Monday, July 07, 2014

A Roaring Weekend

Damn, the weekend is already over ... I'm still struggling a little with anxiety. IT hit me this morning when I woke up. I have no idea what is causing it. Just that overwhelming sense of Life and all it involves.

Anyway, the weekend was still good :) On Friday we did nothing, got take-out pizza and stayed in. Best. We watched Non-Stop. I thought it was gonna be yet another Liam Neeson o_0 In fact my first question to The Trucker was "does he have a daughter?" (he does, but she's dead). It wasn't bad. Haha, in fact The Trucker could not even predict whodunnit ... it kept twisting and turning in on itself. So yeah. Worth it purely from that perspective anyway :)

Oh, and I forgot to mention that last weekend we watched Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel. Now, if you remember the last time I tried to make The Trucker watch a Wes Anderson ... they all (his sister & niece were with us) left before it had finished and I ended up watching it by myself. This time he made it thru the whole thing. Again, I love the style :) So if you enjoy them, definitely get your hands on this one!

On Saturday morning we had to skip Puppy Training because I had booked us 9am tickets to the Days of the Dinosuar exhibit. Unfortunately when I booked our tickets (R140 for adults, R95 for kids), Pepper and her training weren't even a twinkle ...

So we were up and off to Sandton Convention Center by 9am. Okay so I was super excited when I booked our tickets ... even tho I figured it'd be more for kiddies than adults. But who says the people with kids should have all the fun. I am fascinated by dinosaurs so I bought tickets for The Trucker and I. We did invite his niece along with us, but being smack bang in the middle of school holidays, she was going to be staying at her gran, so it was just us.

I think The Trucker could've happily skipped it and I won't lie, it is geared to kids (that said there was an old couple taking photos of themselves with *every* dinosaur :) ). But it is still interesting ... although there was a lot that left it as less than earth-shattering for me. When we arrived there was no queue (but shewee by the time we left it was up and down the escalator!). I gather the weekend tickets are sold out, and it does seem like they have sold far more than they should've to keep it a pleasant experience o_0

I love the new way of ticketing exhibitions they have been using since Body Worlds ... it worked wonderfully there and at Da Vinci. Staggering everyone so that everyone could enjoy their time. But it definitely didn't feel like they'd bothered staggering anyone here at all. Even tho we had bought specifically timed tickets, they didn't even seem to look at that when we arrived (perhaps they did and they really did just sell more than they should've?).

As you walk in, there seem to be some strange tables run by Wits, which had men in white coats talking to whoever would listen ... but the tables were arranged strangely (they were hard to get up close to and the text was in opposite directions ...). I can't imagine many people with kids bothered with these. And there was a LOT of small text around. Each Dinosaur inside the exhibit only had a single A3 sheet, with an English & Afrikaans blurb written on it. I very much doubt any of the kids got much benefit from these. Maybe they were all listening to the Audio Guides (R35 each, not sure what language options were offered) instead?

And then there were the dinosaurs themselves! One skeleton and many, many animatronic models, and don't forget the Jurassic Park sounds! Which were pretty cool. Aside from the fact that some seemed to be closer to life size than others. Which I found very confusing, since they'd put two different scale dinos next to one another. Which is just confusing, since unless you're reading their blurb, you are interpreting visually very differently from how you should be ... So, I wish they'd stuck to some kind of standard thruout, for fair comparison purposes (maybe they did, but it certainly didn't seem that way to me).

That and the lighting were my only real complaints. The lighting was horrible. I get that they're trying to hide the un-realism of the fake dinos, but still ... The movements were pretty random. And I was fascinated by the variety of tails.

All in all pretty awesome. But I didn't come away feeling like I'd learned much ... just looked around in awe at these creatures.

When you leave the exhibition, you arrive in Merchandising Hell. A Nightmare for anyone there with their kids, I imagine! It must have cost an additional small fortune. And the queue for the photo with the dinosaur (R50) was looooong.

Oh, but there is a very odd 3D movie you can go watch for free. Seriously who writes these things? (It reminded us of the shocking "simulated dive" in Bermuda) It was very little about dinosaurs and the only part I found remotely interesting was the perspective of time right at the very end.

So yeah, it's fun, but probably only worth going if you have kiddies ... and if you can go during the week, when hopefully there are fewer people crowding around each exhibit!

After that, we decided to pop in at The Collective, since it's now on a Saturday at a new venue (across the road from the old one). Meh, I much prefered it's roof top venue. Now it is in a basement? But the food trucks were cool ... even tho we didn't eat anything.

And then it was home. We had a lazy afternoon until we received a surprise invite for a late lunch at Hogshead. Shew, I'd never been there before, but they have an impressive array of burgers!

I got home and had a long bath and spent the rest of the evening reading my book :) Just what I needed! In fact I definitely need more of this :)

On Sunday we headed to breakfast at The Culinary Table with @Sascha_with_a_C. Yum, but they have changed their menu a bit ... so it wasn't as good as we remembered. Still, such a great little spot :)

And then there was grocery shopping and The Trucker playing cricket *all* afternoon. I took Pepper for 2 walks ... short ones and for exploratory purposes more than exercise, which is apparently what they are supposed to be these days, till she is a bit older.

And then The Trucker came home and made dinner and that was the weekend. Shew.

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