Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside........!

We were all lucky enough to be invited to join friends & their two boys, to spend the Easter Bank Holiday weekend in Brighton, staying in a basement apartment belonging to friends of theirs. Now, I have never been to Brighton & apart from hearing about shopping in 'The Lanes', I had no real idea what to expect. I think I visualised something quite 'grand' & 'genteel' so wasn't dissapointed when we arrived at the apartment! Housed in a beautiful crescent, with a large, private, gated & neatly maintained, park/garden (& an even more private, gated, secret tunnel as a shortcut to the beachfront!!) it was impressive! As we arrived at dusk, the apartments on the upper floors were lit & we could sneak peeks at fabulous chandeliers!!

Once we had unloaded the car, we set off to walk along the seafront towards the pier just over a mile away. As we neared the pier & the main part of town, it soon became apparent that we were staying at the quieter end of town!! As it got darker & neon lights shone, I realised that Brighton is really just another British seaside town, with all the trappings!!! So, with the best "if you can't beat 'em....." attitude, we tucked in to chips as we walked along. (why is it chips always taste better outdoors?!! & why can't they be wrapped in newspaper any more?!!) Hubby & boys enjoyed a game of crazy golf & we watched as, in the distance, the fairground rides at the end of the pier got into full swing!

Next morning dawned hazy but mild. Now, before leaving home we had had three days of cold rain & the forecast for the weekend wasn't much better, even for the south coast! So, I had packed jeans & sweaters for the boys & jackets for all!! But by the time we were breakfasted & out, the sun was shining & we were peeling off layers & wishing for shorts!! We took the little electric train (over 100 years old!) along the beach to the pier & walked further on into town. We had planned to spend some time in 'the lanes', but by 11am Alex was already finding it hard to cope with the growing crowds & being in an unfamiliar town, so we headed back to the seafront & had ice cream! (always good for what ails you!!!) We did manage to walk through the Pavillion park though, so I did get to see the famous building, if only briefly!

Alex was fascinated, but also quite distressed by the remains of the West Pier (above), which was burned beyond saving some years ago. We managed to convince him that the remaining Palace Pier wasn't about to burst into flames the moment we set foot on it, but even so, it was a flying visit, only made by blackmailing him with the promise of a visit to buy sticks of rock, at what we were told is the best rock shop in Brighton, about half way down! He did relax & enjoyed it in the end, especially the seagulls antics!!

Having spent the biggest part of the day in the sunshine, among hustle & bustle, we gradually worked our way back towards Kemptown & the peace of the apartments garden. The men went in to fetch tea & biscuits & we sat in the evening sunshine just chilling, while the boys explored the seemingly endless garden, until it was time to shower & change before heading to the Marina for dinner. Everyone was 'glowing' from our day in the sunshine! I hadn't even thought about packing sunscreen - if anything I'd thought about umbrella's!! But we all slept well after all that sea air!!

Our last day wasn't quite so bright, but still mild & dry so we headed off to the Roedean cafe (in the shadow of the famous Roedean school), for breakfast. After that we parked up at the beachfront & sat on the pebbly beach to watch the boys (All six of them, aged 8 - 50!!) skim stones & play at the waters edge. Alex got braver & left it later & later, before dodging the incoming waves. Inevitably, he got caught out!!! but took it in good humour!! Luckily I had dry clothes & shoes for him to change into, & it was just so good to see him & all the boys having such fun.

So now it's back home to the second week of the Easter holiday! A suitcase full of laundry & new school shoes to buy! The next 'event' on the calendar for me, is the 'Big Stamp & Scrapbooking Show' at Alexandra Palce, next Saturday - so, watch this space!!


Lisa T. Howard said...

What a wonderful holiday! I simply adore reading your blog! I always gring at the way the British say the very same thing as American but oh so differently...you have such a "prettier" way of expressing yourselves. Love it! Love it! Hope you enjoy the second week of your Easter holiday! Hugs!!!

Anna said...

Looks like a simply fabulous weekend! Love your photos Sandi ... made me feel quite nostalgic for Brighton. I haven't been there for years!
Hope you have a wonderful time at Ally Pally. Look forward to seeing the pictures :)

super-mum-donna said...

Looks like you had a fab time. Here we come ALLY PALLY.

Charlene said...

Oh your pictures make mw want to go to the ocean!!!!

Julie said...

Fantastic photos and looks like you all had a wonderful Easter Break.