Sunday, July 03, 2005

Sunday - July 3rd

The remainder of Sunday - Picnic & Blackpool / Pleasure Beach
As I last said, Paul and Sherilee were off to church, as we were up to late to ready to go with them. While they were out we had toast and tea and cereal and I put up the last blog as well. After they returned from church, we readied for the day and got in the van and drove to St Anne's Fairhaven Park where they produced a lovely picnic luncheon. The lake at Fairhaven is man made from Victorian times and it is picture postcard perfect. There with geese abounding, small boats and many elderly couples walking along the promenade. We had our ham sandwiches, chips, cherry tomatoes, sodas & then apple strudel cookies watching the geese wander about (there were LOTS of geese!) Aurora and Mikki decided to feed some them after we finished and a young gosling that Mikki gave the name Gary to... he decided that he liked the bits of ham Aurora had a bit too well and gave her finger a nip!!! Bad goose! She was fine, but a bit surprised by the agressive little goose!
The Blackpool Tower and Pleasure Beach
We left the park and drove into the city of Blackpool which is only about 20 minutes or so from Paul & Sherilee's home. It is quite the place! Blackpool sits along the coast of the Irish Sea (on the English side of course). It is hard to describe the place, other than to say the style is like a mix of Mardi Gras, carnival and a bit of Las Vegas glitz but with older English buildings and some fair bits tossed in too! They put the car in a car park and we walked to the famous Blackpool Tower and Circus and Ballroom. The Tower was built in 1894 and designed by the same man who designed the Eiffel Tower. At the base in the building there is a small aquarium which we walked through and saw some interesting fishes. We then went in to the world famous Blackpool Ballroom. Upon entering at the upper tiers, one is quite taken aback at the size!
At the front of the ballroom is a stage where a comedic organ player sat at a large white organ playing music, such as tango and waltzes etcetera. There were some regular Sunday dancers and one couple that Sherilee D. recognized from the telly (TV). We watched for a while and then walked on to catch the lift up the tower.

We stopped for a group photo first with a pic of the tower behind us...(Do you think they take it first in case you don't make it back down?) that I bought for us for later pick up. The lift takes you high up where you alight and then get a chance at a small gift shop and round the corner from that is the "Walk of Faith!" Here you stand on a large glass square and look straight down to the world far below! You truly get a sense of vertigo as you stand on it. The glass is several inches thick and about 5 x 5 square and they say it can hold up to 5 tons, but YIKES! When you look down below, someone has painted an outline of a body with white paint on top of one of the roofs you can see below like a crime scene victim as if to represent some one who fell through...they assure us it was a joke...ha ha ha! We then climbed up a few more flights of stairs to get even higher up. The view was fabulous of the Irish Sea and of Lytham, St Anne's and Blackpool in the distance and all around. We took several photos from here. We then went down and through some of the arcade area where Jeff & Aurora played a boxing game...neither one could come in at Heavy Weight, but they gave it a good go...then they pressed a few pennies with images of the Blackpool Tower in them too. Next we stopped at the Tower Pub and had some beer and Bacardi Breezers and talked about the experience. After our refreshments we took the Dinosaur Ride a fun little ride through the history of time in little coaster type cars past dinosaurs to learn a bit about their history and to get a little scared in the dark too...a silly but fun 6 or 7 minute ride through time while getting a bit of dino-education. There is an actual circus here as well, but we did not attend it.
The Pepsi Max Big One at Pleasure Beach
We went outside along the walk where the street vendors were hawking there goods and bought some of Blackpool's famous Rock Candy which are long sticks of hard candy with words the run through them usually saying Blackpool. We picked up the car and took a cruise further down the coast of Blackpool to go to the amusement park where they have 145 rides and such (much like a larger version of Seattle Center) to take a ride on "The Big One" as it is called, which is a huge roller coaster. Only Paul, Mikki, Aurora and myself were game for this thrill ride at 7 £ each, we hoped it would be worth it, but Paul and Mikki assured us it was worth every pence! This coaster when it was built was one of Europe's largest roller coasters some 10 + years ago. Aurora and I managed to get the coveted front seats! The first drop is insane (see pic at right) and takes your breath away! The ride is fast and careens around the corners and wild angles going up to 72 miles per hour as it flies across the rails...WOW...we screamed with delight (okay...a little fear too!) but it was loads of fun! We then left the park as it was getting late and stopped at a gas station to fill the van for the trip to London tomorrow. I din't take these photo's...I pulled these off the net to give you an idea of what this coaster really looks like. We were rocketing around so fast, we could just laugh and scream with delight as we flew around the ride! Take way! However Jeff and Sherilee D. took some from below...I haven't even seen them yet. :-)
They pay A LOT for gas here! We did some quick calculations and they are paying nearly $6.52 per gallon after you convert for price and imperial gallons to US guess we won't complain about our prices bycomparison! No wonder they try to use trains and buses every where they can. On the way back we passed the longest cobblestone wall in all of England. It was built by the squire who had much of the land in just goes on and on! Much of the current land is still owned by the family and many of the homes though owned by the owners sit on land still held by family and they must pay a rental fee for it, it is generally quite small, just a few pounds per year per home. There are tons of things to do here, such as the Doctor Who Museum, lots more rides, Louis Toussad's Waxworks and so much more the list could go on and on.
Back at the House & Dinner
We had our supper arounds 7:30 or so and had a true English family dinner of PotRoadss, thin beef gravy,broccolii and cauliflower and mashed neeps (a combination of carrots and something akin to turnips or parsnips) as well as Yorkshire Puddings which is a type of roll but shaped like little muffin sized bowls that you put your gravy in. The batter that is used makes them a bit crisp, and they are really tasty filled with the thin gravy or even on their own...YUMMY! We also had tiny potatoes called Newfoundlands which are not much bigger than radishes that were very tasty too along with a nice selection of red wines. After all of that we had fresh chunk cutcantaloupee, honeydew and Galia from Spain which is much like honeydew, but not quite as sweet, so very nice and refreshing. We talked about the day and we learned some of the local verbiage (some I dare not repeat!) which gave us some good laughs as we exchanges some of our words too.
We went up and packed for London tomorrow and Paris for the two days after and then back to London and then to Plymouth...etcetera. Jeff and I managed to put all of our things into my big suitcase and Aurora got all hers into her carry on case. It will be about a 3 hour drive to Staines where we will catch the train-about a 40 minute ride into central London. A good night of sleep and we will be on our way.


Post a Comment

<< Home