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Published: June 20th 2017
Manchester airport security sucks❗️✈️✈️✈️😡
Ok. Got that out of my system
We spent the last three days in blackpool England visiting family. I used to visit here every 4-5 years but this is the first time back since Geneva was a baby. So Blackpool..... how does one succinctly capture the oddity that is Blackpool? It's a resort town and destination for "holiday makers", but mostly it attracts stag and hen parties, rowdy bar crowds or really old people wanting to visit the Blackpool Tower or walk along the famous promenade. We reckon it was a terribly exciting place to visit in the 1950s or so. Just about every attraction it has is dated and surpassed by more contemporary attractions in other places. It is chock-a-block with arcades, gambling machines, discount retailers, fish/chips and ice cream stores, amusement rides and the like. It has three piers, a rambling boardwalk, a family fun center featuring the Big One - the largest roller coaster in.... (wait for it)... Lancashire county! J/k, it actually is quite large and gut wrenching. Once a year, they feature the "Illuminations". Along the promenade (the road along the coast), there are miles of lights and suspended figures (imagine
the lifeless figures on a parade float) that lay dormant until that magical time of year when they... (wait for it)... turn the lights on! Thus, the "illuminations"! When the tide goes out you can walk out to sea for a very long way. My aunt tells me that people get stranded when the tide comes in wrapping the sea around the curious Looky-Lou's. There are more run-down and ailing hotels/guest rooms/B&B type facilities then can be counted. My dad's family moved back to Blackpool (after a stint in Ca) and operated one of these facilities when they were on the more glamorous side. We stayed at the Hilton which was ok by Blackpool standards but, like most things here, very dated. While it lacked air conditioning and other modern conveniences, it did come complete with trouser pressers and an egg timer! But alas, I paint a picture that is far too negative. Blackpool is exactly the kind of town that retains some of that lost English charm and is quaint and enjoyable in its own queer little way. Plus, my family lives here so don't make jokes!!!!
Speaking of family, let me see if I can break the
family tree down a little bit. My dad's mother, father, sister and half-brother (same mom) moved here leaving my dad in Ca with his then pregnant wife and unborn me. I visited twice as a youngster when the family had this composition. Shortly after, my grandparents split and both remarried. My grandmother's new husband didn't live too long. He was gone by the time I revisited in 1992. My grandfather remarried Margaret who had 5 children of her own from a previous marriage. All of this ruffled feathers in the family that, amongst other things, led to my aunt Gayna not having a relationship with my grandfather. My grandfather lived to 93 and died a few years ago. Despite family dramas, I do have a great relationship with this part of the family and enjoyed visiting my Grandma Margaret, Uncle Paul, Uncle Philip and Uncle Mike (well, ex-uncle due to divorce, but whose counting). My dad's sister Gayna and my Uncle Toni are alive and well and showed us a great time. They have a well kept 3-story flat with a fish pond in back and home brewing machines in the cellar. My dad's half-brother (my Uncle Colin) returned to
England after being deported from the US for a long and colorful prison career. I met him twice and generally liked him despite all the crazy stories and family dramas stemming from his antics. He had a certain charm to him. Sadly, he died a few years ago as well. He had two girls, Jade and Hannah, from different mothers. After being adopted at a young age, Jade managed to rediscover the Dagnall family and ultimately reunited with her dad, grandmother, aunt and uncle. Jade had 4 children including her wonderful two year old daughter Imogen (pics below). She is a strong and determined woman who has had to persevere through some pretty tough situations. My other cousin Hannah is much younger than Jade and unfortunately was unable to visit while we were here. So that covers it: we visited Aunt Gayna (dads sister) and Uncle Toni, my half-cousin Jade and her baby Imogen, my step Grandmother Margaret, two of her 5 kids and their partners (including one ex partner). There will be a quiz later...
We also spent a great day in Liverpool - the home of the Beatles. I'm a big Beatles fan. By coincidence, we visited
on Sir Paul McCartney's 75th birthday. HB Paul! We lunched on Abbey Road, admired the Yellow Submarine, snapped photos outside Cavern bar (their main bar back in the day) and strolled through the Beatles museum. Amazing they accomplished so much with less than a decade of recording and performances. The museum is a nice tribute. If you ever find yourself in northwest England, it's worth a visit.
Off to Paris! Bye for now.
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