High Summer – My Amazing Summer, Part One

Hello Friends!

I hope you’re well and have enjoyed your Summer… It feels like I’ve been away from you all for quite a while now, so it’s about time I updated you on my most recent adventures.

But before I do, I should warn you, this is going to be a biggy, so with that, I’m breaking with tradition. This time, I’m going to tell you all about my summer, but in two parts. As you know, I usually write about my month, where I’ve been, who I’ve seen, and what I’ve been up to, but I’m going to break it down a little, as one of my experiences deserves a posting all of its own, so I’ll come to that in Part Two… but this, this is Part One of my Amazing Summer.

So, going back to where I last left you…

Work completed on the latest series of All Star Mr & Mrs (currently appearing on a TV near you on Wednesday nights at 8pm on ITV – do tune in, its brilliant fun) so we celebrated our hard work with a few drinks and a bit of bop. Nearly everyone on the team was able to make it out, and we had a brilliant night… quite a few people (mentioning no names!) didn’t make it into work the following day – that’s how good it was!

A few nights later, somehow I had been talked in to going to a Speed Dating evening with Debs. She can be very persuasive when she needs, so with some trepidation, we went along… Now Speed Dating isn’t really my thing, but as you know I’m usually happy to try new events and activities, sadly this was a total wash out. The location was changed at the last-minute and only 5 guys turned up. Not too bad until you realise there were 8 women. What made it worse was the fact that tables were really close together, and in some cases there were two women to a table, so when you had a ‘date’ with one guy, another lady played gooseberry right there next to you! All the guys were very jolly, but no-one took my fancy… Thankfully the evening wasn’t a total bust, as a last-minute invite to join my friend Johnny at Shoreditch House rescued the evening. I had one too many cocktails and ended up getting the night bus home… and I’m rather embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t too well the following day either. In fact I didn’t make it into work until midday. Ooops!

Once I’d recovered from that, Deborah and I went to see my old mate Michael Ball in Sweeney Todd the Musical at the Adelphi Theatre. It was a spectacular show, with all the blood and gore you’d expect, and of course Michael was amazing! So pleased we got to see it during its limited run.

Sweeney Todd at The Adelphi Theatre

Then I spent a few days getting ready for my amazing holiday. A Mani / Pedi at So Fabulous, Hair by Mathew Soobroy at Charles Worthington, fake tan with Fake Bake 60, and a couple of final training sessions with Roger Frampton of Re-Model-Me to make sure I was as bikini ready as possible as I was off to the USA for a month.

Starting my vacation (when in America use American words) in sunny California with my family, I had two wonderful weeks at my Brother’s house. We managed to fit quite a bit in too!

JaLynn, Tabatha and I went to an evening art class at Purple Easel, where we were able to take a bottle of wine and some nibbles to enjoy whilst following instruction from their experts and learning to paint a picture. We all came away with very different pieces, having had a brilliantly giggly girls night out. And yes, mine will shortly be going up in my kitchen.

Wine whilst painting...

Enjoying a glass whilst painting bottles…

The following night, we were invited to a friends annual ‘Redneck Roundup’ in fancy dress of course. Beer, car crushing, a mechanical bull and a good ol’ country band played us through the night. A hugely entertaining evening… You’ll have to trust me when I tell you that I did go on the mechanical bull, and there is video to prove it, but it’s so dark you can’t actually see anything until I get up off the floor having been thrown off… but I promise if I find a way to lighten the image at all, I’ll post it up here, as I think I actually did rather well – even if I do say so myself!

I was thrilled to be able to babysit my nieces and nephew for a long weekend while Clive and JaLynn took a few days away to celebrate their 10th Wedding Anniversary. The girls and I swam in the pool, made paper flowers, had a kick about in the park, went to see Ice Age 4, did a bit of shopping, a bit more swimming, a few more crafts, watched The Lorax, ate lots of totally inappropriate but Aunty-allowed-as-it-was-a-special-occasion food and read bedtime stories… and that was just on the Saturday! I love being an Aunty!

Charley & Devon – the best nieces in the world…

Finally before leaving California, us grown ups had a day out – off to ride some roller-coasters at Knotts Berry Farm. Now, not being as much of an adrenalin junkie as my Brother, I was a little nervous, especially when he practically insisted on sitting right at the front of every ride, but after a few screams of terror, I got the adrenalin bug too, and was very happy to get to the front myself. We rode every coaster at least once, some a couple of times, and screamed and laughed ourselves silly. Next time we’ll go to Six Flags Magic Mountain!

Then it was sadly time to leave the family, and fly across to Florida for more adventures, first spending a day at Discovery Cove in Orlando, enjoying an underwater adventure and a Dolphin interaction.

Discovery Cove is a wonderful day resort where everything is provided from the moment you arrive. You literally just bring yourself and your swimsuit. Breakfast, snacks, lunch, drinks, suntan lotion, snorkels, towels, everything is there. On arrival you book in for the adventures you have planned and paid for, and get time slots allocated. I started off with the Underwater Adventure, where you have a massive diving helmet lowered onto your shoulders before descending into the lagoon so see all the fish, sharks and other sea creatures on an underwater walk. You even get to hold a sea anemone and a starfish. If you’ve ever been scuba-diving it might be a little disappointing, but for those that haven’t or would like to, it’s a great way to start.

An Underwater Adventure

After that, it was time to swim with the Dolphins. We were broken up into groups of 8-10 people, and introduced to two dolphins per group. The instructors do various demonstrations with these amazing creatures, and they swim past so that you can touch and stroke them. Then comes the bit most people are waiting for. Swimming. It’s actually more of a 15 second pull, but still awesome. You swim out into the deeper water before the dolphin comes up along side you. You’re then instructed to hold onto the dorsal and fin before you’re pulled along for a short while. Of course it’s over way too fast, but you get a great picture to prove you’ve been there… and here I am with Thelma. Isn’t she beautiful?

Thelma the Dolphin

Driving back to Tampa after a day like that really set me up for the week to come. The Retreat – or Five Days Of Summer – Part Two of my Amazing Summer

~ by BlobbyJogger on 3 October, 2012.

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