Following on from the last post, on Wednesday, we made one last trip to our beloved cafe/play area in the garden centre. I would quite happily move in there 🙂 Afterwards, I took the girls horse riding 🙂 They had only briefly been on a pony at Streamvale farm when they were tiny but they loved it. I had to lead one of the horses for them on the forty minute trek and I’ve never been so covered in mud in my life before 😀 Next time I’d definitely like to get a horse too because I used to do horse riding a bit when I was little and loved it. One of the girls got a pony called Mabel and the other was called Mervyn. They were really slow and gentle. At the end, they got to trot around a barn and to practise steering 🙂 The farm dogs followed us all on the walk which I thought was cute 🙂
When we got back, we had tea and a bun in the back garden. Pumpkin the kitten visited again and she got onto the table and tried to eat my bun. She contented herself with some crumbs but I’ve never seen a cat so determined to steal a snack before 🙂 I just cooked in the place we were staying in and the girls had a rest after horse riding, or as close to a rest as they have 🙂
The next day, we went to Whiterocks beach in Portrush. The sea was wild and there were so many surfers there 🙂 I loved watching them and it made me want to try it. I think the girls would have happily joined in too. The girls made sandcastle people with seaweed hair and I wrote a little bit on a rock 🙂 It was really peaceful and it wasn’t busy on the actual beach 🙂 We walked along the shore afterwards and the girls paddled in the sea. They never seem to think it’s too cold for paddling. They loved running away from the waves and it distracted them from the length of the walk. We ended up walking to the East Strand beach in Portrush 🙂 By the time we got there, the girls were exhausted, so we got some donuts/ice cream and they sat down before discovering another playground. They miraculously found their energy again and took off to play. There were complaints on the walk back to the car, but paddling in the sea seemed to offset them.
That night, we went out for dinner to a hotel in Ballycastle and we got to sit at the window and had a sea view while we ate. The burgers were good there, and apparently seafood chowder is a big thing there too. We went for a walk along the seafront after dinner and saw all the pretty lights. My daughter did her usual inspection of something I told her not to touch and discovered it was a shower for swimmers when she turned it on and soaked half of herself 😀 It doesn’t seem to have put her off doing her own thing though 🙂
On our last day, after we checked out, we went back to Ballycastle and the girls played in the playground. We went for a walk along the beach. The waves were huge and we all just watched and listened to them for a while; there was something hypnotic about it. We went to a little beach hut cafe with a fire in it and got some coffee/treats. I realise as I’m writing this just how much my life centres around coffee stops 🙂 They had really nice mint chocolate squares and the atmosphere was really peaceful.
We drove along the coast on the way home and thanks to a friend’s suggestion, we stopped in Cushendun. We had a picnic at the beach and the girls played in the playground there too. Then we walked into the village and went to see the caves. The girls had never been in a cave before and they loved the novelty of it. They searched for bears hiding in them 🙂 The scenery was beautiful and I had to take lots of pictures of it. The girls liked playing on the pebbly beach too 🙂 Afterwards, the girls asked to stop and see the ducks on the way back. They had all gathered to eat lettuce. I didn’t know ducks ate lettuce but someone had torn up loads of it for them. The girls had a final play on the beach and then we walked back to the car.
Our last stop was in Cushendall. I got a coffee and the girls got some ice-cream. I loved how quaint all the little shops in the village looked. We explored as much as the girls feet allowed us to and found a place called Cottage Wood. We walked through the little forest and the girls were delighted to find yet another playground in it 🙂 We drove the rest of the coastal route home and the views were amazing 😊