Thursday, July 31, 2008

Baby's first... at the beach.

Righty ho, we were away visiting friends this last weekend. It was our friends T&J's annual birthday BBQ bash about which I have blogged before.

We travelled down on the Saturday afternoon. In true disorganised fashion we had hoped to arrive around 4pm, instead we didn't leave until near on 3pm and arrived at our B&B just after 7pm. We threw all our stuff into the rooms and headed back out to T&J's house and after a quick hello and a cuppa we all set off for an eatery.

Normally I wouldn't bore you with details of the meal and restaurant however this one was worthy of note for all the wrong reasons. Upon being given the menus it turned out that this was one of those 'few options, big prices' kind of places, where there's nothing that you're really bothered about on the menu and you're going to have to pay a lot for whatever you choose. As an example I had a 14oz t-bone steak with 'chips' and a tomato, which cost £18.95, the steak was wonderful, the chips were actually half a dozen not-very-well-cooked wedges and half a tomato. The other meals were similarly frugal, and disappointing. Hell we paid more for Ewok's meal than we would normally pay for our own. We thought it was just a pricey place and we were down south so even more pricey than we would expect, however our friends had been there before and were similarly shocked/disgusted at the prices and portion sizes. All in for an appetiser (one between us) and meals for the three of us we paid just over £50! As a follow up we got a text from T on Tuesday morning saying that the restaurant had closed down *lol*

Sunday was the day of the BBQ and the weather was perfect. As a side note, it always is good weather that weekend. I've been going to this do for 7 years, Wookiee for longer and without fail the Sunday afternoon has good weather, so if you ever need good weather for something around that time of year then choose the last Sunday in July.

There was slightly less pyromania this year than previous years. I think the guys are slowing down in their old age, although there was a slight pause in the proceedings when sirens were heard in the distance and they decided to wait and see if they were coming to us, before carrying on with burning any and all cardboard they could find. The main goal this year was to see how high they could get the flames to spurt out of the top of the chimnea. I think 3 foot was about the record.

On Monday we were heading home, but before we did we took Ewok to the beach for his very first look at the sea. Our friends live in Faversham which is only a few miles from the coast (as opposed to where we live which is pretty close to being the middle of the UK) and they recommended Broadstairs as having the best beach for kiddies, as in it is sandy not pebbly. We got there at 12:30 and headed for the beach. On the way we loaded up with various things for the beach, an umbrella, beach mat, bucket and spade (of course) and some beach shoes for Ewok. It turned out that the beach shoes were a good investment as the sand was so hot it was burning my feet let alone Ewok's delicate tootsies. We found a space to set up in, put down the mat, put up the brolly and then put Ewok into his beachwear (swim nappy, shorts, t-shirt and a 2 inch thick layer of factor 50). Once he and I were ready to head out into the sun we set a course for the water's edge.

I thought he might be a bit wary of that much water at first, but not a bit of it he toddled straight in without a care in the world and started splashing and giggling. I hadn't got my swimsuit, I just had my skirt tucked into my knickers, so we were restricted on how far in we could go, but Broadstairs is a very shallow beach so we still managed to get in a resonable way. He loved it. He wanted to go deeper but I didn't fancy having to plunge into the water fully dressed to retrieve him if he fell over in the deeper water, so I encouraged him back to the shallows for some splashy fun in the waves.

We had about 10-15 minutes in the sea then made our way back to where Wookiee was sitting grumpily under the umbrella (he doesn't like sun, heat or sand) and Ewok then sat in the sand for another 20 mins or so playing with his bucket and spade. We got him to bury my legs (well they were burning) and dig a big hole, and we even found a little damp sand further down so he could use the bucket to make a castle. He seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself, so we may have to do it again sometime this summer, although I think Wookiee would prefer a beach with a pub he can sit in, while Ewok and I play.

Anyway, here's a couple of piccies:

The look of concentration.

How do these things work?

Ah, got it!