King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Monday, November 30

Definitely Devonly.

As you all know, last week saw us heading southbound from Bristol Airport after picking up TDT, and heading to the land of the retiree and Basil Fawlty, Torbay. On the way however, we had to pay a visit to the land of the cheese (no, not Holland, or my underwear), Cheddar.

*sigh* oh how times have changed. I remember visiting here in the early 80s with caravan in tow, and going to the caves. I remember a handful of normal countryside shops, and that was about it. Well, times have changed, and not for the better. This place is best described by picking up a dictionary in the US, and looking up "England." It's all tearooms, tudor style pubs doing real "home cooked food," a few cheese shops (one is called the Real Cheddar factory, the other is called the Original Cheddar factory), and even a couple of fudge shops. Fat 50+ yanks can be seen walking around, calling everything "quaint" and asking where the thatched cottages are. It's a nightmare.
Then we headed down the M5, to the seaside resort of Torquay, arriving just after lunchtime. The hotel wanted to charge us £10 just to check in an hour early, so we did the sensible thing and went and found a pub. Fed and watered we took advantage of the entertainment that Paignton affords us and went bowling.

A good half hour was spent throwing balls around (no comment) and then with the luck of the Irish, returning to the car found a traffic nazi standing next to it. Checking the time, it was 4:15. My pay and display ticket had ran out at 4:14. Apparently they have to observe the car for 3 minutes beforehand, so we got let off. But how astute was the Bastard warden?
We then moved the car up the road to the promenade to have more fun. Namely the beach, and more importantly the mini golf ("the Pirate's adventure golf"). Even though the sun was sinking over the horizon, it was delightfully warm and we spent nearly 2 hours playing golf where both John and I scored a hole in one (TDT didn't. *snerk*).

The main thing was we had fun. Both John and TDT really get on so well together, and we all had a whale of a time. John was in his element, TDT was swearing because she kept missing (!) and I was just happy to see all three of us so relaxed together.
I could post hundreds of photos on here, but it's not a 70's slideshow, so I'll save you the pain. Even though it was only one night away, it was invaluable. One thing I would like to say about Torquay is if you plan to go out of season, be prepared to be stunned. I've been a few times before, but always in the summer. In November it's dead. Hardly anything is open, and we spent nearly 2 hours trying to get something small to eat that meant we could also sit down and enjoy it. We ended up getting a Subway, and eating it back in the hotel. John was knackered, and to be honest so was I (Tania seems to have a limitless supply of energy. I think she's nuclear powered) and so we wouldn't have been able to do much else that late anyway. The next day we checked out at a leisurely 11:50am, and paid a visit to Cribbs Causeway on the way home. I like to do something different, and that was just what the doctor ordered. And to do it with the best two people in the world, what could be better?