Sunday, August 31, 2008

First Circus at Age 41 -- Does that make the record books?

Wow -- that's all I can say after a two-hour experience at the Greatest Show On Earth!

I thought I was being smart when I told Scott we should try to get there at least 30 minutes early. Who knew that being 30 to 40 minutes before show time was actually being late because we only caught the very end of the "pre show" where you could be down on the main floor and see some performers up close.

Of course, despite having taken Provigil, I stood at the top of the stairs down to the performance area and realized that while I could make it down, I was going to have a heck of a time getting up all those stairs and not feel like collapsing. So I handed Scott his and Ellie's tickets and sent them down to all the excitement while I headed to our seats. And also despite the Provigil, I was beyond exhausted by the end of the show. But I'm so glad I went

I have to say, I think the Rose Garden arena folks took a page from the airlines' book because the leg room between rows was minimal. I was so grateful that we'd ended up with an aisle seat, which I didn't know when I bought the tickets, and that Scott's masculinity wasn't threatened by letting me have the aisle seat. Without being able to stretch my legs into the aisle, I never would have made it through the entire show.

The show was just so cool. My favorite part was definitely the aerialists. I have a friend in Seattle who "retired" from Microsoft a few years ago and ended up training to become an aerialist, including spending months in Australia at what's apparently the best school for it. I haven't had the pleasure of seeing her perform in person, although I've seen photos and videos on her webpage, and I was just in awe of the men and women who performed at the show we attended. I felt like a little kid, wanting to bounce up and down in my seat and say, "I know someone who can do that! Even the silks!" (I've threatened to hire Bev to come perform at one of Ellie's birthday parties, but the problem is we don't have a venue with high enough ceilings. Not to mention we probably can't afford her fee. :) )

Speaking of fees, OMG, the circus is expensive. We paid about $30 per ticket when you add in the fees and "convenience charge" for buying tickets online. I had decided that Ellie, who is 3.5 years old, could have $10 to spend on whatever she wanted, not including food we would buy her since we ran out of time for lunch before we went. Well, that might have been a good fiscal idea, setting a price limit on souvenirs before getting there. The only problem is the vendors were definitely not on the same page as I was. The cheapest souvenir I saw, and one that had nothing to do with the circus theme, was a $12 tiara with "jewels" that light up and blink when you press the center one. The only problem? I'd bought Ellie the identical tiara over a year ago at Target, where I paid $2 for it. And probably overpaid even there!

I expected the food to be overpriced, and of course it was. But I was still shocked when the guy carrying a couple dozen bags of cotton on a tall stick told me it cost $12 for the mostly air-filled bag. "But that includes the hat!"

So, no souvenirs except for our memories and some mostly blurry photos. Oh, and a tacky plastic hat designed to look like the ringmaster's which Ellie refused to wear. (What's a circus without cotton candy?! It was yummy. It tasted a lot fresher than the kind they sell at the Oregon Zoo, which I thought was overpriced at $3 a bag.)

The Provigil boost definitely didn't take me as far as it did on Friday, but on Friday I was coming off of two days spent mostly in bed or in my recliner while Scott and Ellie were out exploring the world. So I was coming from a better place when I took the medicine Friday morning. Today, I definitely didn't get anywhere close to feeling like "me" again. But on the other hand, without the Provigil, I probably would have ended up sending Scott and Ellie to the circus without me, and that would have disappointed both me and Ellie.

Cost of a ticket to the circus? $30
Cost of a cup of lemonade made to look like a baby bottle? $9
Cost of a normal day out with my family? Priceless.

(P.S. We did not buy the baby bottle glass of lemonade for $9.)


Ok, since I can't resist sharing the handful of photos that turned out pretty cool:

I liked the guy's faux tiger stripe shirt/vest. But mostly I wondered what language he was speaking when he spoke to the tigers because it definitely wasn't English. I think it might have been Eastern European ...

There were no lions in the show, but I thought it was suitably impressive when he got the tiger to stand on its back paws. Luckily, they did it like three times so I was able to catch it:

So most of you probably don't know this about me, but I've always enjoyed trashy romances, particularly ones set in England anywhere from 1500-1850 or so. I liked this photo because he makes me think of the knight on a white horse ... he led about a dozen of riders doing tricks on horses that were amazing, but my camera could either capture photos in low light or moving figures, but not both. :(

I'm not sure exactly how I got the photo below so barely blurry since those miniature horses were definitely in motion. They were so beautiful and matched so well!

Send in the clowns:

Unfortunately, none of my photos of the aerialists came out very well, but I can't resist sharing anyways:


Sherril said...

How wonderful!

Sherril said...

Oh, and your friend Bev - how cool is her business? "Embracing the power and 'and'!... sounds better than "Home of the Short Attention Span!"" I love it!!!