So, our first day in Brighton.
We woke up in time for the buffet breakfast which is novel. Usually if we do wake up in time it takes that long to get the tribe ready that we get there just as they are putting the dishes away. Admittedly I did have to rescue all three kids from the grips of the fold-out bed but we did it. It was going to be a busy day so we loaded up on food whilst I jumped out to put money in the parking meter every so often. Where we had parked the car overnight was free until 9am but only had a maximum stay of two hours after that. We started getting the kids into the car before our time was up but we had went over by the time we eventually managed to get away from the hotel.Just as Vonnie got to the car a parking attendant was about to give us a ticket but thankfully we got away with it.
We drove down to the sea front and headed west with the hope of seeing a bit of the coast and finding something to do. There was a steam engine museum that we tried to find but we couldn’t find it on the map and the road signs just ended up with us getting lost in a housing estate. We stopped off at a local Co-op supermarket for some lunch and ate that in the car park. I’ve no idea if the shop was being refitted, newly opened up or closing down but they had barely any stock on the shelves and what shelves they had would have just about filled a store a quarter of the size of this one. All very weird.
Next it was time to dump the car at an overnight car park which was on the other end of the front from our hotel and walk back along the sea front shops hunting for the best deal in rock and novelty toys. The closer you got to the pier the larger the bundle of rock you could buy for £2. The kids dragged us down on to the beach which was a huge disappointment. For years I’ve heard stories about Brighton beach this and Brighton Beach that and of how it was so great and what we found was a ‘beach’ made up of huge round stones. Not comfy to walk on and definitely not comfy to sit/lie on. With the weather turning yet again the wind was getting up and the tide was right in so the waves were coming in about 6′ high and crashing against the beach with some amount of force. The kids loved it.
Eventually we got them up onto the pier and whilst the sun did come back out the wind just got worse the further out you got until you hit the fairground at the end when the buildings around the edge gave you some sort of protection. This is where the kids fell out with us though. At between £3-5 per person per ride there was no way we could let them on anything. We’d be bankrupt in about 5 minutes!
We decided to at least try and get in the holiday spirit so we went to the restaurant on the pier for fish and chips. I have to say I’ll be hard pressed to remember eating a better fish supper over the last few years.
By this point the kids were shattered as they hadn’t had their usual afternoon nap so we headed back to the hotel to rest up and once everyone was settled I ran back out again to Threshers to pick up a bottle of wine. It took me forever to find somewhere that sold alcohol that wasn’t a pub though and I also got lost after going to far along the front looking for the car park. That evening we sat and watched TV in bed and/or bath depending on who you ask with a glass of wine and wound down. With all the late nights and stress it was the first time we’d ben able to relax all holiday.