Great Yarmouth, UK - June 2011
In June 2011 we joined Grandad Roger and Henry dog for a week at the seaside, revisiting the scene of many Blankley summer holidays in Jonathan's youth.
It was the very start of the summer season, with reasonable weather and not too many crowds and queues; perhaps not as hot as hot as some would like, but very pleasant nevertheless.
We stayed at Haven Seashore caravan park in Great Yarmouth, a short drive from the center of town and just a few minutes walk from the North Sea coast. The water was still far to cold to bathe in, but the site had many other kiddie-free amenities including playground, ball courts, swimming pool, minigolf, and multi-passenger bikes for hire.
The "land train" shuttle offered an easy alternative to driving, from the caravan park directly to town. From there we could take in Britannia Pier, Regent Street, the public beach, and of course Joyland, center of kiddie roller coasters and other amusements.
Thomas made the most of near-daily visits to Joyland, and Jonathan enjoyed revisiting the same rides he had enjoyed in his youth, particularly the Snails and the Tubs. Even James had a go on the swinging pirate ship (hey, it's a swing!)
Other attractions included the arcades (particularly the air hockey tables), camel racing, beachfront giant slides and bouncy castles, and of course the occasional ice cream and/or fresh doughnut.
As far as James was concerned, the highlights were driving in the car (CAI!), and playing with any kind of ball he could get a hold of (BAW!). Considering the many overlapping interests, he and Henry managed to get along ok, although James was a bit overwhelmed by the dog's sheer size and enthusiasm. His vocabulary seemed to develop a bit, as well as his ability to place his own hat on his head.
The rest of us enjoyed catching up and keeping each other company, including a day visit from Granny, Auntie Lisa, Uncle Stuart and Cousin Alfie; Jonathan revelled in several portions of fish and chips over the course of the week; everyone drank lots of tea, and we even managed to nurse each other through our respective bouts of illness (possibly food poisoning starting with James and working it's way through the group). Fortunately everyone recovered fully by the last day, and already we are looking back with fond memories of beaches, balls, swings and chips!