We have had a lovely couple of days away. We went down to just outside of Poole to stay overnight with a very old friend of my family. In fact, she used to babysit me when I was very small. Lovely to have a day catching up (and we got her DVD player working). We headed off into Poole and got on a double-decker bus. Of course the girls and hubby headed upstairs and I stayed down with our friend. S apparently fell off the front seat when the bus went around a corner, much to everyone's amusement. We arrived and had a walk around the front, spotting Sunseeker yachts (which was not hard to do). BTW, if Sunseeker would like me to test a yacht out for them and review it on the blog, I'd be delighted!
The weather was a bit drizzly but we weren't put off - have raincoat, will travel. I found my 800th geocache and promptly found out also that my pen had run out. Thank goodness for mobile phones so photographed the girls with it and sent that to the CO (cache owner) as proof and hope they would be happy with that as it was quite a momentous point for me.
Having had fish and chips, and an ice cream each, we then walked back to the shopping centre where I spotted a shop that the teen would like. She was basically in t-shirt heaven and wanted everything in the shop! Fortunately we'd been to Camden a last week so my spend limit had been reached.
The following day we headed down to Swanage to ride on the Swanage Railway. Our neighbour works there as a guard and had reserved some seats for us (a lovely surprise). We met up and waited for the train to be hooked up. The girls found this fascinating, although a bit scary with the noise of the steam. The trains are gorgeous and there's even an old dining car that has been converted into a restaurant. Every station has plenty of picnic tables and areas you can sit and watch the trains go by and is very clean and tidy. Lovely and helpful staff too (sounds like my TripAdvisor review now doesn't it but who cares).
We had a lovely ride to Corfe Castle Station and got off to have a walk around for an hour or so. I would mention that all the stations are lovely and have some great things to look at in them such as old luggage, a small museum, posters, etc.
We visited the Model Village which was lovely. So many fun games on the lawns for children to play and a very cute little fairy garden as well. Can you spot the Tardis in the model castle? The ticket also lasts for a week so nice if you are staying locally.
After a walk around and a few games of Jenga, J and I shared a cream tea while the others had drinks (very well priced too).
Back onto the train for our journey to Swanage. We watched the train move from the front to the back of the carriages (push/pull) before we left. A quick stop at the car to collect pink fishing nets (I'm saying nothing) and away we went to the beach.
Now the weather had been predicted as cloud and showers so I didn't pack swimwear. Naturally it was lovely and hot and we sat on the beach and had a few hours watching the girls building sandcastles, eating chips and having an ice cream. I think next time we may even venture to take the tent down here and stay for a few days.