We went into the town of Southend today. Was a beautiful walk along the beach front. With the pier in the distance, it felt like we’d stepped in to a postcard.
We strolled, with no particular destination in mind, just seeing what was there. We walked past some bakeries that sold old-fashioned Cornish pasties, juxtaposed with a McDonalds and a Burger King. There were, what seemed like, a million traditional fish and chip shops.
We bought the kids a Cornish pasty each to try, one traditional steak and one chicken. Everyone liked the steak one best. Jayden didn’t seem too fussed on the whole concept, but Caitie enjoyed it.
As we were heading back toward the beach (and Adventure Island), we saw Mr Simms Old Fashioned Sweet Shoppe. Caitie took off at a run, and I wasn’t far behind her although at a more decorous pace.
The sweet shop was just gorgeous. I truly felt like I’d stepped back in time. There were jars of sweets along the back wall, and a mix of traditional and modern confectionery along the sides. The confectionery was both British and international. They even had rock. I remember having a stick of rock when I was a child. In my head, I only knew of Blackpool rock, but the shopkeeper told me that each seaside town has their own version, so this was Southend rock. I desperately wanted to buy some, but I didn’t want to eat it! I tried to think of anyone at home that I could buy some for, but all the kids in my family were in the UK for the wedding. Caitie ended up buying a stick of rock, which I thought was for her friend back home, but nope, it was just for her to eat!
I hummed and haa’d and oohed and aah’d over the sweets in the jars. I was determined to buy some that weren’t prepackaged, because I wanted the full experience of the traditional sweet shop. I wasn’t sure what I wanted until I saw aniseed balls, then it was an easy decision. They were yummy too.
Then we finally took the kids to Adventure Island, the theme park. We’d promised them that they’d get to go on the roller coaster. When my kids were small, I realised that I was always taking photos of them doing things, but I wasn’t actually in any of the photos. So I made a conscious effort to put down my camera and join in on the activities they were doing. So Jayden, Caitie and I went on the roller coaster. Steve can’t do things like roller coasters anymore as he screwed his back. The roller coaster goes straight up and then straight down again, and while the down part was scary, the going up was just as scary because you felt like you were going fall backwards. Caitie find it quite adrenaline-inducing, but then she and Jayden went on it again.
After that, we decided to pop in to the Baskin Robbins store and have ice creams. Caitie had some horrendous bubblegum flavour. Jayden and I stuck to our classic mint chocolate. I can’t remember what flavour Steve had.
It was a lovely day. A perfect day to be in a seaside town, eating ice cream.