well, here we go. this will be the first, look you see, of several posts of our brief break away last week. we hadn't been away anywhere on holiday as such since we've returned to England, and prior to that our last holiday was, erm, coming to England in 2012. yeah, i know, some people never ever get to take a break, but still, we were glad to get off and get out for a bit.
where is it that we went off to, exactly? Scarborough. i was charged with finding a place to get away to for a couple of days, with my mandate being that it be far enough away to justify staying, but not so close that paying for room and board would be silly. as Scarborough represented a 90 minute or so drive, that was where the pin landed on this particular map.
visiting Scarborough allowed us to visit, as the website address thing for them suggests, Sea Life. which, for the most part, was a very wise and enjoyable thing to do. the least of the reasons for this is most certainly not that we were able to get some (two) smart family photos; something of a rarity for us without resorting to the evils and heresy of a "group selfie".
i know what some of you will wish to say in regards of the above, as a few have already said it. that would be to suggest that for some reason we are all ignoring the shark. we're not, for if you observe to where we all point towards, we are simply finding that Nemo fella, like in that film; the name of which escapes me for the moment.
further, i know that practically all of you have the same concern in respect of the above image. that would be that i shall feature in many of them. fear not, dear viewer, for that's not the case - for the most part i promise you it's just the 75% of my family that you all actually like which shall be here.
what is Sea Life? pretty much what it says on the box, to be honest. they are a visitors attraction, yes, but one with a purpose - the facility, and funds raised from it, go for the most part towards saving and helping various sea based life, in particular seals and penguins. so all money thrown at them goes to a good cause.
taking images inside Sea Life was somewhat tricky, for flash photography was explicitly prohibited. a lot of the fish and what have you live many yards, if not miles, down below the surface of the sea, and thus are not used to the bright lights what us people type of life are. images in the dark sans flash are not easy, but i had a go for you.
yeah, William was under the impression that i was making a video rather than taking still images, and so frantically, or if you like enthusiastically, waved every time the camera was pointed at him. hence the motion blur.
Sea Life seeks to help, preserve and protect all life of the sea, except tuna of course. absolutely no one cares about tuna. this was underlined to tuna, or if you like the chicken of the sea, when a whole load of fuss was made and the tuna slayers of the world were applauded and given awards for ceasing to kill the occasional dolphin as they slaughtered the tuna and then danced naked under a shower of tuna blood on the deck of their fancy tuna knacker boats.
no, tuna are all alone in this world, my friend, and they are reminded of this daily, if not hourly. if that American dentist or whatever had gone to Zimbabwe and shot a tuna instead of some lion, schools would be expected to display a picture of him as an example of being all that you could be. the only hope tuna have in this world, as far as i can see, is if they somehow start learning to do fancy dolphin tricks, such as jump through hoops or balance inflatable balls on their head. it's either that, or hope some scientific research declares them to be "the single most homosexual fish, if not being, ever to exist", and then Stephen Fry and his chums will kick off some jolly "save the tuna or you are racist" crusade on that twerker thing he does.
but anyway, back to fish that have been checked to not be killable tuna, and a look at James, thankfully not waving in front of some more lovely, lovely fish.
speaking of tuna, my one and only grumble about Sea Life as a venue is the food. they do not, as you'd probably guess, do sea food as such. no, not even tuna. what they do "cook" and serve, however, is awful. none of us were able to finish the food we paid a premium for. and when i say premium, chips are considered an "extra" with a burger, or chicken nuggets, and you pay £1.80 for about 12 chips shoved on your plate. yeah, the money goes to a good cause, etc, but does that mean you have to pay a high price for really low quality food?
what we learned from what they consider to be a restaurant is that the next time we go, we will go either before or after lunch, but most certainly not during. if you must eat there, stick with the cold food, such as sandwiches and crisps.
with that unpleasantness out of the way, back to the good, and indeed the very good. attached to Sea Life is a mini, or if you like crazy golf facility with a Pirate theme to it. it is a boss, mega ace 12 hole course and, as you can hopefully see if not ascertain, a lot of fun.
an abiding memory of Scarborough would be just how much the place loves mini adventure crazy golf sort of things. there are courses for it in practically every direction you look. some claim that they are the best in Scarborough, others stop nowhere short of proclaiming to be the best in the world. one even proudly boasted of being the home of the "mini adventure crazy golf world championship"; a contest i had no idea existed until i saw it on a rudimentary billboard.
a very exciting hole on this Pirate golf was the 7th, or it might have been the 8th hole. whichever, one had to navigate to an island to get to it, doing so by an intricate raft and pulley system. the boys really rather enjoyed this, and would have been happy crossing it via pulling the ropes all day.
who won the golf? difficult to say, as we kind of stopped scoring towards the last two or so holes. James and my (considerably) better half both got a hole in one on at least one of the holes, but i kept my score fairly low down across the course. William was enthusiastic and so we gave him a very generous handicap in terms of scoring, so he with that in mind probably won. to make life easier, let's just say that the 75% of my family you all like were tied for 1st, with me a distant 4th.
friends and family around the world are probably thrilled with an influx of pictures of the boys here, for they have not been present much of late. not a deliberate exclusion, i promise you, it's just that life has meant we've not been up to all that many adventures to picture and present here.
for those of you wondering just how big the boys have got, well, quite handily there was a special "check your height against a penguin" display, which the boys agreed to stand by.
indeed, as you hardly need me to point out, William took this all very seriously, hence the "i am in a line up" pose and look he has about him. do i think line ups of a more constabulary nature will feature for him in later years? we would hope not, and do try to parent him in accordance with this hope.
whilst that is a nice rendering of some penguins on the height measurement chart, i am sure one or two of you would like to see actual penguins. if you prefer your penguins to be somewhat in the distance and looking a bit small so you have to squint a bit to actually see them, then you are really going to love this image.
i've read through some of the reviews of Sea Life on things like Trip Advisor and similar. frankly, many of them left me baffled. paying for parking seemed to be an issue for many. we paid, i think, £5 or thereabouts for 5 hours parking. that's not particularly unreasonable, since you are also parked right by the coast for them coins of money. another complaint is that the Sea Life centre is "small". what? if you rushed through and didn't stop to watch the everything but tuna do their thing i suppose it would be, but we spent a very comfortable four hours strolling around and enjoying. except for the lunch thing. i would suggest that anyone who wants bigger, and to see things like a killer whale dragging a water skiing playboy model through a hoop of fire, should consider p!ssing off to Florida to see it.
a picture of the boys with a massive statue (i hope) of one of them turtle things? certainly.
exactly how these turtles get so good at kung fu and ninja stuff is beyond me, i must confess. i mean, they had a massive one swimming about, and he or she could certainly swim faster than me; not that i am some sort of benchmark or grading system for martial arts. but i don't see how a turtle can handle one of them massive sticks, or even get a good grip on them throwing twatting death stars of pain. next time we go i will ask the staff - who are all really rather enthusiastic, by the way, if they can arrange a killer turtle death match demonstration for us to enjoy. i have every confidence that the staff could rustle up some tuna for the turtles to introduce ninja pain to.
after Sea Life it was time for a stroll along the sea front, or if you like the end of the earth, prior to us checking in at our lavish, swanky accommodation for the night. the tide was in, and so some care was required as we strolled.
care was required as the waves lashed the side of the earth on which we walked, soaking several brave souls who stood by the railings. a precious moment, one we shall remember forever, was when James for some reason said "come on then, hit me with your best shot, give me what you've got" in the general direction of the sea, which was followed by an absolutely massive wave crashing over and nearly soaking him.
that second official image from the lens of Sea Life? go on then, but be warned, for i feature once more.
there are many more pictures and stories from a couple of days in Scarborough, more than i have time for this evening though. i will do my best to post further, sooner rather than later.
if you read my drivel in between the pictures, thank you and sorry. for the wiser, hope you liked the images!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!