It’s not often that I get to start a post on here talking about a stretch of glorious weather; it just isn’t something which happens on a regular enough basis in the UK, especially not when you live in the rainy North-West of England either but oh, my! The weather just recently has been so beautiful. I can’t think of the last time we had such a long stretch of sunny days all in a row and although there is now rain on the horizon, I hope we have managed to make the most of the sunshine whilst it has been around.
We kick-started this sunny spell around the May bank holiday; which may just have been the hottest May bank holiday for years (don’t quote me on that!) and to make the most of it we spent the Monday of that long, wonderful weekend at the beach.
If you’ve been around here for a while then you’ll know that one of the reasons I fell in love with where we live was our sudden proximity to the beach. We moved quite abruptly almost 5 years ago (eek!) and where we lived before we were as landlocked as it is possible to be in the UK, so suddenly having golden stretches of sandy beaches on our doorstep was a real novelty, and one which has yet to wear off. That said, I think when you live anywhere long enough, you don’t always take advantage of what you have right in front of you and we didn’t visit the beach nearly enough last year. We really wanted to change that and the past bank holiday seemed like the perfect excuse to do so.
It turns out that James was pretty serious about making the most of the day and had plans for us to leave the house just after 8.30am. At the time I thought he had quite possibly lost the plot but given the amount of cars already parked up when we arrived just before 9am, I’d say he was on to something.
We walked about 15 minutes away from the main car park and were treated to a wide expanse of empty beach, perfect for setting ourselves up for the day. Often when we head down to the beach we just throw a few bits and pieces in the car and hope for the best but this time we had come fully prepared for a long day. It took James a couple of trips back and forth to the car but once we were set up, we were good to go. The fact that the beach was so empty meant that I was happy for the kids to run down to the water and explore as well as climb the dunes because I could hear, and see them quite easily. Once it got a bit busier (and boy did it get busier!) we didn’t really have that luxury.
There is something so wonderful about the simple pleasure of being a kid at the beach and I love how enthusiastic both Meg and Eli are about spending the day paddling in icy cold waters, building sandcastles, being buried in the sand and even eating lunch with a good old dash of sand thrown in because let’s be honest, no matter what you do, sand gets everywhere!
I will never get over how fearless both Meg and Eli are when it comes to the sea either. James did go for a little dip but he said it was absolutely freezing and he had no idea how on earth the kids played in it for so long. Kids just don’t seem to feel the effect of the cold the same way that adults do. I loved standing on the shoreline (with just the tips of my toes cooling off…) listening to them squealing and shrieking with delight as they chased down waves and tried to spot jellyfish. Bliss.
We managed to stay and entertain ourselves for around 6 hours before we noticed the crowds beginning to creep ever closer; we decided to make a move when we found ourselves surrounded on either side and it didn’t feel so much like our own private slice of beach any more. It was surprising heading back how much busier it was, people were literally piled on top of one another and to walk back to the car you had to step across people sunbathing…British people are crazy when the sun comes out! Had they just walked 10 or 15 minutes further along they could have had a nice section all to themselves. Madness!
We rounded off our wonderful day at the beach with a wander up to the main car park which housed an ice cream van. We’d promised the kids ice creams so we dutifully stood in the queue for 20 minutes before walking back down to the car and heading home.
As you might expect, we were all pretty worn out from the day but it was that delicious sort of tiredness where it feels like a day well spent, do you know the kind I mean? We may have had to sing silly songs and talk really loudly to keep Eli awake on the way back in the car but it was worth it for the memories we made.