Monday, 6 April 2009

A Grand Day Out 2

My Daughter Rachael and her boyfriend Chaz came to visit over the weekend. They had originally planned to go to Alton Towers but Chaz's car decided it didnt want to drive all the way to Staffordshire from Kent so Lady Elgar and Thorpe Park was the next best thing.

Saturday is never a good day to visit these places and the queue to enter the park alone took us an hour. Once inside they do have some excellent rides. Laura and myself were more than happy to wander around with Rachael and Chaz while they selected which thrills they were going to experience. The sun was out and it was lovely and warm.

Their first ride was on something called 'Rush' basically two huge swings. The queue for this was a mere 15 minutes

Their next choice was 'Colossus' a multi loop roller coaster. The down side for this ride was the 70 minute queue. Rachael and Chaz duly got into line and we toddled off for some refreshment and to sit on a grassy bank to soak up some rays.
We returned an hour later and they were still in the queue.

So far we had been in the park 3 hours and they had only been on two rides. Weekends really are not the best times to do these things.

I joined them on the River Rapids ride and we all got very wet.

With just a couple of hours left we managed to get on the 'Nemesis inferno' ride with just a 25 min queue. This is a hang in the air roller coaster with multiple inversions and a very good ride....I liked that one :)

The final ride was one called 'Stealth' There was no way i was going to ride as it climbed up to 205 ft. No way folks.

The ride starts off on the level and then accelerates to over 80mph before climbing 205 ft and then dropping again before coming to a halt.

They queued for an hour

Once of a day we were happy with just the Big Dipper at Blackpool. It seems there is no end to the extremes roller coasters can now take you to, providing of course you dont go during weekends or school holidays.

Cabin Conversions

The work in the Boatmans Cabin has finally been completed making it into our bedroom and converting our Cabin into Peanut's Nursery.

Our bed is now the full width of the cabin which then folds away during the day to allow access from the rear doors and to the storage cupboards underneath. or at least it would if the mattress wasnt too big!

Another cock up on my measuring skills meant I ordered a Mattress way too big and bulky. It my own fault for ordering it off t'internet instead of measuring one up in a shop. Never mind, it will do for a few weeks till I can order a new one suitable for use.

At least Peanuts Cabin is sorted and looking pretty good. All ready and waiting for the arrival day in July.

A Grand Day Out

We took a trip to Portsmouth in March as my birthday treat.

It had been quite a few years since I last visited, in fact it was well before the days of the Mary Rose being found and the only attraction in the Dockyard was HMS Victory so I was very keen to see the new Historic Dockyard Museum.

We arrived just in time to catch a boat trip around the Harbour as our starter and armed with video camera and still camera we were fortunate to see quite a few Warships including the 3 aircraft carriers.

HMS Victory is still for me one of those great ships that justs lets my imagination run away with itself. A period of history I particularly enjoy.

Since my last visit they have opened up more of the ship. Originally the lowest part you could visit was the Orlop Deck, but they now allow access to the Ships Hold which is a vast cavernous area in the very Bowell's of Victory.

I remember when they recovered Henry VIII ship Mary Rose from the depths of the Solent but didnt realise how much of the ship had actually been recovered.
On the television pics of the day it just looked like a few timbers but in actual fact, its almost the majority of the Starboard side complete with rudder. The remains are housed in a special climate controlled building and is constantly sprayed with preserving chemicals and wax so you actually view the ship from behind a wall of perspex. It takes a few minutes to get used to the light but it is a fantastic display and well worth the entrance fee alone.

Time was running out and we ended our tour by visiting Queen Victoria's first Iron Hulled Battleship HMS Warrior

The best part of this ship, not just its size but the fact you can wander its decks unescorted and can get into alsorts of nooks and crannies and have a really good explore.

Our final attraction of the day was a visit the Spinnaker Tower which dominates Portsmouth's skyline.

This Tower rises 170 metre's above the Harbour. Encased in glass on three walls with three levels and a Glass section of floor on the lower level.
Laura nor I have very good heads for heights but we were very brave and we managed to get our backs to the solid wall on the first level not daring to go anywhere near the glass walls or the glass floor.

I then got extreamly brave and got my video camera out and began to shuffle slowly around the deck looking only through the viewfinder so that i didnt have to actually look out of the windows for real. I was shaking like an idiot and so we dashed back to the lift back to the safety of terra firma. Coming back down in the lift Laura was laughing at me because the sweat was pooring down my face....Vertigo, it sounds so silly but its horrible.

We had a quick beer in the bar below and I checked out the video camera to see what sights I had managed to record while up the tower.

It appears all I had managed to capture was our feet climbing the stairs to the lift. In my fear I had forgotten to press record, so when I thought i pressed pause to end the recording I had only then just presses record so no video at all of us being brave in the tower of death. Doh!!

We ended the day back at the Swan and Bottle for a slap up meal.