it would have been worth the cost).
 
And on to the amazing Fairy Pools!

   
   
Where the beautiful and crazy Emma went swimming, and I was too much of a coward to join her.

  
Next was a stop to see the Black Cuillens,

  
And then on the Mealt Falls,  which is a Loch that falls right into the sea, and Kilt Rock behind it,

  
Sunset at the Iron Age Souterrian, constructed around 300 BC,

  

And we ended the day with a creepy drive to the Fairy Glen, where none of my pictures turned out! And were not surprised at all, darn Fairies.

Skye.

We have now been in Scotland for two wonderful weeks, and in a lot of ways, it has felt like coming home. Scotland is beyond beautiful. It is indescribable. It actually looks like one huge postcard of a fictional place, or a scene out of a book that you read as a child; its a place of mystery and magic. 

  
The bus ride to the Isle of Skye was a LONG one. tourists listening to horrible pop-music loudly enough for the whole bus to enjoy and little children (especially when they dont belong to you) crying and puking right next to you make for a pretty exhausting day. But the views made up for it. Our journey started on Friday night at 11:00, and the night bus took us all the way to Glasgow, where we caught the early bus to Skye. We woke up to a different country than the one we left (which Scotland is, in every way except legally). Our bus driver was the first Scot we encountered, and we loved him right away. He said, “Ye can breng yer coffee oon tha boos as long as ets got a lead.”

The scenery was delightful-more than that, it was home. It was snow covered mountains and crystal-clear lakes, and bright blue sky (rain/hail/snow). Our bus arrived at the Uig hotel and we were settled in to our adorable little flat all to ourselves. We met the staff who work full-time here, and loved them at once. Especially one, Emma. She took us on a walk up to the fairy glen just behind the hotel, and we found out that she loves bears (currently trying to talk her into moving to Montana) and big cats. Its funny how, on this trip, we have found friends who I can confidently say I will be know and love for the rest of my life, and Emma is one of those people. 

The work here is simple, just a little bit of outside painting, though it is made more complicated by the incessant rain. We actually set up lawn chairs in the garage so that we dont have to walk back to the flat just to wait out the rain, as it usually only lasts about 10 minutes. 

 

  
Castle Ewan in the Fairy Glen.

 
Days off are busy, as Skye is such a remarkable place. Our first two days off we hiked to the falls, and the famous Trotternish Ridge, and we hike to the fairy glen a couple times a week. 

 Old man of Storr  
Trotternish Ridge

 
Sunset on Uig Bay

   
And a surprise appearance by the Northern Lights!!!! (I was almost crying with joy)

 
One of our favorite times here has been our evenings in the Hotel bar. Its a cozy place, where a lot of locals come for a drink almost every night. They love to talk and laugh, and they like to help us pick out whiskys to try, as the selection is vast. Ive never liked whisky much, but thanks to these lovely people, I’ve come to really love it. 

   
 
(see next post for pictures of a tourist day on Sky, featuring “Driving on the wrong side of the road”, and “the wrong side of the car!”)

Snowdon.

This is now the thrid post of this trip that centers around a mountain, and where the other two were equally terrifying and hilarious, Snowdon was nothing but peaceful.

  
Snowdon is the tallest peak in Wales, at 1,085 meters (3,560 ft), and it is the tallest point in the United Kingdom outside of the Scottish Highlands. That being said, we had to climb it.

  
We were told it was actually really difficult to get to the mountain in one day, if not totally impossible, just because of the bus and train schedules. But I managed a “hail-mary” type discovery the night before, and we were able to take a train and two perfectly seamless bus routes and made it to the mountain by 10 am. The mist was low on the mountain when we started, and as we have been climbing mountains for most of our lives, we both knew the chances were not great that it would clear up. 

  
We were right. The mountain itself was not a terribly difficult climb, dont get me wrong, it was still a mountain. It seemed like the mist was on our side though, as we had really no idea how much farther we would have to climb. There are 6 different marked trails up Snowdon, and we had intentionally chosen the one known as “the quiet one”, which meant that we didnt see a soul all the way up. By the time we reached the summit, the trails had converged and there were about 50 people all waiting to take pictures of the capstone.

   
 
This peak may not have been the awful/funny experience of Ullstinden in Norway, but it had one feature that made it particularly memorable, especially for me. I haven’t had much reason to talk about this before now, but it seems like a good time to mention it. For the last two and a half years I have suffered from what I can only describe as extreme Sacro-illiac pain. Basically its the joint where your sacrum, the bottom of your spine, meets your hip bone. I wont bore you with all the details and hours of trying to figure out what was wrong, but just know that its the most debilitating pain I’ve ever felt. 

The worst part isnt actually the pain though. Its the exhaustion of knowing that it doesnt ever end. Its nearly impossible to find a comfortable position standing, sitting, or laying. Stretching doesnt help, ice and heat dont help, and I swear, sometimes advil makes it worse. I’ve woken Tyler up more than once in the last few months crying because I cant sleep due to the pain. I feel lazy and slow, I have to sit out hikes and walks because I’m in too much pain. I feel like Im losing part of myself. Slowly though, especially in the last weeks, I’ve found three things that work. There are specific ways to roll out muscle tension in your hips using a tennis ball, I now do some crazy “voodoo magic” as Tyler likes to call it, that my “very own personal physical therapist” Caity taught me, and Ive learned to stop sleeping coiled up like a snake. These three are the most helpful, and honestly if you want more info, I would be more than happy to help. 

That very long story was all to say that the day we climbed Snowdon was one of the first nearly pain-free days I’ve had since September. I think it was an extra-large victory for me, as its been feeling more and more hopeless that I will ever be back to my usual nature-loving, marathon-running, mountian conquering self. But Snowdon gave me hope again, and yesterday I actually went for a run. 

  
Snowdon is the first peak in our Three-Peak Challenge, where we will be attempting to climb the tallest peaks in Wales, England, and Scotland. (most people do this challenge in one day, but thats just insane.) Scotland and Ben Nevis is next for us!

Barmouth, Wales.

The last two and a half weeks have been very very different from anything we have yet experienced during our travels, for one main reason; we live in town. Its been a very strange experience to just be able to go to the pub 30 seconds away when we want a cider after dinner, or take a 10 minute walk to the store if we’re missing an ingredient for dinner. Its been a little hard on our finances, especially since there is an antique shop across the street that houses a “book cellar” where I’m fairly certain no one would ever find you if you got lost. 

    

The town of Barmouth itself is lovely, peaceful, and friendly, and our home at the Bed and Breakfast/cafe has been even more so. Our host is Elisabeth, a very kind hearted, hard working woman from Austria. She makes the most amazing array of cakes to sell at the cafe, they are so delicious that Im starting to hope our next hope is a bad cook so I can lose some weight. Along with pounds, we have also gained some really amazing experience here, especially once the Cafe opened. 

  

We spent the first week just getting things ready to open. Mostly scraping old wallpaper, doing minor patches on parts of the ceiling that were falling in, and painting. We did a lot of cleaning, removing and replacing the caulking in the showers, and washing and removing some old curtains and blinds. One of my favorite moments was when Elisabeth thought Tyler would be the natural decision for the one of us who would know how to replace blinds, but it was actually me. She watched me flip the little catch and take them down, and she asked, “How do you know how to replace blinds?” and the only thing I could think to say was, “We had a cat.”

We made our schedule a little different here too, we worked from 9-2 with no breaks so that we could have the whole afternoon to play, as the weather was absolutely beautiful. We spent almost every afternoon walking around on the huge sandy beach, eating ice cream, and playing frisbee. One day after work, Elisabeth drove us to the next town over and left us there so we could walk back on the bike trail. She neglected to mention that it was 9 miles back to Barmouth. But the walk was absolutely beautiful, and we made it back in good time. 

   
 

The B&B and cafe opened on Friday, and we were BUSY. The first day was absolute bedlam, but it felt wonderful to make coffee again. Tyler did a lot of the orders and customer interactions, if you know Tyler, you know why. People loved to talk to him, especially when they heard his accent. Though, to be honest, most people think we’re from Canada, and we dont usually bother to correct them. 
    

Wales is a beautiful place. It reminds me a lot of Norway, though the landscape and the weather are nowhere near as dramatic. Wales has the same wild energy, the vast empty spaces and beautiful mountains terminating in the sea. Welsh people though are extremely different. They love to talk. In fact, its usually better if we dont let them hear our accents at all because they like to give us advice on everything we should do on our travels, and that takes quite a while. 

Easter weekend was busy, the town only houses 2,000 permanent residents, but during school holidays Barmouth comes alive. The work was fun, and something entirely different than anything we have done on our trip so far. We have loved our time here, and it will be very hard to say goodbye on Wednesday, but it may be good to slow down on the book-buying.