So our final day in Brighton arrived. We ate our weight in breakfast and then checked out of the hotel. We never really seen much of Brighton on the day before so we decided to let Vonnie wander around the shops for a couple of hours before heading to the car.
When I’d been out the night before the place looked like Glasgow’s east end with a few more shiny shops and a bunch of housing that wouldn’t look out of place in St Andrews behind the shops. Nothing spectacular really. As we walked up towards the main shopping area though we walked down into a side street full of shops. And it went on…and on…and on. The city centre is full of little alleyways full of boutiques, jewelers, toy shops and anything else you could possibly ever find or want to find. It was what I felt a seaside town should be like. Vonnie fell in love with a cake shop that sold the most amazing looking cupcakes whilst the kids found a toyshop that they could spend their entire pocket money from now until they day they turn 18 and still not have bought everything they wanted.
It was around about this time though that I realised there was a LEGO shop in Brighton. A young kid going into the toyshop had a LEGO carrier bag and was obviously out with his gran who was spoiling him. A quick look on the internet on my phone and shuffle around Google Maps meant that I had a plan to get us to the shop. All I had to do was ask if anyone minded that we go to the LEGO shop though. It was heaving. Trying to navigate in there with the pram was almost impossible so Findlay bought himself a Racer and the kids picked up a minifig from the pick’n'mix section whilst Vonnie bought me a teeshirt as a present.
Outside was the worst busker I’ve every had the misfortune to hear. A young emo/grunger/rock kid dressed in neon clothes playing bad music on a ukulele hooked up to a crappy amp. I probably wouldn’t have minded so much if he wasn’t trying to flog CD’s of his music as well.
Once we found the car park again we set off looking for a petrol station. Unlike the day before when we drove west we decided to drive east instead and see if we could find anything nice to see or do. I thought we were just going on a drive before collecting our bags from the hotel and Vonnie had forgotten about the bags and thought we were already on our way. After a bit of discussion about who’s fault it was we ended up back at the hotel, which was on the way to the motorway anyway, the receptionist asked in disbelief about what was in the bags we’d left. The holdalls were fine but the laptop she couldn’t believe the weight of. I think it had both laptops and chargers as well as by books and all my camera lenses in it. Not the lightest of things.
I can’t remember at what point we decided just to drive home rather than stop off at Derby, it might have been around the junction on the M25 for Heathrow, but that’s what we did. We eventually found a service station that had an M&S Simply Foods store in it as it’s far cheaper than most service stations and the grubs better as well. I think we bought them out of sweets and sandwiches. And then we found the Krispy Kreme chiller in the next shop. We’d loved the glazed ring donuts in London so we bought a dozen mixed donuts and really pigged out. They are very disappointing though. Certainly far more hyped than they have any need to be.
We had to stop for diesel before Manchester and so came off the motorway looking for a cheaper alternative to the service stations. The last time we did this we ended up driving around Kendal on the way to France last year and getting lost. We did that again this time as well. One wrong turning on a roundabout, I’m sure the road layout had changed from when our map was printed, and we were completely lost. It took a good 45 minutes of driving to find our was to Crewe, the most depressing town on Planet Earth, fill up the tank and get back onto the motorway at a junction we’d passed over an hour previously. That was a little stress inducing.
Eventually we made it back across the border but the weather was horrendous. I’ve no idea what time we got home at but at points the drive was terrifying. The trucks and artics were kicking up that much spray that you couldn’t sit behind them on the road as you could barely see but if you tried to overtake you went from being able to see 10-15m to barely being able to see past the front bumper of your car for those few seconds. We did get home in one piece though.
So…I know I write these holiday blogs or myself as I usually forget everything but it seems some people actually read them. Well done you guys. You might want to get your sanity checked next time your at the doctors though…