Well, I’m back safe and sound after a very successful road trip. I am currently sat at work on my fourth day back, and wishing I were still on vacation! We set off from the house at about 6.30pm on Friday evening. All was a bit rushed because we were desperate to get on the road. We ended up leaving bits and pieces (including the sleeping bags!) behind, each thinking that the other had them. As it turned out, we didn’t need them anyway! We found some good tunes to listen to, including Jason Mraz, James Blunt, John Legend, KT Tunstall, Weezer and many more, and we hit the road to Norfolk. The journey was pretty easy, except for a minor hitch about 1-½ hours away from our destination when Daisy (who’s house we were going to I hasten to add) couldn’t remember the way home! We had to drive around a roundabout about 3 or 4 times before we knew the way to go. I think we successfully managed to confuse all the drivers around us by doing so, but it sure did make us all giggle! We eventually arrive into Wells-next-the-Sea at about 9.10pm, to be met by Daisy’s parents who had prepared a wonderful feast of salami, pastrami and sausage, with salad and boiled new potatoes and the best bit…the bottle of red wine! We sat around the table, taking in the sounds, smells and sights of our new surroundings. We were all ravenous, so the food was devoured within minutes, all the while Daisy’s mom was trying to ask us questions about the drive, but our mouths were too full of delicious tastes and textures. Then after we had managed to successfully drain a bottle of wine, we headed out to meet Daisy’s bother and friends in town. As it was Carnival week in Wells, there were a few bands playing on the Village Green, so we moseyed on down to spend the evening catching up with old friends. We stood laughing, chatting and drinking copious amounts of Gin! It was a wonderful start to our trip. We woke up on Saturday – CARNIVAL DAY! Daisy had told us all about the Wells Carnival, how amazing it is, with people dressed up galore, floats decorated in all sorts of themes and the general community feel. You could hardly contain our excitement, and then to top it off, we started the day by going to a Maize Maze! It was amazing…if you will! We ran in like little kids, and got totally lost but managed to find ourselves back at the start…not at all where we wanted to be. I had heard that if you keep the hedge/barrier on your left-hand side at all times, you will eventually find your way out. So we experimented with that, and lo and behold, we managed to find the exit. It was so much fun; we were messing about, and acting like young children all morning! I think it’s good for to be silly every now and then! Then as 3.00pm approached and the start of Carnival drew nearer, the excitement stepped up a level. We found ourselves a spot on the high street, armed with a pint of beer. Then, all of a sudden the beat of the drums from the marching band came drifting down the road towards us. Then about 20/25 minutes and 4 floats later the Carnival was over! I have to admit I was expecting a lot more than that. There was an Austin Powers float, with people dressed as many different characters from all the movies, an under the sea float, with children and adults alike dressed as sea creatures, a pirate float and a dance float all trying to raise money for their various clubs/charities. In between each float there were groups of people walking the route, again dressed up in all sorts of multi coloured, gaudy outfits. It was a lot of fun, but just a lot smaller than I was expecting! Then after all the Carnival excitement, we went home and had an afternoon nap to prepare ourselves for the late night partying that was to come! So that evening after a meal of quiche and chips from a lovely little pub, we headed back to the village green with another bottle of red wine to watch that evening’s band. We ended up at a house party chatting away until the wee small hours of the morning! Sunday was a recovery day spent lazily wandering around town, and then sitting on the quay gillying. This is crab catching for those who don’t know – we managed to get 4 of them, one with just one claw, so we called him Claude! But then it got far too windy and cold, so we took refuge and had a nice hot cup of tea. Then Monday was the start of the second leg. We went down to the beach in the morning, where we were totally blown away. Literally. It was so very windy, we were pretending to be super heroes in the wind! Then we came home to say our good byes to Daisy’s family. Then we hit the road once again. The drive down to Kent was really easy, with no problems at all. And we managed to make it in about 4 hours. Kim’s house is lovely, with a wonderful back garden complete with pond, inhabited by 4 frogs and some fish! I have some photos, but you’ll have to wait for them! We had a scrummy dinner of Beef stew with potatoes, and got to know Kim’s parents, as I had not met them before. Then after dinner, we walked along the beach to Kim’s local pub to meet up with some friends. It was a very local pub, with not many people in it, but a nice beer garden that we sat in until it got too cold. Then we headed home after a good catch up, via the nearest Indian takeaway to cure our hunger pangs. So a feast of chips, samosas and popadoms was enjoyed on the walk home. Tuesday we woke up fairly early so that we could get a good head start into Canterbury for a day’s shopping. Canterbury is a very pretty old city, with little side street dotted around all over the place. We did see the odd large chain store, but most of the shops were small independently owned stores with lots of lovely little goodies that you really don’t need but just have to buy! We found a very old pub called The Cherry Tree for lunch, where we found out it was about 700 years old – mind boggling! When we were all tired out, and shopped out, we headed home to go and play on the beach. Kim’s beach wasn’t as windy as Daisy’s but it did have a strange phenomenon of dead crabs. About half way up the beach for a good 300/400 meters there was a line of washed up, empty shelled spider crabs. It was horrible! I’m an arachnaphobe, so therefore ANYTHING with 8 legs gives me the creeps. Walking over these empty lifeless eight legged creatures sent shivers up my spine! But I managed to ignore them for long enough to get the water where we spent a great deal of time paddling in the freezing Channel water, pretending to surf on bits of driftwood. Then we moved up the beach further away from the evil crabs, and spent a good few hours drawing the sand, and making pretty patterns, writing stuff and taking pictures. We just about made it home before falling into bed exhausted!