Kathryn

First Anniversary

Sunday 20th September.  Our first anniversary.  It’s cliche to say it but it’s gone so fast.  We went back to Llangoed Hall for the night and had a great meal and stayed overnight.

Thanks all for the cards and gifts.

Asia Update

We are 6 days into our Far Eastern adventure.

The first 2 and a half days were spent in the bustling city of Shanghai.  We checked in to the Hyatt on the Bund hotel and it was seriously impressive – Kathryn wants to model our next house on the hotel room!  The first night we had a wander down the main shopping street as dusk was falling and got to see the numerous neon lights that decorate the buildings throughout the city.  It really is quite impressive.  Plenty of offers for “watch, t-shirt, dvd” from the street traders as well as the 100s of shops just like back home.

Our second day was tourist day, where we took the Bund sightseeing tunnel over to the business district where we saw the TV Tower and went to the Shanghai World Trade Centre which opened last year as the tallest occupied building in the world at just shy of 500m high.  The top floor is a viewing deck with a glass bottom allowing you to look down on the city below.  Shanghai currently has something like 3 of the world’s top 10 tallest buildings all in fairly close proximity.

Following our trip in the clouds we decided to go below the water and visited the Shanghai Aquarium which us split into a number of different zones based on locations and consists of many small tanks, several large tanks and some underwater tunnels.  100s of different species can be seen including a tank of huge electric eels complete with voltage meter on the side of the tank, a sea lion tank and a penguin habitat.  The last exhibits are underwater tunnels which included a shark tank and a coral reef tank.  Some of the sharks were about 8 feet long and the same tank also included some large sea turtles.

Next morning we awoke to find the Legend of the Seas moored right outside our hotel window.  We departed the next day for the trip to the sea terminal where we faced the arduous task of checking out of the country and onto the ship – it was nothing of the sort.  From leaving the hotel we were on the ship and done within 45 minutes.  After Miami and Vancouver it was a significant difference!

Once on the ship we immediately made ourselves comfortable and grabbed some food – pasta to start and a couple of cheeky desserts.  That evening the ship departed for a day at sea.  On the second night I had a meal of snails to start, fillet steak main and a cheesecake dessert.  Yes I did say snails.  Next day we visited Xiamen where we kept it fairly quiet and just wandered round a few shops.

This morning we arrived into Hong Kong harbour where we’ll be for 2 days.  We’ve just returned from a day tour of Hong Kong Island where we drove around most of the island.  The trip included a tram ride up to the peak which was on a crazy steep angle but offered a great view once you were up there.  Following that it was a wander around a street market before taking a ride on a boat around the harbour.  It was an interesting tour and we got to see many things.

Plan tonight is to head out on the town and hit the shops tomorrow.  Kathyrn’s been conservative so far but our credit card may well get a workout.

Maldives

Well, I usually leave the blogs for Dave to write, but have decided its time for me to give a quick update (nothing to do with the fact that Dave is currently out swimming in the reef with all the wonderful fish!, will get to that a little later).

I didn’t think we could trump the hotel which we stayed in whilst at Dubai – but very quickly the Conrad Maldives resort at Rangali Island has now taken place as the most luxurious place we have ever stayed.

To give you a quick update since Dave’s last post – we did some extra exploring around Dubai and visited several Souks. It was amazing to see how many diamonds can be displayed in one window… we thought that the Cayman Islands had an impressive array of wares, but that’s not a patch on Dubai. I’ve never seen so much Gold or Diamonds so big in my life! We had some great fun walking around the shops, usually reserved for the rich and famous – but hey! we are on our honeymoon – nothing can spoil our fun 🙂

After a long day of swimming in the sea, eating a light lunch, some quiet reading by the pool then taking in some swimming (water temp 32 and air temp 40 if you want to know exacts) we checked out of the hotel at around 23.30. Our flight to Male due to leave Dubai International at 02.30. We managed to catch a few Zzz’s pool side post leaving for the flight so it wasn’t too bad. Dave managed to sleep some on the plane and I managed to sleep on the seaplane transporting us from Male to Rangali Island (much to my husband’s disgust!)

Today we have been finding our feet around the resort. The sea is amazing, crystal clear and with so many fish around the reef. I was quite excited when I saw what I thought was a giant angel fish, unfortunately for me, it wasn’t, and to my surprise (and Dave’s amusement at my completely panicked exit from the sea) it was a reef shark. I don’t care what they say, a reef shark may be harmless, but I don’t trust any fish beginning with ‘S’ and ending with ‘hark’!

I decided to opt for the sanctuary of our own, sharkless, private pool, for most of the day.

Tonight we are going to be having one of our most adventurous meals of the honeymoon. At the Ithaa restaurant. We’ve been told to expect a Champagne arrival with a 7 course meal. The most exciting thing about this restaurant is that its the worlds only underwater restaurant. Maybe shark will be on the menu 🙂

With the fridge fully stocked with Champagne, fine wine and Cokes (for Dave of course), His and Hers Spa treatments booked for tomorrow, I am sure that the remainder of our honeymoon will be as amazing as what we’ve already had.

Better late than never

We’ve not updated in a while but a lot has happened.  Dave completed his triathlon, the wedding is booked and we’re 3 days away from our trip to New Zealand.Â

Wedding is booked for 20th September 2008 in Llyswen near Brecon with the service at a local church and then the reception at Llangoed Hall.  We’ll be sending out invites in due course and when we do we’ll provide more details of local hotels and B&Bs for those who want to stay the night.

Oh yeah, I’ve got a new job – starts the Monday after we get back from NZ.  Tuesday is my last Logica day!

Engaged!

ring.jpg If you haven’t already heard – Dave and I got engaged over the weekend! Dave asked me on Saturday, with plenty of time to find the perfect ring before going out to celebrate his 30th birthday 🙂 No dates set yet as we are looking for the perfect place – but at the moment we are looking at late 2008/early 2009. We’ll keep you updated with all the details!

As you can imagine, I’m still on cloud 9!

Happy New Year

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year! We did 🙂

We have been so busy this Christmas, visiting people, playing on the Wii (which is very tiring!) and just plain old having a good time. The girls had their first Christmas, and it was a real joy to share it with them (and play with their toys!). We had so many great gifts, and I’d like to say thanks and we just hope everyone else had a good time and liked their presents.

So many highlights to this Christmas, but one I will remember fondly – I have beaten Dave at every game of boxing on the Wii! Mwhahaha 😀

Its almost Christmas!

The twins and Aled are really looking forward, not to mention Dave!

Last week was Aled’s birthday, we bought him a ‘real light sabre’. he was absolutely landed (albeit a little worried that he might hurt someone). Dave and I went to Aled’s Christmas concert, he did really well, as did other members of his school concert. It was all going really well, until Al winked at us half way through and made us laugh for the rest of the concert!! The play really got us in the mood for Christmas and we really enjoyed.

Its only just over a week now, and we are all ready to go. As seen in previous posts, Dave has his Wii, so is all set!

Its been a really eventful month – Aled’s birthday, my Gran’s 80th birthday, Dave’s dad and brothers birthdays and Christmas. Hope everyone is enjoying this time of year as much as we are…. we are having a great time!

Northern Lights

Northern LightsDay 9 update: Last night around 10 pm, our ranger told us that the northern lights were out. We went to look outside, couldn’t see much to start with but about an hour later we had a magnificant display of colour. There was no cloud in the sky and the view was breathtaking. We stayed out until about 2 am as thats the time the locals say the best sights can be seen. Got plenty of great photos.

This morning it is much cooler and there is ground frost. Next stop – Denali National Park!

Mt McKinley

Mount McKinleyDay 8 – Today we left our ship behind and boarded the train for our long journey to Mount McKinley. The train took almost 6 hours and we had some fantastic views along the way. We eventually arrived at the lodge early this afternoon and although we have been having some rain, we had a lovely walk around the grounds. They were not kidding when they called this lodge a ‘wilderness lodge’… absolutely nothing nearby – the closest form of civilisation is an hour away by bus. Unfortunatly we have not been able to see the mountain due to mist/cloud, but hopefully we will see it tomorrow.

The people at the reception said that they have been seeing the northern lights from this lodge over the past couple of weeks, and said they will call us to let us know if its visible.. no matter what time it is!

Weddings and Speeches

champers.jpgJust got in for a quick change before the evening party for the wedding.

As expected, the wedding went well and looked very smart. Needless to say, Dave looked handsome in his morning suit and his speech went very well. I was so proud of him. I know he was very nervous, but the audience laughed in the right places and were very touched by his nice words. There were a number of speeches, and they all did very well. Jodie looked stunning, I hope their honeymoon goes as well and wish them the best for the future.

Anyhow, best be off to the evening do, will update you with how that goes tomorrow.