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It’s July 1st. I can’t even begin to process this.

Well, maybe I could, if I had somebody like Paul Weston to help me.

Aaaaaaanyway.

When I got back from Cardiff on Friday evening, I was so thrilled, because guess what? I don’t have to get on an airplane again until July 31st, when I head to Buxton.

But I’m glad I went to Cardiff, because that is one friendly city. As a rule I am one of those small-talk people. I flirt with waiters and front desk people, and cashiers and bus drivers. It’s just the way I’m wired. I want people to like me. Maybe I’ve spent too much time in Paris, or maybe I’m still dealing with a bit of a language barrier here, but it was such a relief to be able to chat with people and not have to struggle to make myself understood.

Everybody was nice. (Though I’ve come to the conclusion that when you are a native speaker of the language of the place you’re visiting, everybody is nicer than they are if you have no idea what you’re talking about. I’m looking at you, Italy.)

Even the night receptionist at my hostel who wouldn’t rent me a towel on credit the night I arrived was nice about it. (Though I think Zoe Saldaña in Center Stage would say that being nice while saying something pricky makes it even prickier.) My hostel did later redeem itself by providing free apple pie and ice cream. The waiters at the two sit-down restaurants I went to were lovely–they actually came by during the meal to ask how everything was, could they get me anything? And what’s funny is that in the States that kind of irritates me, especially when they do it often.

Anyway, I decided last night that I would write up my thoughts on Cardiff this morning over coffee, but I’m feeling a little groggy, so how about some of my favorite pictures from the trip?

This is the view from Cardiff Bay.

“Can it be Custom House?”

“No, it does not sound like Custom House.” (P.S. this is not the first city I have visited that had a Custom House. I made this joke in Dublin and Edinburgh as well.)

Have a little more Gilbert and Sullivan nerdiness:

(That’s because Alexis is a member of the Army and Navy Stores, which gets him a discount on love potion–sorry, philtre.)

Giant vegetables!

This is the really delicious salad I had on Thursday at Wagamama. Take notes, Paris.

(I also had an incredibly good salad from Marks and Spencer on Friday–salmon and udon noodles over greens. The UK wins for best composed salads in Europe…though the Périgourdine does have its charms.)

Falling strawberries!

That’s the Wales Millennium Center, where I auditioned on Thursday. It’s half very cool and half architectural monstrosity.

This is the Peace Man.

I would tell you more but I didn’t read the sign.

So I was walking around the outside of Cardiff Castle, and there were a bunch of animal statues sort of peering over the wall. There was a bear, and a lion, and an eagle, and then there was this guy, and I stood there for a solid minute trying to figure him out. I think maybe an aardvark? But then my question is, WHY?

It was so beautiful in the Sophia Gardens that even Angry Bird couldn’t be too angry.

Gorgeous.

Today is the first Sunday of the month, so I am going to take advantage of the fact that all of the museums are free today. I know, I know–“But Anne, you hate museums!” But I live in Paris and may be going home for good in less than two months–not to mention this is the last first Sunday of the month for which I will actually be in Paris. Besides, there has been a distinct lack of Parisian blog fodder lately. (Though I can tell you that there is a trip to the Bastille opera house in my very near future, as well as a mission to Montmartre for good chocolate with my friend Tricia…)

Bisous,
Anne

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