Pontrhydyfen, Wales - From the small Welsh village of Pontrhydyfen, where the actor Richard Burton was born, we set out in Sue's van on a day's excursion to Laugharne to see Dylan Thomas's boathouse, now a national historic site an hour and half away.
The winding cobblestone streets of sleepy Laugharne, on Carmarthen Bay, with their craft shops, bookstores and pubs, lead us to the car park at Taf estuary.
Here, the wind blows off the ocean, and white caps, a mixture of sand and foam, crash onto the shore under an overcast grey sky.
A light rain falls as we walk around the circular bay, wetlands on one side and on the other a large ruined Norman castle, Talacharn, built in the 13th century. J.M.W. Turner painted a watercolour of this castle in the 19th century.
It isn't until we get close to the boathouse perched above us on a cliff that we realize it's inaccessible to Mike, our friend in a wheelchair, so part of our group heads off for the pub instead.. I stay on for the tour.
At the top of the stairs we find Thomas's writing shed, a rather lyrical term for a very tiny garden shed with marvellous views of the bay. In this small room sits a desk and chair, some books, scraps of rejected writing and cigarette butts.
Further along is the boathouse, where Thomas lived from 1949 to 53 with his wife, Caitlin, and their three children and where he wrote Under Milk Wood. Richard Burton, a good friend of Thomas's, read the poem on the BBC.
The house has two levels. Step into the cozy living room and you can almost hear Thomas's theatrical voice boom out.
Every room in the house looks out on the angry sea. It always amazes me how excited the Welsh and the English get just watching the ocean, particularly on a rough day. The second floor is a meeting room for poetry readings in the summer and contains memorabilia of the poet's life.
Dylan Thomas died after an alcoholic binge in New York. His body was returned to Laugharne to be buried in a nearby churchyard not far from Brown's Hotel, where he loved to drink.
Brown's Hotel is closed for the season, so we stop at a local pub for a frothy coffee. We're hungry, but the pub chef is off ill. Maybe Saundersfoot, a town further along the coast, will provide fish and chips.
Just as we arrive, workers in the street have cut the cables for the electricity. No lunch here, so we drive on to another pub.
Funny noises come from the engine as we head home along the A40. The fan belt has broken, stranding us in a layby outside Carmathen, the oldest Roman town in Wales, where we wait for the Royal Automobile Club to give us a tow and a means of getting home.
Meanwhile, a retired detective responsible for all of Swansea arrives in the guise of the Good Samaritan, offering us tea and the use of the washrooms in his nearby house.
It's his 65th birthday, and he wants us to be part of the celebrations. Monica pushes Mike in his wheelchair, and the rest of us walk. We skip the tea and settle for brandy and wonderful company.
The taxi takes us all the way to our Welsh cottage, all paid for by the RAC, which shows how, even when the chef's away from your chosen lunch spot, you're in a town that's lost its electricity and your car breaks down, you can still have a perfect day.