Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Western Superman... Or Weston-Super-Mare

The title is a reference to the first time Weston was mentioned around Tea: "They always say it so fast!"

Saturday started out beautifully, so we decided to get in an early run -- only our third at that point, but we're making good progress. Then we hopped in the car for the short drive to the coastal town of Weston-Super-Mare.

I have to say that I found the approach a bit rough. Tea was in love with the place from the moment we drove out on the widest, flattest beach that I'd ever seen -- our parking lot for the day -- but I still dwelling on the widely-spaced houses set back from the road that left me... cold. Well, let's just say I certainly warmed to the place over the course of the day; it really is beautiful.

The town hosted a sand sculpture festival over the summer that had just finished up a few weeks prior, but we were happy to learn that they were still charging an admission and maintaining the sculptures for the time being. Some really detailed work was on display, of many British favourites, including Monty Python, Doctor Who, and Wallace and Gromit. Shakespeare, Hitchcock, Churchill and the Beatles were all represented, as was a typical day by the sea -- right down to the Flake bar in the ice cream, which Tea was tickled to see.

There were plenty of fish 'n' chip take-aways along the waterfront, but we opted to stop at the Old Thatched Cottage restaurant -- the gusts would cool our food in jig time otherwise, Mom was quick to point out. (And won't thank me for highlighting here.) It turned out to be a great decision: the staff were so friendly, and the food -- fish 'n' chips for Mom and me, roast beef for Tea -- was delicious. Even the coffee was excellent.

The Grand Pier is supposed to be re-opening this month, but it was still closed when we were there. There's plenty to see, nonetheless. Bellies full, we walked out to the Knightstone Causeway, past a park with big sprinklers and kids running through them in swimsuits, no less -- it wasn't that nice out, we agreed, adding that the locals must be made of tougher stuff.

We then walked back to the car and continued on down the beach to the golf course and camp ground. Near there, a large section had been cordoned off for kite buggies and kite skating. We'd never seen anything like that before, but agreed that it looked like lots of fun. Below is what Tea declared would be the picture of the day -- a claim I find difficult to dispute.