Since the kids and I jumped continents in 2005 we have been to just about every part of the UK. West Country; check. About 6 times, including day trips. Scotland; check, twice. Wales? yep. London? You betcha. Lake district- oh, yeah. Peak district- yes siree! The only place we hadnt been to, hadnt even really considered was Kent, the Southeast.
It was a beautiful day out, the kids were on their next to last day of spring break and D1 had a day off. So, we decided to head over to Kent and see the White Cliffs of Dover. We made this brilliant decision at 1:30 in the afternoon. By the time we got the kids dressed, packed the car up, made 2 pit stops and got through the initial 30 minutes of the journey that don’t count because it’s so familiar, it was 4:00. We finally arrived in Dover about 6:30 in the evening. The sun was still shining though.
Kent reminds me a lot of the West Country, rolling hills, green fields, quaint little villages that double as seedy summer towns during the tourist season. But Dover. I really liked Dover. It has it’s own seedy summer town vibe and we didn’t venture far into it, only stayed along the coast. But, I just loved the buildings and the odd juxtapositions and interesting vibe the selection of shops put out.
Rafe and I were the first to climb up to the top of the cliffs, there were large rabbits that bounded away from us, the views were excellent and we made a valiant effort to joyfully fly his Thomas kite with the sea stretching away below us and Dover castle standing behind us. I was already composing my inspiring, kite flying, tweet. Yet, the kite only made it about 2 feet in the air before doing a corkscrew and dive bombing back to the earth.
While I was wrestling to wind in the string and rescue the kite from the gales, Rafe decided he had to poop. Immediately. Being at the top of a cliff, with a closed visitor centre only minutes away, I did what I had to. I led him to a grove of trees and told him to squat. Four year olds do not “hold it.” I covered it up the best I could and decided it would be leverage against him in the future. (By kid #3 you just naturally start racking up all the things you can use against them when they grow up. Blackmail will ensure I do not get shoved into some old people’s home and forgotten about in 50 years, it gets the dishes done, too.)
We made our way up one of the coastal paths overlooking the ferry port with the sea wall built around it, a lighthouse situated at every opening, ships making their way in and out. Watching the endless queues of cars and lorries making their way out of Dover. On the other side of the path from the overlook was a field with about a dozen shaggy ponies in it. One came straight over to us, hoping we had food of course. Rafe gave him a pat and ooh’ed and awwed but the pony was more interested in trying to gnaw off the poor kids hand then make friends so we moved off along the path. At the end of the path, the cliff kind of went around to the left and the path trailed off. We were left with an amazing view of a sheer white cliff face and the beach below. I took the opportunity to take a picture of my daughter with the view behind her, the wind whipping her hair around.
The baby was sooooo cooold, so we made our way back to the car, headed to St. Margaret’s at Cliffe where we went down to the beach and got some more shots of the kids in front of the cliffs before the light went completely.
On the way home we stopped for chips in Folkestone, which looked brilliant and I hope to go back to, then we parked by the seafront, ate our chips and listened to the leaders debate on Radio 4. Gooo Cleggg, Gooo Cleggg!