March 21st, 2005.

When the summer comes.

Saturday afternoon was the first really beautiful warm day of the year here in England. Most of the country was bathed in sunshine and warmth making it a perfect day to get out onto the open road with the roof down on my convertible.

Just after lunch my girlfriend, Rachel, and I headed across the border into Wales. We were in search of winding roads that would lead us to the Horseshoe Pass, a road that is as notorious as it is beautiful.

As I drove my British racing green MG convertible along the road that snaked its way through the beautiful countryside of Wales, I couldn't help but smile to myself. I realized at that moment that I was living the hopes of a young Simon who used to longingly look at open-top sports cars and imagine driving one someday.

Back then the possibility of having one seemed like a dream, but here I was in Wales on a beautiful afternoon with the roof down, the sun on my face, a pretty girl next to me, and the open road before of me. This was a driver's dream, the stuff of stirring car commercials.

After some time we stopped and to stretch our legs and take in the views. I snapped a few pictures knowing they wouldn't truly capture the moment. It was hot enough for us to lay down for a while and bask in the sun. We found a spot in some long grass beside a crystal clear river where lambs were bounding around nearby, partly curious of us, partly wary.

A while later and a little further on down the road we came to the tiny village of Glyndyfrdwy with its historic railway station that has stood still in time as a monument to a bygone era. The steam trains still run along the tracks here in the summer months, but these days it's a tourist attraction rather than a practical means of transport.

Eventually, we rolled into the steam train town of Llangollen. Beside the river, we found an old mill-house pub and ordered something to drink while we watched the sun descend toward the foothills of the Snowdonia mountain range. The shadows began to reach for freedom across the pavement so we got back in the car and went out in search of somewhere to eat.

As the sun went off in search of opportunities elsewhere, daylight began to fade. We swept and flowed along ribbon roads that tied the hills like gifts from God. Before long we were in the castle town of Ruthin where we found a restaurant with a sumptuous menu. (The breaded baked brie was amazing.)

It was a great way to spend a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon. The first time I've been able to enjoy warm and sunny weather in my MG. I'm looking forward to many more such days when the summer comes.