An Easter away in Southbourne
There's a line I love in Pretty Woman, when Julia Roberts whispers to Richard Gere as they are about to step out of the lift. She's dressed in a breath taking red full length evening dress and she says with nothing but complete adoration, "If I forget to tell you later, I had a really great time tonight."
And strangely that's kind of how I feel about Southbourne. It's not a tropical beach, a super trendy London high street (well almost!) or a beautifully furnished contemporary city apartment but it's ours. And every single time we go there I feel nothing but love. I know we are going to have a wonderful time.
And this Easter was one of the best. New friends, bestest old friends and a series of simple pleasures. We swapped fancy meals for staggered breakfasts where anyone ate whenever they fancied it, pub burgers, picnics at the beach hut, and impromptu bonus lunches of supermarket sandwiches. It was perfect.
We made the holiday about the boys. No laptops. Yes no laptops for four days! So if I owe you an email please bear with me! I shared my break over on Instagram, I am a blogger after all, but no glaring at a big screen in the evenings, for the first time in a long time!
Instead we played cards, oh man have you played Cards Against Humanity yet? Eeek! Played a family favourite spoons (Are we the only ones?!) and chatted into the early hours. I had some precious time with one of my absolute best girlfriends who I miss dreadfully since we've moved. In fact the last time I saw her, when it was time to say goodbye, I cried, quite spontaneously and quite loudly, in the centre of the city of Bath.
It's funny, as you get older, you still need the support of friends. Just like you do when you are at school. People to laugh and cry with, to talk things over with and get advice from and just sit with, in silence. Because you are comfortable just sitting, appreciating it's just nice to be in the same space. We even managed a couple of runs, which shook off our slight wine headaches, from a night of gossiping til we couldn't keep our eyes open any longer.
I've found it a little hard to make new friends in our new area. Working from home, tag teaming school runs, makes it that much harder to literally see anyone! Everyone is lovely of course, so welcoming, so friendly and I just need some real time to get to know them better. But it's made me realise how much my heart is pulled back to Weston.
We started the week with some new friends from school and it was a joy to see Sammy and his little friend include Ollie as part of their gang. Probably a little shock to her Dad with two boisterous boys to contend with, and lovely to have time to chat over a few drinks in the evening. We watched them race in and out of the shore, pretending to beat the waves, wondering how they weren't feeling the cold of the biting waves, and smiling as they skimmed stones into the sea, which was more like plopping lumps of pebble!
My kind in laws are away with part of the Heath family for Easter somewhere hot and sunny, so we borrowed their house for an afternoon! The kids showed off their swimming skills, we cooked a spag bol and headed back to the flat for bedtime.
On Friday our friends changed over and our Weston gang arrived! Sammy and his little pal have gone from spending all day at school together to not seeing each other for almost 6 months! Life has just got so busy that we are planning weekends together right up until December! But you wouldn't have believed it. Four boys with ages ranging from almost 11 to almost 4, thick as thieves.
We had time sat up at the beach hut, drinking Prosecco from a novelty bunny cup, with four boys making up game after game. One minute one was an alien, the next they were dragging each other down to the sea in the wagon. We had to force them not to swim in the sea, and promised a Summer trip when they don't need specialist wet suits!
Moors Valley was perfect for an overcast afternoon, and I almost did a double take seeing them tackle the obstacle adventure course around the forest play trail, just like I did with my family friends when we came to Southbourne as children. It felt like we were living all the seasons in one long weekend!
Ollie trailed after their eldest like a lost puppy, he got to stay up late whilst the little ones went to bed and help Rich on the last dog walk of the night. We had a chance to really get to know him without 3 noisy lads trying to steal the show.
The boys had an easter egg hunt, reliving my exact childhood Easter breaks with my cousins when we were little. Scrambling around the grounds of the flat, Ollie so excited to find his first egg, he almost forgot to look for anymore!
We finished our mini break with a pootle up the river at Christchurch, walking through the grounds of the Priory and a picnic at the play park. Lush.
And it showed, when we said goodbye, and he put his arms out to give me a monster hug. With his younger brother shedding tears into his Mummy's poncho because he didn't want the long weekend to end. We are all so comfortable with each other, there's no worry of make up first thing in the morning, you can change into comfy clothes as soon as the kids are in bed and Ollie has such a thing for my friend Emma!
We didn't want to say good bye either! But as I said to him, there's always another time. So what shall we do on our next visit to Southbourne?!
I hope everyone had a nice break too. What more do you really need over Easter than each other?