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Saturday, 29 October 2016

Howloween 2016

It has been too long since my last post.

My daughter has been away on a school trip, and come back.  She had a great time in Norfolk.  Needless to say, we missed her.  But one great thing about this was being able to spend time with my son.  And after some time where the kids have not been on their bikes that much, they are getting back on them again.

Anyway, we are back now.  We have been away to Chessington and as I type this, the kids are up in bed asleep.  My wife (in case you are unaware, she is amazing.) had booked a treat for them and for the third year, we went there to stay.  The first time we had been there was two years ago.  Then when we stayed, we were given a Fastpass and although we used it, the kids did not make the best use of it.  To be fair to them, they were tired and young and had not had to queue much, as when we had taken them to Legoland, we had always bought a pass that allowed us not to queue that much.  The following year, when staying, there was no such pass available for guests that I was able to find, and the kids got to experience the joys of the queue.  This year it was much the same, but arriving late, it meant that they stayed late in the park.  As before, they enjoyed the Black Bucaneer.  Food was better than on previous years, thanks to my wife insisting that we booked to eat at the Zafari Bar and Grill, which we had tried to eat at last year, but found it to be booked.  And after eating, the kids changed into halloween costumes, and we went back into the park.  This time, we did not get to go on that many rides, going on one called the Dragons Fury, the queue taking ages.  I screamed, apparently, and after this, we went to queue for another ride.  The park was open late and all the rides bar one closed at eight at night.  If you were in the queue for the ride, you got to ride on it.  Other than The Vampire.  That ride was open later and we were able to get into the queue for that before it closed.  And as we were amongst the last to get onto the ride, once our ride was over, they gave us a free ride.  Both children were ecstatic, more so my son, who had been annoyed that we had not returned to the hotel for the fancy dress competition that was being held there.

The following morning, this morning, we returned.  Being guests of the hotel, we gained early entry into the park, but this was only to limited areas.  The kids played in a treetop playground for a bit and then we went into the park.  I had dragged them out of the playground too early, but after a wait, were were through into the main park and rides.  The ride we decided to go on was the Cobra.  But, while the kids looked at the map to find the right way there, I told them they were wrong and almost got us lost.  So, when we got there, we thought that the ride would start without us.  But, we got on, and were able to enjoy the first ride that Cobra offered that day, and as the queue was short there, the second and later the fourth ride that if did.  After that, it was a trip to a bird enclosure where my daughter (and after she let me, me) fed some birds.  I got one to rest on my arm, but my daughter, who in the past has had an owl on her shoulder decided not to try this experience, instead feeding the bird.  We actually went in twice, the first time, one bird flew towards her, but we did not have any food with us then, returning afterwards with some nectar for them.

Then it was three trips on Dragon Falls, were the kids took great enjoyment in getting me to sit in the front so I would get soaked.  My daughter was tempted on the third go to sit in the front, but canoe 13 was not quite right, so she made me sit in the front instead.  My son tried his had with basketball, but we realised he needs to build up his strength, and we went on a shoot-em-up ride following which it was lunch, a go for my son to try and win another prize, and my daughter got to use a water gun and later had some chocolate covered strawberries.

Once my wife arrived, it was a trip home on the Road to Hell (the M25) upon which, as would be expected, there was traffic issues.  But we got home safe, changed and then were out for a party.  This was one aimed at children and adults which was a great way to almost end the day.  Once home it was to watch Strictly and then later Match of the Day.

It is amusing to watch the ManUre game as after Moaninho got sent off the advertising boards had a message originally intended for fans asking "Where are you watching the game?"  But it was more satisfying to see our result away against Sunderland.

Anyway, before I go to sleep, an update on the chess tournaments I have played in.
Speed King #152 - Very fast players 4(2)->2 U1500
Speed King #153 - Very fast players 5(1)->2 U1500
Top Of The Pops 20
1st Essex County Chess Group Championship
BIG TOURNAMENT / 1 VS 1 / 1300 - 1400
3rd Bat'leth Tournament Unofficial Knockout Tournament!
Top Of The Pops 21

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