One day I'm drinking hot chocolate and the next I'm on a beach! I may have been wearing a sweater and boots, but today I was standing on Brighton's pebbled beach soaking in the invisible summer. In front of me the waves of the English Channel swallowed the South Coast of Great Britain as I watched the seagulls fly above. I was with three other girls and we were basically the only ones on the beach because it was about 9 a.m. and I guess everyone else was still sleeping. 

But we wanted to make the most of the day so we had left our dorms at 7 a.m. to take the train down south. On the train we witnessed an angry British man and let me just say that even when they are angry the British seem to be polite. Let me explain. On the train there was a food and drink cart that went by much like the ones on airplanes. Well, a man only wanted a package of sugar, but the cart guy wouldn't give it to him for free. He said it would cost 40 pence. Unfortunately, the customer had just gotten back from America so he only had 20 pence. The man tried to bargain with the cart guy, but he wouldn't budge. So finally, the man gave up and sarcastically told the guy how generous he was. A couple minutes later, a lady who had bought something gave the man a sugar package. So all was well with the world.

At about 9 a.m. we arrived in Brighton and immediately headed to the beach by basically following the seagulls till we found water. The shoreline was beautiful and because it was early the beach was empty. For a while it was our own private beach. We took tons of pictures and videos as we walked along the shoreline feeling the cool breeze across our faces and listening to the waves crash. At one point we asked three guys who didn't really speak any English to take a group photo of us and we ended up seeing them again later on in the day. 

We made our way to the famous Brighton Pier, which had a mini amusement park at the end of it with rides and an arcade. Of course, we were too early so everything was closed, but we still walked all the way to the end of the pier. As we looked at all the rides, pop music was playing so we got a little groovy and danced on the pier. We saw a sign that said the rides opened at 11 a.m. so we decided to sit in the arcade and wait till the rides opened. As soon as the clock struck 11 a.m. we were out at the amusement park, but apparently in Brighton 11 a.m. doesn't really mean 11 a.m. because the rides were still closed. We decided not to waste anymore time and seek out another adventure.

As we came to the shore, we noticed a Ferris wheel that was actually operating. Quickly, we bought our tickets and were up in the air looking down at the Brighton skyline. This was really neat because inside the cart we got an audio tour that pointed out all the historical landmarks and told us stories of Brighton's history. I was more concerned about taking pictures the first time around so I missed some of the history, but I couldn't help it; the view was amazing.

Once back on land we walked toward the city for lunch. Before leaving London we had decided we wanted to ride a carousel on the beach. We found one on the pier but it was broken;however, we found one on the beach and quickly hopped on. This was my first time riding a carasouel in years. As we spun around and around I watched the English Channel appear and disappear. The whole ride the four of us were laughing at all the crazy looks we were getting. As we were riding we saw one of the guys who had taken our picture earlier so I waved at him each time the carousel went around. He was cracking up and so were we.

After we were done revisiting our childhood, we continued our search for food. We found this food festival in the middle of the town so we tried that for lunch. There were a lot of different ethnic foods to choose from, but I stuck with what I knew and had a chicken burrito. I did have freshly squeezed lemonade which was delicious. Our intention was to get food here and take it back to eat on the beach, but we were all so hungry we just found a patch of grass and had a picnic. After lunch, we went to a little bakery and had macaroons for dessert. 

On the train the ticket man had advised us to go shopping at the Lanes so as we made our way back to the beach we took a detour through the shopping area. 

Quirky independent shops spotted the Lanes and I found some unique souvenirs here. 

Did you know there is a Taj Mahal in Brighton? Well maybe not "the" Taj Mahal but a palace that looks like it from the outside. Before we went back to the beach, we stopped at the Royal Pavilion, which has an exotic appearance. It was built for the later King George IV between 1787 and 1823, according to the Royal Pavilion, Museums and Libraries website. (http://www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk/RoyalPavilion/Pages/home.aspx) 

Once back on the beach, we found some ice cream and just relaxed. The four of us all lay down with our bags around us and fell asleep listening to the people buzz about and the waves roll in. Kayla had slept only on one side of her face so when she woke up half of her face was sunburned. I never fully fell asleep so at one point I left the girls and walked down to the water to stick my feet in. The water was freezing, but I wanted to say I've been in the English Channel. Soon it was time to make our way back to the train station so we grabbed our bags and waved goodbye to the beach. 

When I signed up for London I never thought I would be going to a beach. Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the London Eye, yes, but not a beach. I'm so thankful I have been able to see and experience so many different places these past two weeks. I can't wait for the next two! 
 


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    I'm Kasi Dickerson. Journalism is my passion. I'm a big family person, love to travel and I laugh all the time.

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