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View Full Version : Jarrow, Jalfrezi and Jellyfish! - our Northern Meet story!


BONZO
08-01-2003, 06:16 PM
Didn’t want to do a long winded trip report…but you got one anyway!

Trains, boats and planes.

Travelling was a breeze for us, although we considered a few options on how to get there: -

a) Drive - It takes about 6 to 7 hours via M25 and M1 - not a good idea at the best of times and DDs would very bored and likely to be travel sick. Never mind the cost of the petrol!

b) Train - This is fine but it can some time for us to get from our local station to Kings Cross via London Underground with heavy bags and DDs in tow. Time from King's Cross to Newcastle - about 3 hours

c) Fly - This may look extravagant, but it worked out the cheapest option! We'd booked way in advance online with EasyJet for the princely sum of £1 each per person each way. Add on the airport tax and it came to £100 return for the 4 of us! - and the flight is only 40 mins.
We flew from Stanstead which is about 40 mins door-to-door, and parked up on site, again taking advantage by booking online for the car park before we left.

As we didn't want to be reliant on others for lifts etc, we looked into the possibility of hiring a car for a couple of days, although we thought it'd be pricey. We both looked through offers for car hire and Alison found a good deal with Europcar from her employer. We took the plunge and ordered a basic model, something like a 3-door Corsa.

The guy on the desk at the airport shook his head, "sorry, no Corsa's" (I don't do accents! - LOL) - "so I've given you a Gold coloured Rover 75 instead". The weekend was off to a good start as I had many new knobs and buttons to play with! - LOL
Hiring a car turned out to be a good option as the alternative would've been to catch the Metro - complete with heavy bags and DDs, or to get a Taxi.
So, what looks like a "no expense spared" option actually worked out the cheapest, quickest and most convenient option.


Oh - I do like to be beside the seaside

So, we drove to the hotel and boy was it a real swanky place - the weekend was just getting better and better. The only downside was that Alexandra mis-judged the revolving doors and BANG! - managed to head butt the glass. She was a bit shaken up but none the worse for wear apart from doing a good impression of the The Elephant Man for a while - LOL

Our room was MASSIVE! - Loads of room to swing a cat, but reception couldn't provide one - LOL , double bed, double sofa bed and Z-Bed, and had a great view of the river and hotel grounds.
We dumped our bags, had a quick detour via Asda's for "supplies" and headed off to the beach. We parked up and looked on the beach but couldn't see anyone about, although it was a bit overcast. Eventually, the group under cover that we assumed to be local winos were the rest of the crowd and we soon made ourselves at home.

The beach and surrounding areas where IMMACULATE! - no trace of litter, graffiti or suchlike - they even had many lifeguards patrolling the area and an army of people on litter patrol. Even the local tourist information office were handing out free sachets of sun cream - optimistic lot these Northerners! - LOL

On the second day the sun did come out and we all took on a slight pink tinge! I tried to take the kids on at rounders on my own, but quickly roped other "adults" ( I use that word sparingly - LOL), to help out. All that rushing about was very hot and thirsty work so after a few beers I went down to the sea.

Amazing, the sea was crystal clear and no trace of seaweed anywhere - but a bit fresh (king of the understatement!). So, there was nothing else for it, so I stripped down, Speedo's on and went for swim (calm down ladies!). I don't think that many people thought I was serious, but Todd, Zak, Alexandra and Laura soon joined me. Strangely enough, there were no other adults ready to take the plunge - wimps!

Oh - the Jellyfish! There were a few signs that said "Beware of the Jellyfish" - but I think that these are the same that we saw in Holland recently - just odd bits washed up - I think the cold must've killed them off.


Food, glorious food

Mmmmmmmmmm - Food - so here's a section for you foodies out there.
Breakfast at the hotel was big scrum - fruit juice, cold cuts, pastries, bread and rolls, toast, cereals, fruit, full English etc etc - more than enough to set you for the day.
In the evening we had opted for the Barbecue option. While we waited, our own personal chef cooked on the barbie outside the room while our own waitress prepared the food table for us. Burgers, sausages, Chicken Tikka, crisps, salad and a host of other bit and bobs - very swish and piping hot again. We were well looked after and the kids had a table of their own way from us which they enjoyed.

As for the Curry House on the Sunday - I mean - £6 got you a starter, main course, desert and half a lager or glass of wine. Down our way that'll only get you one main dish with no rice! The people in the restaurant did a great job of serving food to us all at about the same time given the numbers involved and separate bills etc. However, Dave (TFM) seemed to think that I'd been hogging all the beer orders - what moi?


Evening entertainment

The Saturday evening quiz night was great fun - all those attending (kids as well) were mixed up into various teams and we had 96 questions to answer (plenty of drinks breaks built in!). Lots of people had supplied questions - so you’d have thought that you’d have a reasonable chance of answering at least a few correctly! Well, not if you couldn’t remember the correct answers!! A bit embarrassing!
Chocolate bars were awarded to the winning team!



Dizzy, you make me feel dizzy......

We got up on Monday morning knowing that we'd be left to our own devices for the rest of the day as some people had early travel plans and others would be at work. Luckily for us we met up with Anita, Ted , Todd and Zak in the hotel car park - they had sent a text message earlier, which we didn’t get til about midday as the mobile reception can be sketchy at best. We decided to go to the Metro Centre for some retail therapy and fun fair rides for the kids. An additional bonus was that Anita had a couple of discount cards for the fun fair at the Metro Centre. Thanks Anita!

Not being that fond of shopping, Ted and I stayed with the kids whilst they went on a number of the rides and attractions, including their world famous waltzer. Why it's so famous I'm not sure but it claims that such celebrities like Lord and Lady Ponsonby-Smythe, Jimmy five-bellies and Joe Guest had all ridden it. Laura and Alexandra wanted to have a go and foolishly Ted and I went with them. Wow, it was bloomin' fast and the kids were shrieking loudly - only to be drowned out by my primeval screaming and brown adrenalin!

I thought that'd be the last of it - but no! - they wanted to go on it again! - oh well, things are looking better for Florida this year.
Then, a quick tour of the shops and some goodbyes and back to the airport.


So long, farewell,auf wiedersehen, goodbye....

Took the car back, jumped on the plane, drove home.


The end bit

At last I hear you say!
Well - sincere thanks and hats off to the "organising committee" for making it all happen - much appreciated.
So what next? - unfortunately there's no Christmas reunion as most people will be away at this time so we've just had to book in for the summer meet for next year! Just got to wait til the flights are released on the Easyjet website and we‘ll be sorted

safcdl16
08-02-2003, 12:27 AM
Thanks Shaun.
I did get you on video while you did yer 'Man from Atlantis on a day out of the Asylum' bit but it's too far away to actually make you out! But he DID do it folks and we WERE amazed and impressed.

Thanks to all that made it the best Beach party to date.

For those hoping to attend next year (week end of July 24th) the hotel does book out early. Drop me a line on safcdl16@aol.com and we can reserve you a room - no deposit necessary. We've got 6 rooms and 26 attendees already.

kazzie
08-02-2003, 04:23 AM
Shaun,
Sounds like you all had a great weekend:p

You brave lot going swimming in the chillly sea:jester:

Fantasia Sam
08-02-2003, 04:55 AM
Sounds like a fun time had by all - great report Shaun :)

Mrs Dazzle
08-02-2003, 05:02 AM
:eek: SPEEDOS:o No, no, no , no, no;)

Apart from trying not to think about ANY man wearing speedos (so don't take it personally, Shaun:p), sounds like a great weekend was had by all:)

KayleeUK
08-02-2003, 08:05 AM
Sounds like you had a great time - any photo's ??

Olaf
08-02-2003, 08:23 AM
You flew to a Dismeet? Now that is a dedicated Disser. What lengths we go to for our Disney fix. :p

WDWfan,uk
08-02-2003, 11:27 AM
Poor Alexandra :( - hope it didn't hurt for too long.

........so I stripped down, Speedo's on........

- oh be still my beating heart!!!

;) :teeth:

Thank you for the report Shaun - glad you all had a great time :) !

BONZO
08-02-2003, 11:28 AM
Yes - a few pics on the way later when I re-sized them.




SPEEDOS - well, I'm usually a dedicated Speedo wearer - but my increasing years and waistline has meant that I've reverted to Speedo Swimming Shorts.

They don't scare small children so much - LOL

squitty
08-02-2003, 03:28 PM
Speedo's ~ I must've blinked and missed you Shaun;)

Oscar says Thank you to Alexandra for taking him for a drink and a swim;)
Looking forward to next year:D

WebmasterPenny
08-03-2003, 03:49 PM
Sounds like you had a good 'un. Looking forward to the piccies! :)