Last year we had a lovely week in Northumberland - I've already made some pages about our exploits at Alnwick Gardens, Go Ape (plus this one) and Hadrian's Wall. During the planning stages, Child No.3 was taking a rather more active interest than normal - because she was allowed to bring along a friend! This was a first for us, as three kids are normally quite enough to have on holiday, but as No.1 Son would only be with us for part of the week and Child No.3's friend would shortly be emigrating, it seemed like the right thing to do. No.2 Son declined the opportunity to be embarrassed by his parents in front of a buddy and would happily have stayed home alone if we'd let him! So that left us with a search for self-catering accommodation to sleep 6 people in 3, preferably 4, bedrooms.
We discussed everyone's likes and dislikes, where they wanted to go and what they wanted to see; we researched tourist attractions, pored over the map and Googled places to stay. One cottage I had up on the computer screen was just yards from the beach and both Child No.3 & I rather liked it - we had visions of being able to spend lazy afternoons eating ice-creams on the beach, after mornings spent exploring Roman ruins and castle battlements.
However I later discovered that it wasn't available to rent when we were able to go ... and instead booked a super place near Hexham which was well placed for Northumberland's attractions and it had a hot tub! Trouble was that Child No.3 didn't really take in that it was a different cottage and was busy assuring her friend that the beach was in walking distance of the back door! Ooops! The nearest beach was 30 miles away on the other side of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and therefore a good hour's drive each way. Ooops indeed! We didn't let Child No.3 down completely though; towards the end of our week we managed a picnic at a beautiful, if windswept, beach. The two girls were happy to be in their swimming costumes with sand beneath their toes, but not quite brave enough to go swimming in the ice-cold sea.
However, there were other members of our group who don't particularly like a beach ... or sunbathing ... or picking sand out of sandwiches! It just goes to show: you can only please some of the people some of the time!
This story has been posted in conjunction with Siân's Storytelling Sundays. Pop here for more tales!