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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Southend on Sea - and Carla's birthday dinner.


What a day. Carla, Tom, Suzanne, and I jumped in Carla's little red Rover and belted down the Motorway toward Southend on Sea, or to us Aussies, the beach. Saffend, as they call it in the UK, is like a giant amusement park along the beach. Roller coasters, amusement arcades, all sorts of rides, and lots of fun. It's also home to the words longest pier.

Adventure Island fun park.

We took this opportunity to visit the beach.

Sun, sand ,sea, and surf.
Well, there was a little bit of sun.

OK, it's not Cottesloe, or Scarborough, but it's wet and on a hot day you could go for a dip. I got  up to my ankles in water and realised how cold it was. There's no way I'd be going for a swim. 

Carla, Tom, and I in the swim.

Our time in an amusement arcade went quickly. I really wanted a Hello Kitty toy for Paige, but I didn't win anything. The birthday kids had fun as well.

Very competitive kids.

We then ate a very healthy lunch. Fish, with chips covered in cheese, washed down with a Coke. Not a piece of fruit or vegetable in sight.

Yum, but really bad for us.

We decided to work off some of the damage inflicted by lunch so we headed for the pier. We stopped for a quick game of chess (where I got thrashed) and then walked to the end of the pier. We caught the train back...there was no way we were walking both ways.

Tom giving me a lesson in chess.

Our leg saving train that we caught back to the shore.

Time was getting away from us and we had a restaurant booking for a double birthday party to get to. The mighty little Rover got us home through the peak hour traffic with no complaints. Three occupants of the car had a bit of a snooze on the way though. Luckily Carla wasn't one.

After a quick freshen up we hit a Greek restaurant in town and caught up with the rest of the gang for the night's festivities. We demolished a meal and a few (quite a few) bottles of wine before heading to a bar where they have Karaoke.

I'm not normally a big fan of Karaoke, but I've heard Carla sing before and she blew me away, so I was looking forward to it. She has a powerful voice and doesn't need to scream to get volume, and boy can she hold a tune. Fantastic.

Carla shows them how it's done.

She's really very good. Not good like your family and friends tell you you are, but good like she should be recording.

Carla's sister Jo in action, with some dodgy characters in the background.

The bar was a lot of fun with heaps of people in there with some good singers committing karaoke. The longer we stayed to further downhill it went. It all started out well, but copious amounts of drinks, doubles, and shots meant that by around two am everyone was very "tired". Suzanne, Barbara and I headed home and left he young ones to it. I think they finished up about five am.

 Tom, Carla, and LJ.

Jager shot anyone? Nooooooo! Not another one! 

 Mum and daughter chillin'.                  

It was a great night with lots of laughs and silliness with plenty of people. I think the kids had a very enjoyable birthday.

Happy Birthday Carla and Tom.

Where's Rex's Buff?

This is LJ. Rex, she looks even better in real life. Down boy.

Oh, OK, here's another shot of LJ.

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