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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Blackpool, Beamish and Bankruptcy!

oh all-right... I may be exaggerating a little but blooming heck - talk about needing deep pockets for a day out in the UK.

We're off work  this week and having "day trips" here and there...  Monday was Blackpool - My idea in an attempt to re-kindle happy childhood memories .  We're lucky in that Andy's nephews are NOT the typical bad mannered "I want, I want, I want" 13 year olds - I pity any poor family with kids like that trying for a reasonable day out at the seaside.. their poor parents/guardians must have to re mortgage.

We had a day on the cheap by many folks standards - but even "cheap" came in at £210 by the time we'd gotten home...  and that was with booking things on-line a couple of weeks ago.

Our day started at the tower.

They've updated it a bit since I was last there - some 30 (eek) years ago! .. .Now it's "marketed" as the 'Blackpool Eye' - with a 4 D Cinema experience as you head up... probably to try and justify the cost.  It's actually quite good... with special effects galore and very well done.    OK, so you look a pillock in the specs:

but they are necessary for the 3 D to work - the 4 D comes in the form of vibrations from the bar you lean back on... it's good!

Neither Andy nor the kids had been up the tower before so it was nice to introduce them to it.

OF course you also HAVE to buy the "experience photo" on the way out... for another £20 ...

You do get a link do download them  too but it's still a bit of a rip off - Andy wanted them- not the kids... they are MUCH better behaved than he is lol.

We headed off down the seafront for a wander on to the pier and then down to the pleasure beach where we'd pre-booked unlimited rides, wrist bands. 

These days, you can't just wander in like you used to be able to - not even to view... they charge for that too.  We had what appeared at first to be a very long queue to join to collect our already booked passes.. until a very nice man - perhaps sensing the disharmony amongst the crowd, gatheredup a bunch of us at the back and marched us towards a different building where we were served within about 30 mins - STILL too long when the rides stop at 6-7pm.  

Anyway ... we were all very brave and went on as many rides as the QUEUING time allowed... The older I get, the worse I am at queuing.  30-40 mins shuffling forwards for a 30 second ride does not seem like a good way to spend a day off work! - I'm clearly old and grumpy as everyone else seemed to be having a whale of a time...  Even when "the big one" broke down with us on it for 20 mins suspended 50 feet up!!! - you can imagine how chilled I was about that one.  Not to worry, MORE revenue/profit making photo opportunity's

Believe it or not, I DID enjoy the day - up until the last ride (which was nearly an hour queuing) to go on the log-flume...  THAT's changed since my day as it's now INSIDE a mountain type thingy with really quite good special effects  - you get VERY VERY Wet... and of course in the queue, you can buy ponchos (for 2 quid each) to try and stay dry!... suffice to say we got soaked and drove home sitting on towels in our underpants!

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Today, we've been back to Beamish - but as customers rather than staff.  I did take some photos but they're in my phone which I think /hope I've left in the car.  Beamish - because it's a charity is much better value really.  We bought a family ticket for just under £50 which allows us to come and go as many times as we like in a 12 month period....ok so the drinks and snacks are extortionate but you can go back to your car (to collect your picnic) without any hassle.

Given we arrived before the gates opened, we were first in the queue and heading into the park early doors.  This was  a good move as we were able to go straight to the guided pit/mine tour and NOT have to queue.  I knocked my helmet off during the walk underground - which of course landed in mucky water which gave everyone ELSE a laugh...  We had a ride on the steam train, the trams, the old motor buses and a good look around.  It WAS too busy to enjoy if I'm honest, but we can at least go back again when things are quieter... perhaps during term time.

Tomorrow, the plan is to go to Holmfirth (last of the summer wine land) and do a treasure-hunt.... Friday we plan to head to Whitby as it's the regatta... that'll be nice but busy again.    Roll on next week when I'm back at work for a rest!

btw- the mooring ropes arrived the other day at last

although I can't get overly excited about them...

What I AM excited about though, are the 3 solar panels I bought the other day... more on those soon.

Until next time...

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