Rick Gregory, Writer

Translating Messages From Heads To Hearts

Wailing in Wales (Cardiff to be exact)

This trip has been, as Sherry so often says, “A lifetime of wonderfuls.” But I’m ready to be home. I have what the cowboys call “barn fever.” I’m ready to not be living out of a suitcase. I’m ready to reconnect with all our friends and family at home. I miss being home.

But, I have to tell you about this last stop on our journey before hitting London to fly to LAX. We arrived at what is billed on Air BnB as a “Quirky Modern Loft” around 4:30 in the afternoon on Monday this week. It was an easy walk from the train station and access was simple. Until we got to the “lift (elevator).” Mind you, at this point in our travels, we’ve acquired 2 more bags, so we’re now traveling with 6 pieces of luggage everywhere we go. We have our two REI backpacks, our two Osprey “rolling backpacks,” and one large suitcase, along with a smaller clothes bag. Each has to weigh somewhere between 25 and 40 pounds, so we’re hucking a lot of weight and mass on every little trip. And the elevator is out of order. Yes, again we have to carry all 6 up to the next floor (remember that here the ground floor is “0” and they call the second floor the 1st. Go figure). It seems like nearly every place we’ve stayed is on the 4th or 5th floor, and generally there’s no “lift.” So we carry all our stuff up – and then back down (when we leave) multiple flights of stairs.

This Quirky Modern Loft. Had no towels in the bathroom; no shower gel. Had no paper towels or napkins in the kitchen. And the host; when asked where the towels might be replied, “Oh sorry. The cleaning people must have missed that. We’ll get them to you TOMORROW.” Really? Tomorrow? They finally showed up the next day around noon. No hand towels, no face cloths; two bath towels. That’s it. No shower gel. No apology. When I asked about paper towels or napkins, I got, “We don’t supply those. There’s a market across the street.” We’ve gotten used to other hosts who provide not only shower gel, bath soap, bath towels, hand towels, and face towels, but they often include little welcome gifts like chocolates or a bottle of wine (which we always leave for the next guest) and the place feels like the host wants your stay to be comfortable. Like they’ve thought through what would make your stay memorable and happy. Here, not so much. Here, it feels like the place is for nothing but making money for the host, regardless of the patron’s experience. They act annoyed when asked about the basic necessities – and then refuse to help.

This Quirky Modern Loft does have a loft for sleeping, but you take your life in your hands getting into it. The stairs are steep and Ikea-like rickety. Once in the loft, you have about 36” head clearance so you can’t stand up and have to crawl to the bed, taking care not to bang your head on the metal air ducts. Words can’t possibly express the hilarity of our predicament. We’ll tell you more when we see you in person. 

Sitting watching our movie last night, we howled at how ludicrous it is for two 69-year-olds to be trying to navigate this place. The laughs made everything in Wails worth it.

6 thoughts on “Wailing in Wales (Cardiff to be exact)”

  1. What an amazing journey you have had, I’ve so enjoyed reading both of your blogs and am so in awe of all you have seen. What a blessing. The neighborhood is ready to welcome you back!

  2. LOL! You two are hilarious! Amazing how you can laugh it off! All while dreaming of your comfy bed at home! (with the sliding glass door open, of course!)

    1. Believe me Jana, we weren’t laughing when we realized we had no towels and had to dry off from our shower with our dirty clothes!

  3. Crazy how so many people in this world have a different idea of hospitality. Sorry to hear that your last stop left you on a low note…… other than confirming that you want to go home. It sounds like we will need 2 trips to the river to give you enough time to tell me all about your experiences there (without my brother in the car 😜). Glad you guys had the opportunity to take such a beautiful trip of a lifetime to see Europe. Looking forward to all the stories and pictures you will have to share with us when you get back.

    Let’s us know if you need a ride from the airport when you fly back…..you never mentioned your pickup arrangements.

    See ya soon…..

    1. Hey Buddy, We’re Home! Looking forward to one (or more) of those river trips! Thanks for the offer to get us from the airport, but we had it worked out.

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