We are back from our two-day trip to the coast. I am very glad that I have had a chance to see some of the places Sydney has visited on his birdwatching expeditions, as well as a very different part of England, and it was nice to do some family activities again now that we’re all back from trips to North America. But Sydney and I also confirmed something we’d been suspecting for a long time: taking the kids traveling isn’t something we should do except when absolutely necessary. The traveling itself requires an awful lot of good behavior from them, they inevitably get shorted on sleep, and their behavior and needs generally overwhelm the scenery we travel to see. So, while we enjoyed many parts of our trip, don’t be surprised if we stay home for the near future.
We took an early-morning train down to Topsham, a town on the southern coast in a region of England known as Devon (home of the famous Devon clotted cream, which does the heavy lifting in English cuisine), and then we immediately took off for a “farm” that is actually a whole cluster of food shops, pick-your-own fields, petting zoo, etc. Most importantly, they had a playground for the kids.
We burned off energy at several playgrounds on our visit:
Once everyone had had a rest at the farm, some time on the slide, and a snack, we headed inside to stock up on “necessities” like olive bread, pesto, blackcurrant ice cream, meringues, and strawberries. Then we walked back through the incredibly cute town to our B&B. This street, Sydney tells me, is one of the main roads through town:
In the evening we took a walk along the “Goat Walk,” which skirts the wall on the left in the pictures below. The tide was out and the sky was clear, and there were other people out enjoying the sun on the benches. I have to say, it wouldn’t have occurred to me that such a narrow path would be such a social center, but we saw lots of people catching up while perched out there.
The town is both quirky and lovely, with lots of interesting (and narrow!) paths/roads. All of the buildings had a fresh coat of white paint. Below is the letter box into which I put my mom’s birthday card. We’ll see if it arrives.