Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Brighton: without the "B," it's right on!

Yes... that's a cheer from Brighton High School taught to me by my favorite cheer alumna Ms. Amy Rae Stokes.

But this is a post about Brighton, England. Home of dear Ms. Suzanne Milne, pictured above with Janiece and below with me. Suzanne moved to England to be a traveling nurse, and provided a nice, warm, clean, and very entertaining place for us to crash (literally on top of the crashing waves of a sometimes angry, sometimes picturesque ocean). Plus she hung out with us all over London and Brighton. While it's been kind of a lonely new existence for Suzanne, I must say, she lives in a pretty fine town!

First stop: Brighton Pier. This super kitschy old-school pier reminded me of a much cleaner, classier, and excitedly more British Coney Island.

This is the spot where the famous old carousel runs, but it was totally packaged up for the winter.

We didn't stop in the casino or play Guitar Hero or win an Ipod, but we did wander around the old rickety pier and took in great views of the city.
We also didn't jump off the pier, thanks to the many signs warning us of the danger. We also stopped to check out the artists in the stalls along the beach and made friends with the sweetest photographer. His business goal is to take pictures of happy places. He gave us some copies of his prints.

We wandered around the Lanes--some great shopping to be had in Brighton, I must say! Gourmet chocolate, Cath Kidston, Laura Ashley, and many, many, many very cool jewelry shops. Then we headed to the Royal Pavillion. What a beautiful monstrosity, this showcase of Orientalism mixed with royal playground!I loved the lines and points and arches set against the sun. That sun! There IS sun in Brighton in the winter! It may be cold, but there IS sun!

We learned all about George, Prince Regent at the turn of the 19th century, and the way he created this pleasure palace. I enjoyed hearing about all the different iterations of the building up until the time of Victoria. I loved the flamboyant taste and exotic splendor. It's all so self-contained. Victoria hated the place because she could barely see the ocean from its windows. It's true. You'd think in such a location you could capitalize on the beach. Not here, my friends. It's all what goes on within these walls, stays within these walls.

Great tour. Great shopping. Great town. Yeah, it's pretty right on.


Julie said...

so pretty i must make a trip sometime.

Lael said...

Isn't that where people go to "take the cure" in Austin novels? Or is that Bath?

JJ said...

I so wish I could have gone with you...it looks lovely!