It's been years since we've been to Blackpool. When the kids were little we used to enjoy our yearly trip up to see the illuminations but when they grew old enough to be completely embarrassed to be seen out with their parents we stopped going. We thought that to really appreciate the illuminations you needed to take little children to see their faces light up with awe and wonder as darkness fell and the illuminations were switched on.
I can still remember the thrill of a trip to Blackpool when I was a little girl sitting in the back of Dad's van, foot sore after walking the Golden Mile to the Pleasure Beach, tummy full after a special supper in our favourite cafe and excited to be allowed to stay up 'till it was dark and know that it would be way past bedtime before we arrived home.
The last time we all went to Blackpool was when Mum and Dad were staying out in a small hotel on he Queens Promenade, so it was especially poignant for us to start our day there and walk into town along the seaside prom.
I think that it is fair to say that Blackpool was devastated by this government's decision a few years ago not to allow them the 'Super Casino' as they had been planing for it as part of their regeneration programme. What the bloody politicians were thinking of by awarding it to Manchester god only knows. Blackpool would have been the perfect and most obvious choice. It has the space, the experience and it genuinely needed a commercial boost to the local economy. The days of Wakes Weeks when whole towns from Lancashire used to decamp to the seaside are long gone. Our tourism industry is having to reinvent itself to the needs of visitors in the 21st Century and a Super Casino in the resort would have brought in new investment.
That said, you can't fault the actions of the local council, they are investing heavily in a spanking new promenade and exceptionally fancy street lighting in the newly pedestrian areas behind the Tower but I'm convinced that the Super Casino would have made their task of regenerating what is admittedly in places, a rather run down town, a far easier task.
But when the sun is shining (which it did) and the sea is like a mill pond (which it was) there is nowhere finer than to stroll along to the Pleasure Beach, looking at the sights along the way.
Who needs Paris when you have have Blackpool Tower with its circus, ballroom and if you venture to the top, views of The Lake District
Where else can you find not just one but three piers?
and more trams than you can shake a stick at!