On a spur of the moment decision, I decided to go to Brighton today with Sarah Mae and Jessi. ^_^ After a two hour plus train ride (made longer by problems with switches), we finally made it to the beach! Yes, Brighton is a beach-of sorts. Heheh. Instead of having actual sand on the beach, it's made out of rocks that looked really painful to lay on. But the Brits were cheerfully laying out and sunning themselves. Weird people. Give me sand anyday, preferably white. Anyway, before we actually got to the beach, we decided to go see the Pavillion that George IV built, and lived in. The outside looks like the Taj-Mahal, but the inside looks like you just stepped into a Chinese warehouse! There was just sooo much Asian stuff! The dining room had this most awesome chandelier that I have ever seen. It's hard to describe, doesn't make for a good picture either, really, but it's utter stunning in person. Very whimiscal and beautiful.
After roaming through the Pavillion, we went to the Lanes, which was an old shopping district. When we got to the heart of it, I was very much reminded of Venice and had a small desire to go back there. Though I very much enjoyed Venice, I never thought that I would ever want to visit it again. Now I find that I do. Very strange. In any case, the Lanes were pretty cool, and Jessi picked up some Birkenstocks. I was very tempted but I didn't see any that I really truly wanted, so even though they were amazingly reasonable in price, I decided against it. After wandering through a couple of antique stores (mostly jewelry) and through an antique arms store (very cool), we decided to finally head towards the beach.
On the way, we were craving ice cream, so we started to look for some, but sadly none that we could all agree on could be found. So we went to the Sea Life exhibition thingy that I refused to go into because I wasn't going to pay £10.50 (forgot my Library card again, darnit) to get into something that I've seen in other places before. Then we made it too the beach. As mentioned, it was very much not what I was expecting. I was expecting to see long stretches of soft sad, gleaming in the sun, lively waves, people laying out on towels and in their lounge chairs. Wrong. Wrong wrongwrongwrongWRONGwrongwrong. Wrong. No-it was stone not sand, the waves were itty-bitty, well, the people thing was true. But not a whole lot of them were actually swimming, they were just kind of hanging out on their chairs and towls and "beach mats."
It was at this point we found some ice cream, and it was the best type of ice cream in the world-gelato. I love gelato. The moment I saw it, I was instantly transported back to the times I had it in Venice. I must have had gelato every single day I was in Venice. Great stuff. This stuff was good as well, a little expensive burned my throat (wtf?), but still good. And yummy in my tummy. Hmmm...ciocolatto and men ciocolatto...*drools*
After enjoying our very yummy Italian style ice cream, we then wandered onto the pier. This is not the first time I've ever been to a beach with a little amusement park on it (Cape May springs to mind, actually), but this is the first time I've ever ridden the rides there and actually enjoyed them. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Before we got to the actual ride bits (oh GOD I've been in Britain too long), Sarah Mae was lured in by the sight of Fairy Floss (cotton candy), and I was almost seduced by a candied apple only to be whisked away by a Belgian Waffle slathered in chocolate and peanuts on a stick. After a heady romance and me shoving a chocolate covered phallic shaped obect with nuts into my mouth (very enjoyable btw), I found that I was having a bit of a problem. It turns out that from my wild affair with the Belgian Waffle ended in true disaster-I was lactating chocolate. Ok, ok, not really but I had to keep the metaphor going somehow. But it's sort of true-the chocolate was drizzly and got blown onto the shirt right at my left breast, then due to a freak accident a couple of minutes later, I was slathered all over my right breast as well. 9_9 Even though I had a jacket, it was waaaay too hot to be adding anything else to my body unless it was water. And the bathrooms had no paper towels so I could blot the dratted things (I didn't think of toilet tissue at the time). So yes, I wandered around with chocolate on the boobies. Aheh.
Now we're at the ride bits. Because there was an odd number of us and because the rides didn't allow for baggage storage, only two could ride at the same time. I made another impulsive decision to stay behind for the first ride (the roller coaster) while the other two went up. The roller coaster was actually pretty cool, if a bit short. I got banged around a lot and bruised my arm, but it was still really cool. I love adrenaline rushes and roller coasters. After that, Jessi and I went on a ride where the people sit in a cart that spins, on a track in a circle with other carts, and the track thingy goes up and down and when that happens you spin around. A lot. In fact, Jessi and I had the cart going so fast that we were helpless to do anything but sit and let the centrifical force pin us in our seats and scream/laugh/cry. So. Much. Fun. Then Jessi and I went on another ride, the Galaxia, which promised fun but was actually totally boring and not worth the five tokens I paid for it. After wandering around to see what other rides there were, Sarah Mae and I went on the Sizzler Twist which is the ride that spins in the circle, and there are three seats that spin in a smaller circle, and when you sit with another person, the other person will slam into the person on the outside. I'm sure you've all ridden something similar before. Yeah, though it was also great fun, I gained many a bruises from that ride, a particularly nasty one on the side of my thigh.
It was nearing about six at this point so after another bathroom break, we got small meals of fried noodles, we wandered back to the train station to catch a train home. It was a madhouse at the train station. An absolute Mad. House. Because of a fatality at Waterloo, all of the trains to and from London Victoria were either majorly delayed or cancelled. Which just backed everything else up. Since we missed the 7:00 straight to Reading train, we had to wait for another train that would take us to Gatwick Airport and then on to Reading. Thank God I got the Su Doku books at the WHSmith store at the station. (Have I mentioned my consuming addiction for Su Doku? No? Well, consider yourselves informed.) This made the journey much longer than it needed to be, but all was well and we made it back in one piece.
Well, sort of. Even though I slathered on sunscreen every single chance I got, I still managed to get burned. I miss the good old days when I could wander around all day and only get a light tan. Grr. That was another thing, on the way to Gatwick, there were these two girls who were playing patty-cake type games, and it got all of us talking about the fun hand slapping games we used to play in middle school.
Miss Suzy had a steamboat, a steamboat, the steamboat had a bell...