Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wales Day 3 - Tenby

On our last day in Wales we got the kids some breakfast while Max and I packed everything up. Our route this day was supposed to lead us steadily closer to Oxford, and we had planned to be back home by evening time to sleep at our own house. When we finally pulled away from the Shipwright Inn in Pembroke Dock it was about 10am and we drove the 20-30 minutes over to a cute little town called Tenby, which our friends (you guessed it, the Skinners) had told us about. It took us just a bit to find somewhere to park but Max dropped us off nearish the beach and I walked there with the kids and stroller while he found a place to park. It was a really, really lovely town to walk through. Very quaint, very sweet. As I sifted and sorted through all our photos in preparation for this post I realized again just how much we loved it. It felt small and cozy and intimate, and it was so beautiful. Running throughout the town is an old, stone village wall, and nearly all of the buildings in the twon are painted a different pastel color. It makes for such a cheerful atmosphere!

I this is the exact scene we had passed en route to St. Davids the day before.  The cute little pastel homes were a foreshadowing of what was to come in Tenby.

The following few pics were the first scenes we saw in Tenby.  Apparently at low tide you can walk out to the castle-like fortress out there.
Super old city wall.
And the incredibly quaint and beautiful pastels.

The shield of Tenby City Council, as the town's crest has been for centuries (according to Wikipedia).

As we came to the beach at first I thought I'd have to descend a very long, steep flight of stairs, alone, with the stroller and 3 kids, to get there because it's well below the level of the town (which is separated from the beach by a cliff) but LUCKILY they had built a nice ramp with several switchbacks to give us a leisurely way down. But we decided to wait for Dad at the top so it would be easier for him to find us.

The girls entertained themselves by pretending they could see out of this telescope. Dumb thing didn't work even after putting in the coins...

That cute old man on the bench there never said a word but I could tell from his face that he was just delighted with Alice and Jane and enjoyed watching them while we waited. Looking back, I should have said hello and talked to him! I noticed he kept looking at them with a great big grin on his face, I really should have struck up a conversation with him, he seemed very sweet. But my introverted self couldn't handle it.  But hopefully they brightened his day a bit.

I couldn't get enough of the girls with the flowers and cheerfully colored houses behind them. So cute.

Tenby's tiny little harbor was so adorable!

When we got down to the beach I decided to just be preventative and strip the girls down to their undies rather than having them get their pants all soaked and sandy. When we set out in the morning we had expected the weather to be cool and most likely rainy like it had been the day before, but by the time we got down to the beach, near 11:30, it was pretty warm and we were peeling off layers, and I just knew that the girls were gonna want to be playing in the water. It was a good call on my part. I only wish I had done it with Alice too. Max felt like she was too old to strip her down to undies, but I think it would have been fine. And it would have saved her pants from getting soaked and sandy. But oh well.

I wasn't sure how long we would stay there, we didn't even bring our picnic from the car. I didn't think we would stay long because, as I said, I thought it would be cold and not great beach weather. And we still had another castle and Tintern Abbey on the itinerary for the day. But we ended up being so happy there that we just scrapped the rest of our plans and stayed at that little beach for hours. 
It was just so beautiful! The scenery was so lovely with the adorable town and colorful houses and shop fronts and the pretty cliffs, and the lovely lovely perfect day, not hot, just perfectly pleasant.

The girls collected piles and piles of seashells and ran from the waves and dug in the sand. We got there at kind of an in between tide, and it receded as we stayed so lots of treasures and shells were uncovered as the water receded further and further back.

We could have stayed all day and been perfectly happy. And then spent another couple days exploring the town, there was a small castle on a cliff on a different beach, and a neat looking monument on a hill in the distance visible from North Beach where we were at and lots of restaurants and shops, it was really really wonderful. The perfect way to wrap up our holiday in Wales.

I couldn't stop sneaking pictures of this cute sand castle someone had made with all the Welsh flags poking out of its towers.
Claire and Alice admired it too as they walked by.

There's that cute little harbor from eye level.

Oh Janey-Jane.

That pretty smile.

Running into the waves.

...And running from the waves.

Claire was so excited about the water!
Until she got right up to it.

No one we know in this next picture, just the pretty green cliffs and and pastel buildings.

Watching waves with Daddy.
I spotted an even cooler castle with Welsh flags, a Jolly Roger and a Union Jack. Love it.

I noticed Jane walking up to me...
She kept getting closer and closer and closer, and I was loving it, getting some adorable photos of her, but then I realized she had a reason for coming right up into my lens...

She was trying to show me the shells she found! The two sides still intact.

I caught both Alice and Jane, individually from each other, attempting to bury their shells in order to protect them... I tried my best to convince them it was a bad idea, because we would never be able to find them again.

Throwing rocks.

Guess I forgot to get a selfie with my Alice... oops!

I found a bunch of shells too. Once the tide went out there were TONS just waiting to be found.

The cliff leading down from the town was reinforced along a part of its base with this concrete base(/promenade on top), which a had a cute little perch, mossy from the high tide mark and perfect for tiny little bums.

Claire got pretty nervous every time the waves rushed in and would anxiously ask for our a "Hand, hand, hand!"

I didn't get as many shots of this other side of the beach because I couldn't tear myself away from the adorable harbor and little sprinkles of color up on the cliff. But this other side was really just as beautiful, the jutting green cliffs curving around the bay clear down the way.

I hiked up to the bathrooms with the girls and loved this wider view of the beach with all the umbrellas, that awesome hunk of boulder there in the middle and the cute little ice cream truck parked right in front.
And this... this is just perfect. Massive, slant-grained boulder , stripy canvas beach chairs, pale yellow ice cream truck, sand, sea and sky.

Can you pick out Alice-bending over, Jane, Claire and Max?
With that cute sand castle in front.
Running from endless waves with Daddy.
Look at Claire, bent forward in anticipation...

...and getting a good head start on that wave.

Ohp, Jane's down.

Poor Jane, but Claire's lookin' soooo cute.

Eventually we got hungry enough that we had to pull ourselves away from the beautiful, wonderful beach. We brushed the sand off the girls' feet and began the trek back to the car for our picnic.

OK, I know it's her undies, but man, it's just so cute! Those boots, perched on that rail, with Tenby's boats and buildings behind her. 

Favorite picture:

We passed so many cute doors and windows in Tenby, but this one was the best with its nautical theme.
Bare-legged boot girls.
Another favorite:
Peaking over the old stone wall.
I love that rolling green coastline in the distance. So so typical.
There's our beach, looking at it from the other side, from town level above the tiny harbor.

Purple shirt, purple flowers.

Goodbye, pretty Tenby. 
Hope to see you again soon.

Once we finally got to the car to eat our lunch, we decided we were all to hungry to carry it down to the beach that was here on the other side of the town near our car, so instead we just spread ourselves on the lawn near where we parked and had a picnic. And then once we finished eating we left.

We had hoped that we'd be able to make it to Tintern Abbey before it closed but traffic was slow and we ended up having to stop once to use the bathroom (darn kids) so we missed the closing time by like 30 minutes, and just continued on home to Oxford.

It was such a great trip.

Here are a few more pictures of the countryside as we were driving home from Wales.

Now that I've finished our Wales trip I'll be moving on to other past adventures! Stay tuned to see what I pick next haha.