Monday, 15 April 2013

A small boy meets his idols!

What a fabulous weekend!
Our little family hopped in the car on Saturday morning and headed up to Birmingham to see Walking With Dinosaurs LIVE! at the NIA. (If you haven't seen it there are still a few tour dates left in the UK before it heads off to another country again for a few years, you can find details here

They were ready to go for hours!
 Now the Elder one was lucky enough to see this show the last time it was over here a few years ago with Nanny and Grandad. A fact that our dino mad smaller one was extremely jealous about. So when I heard that it was finally back in this country I had to book tickets straight away! Last October!

For those of you that haven't heard about this fabulous show it is the TV series made LIVE! They created dinosaurs costing over $10 million dollars for it and I have to say that they are fantastic! I have always wondered quite what life size meant when it came to dinosaurs as facts and figures are all very well but I haven't a clue how big things actually are! Well now I know!

The trip up to Birmingham was fairly uneventful if a little excitable and went without a hitch despite the sat nav deciding it wasn't actually going to talk to us! This meant that I had to man the instructions while trying to find the hotel. A Premier Inn. Yes, we did end up phoning them and asking for directions and yes we turned around and there it was! HaHa!

So, we arrived at the hotel and after half an hour headed out to find some food before the show. The weather could have been better, it was absolutely throwing it down with rain but we were all far too excited to notice at this point. We had a great dinner at the Gourmet Burger restaurant (Yum) and then it was off to the NIA (National Indoor Arena).

At this point we were half an hour early (before the doors opened) and when we got to the NIA itself confusion set in! I don't know whether you have been there but it is a large hexagonal building with huge doors on all sides. When we finally got out of the carpark and made it up to the arena entrances we didn't have a clue where to wait! Remember that it is still really, really raining! So, we walk ALL the way round this big building reading the signs on all of the doors. Each one seems to be for the various seating blocks. (we were in block 10). Mr CL thinks we need to wait by the door for our block, I'm not convinced so we head off round to find a 'Main entrance' which apparently doesn't exist. So off we go back round again and wait by the Block 10 doors. We wait, and we wait (still raining) and eventually others wander up as confused as we are and in a totally British way start lining up behind us.

So, 6pm approaches and we all eagerly await the doors to open so that we can pile in. At shortly after 6 a door supervisor appears and points us around the building! So yes, we have been waiting for half an hour (in the rain) at the wrong door and our lead is now defunct! So off we all march back round the huge building again to the Box Office doors. (Because that's obviously where you are supposed to go in isn't it, or is it just me that thinks the box office is just for tickets?) But never mind, we finally going in.

Well, after months (years really) of waiting we are finally in our seats. Surprisingly good ones actually, we are only 7 rows from the front! Still over half an hour to go though and for a small boy of 5 this is AN AGE! Luckily we purchased them light up, whizzy torches (oh the joy) at the gift shop so those keep them occupied. And then, it starts!

I shall note here that MR CL is on one end with the small boy next to him, then the elder one, then me. I can't wait to see their faces although the elder one has seen this before and is 11 so tries very hard not to look interested in anything.

So, the explorer is talking and we get a first look at some dinosaurs. To start with it is some tiny baby ones hatching out of eggs and then, one races into the middle of the arena.


I look over at the small boy to see him avidly watching one of the huge TV screens that are up on either side of the Arena. I catch his attention and point to the dinosaur in front of him! Oh! His face! The wonderment is obvious followed by (in a small voice) "I don't want it to come over here!".

So, the show continues and we see Plateosaurus, and Stegosaurus.

At around this point I look over at the small boy and see him avidly in conversation with his daddy. Looks to me like he is giving a dinosaur lesson! (The small boy, not Mr CL). He is waving his hands about and telling his daddy some fascinating dinosaur facts by the looks of it! The Brachiosaurus are my favourite so far! There are two, a juvenile and an adult. They are massive!


We see lots more dinosaurs until the intermission when we decide to swap seats so that I get the dino expert next to me for the second half.

We see two Torosaurus fighting, three Utahraptors and a flying Ornithocheirus and then the bit we were all waiting for... Tyrannosaurus Rex!

Now at this point the small boy is a bit scared! I don't blame him as it was very big and very loud! It turns and looks right at him! He burrows into my side and says " I'm not scared! I just can't look at it right now!"
And it's done, and he stands up and shouts! "THAT WAS AMMMMAZING! I will never forget this!"

So the four of us head back to the hotel where two excitable boys eventually fall asleep and we both stay awake due to the noise of a nightclub close by. (And a very uncomfortable bed) But wait, I hear you say, doesn't Premier Inn have a guaranteed good night sleep policy? Well, yes apparently they do but me being me totally chickened out at telling them I barely slept a wink. Doh!

So we are home now and what a short but fabulous weekend we had. And like my small boy I will also NEVER forget seeing those dinosaurs.
If you love dinosaurs or know someone that does please check out the website as there are only a few more tour dates left in the UK and who knows when it will return.

So, that's what I did this weekend. What did you do?

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