Growing up, did you have a tradition of family holidays? You know, the same place that you would keep visiting over and over again, or that few weeks of the year when your whole brood were forced to spend time together and enjoy it?
My sister and I didn’t grow up together, and there is a sixteen year age gap between us. Perhaps it is because of this that she has always held the ‘Cool Big Sister’ title to me, and every holiday we took where she came along was automatically twice as fun. I probably annoyed the hell out of her each time – the little sister tagging along and trying to pick up on some of her adult mystique when she just wanted to read her book by the pool!
Luckily she hasn’t held it against me, and we have since revived the family holiday between us and our dad. I know that, out of any present I could possibly give my dad, he would only ever want for two things: better health, and more time spent with me and my sister. Unfortunately these are the two things which are most of my control, and so whenever my sister and I can coordinate our schedules and spend some time with Dad together we do, as we know how much he enjoys it.
In the past few years, we have visited North Wales, Edinburgh and Devon, and in the first week of June we added to our UK staycation repertoire and took a little trip to the county described as ‘The Garden of England’ for a few days: Kent.
I last visited Kent about ten years ago with my parents and some family friends, but haven’t been back since. What with it being so close to London for me and my sister, and within relatively easy distance of Dad in Suffolk, it seemed like the perfect choice for a short break. We booked ourselves into a Premier Inn in Whitstable, and found ourselves rocking up to a grey and gloomy seaside town on Monday afternoon. It was freezing! So much for June being the official start of Summer! But, in true British style, we toughed it out with our layers and went for a stroll.
Whitstable is best-known for its oysters, which is a shame as none of us actually eat them! But this heritage is certainly visible around the town, as you can see in these pretty painted oyster shells. It seems to straddle seaside and tourist town with some difficulty, and I found it a bit of a strange place over the few days we spent there. But despite this (and the gloomy weather), we still found some quaint and interesting sights in our little stroll around the town that first afternoon:
Just look at that iron sky! I have to admit that it wasn’t particularly nice out. It would have been wonderful to watch from a beachside cottage, wrapped in a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book while the weather raged outside. But we took it as our cue to cut loose and head back to the hotel for dinner and drinks, so we could start the next day refreshed.
Coming soon: Day 2! Which may or may not consist of rubbish weather and Romans…