Or, welcome to Clacton. One of the 'big three' - Walton-on-the-Naze, Frinton-on-sea and Clacton-on-sea - of C's youth, the promise of the hottest day of the year so far meant a trip to the seaside on Thursday, to meet up with C's sister and her partner, and the GG's littlest cousin.
We sat in the shade of the pier, the cousins splashing in and out of the water quite happily while the grown ups chatted and occasionally popped out to glow recklessly in the heat for a while. The GG was clearly channeling Marilyn Monroe, in a polka dot one piece swimsuit, and blonder-than-usual hair!
I've never been to Las Vegas, but surely it can't be any better than Clacton's penny (okay, 2p and 10p) arcades? I'm sure I would have exactly the same feeling there as here; that I might just as well empty my money straight into a large bag marked 'loot' in the owner's private office, whilst he sits there shaking his head in disbelief and occasionally wiping a tear from the corner of his eye as he chuckles uncontrollably...
The architecture on the road leading down to the pier has that slightly faded, wrought-iron balconied look that I imagine New Orleans might have. It reminded me of places I've seen in other coastal towns round Britain, as well as in South Africa and Disneyland! No-one actually sits on them, it seems - perhaps the iron is now a little over-wrought for comfort and safety, and the balconies are just for show these days?
Walking under the pier was strange and other worldly, all shadows and light, splashes and echoes.
On top of the pier, mostly light and very few shadows - including these three, who just followed us around everywhere!
A proper seaside day out, then. I had a giggle with the in-laws, the girl ate cockles, we three had chips, everyone got their feet wet, at least, and we discovered sand in unmentionable places when we got home. Perfect!