A Day at the Beach

What a beautiful Bank Holiday Monday!
Last night was much better than the night before. Archie wasn't a possessed devil dog, it wasn't so cold and Mr K discovered that by shifting himself down the bed a couple of inches we could both bend our legs and move about a bit.
Much better!! I woke up after a decent night's sleep not stiff and aching, woohoo!!
Annoyingly I woke up at 6am needing the loo but it was lovely walking through the farm yard in the early morning sun with only the geese for company. It felt as if I was in Far from the Madding Crowd!!
After bacon sandwiches and dozens of cups of tea it was time to pack up. We're rubbish at packing up!
I had wanted to set off early to Studland Beach to make sure we could park but as we're so rubbish at packing up we didn't get away until after 11am - stopping at the camp shop to buy three tubs of beautiful grape hyacinths to remind me next year of our wonderful first camping trip!
It's only a few miles to Studland Beach but the cars were jammed all along the verges long before we got there, the car parks were closed and there was no hope of getting to the beach. We thought we'd try the car park further up the headland - because we're delusional - and got caught up in the line of traffic queuing for the Sandbanks ferry. Unable to turn around we just opened the doors and waited. 
I had planned to turn around when we got to the car park at the end of the road but as we queued I Googled beaches that Archie's allowed on and decided to go across on the ferry and head to Hengistbury Head.
The ferry was fun, the drive through some of the most expensive property in the world was envy inducing, the drive though Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch was easier than expected and the Little Misses were engrossed watching a film on the iPad and not whinging about how long it was taking to get to the beach which I'd said was ten minutes away. Perfect!!
As we approached the car park barrier at Hengistbury Head we realised we don't know exactly how tall Penny is. Hopefully below 2.2m!!!! I had to get out and guide Mr K through. There was an inch to spare!
The parking Gods were kind and as we drove round a VW campervan left right in front of us and we were parked. Finally at the beach!!
Ice creams first and then to the beach.
It was gorgeous! The Little Misses had fun on their body boards, Archie found himself a tennis ball and spent a good hour chasing it into the sea and bringing it back for more!
At one point it went out too far and he didn't go after it. He was so desperate to get it back that I selflessly waded into the freezing waist high water to retrieve it. When I turned back I was met by Archie valiantly doggy-paddling towards me with the air of a St Bernard rescue dog. I nearly cried!!! Mr K said he'd anxiously watched me set off into the waves and then launched himself into the water to swim out to me. There is nothing like a dog's love!!!!
Once we were all packed up we headed to the cafe for dinner before heading home. And more ice-creams obviously!! I had Luscious Lemon which I must say is probably the nicest ice cream I have ever had!
We had planned to come home via the New Forest and the M3 but traffic was stationary not far out of Christchurch so armed with my trusty atlas I directed Mr K cross country back to the road we came down on. It was so beautiful driving down all the lanes with the cow parsley and rapeseed and blue skies. 
We sailed through Salisbury which I had been dreading. Although we did have to stop for Miss L to go into the garage (bloody child!!) which took forever because, as we discovered too late on our way down, the last garage before the South Coast is in Salisbury and there were dozens of people waiting to use it. All on their way home from holiday!
But we made it home surprisingly quickly really. Three hours from beach to bed!
What a fabulous trip we've had. The first of many!

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