The first time I went to Brighton I was by myself, had missed breakfast, and so happily stumbled on a lovely little privately owned coffee shop… And that is now my Brighton “tradition.” Get off train. Walk past hipster secondhand shops. Get coffee.
Kate and I both knew our limits at this point in the week. No sightseeing without being sufficiently caffeinated or we will lose steam quickly. It doesn’t hurt when the coffee is also amazing. So we relaxed for a minute with our lattes.
Looking inland from our spot on the beach.
But I was ready for some (British) sun, so we walked down towards the pebble beach to relax soon after that. You would think it might be difficult to get comfortable on a pebble beach, but it is surprisingly nice… Especially since I had my cardigan for a pillow.
I was disappointed to discover the Ferris Wheel had come down just one month previous. I had been wanting to ride it for awhile and decided this would be the trip for it…. Until it was mysteriously not on the shore.
At least Brighton has some of the most interesting people-watching I’ve ever seen. So we leisurely walked around The Lanes and had some (more) salmon sandwiches and tea in my favorite spot. One of the staff asked if we were locals, so we must have started sufficiently blending in… Or they hadn’t heard us talk too loudly. haha.
Brighton was my much-needed relaxation day for our week in London. We did nothing but wander aimlessly through bookshops, side streets, the pier, and some pubs. For someone who has dipped her toes in the sea in Florida, Mexico, and some Caribbean islands… It isn’t the best choice for a swim. (Maybe you can handle ice cold water better than I. And I’ve never been in Brighton during July/August, so maybe then it’s better?) But the beach and pier are perfect for getting some sun and fresh air after being surrounded by the concrete and stone in London.
Over my four months abroad, the train has definitely been my favorite way to travel. From Brighton to Derbyshire and across Italy, it has been the most relaxing way for me to get around, so we were definitely utilizing this mode of transportation when my parents came to visit. (Why don’t we have widespread trains back home? Get it together, America.) Dad was excited for his first train ride, and I think Mom was just happy to travel above ground. We took a little day trip to Brighton, and were able to enjoy the whole trip without any stress.
The day after Brighton, however, we turned into a traveling circus. Have you ever taken three people with 45 lbs suitcases and a carry on each (plus a backpack for me, because, well, 4 months abroad means needing more stuff) on a bus, then the tube, then through King’s Cross? Hahaha. We probably would have been better off with a taxi to King’s Cross, but you live and learn and attempt to save money.
I’m already looking back and laughing at how hilarious we probably appeared, from King’s Cross to York and York to Edinburgh. Thank goodness for taxi drivers who didn’t complain too much about the heavy luggage on the way to/from the train stations, hotels, and airports. (Because we did definitely use taxis in York and Edinburgh.)
Now, the US just needs to get some decent train lines for passengers so I can easily visit all the friends I met this summer! And while I do actually love the traveling part of traveling (except for airport security), I found this quote appropriate:
Most travel is best of all in the anticipation or the remembering; the reality has more to do with losing your luggage. ~Regina Nadelson
My first visit to Brighton was spent by myself. It also ended with a pretty intense sunburn (England does have sun, occasionally). This time I took my parents along with me – I knew they would enjoy the shops and the laid-back atmosphere after dragging them all over central London for a few days.
I also slapped on a tiny bit of sun screen. Just in case.
This is what our Christmas card looked like, by the way. All of their cut-out photos.
Exploring the pier turned out to be unexpectedly hilarious, because mom and dad posed behind every single cutout we found. Then mom and I hopped on a ride – I couldn’t convince either of them to get on the one that went upside down, though.
Predictably, mom was extremely happy about going in and out of all the little shops in The Lanes. We ate a late lunch at The Little Tea Shop in the Lanes, which was a place I had found on my previous trip. (Side note: I miss tea shops.) All in all, it was a very relaxing day filled with wandering around and relaxing in the little striped lounge chairs on the pier.