Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Welsh Quarter Century

As I mentioned a few blogs ago, I applied for a British Working Holiday Visa so I could try out British life with my British boyfriend. After nearly five (pretty stressful) weeks of waiting for it to be processed, the darn thing finally got delivered to my front door a mere three days before I was due to fly out (in my utter elation I nearly hugged the delivery man, who was clearly terrified). I'm now back in Ben's hometown of Shrewsbury, diligently applying for jobs all over the country and ready for anything that comes my way. What better way to start this new chapter in my life than by celebrating my 25th year of life? Yep, as of a few days ago I am officially a quarter century old (yikes) and the celebrations were fantastically Welsh!

After bringing me breakfast in bed (this guy was so worth moving overseas for) Ben surprised me with tickets to two attractions at an old slate mine in the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog (yes, that is actually a place and no, I can't pronounce it) in  Wales: Bounce Below & Zip World

For Bounce Below, somebody had the genius idea of setting up three levels of large nets (with chutes you can slide down that connect them) in the depths of an old slate cavern, turning it into a sort of bouncy adult playground. Bouncing around in a dark, damp cave was definitely one of the most unique things I've ever done! I didn't bother taking my camera as it was quite dark but you can visit their website if you want to see what I'm talking about.

After spending a good hour underground, we resurfaced - and then some! Zip World was a series of zip lines built over the slate quarries. I had never been zip lining before but had always wanted to, and I absolutely loved it. Click here to see a video of Ben and I zipping through the air!

After a day of bouncing and zipping, Ben drove us to his family's holiday house in Aberdovey, located right on the Welsh coast. As it was the middle of the week and since kids are all back at school, we practically had the place to ourselves. We went for a lovely evening stroll on the beach, popped some champagne and had a delicious seafood dinner. It was perfect.

Popping champagne on the beach 

Ringing in my 25th year in style

Beautiful Aberdovey, Wales

After one of my most memorable birthdays to date, Ben and I are both continuing to look for jobs and trying to establish less nomadic lifestyles for ourselves. It's scary, stressful and exciting all at once but if my birthday was any indication of how this next year of my life is going to be - it should be pretty dang good.

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