Saying Goodbye (AKA Tales from my Holibobs: Part One)

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I am so overdue in doing this seeing as it's now a whole month since I got back from my holidays, but better later than never as they say. I've had a weird week and my next holiday seems so far away still so I thought instead I would reminisce about my last one. Let me take you back to Friday 6th May when me, my mum, my uncle and my cousins descended upon Portsmouth & Southsea...

The reason for our visit was perhaps not the most joyous of occasions as we had planned a day trip to the Isle of Wight to scatter the ashes of my nan and granddad. Despite the reason for our visit I was excited to see upon our arrival that the hotel was right on the seafront and next to the amusements and funfair. The air was full of the smell of fish & chips and fresh, hot donuts. We, OK, I had an early night ready for the next morning when we had a lovely walk along the seafront to the ferry. I even found a sign at Gunwharf Quays that made the Potterhead in me leap for joy. Of course, I had to take a photo.
The ferry trip was quick and calm and once we got to Ryde we found a lovely cafe to have some breakfast before walking back to the pier to get a bus to Ventnor. We always used to go there for our holidays during May Half Term and then when I left school, they started to go in September instead. I have very fond memories of those holidays. My best friend from school Sarah used to come with us and my granddad always used to give us a pound's worth of two-pence pieces to use at the amusements. I had planned to change a pound up for old time's sake so imagine my disappointment as we walked along the Esplanade and saw that they were all boarded up. Sorry Granddad, maybe next time.
We stopped at The Spyglass Inn for a quick drink before making our way to their final resting place. It was one of the pubs which my granddad would frequent. He'd start off at one end of the Esplanade and work his way down to the other where we'd often find him sitting on the bench chatting to anyone and everyone who passed him.

Once we were all refreshed from the heat (the weather was beautiful as promised) we walked up the path where my mum used to walk our dog Ben and found a quiet spot. The ongoing joke of the weekend had been to check the wind direction before setting them free and luckily it was working in our favour. Once it was done we all had a quiet moment with our thoughts before heading back into town. While I have no doubt in my mind that my nan and granddad loved each other, they argued like crazy. It made me chuckle to think that if you listened very closely to the wind, you might just be able to hear the sound of them bickering.
The rest of the day was spent visiting some of our favourite places on the island. The morning had gone much quicker than we expected so in the end we only had time to visit Godshill and Shanklin (with an ice cream at the latter), but it was lovely to revisit them after 13 or so years. I am sure my cousins would have liked longer there as they had never been before. 
We made our way back to Ryde and got the ferry back to the mainland where we enjoyed a scrummy family meal together. For me the best thing about the weekend was all of us being together for the amount of time we were. Even if my mum and I have a weekend up in Norfolk we might only see my cousins of an hour or two here and there so I cherished every moment.

After dinner the kids went to explore the amusements and Mum and I went to try and find a geocache aptly named 'Never Forgotten'. Unfortunately we're couldn't find it, but on the way back to the hotel we did find another. (We also attempted to find one in the other direction on Sunday morning, but the less said about that the better.) The sea air led me to another peaceful night's sleep and only one day left before my proper holiday.
To be continued...
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