Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Resolutions Part 7: Getting Off the Expressway

Duane's family is from Wales. We think. 
At least the Flewelling name is Welsh. We think. 

And so in the quest to learn more about our heritage, we headed up to Wales. 
I wasn't impressed.

The drive took us on the expressway through two large cities along the coast, and instead of the rolling hills with stone walls, sheep, and intermittent gothic churches, we saw industry and suburbs. 

Surely, the bed and breakfast in a conservation village would be a little different. 
A little different but not much. 

The expressway dropped us off at a stunning stone house built in the 17th century, but the house was located in the suburbs, surrounded by much newer homes.

At lunch, we asked the waiter for suggestions on what to do in the afternoon. He suggested the coastal village of Porthcawl, located on the Bristol Channel. 

I'm not really sure why.  
More suburbs. 

Ah well. At least the B&B was lovely.
And the church across the road surprised us with headstones naming possible ancestors. 


Maybe something more amazing was out there, but with a huge storm headed in, I didn't think we would get to see it.

On Friday morning, the rain died down enough that I talked Duane into stopping at some castle ruins on the way home.

And so we drove away from the expressway, past the suburbs, beyond GPS navigation, and into a faerie world of castle ruins and ancient bridges.

We almost turned around after losing the GPS signal and coming across water across the road. Instead I put on my boots and marched into the water to see if our little car could make it through.
And it did.

And one discovery led to another. And another. And another.

We just had to get off the expressway.

At the end of the day, as Duane and I drove back on the expressway, through suburbs and cities, I reflected on what we would have missed if we had not gotten off the expressway.

When we got off the expressway, away from the cities and the suburbs, we discovered unique stone ruins and living villages and people who laughed and asked about San Diego and told us about things we should not miss before leaving Wales.

Getting off the expressway allowed me to see Wales in a new way.
Actually it just allowed me to see Wales.  And it made me want to go back and see more.

Too much of life is spent on the expressway.
We need to get off the expressway if we really want to experience life, if we want to connect with people, if we want to make a difference.

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