28 February 2011

No one ever addresses Blackpool's rock problem

As I’ve mentioned before, Andy and I have been staying with his mum until we find a place of our own. While I have nothing bad to say about Andy’s mum, the fact of the matter is that we’re staying with parents/a parent, which no matter how lovely that parent or parents are, it’s just a drag. Truth be told, I don’t think it has anything to do with staying with your folks – anytime you are basically living in someone else’s home it’s going to be a bit tough. So while we have only been in the UK for just over two weeks, we decided that we most definitely needed to take a weekend vacation for sanity purposes – both ours and for Andy’s mum (as having long term house guests isn’t exactly that fantastic either).

When we first decided to take this “mini-break”, I had it in my head that I wanted to see Stonehenge. While I still want to see Stonehenge (and will see Stonehenge dammit!), we didn’t think going somewhere 4-5 hours away was the best idea. I may be 5 weeks away from my due date but babies come when they want to. I suddenly had this fear of walking into Stonehenge and having some voodoo Druid magic make me give birth then and there but the baby would be possessed with glowing yellow eyes and a fondness for collecting droid parts. I obviously don’t know much about Druids but I always suspected that they looked a lot like jawas in ‘Star Wars’. ANYHOW, at the last minute we agreed that Blackpool was a good choice for our weekend away; though to be fair it was only because Andy used to say that Las Vegas was like Blackpool on acid. I was curious to see what Las Vegas sans acid actually looked like. Andy forgot to mention that Las Vegas sans acid is pretty closed during the winter months as its still recovering in a closet wondering why monocles and top hats are so damn freaky and for the love of god, stop that wall moving!

Surely I can't be the only one who thought Druids look like jawas.

Blackpool is only 50 some miles away from Liverpool, so even though we set off in the late afternoon on Friday, we still managed to make it there in little over an hour. On the way, I learned that highway ‘accidents’ are called motorway ‘incidents’ here. Pointless trivia point for those back home. You’re welcome.

Blackpool Tower - under construction

When we arrived, we went ahead and checked into our B&B, the Craimer. I feel horrible about saying anything bad about this place because really, it was very clean and modern and the owners were incredibly nice. I mean, I think they were nice. One of the owners, Craig, was Scottish so I could only understand every 14th word coming out of his mouth, but I can recognize “bitch” and “slag” no matter how heavy your brogue is so I’m pretty confident he was a friendly sort. For 92 pounds for two nights we got a double en-suite room that included breakfast. They also had a little bar and pool table that guests can hang out in. As I said, it was clean and had to have been recently renovated. That said, the actually room we got was fucking tiny. I mean midget size. To any of you who have been on a cruise ship and couldn’t afford anything but economy class, you can picture the kind of room size I’m talking about (actually, think a wee bit smaller). The bathroom contained a shower stall, toilet, and a sink that would not be out of place on a small sized boat – all three fit into a space no larger than your average size bathtub. It was tiny and neither Andy nor I are tiny people. Let’s just say that for two days I wasn’t able to wash, much less shave, anywhere past the top of my knees and I hope you don’t hold that against me.

The Craimer: Fantastic for jawas!

Taken from sitting on the bed in the far corner of the room.  End of the bed is a 8 inch gap to the bathroom door.  Door on left is the door out (3 feet from bed)

After check in, we headed out to explore Blackpool. We actually did a lot of what we used to do when on vacation pre pregnancy – stopped in a pub for a couple drinks, went out and got some food, then went to a different pub for more drinks. Andy did my drinking for me though I fully admit to having a single pint of Guinness at this Irish pub called Scruffy Murphy’s. As a person who doesn’t normally like Guinness (it contains calcium and iron by the way) it was hands down the best pint of beer I’ve had – which only goes to show how much I miss beer.

Blackpool, not on acid, but on some heavy cough syrup.

The next day after Bed&Breakfast breakfast, we headed to the promenade to do some touristy things. Mainly I wanted to go to Blackpool Sea Life because if there is one thing I can’t turn down is an aquarium. People are usually surprised by this since I don’t like fish. Or, as I always end correcting them, I don’t like EATING fish but I like watching them swim around as nature intended - in a glass tank with fake algae, a backlight illuminating their colorful scales, and a little sign telling me just what the fuck creature I’m looking at. I had a coupon for the Blackpool aquarium but found out when we got there that my stupid coupon was expired. We ended up paying almost 15 pounds per person because of it. I had a feeling that 15 pounds was not worth what I was about to experience at this aquarium but the draw of fishes in glass tanks was too much to turn down. Overall, I had a good time though Andy was bored shitless, so we left after an hour and went and played some indoor mini golf next door.

I like making Andy pose in front of things.  No reason.

"Why hello my friend!  Please come and give me a kiss you lovely land walker!"

"No?  How about a hug?"

Andy, disobeying the sign and pointing at fish.

Not only am I disobeying the sign but I'm being perverse and pointing at the shark's "junk"

In the late afternoon we wandered into the WHO shop which to anyone who is a Sci-Fi fan is going to put you in serious heaven. Walking in Andy turned to me and said, “OK, I give you permission to geek out.” Personally, I don’t think he was giving me permission as much as he was giving himself permission. There were security guards all over the place so I didn’t feel like I could take pictures, but let’s just say that I questioned Andy on whether or not the life sized Dalek would fit in the rental car. I’m sorry to say I didn’t purchase anything simply for the fact that I wanted to purchase EVERYTHING and I felt that if I only got one thing, the rest of the things in the shop would feel lonely without it.

"Who's awesome? That's right, WHO is awesome."

After that, we stopped at another pub, Churchill's Bar, where they were having some afternoon karaoke going on. While I’m not a huge fan of karaoke, both of us had a really good time here. There were two men hosting it – one Andy described as the “skinny gay Christian” one and the other I described as the “short dancing leprechauny” one. We were laughing our asses off. When no one was coming up to sing, the short one would put on this montage of old songs (think “Roll out the barrel” and “Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me”) while doing jigs – serious JIGS. The singers that did come up were really good except for this 70 year old lady, barely able to stand, trying to do a rendition of “I Got You Babe”. While the leprechauny one was holding her up, she would mumble all the lyrics except when she got to the chorus where it was, “i got YOU BABE!” I tried to get Andy to go up to sing but he claimed he wasn’t drunk enough. Poof.

For dinner we went to West Coast Rock Café because I had a coupon (not expired!) for it. Fuck, I’m glad we went here. The food was awesome, which I don’t get to say very often anymore. It was “Tex-Mex” and while they really didn’t have much in the way of Mexican food (only a burrito and fajitas) the food was American sized portions and taste. I didn’t know the portions would be so big (as I’m already getting used to proper UK portion sizes) and ended up ordering what I thought would be three small starters rather than the 3 starters as big as my face.

After dinner I was exhausted (grrrr, pregnancy) so we ended up going back to our B&B. We got the owner off of his couch to open the bar so we could play pool. Actually, after two games of pool, I went upstairs to lie down and Andy stayed in the bar and talked with the owner for another hour or so. Seriously, this Scottish guy was really friendly and if you are tiny, please stay at his B&B.

On Sunday we woke up early so we could get breakfast somewhere besides the B&B and to go to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. However, Blackpool on Sunday morning is pretty much shut down and Blackpool in winter means that 80% of the attractions (including the wax museum) are closed due to renovations to be completed before the start of the season (which I think is in April). We ended up finding this very small out of the way café that was open, had breakfast, and just ended up heading home.

The promenade.  Mostly closed and in construction.

So that was Blackpool. To all those who have been, YES, I TRIED THE ROCK (and it was good).


  1. Too bad about the Tiny Town B&B room!!
    Also, Guinness is good for you. And the baby.

  2. The room might have been more manageable without the bump, that's for sure. And I agree, Guinness is good for me (and Henry)! :-)