I am like a broken record, but this year more than any other I feel the boys growing up.
Changing into young men, even Joe the baby of the family, who was 11 at the weekend. It’s when you are buying giant birthday balloons and they cost double because you are buying 2 that it really hits you.
Of course there are so many upsides. They are so much easier to travel with, eat out with. They sleep forever, some days that’s great, in fact most days. Unless you need to be somewhere then arghh it becomes a pain.
Another huge bonus is the end of birthday parties. When they were little I loved parties, used to make a huge effort every year to make sure their parties were amazing and days to remember. But the older they get and the more they want to do go carting and paint balling, the less I have loved it. All those hyper kids arghhh!
So when Joe announced he wanted to take his best friend Fin to Blackpool Pleasure Beach instead of a party, I did a little jig. Instead of running around frenzied 10 and 11 year olds we were off for a fun family day out.
Autumn is the perfect time to visit
Blackpool Pleasure Beach feels so much more chilled at this time of year. There are rarely queues longer than a couple of minutes, the weather is generally warm enough to enjoy your day but not get too hot. And if you want to stay on, you can watch the illuminations.
Jack had a football match so missed out on the day. I was a little sad but in hindsight it made it a little easier as Joe is not a huge fan of the bigger rides. He much prefers rides such a Wallace and Gromit, the Royal Airforce Ride and some of the bigger rides on Nickelodeon Land and roller coasters.
After Fins first ride on the Ice Blast in which he nearly had a heart attack and I felt awful for traumatising a child! He decided rollers coasters were not for him. Joe had sat the Ice Blast out, not being one for drops. Fin also decided to sit a few out, roller coasters aren’t for everyone! But do you know what thats fine. He and Joe had a fab day choosing rides and loved the log flumes. The beauty of Blackpool Pleasure Beach is that there is something for everyone, and enough to fill your day and give you value for money no matter what type of ride you prefer.
Usually they take turns to choose a ride and Chris and I take turns riding with them so its fair. We always enjoy day like this. It is how we have adapted to the 5-year age gap and difference in expectations the boys have when it comes to theme parks.
But Sunday was all about Joe and he loved that.
He and Fin got to plan their own park route. This of course included snack breaks strategically planned near donut stands. Taking an easier pace meant getting to do some of classic rides such as the ghost train and Alice in Wonderland. Rides I had not been on since I was a child.
It’s incredible to think some the rides have been there since the 50s and yet are still firm favourites. I love the way Blackpool mixes in the new and vintage. Embracing their heritage with newer cutting edge rides. It gives a real mix and means everyone has a favourite.
And you can’t visit Blackpool without visiting the penny slots and a walk on the beach with chips. Which turned out to be quite eventful. I will save that for another day.
Having children is all about days like this!
When you abandon the diet and eat donuts and chips. Ride rides until you scream with fear or joy or both. And watch their happy faces enjoying the very things that made you so excited as a child you got butterflies. As I watched Joe and Fin having the time of their lives, it made me smile. Watching them feeling brave and excited was glorious and it made the day all the more special.