Monday, August 15, 2016

Geektacular Adventuring

Whoops. This blog has fallen by the wayside a bit as I've gotten deeper into Youtube. Sorry. Hoping to fix that in the next few months.

As you may know, I've been using this year to read through ALL of Roald Dahl's books. I've been posting updates over on my Youtube channel. For July's wrap up, I also made a special announcement...I will be going to the UK in September to join in the events happening for Roald Dahl's 100th birthday! And adding in other geeky things! If you missed the announcement, click here
I. AM. SO. EXCITED. 
I will be there for nearly two weeks, hopping around to a few cities and events, and I thought I would share what I'll be going to, in case you're curious (hi Mom and Gran!) or are in the area and want to join in. 

These are in no particular order, other than being grouped by city. Links are in the title of each event.

LONDON AND VICINITY 

Stonehenge
Okay, so this isn't necessarily geeky. But I've been to England twice, with Stonehenge up on my list of things I want to see, and I still haven't done it! So I'm making it a priority. I'm going the day I get in, so I'll be EXHAUSTED and sleeping on the bus, but whatever. I am going to see Stonehenge this time.

This is about an hour outside of London and is the official "home" of all things Dahl. It seems to be mostly geared towards children, but I still think it will be fun. And worst case, I can explore a new town.

Besides hotels and flights, this is the most expensive part of the trip, but I could not pass it up! It's an adults only dinner theatre put on by the disgustingly gruesome Dahl characters Mr and Mrs Twit. It sounds absolutely amazing and I'm so excited to have the opportunity to see this.

I almost didn't get in on this. When I found out there was a true English Afternoon Tea service, at The Shard, with a Dahl theme, it was at the top of my list! But when I went to book, the website wouldn't let me book a party of one. So I sent an email playing the YouTube card (not that I think that mattered), heard back within 15 minutes, and one international phone call later, I've got a reservation. This looks amazingly delicious and whimsical, and I absolutely can't wait.

I did mention "other" geeky stuff. I figured if I'm going to England for one geeky reason, why not just capitalize on the geekiness and do it all? So I am fitting in Harry Potter. I have not heard a single bad thing about this tour, so I'm excited to get my Hogwarts Pride on. I really wanted to get in to the Cursed Child play, but tickets are NOT going to happen :( 

How fun does that sound?! I also managed to score second row seats for about $30 because it has "limited leg room". But all the reviews of the seat online said if you're under 5'5'' you'd be fine, so...yay me! 

CARDIFF

This is the biggest thing happening in Cardiff for Dahl's birthday. The weekend of the 17th will have all kinds of activities and readings all around town- including a Pyjama Party! There are a few things listed on the website, and others will be announced as we get closer. Plus, I think a lot of it will just be up in the air (to visitors like me). 

There's a special exhibit on Quentin Blake at this museum, so a trip is in order!

The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl is taking place here. I don't know what it means, but there's a photo of James' Giant Peach with kids playing in it, so I'm totally game.

I've heard this is wonderful, so I'm going to work it in somewhere. I have two full days currently with "nothing planned" so we'll see how it works out. I've also read that with a ticket to my next adventure, you can get a discount to the castle.

There was no way in the multiverse I was going to Cardiff and not going to the Doctor Who Experience. I even reworked my itinerary to include a day when they do walking tours to filming locations. I may have also splurged for the merchandise pack, which includes a t-shirt, tote, other goodies, plus- the part I'm most excited about- A COMPANION TARDIS KEY. I get to be a companion! I also read on their website that sometimes the BBC allows ticket holders for DWE to go tour the ACTUAL, CURRENT TARDIS set. So, prayers that it happens the day I go :)

Ianto's Shrine
This is an unofficial landmark that is a must for the Torchwood fandom. And warning-this entry contains spoilers. When character Ianto Jones was killed on the show fans left flowers, notes and the like on the pier. Now 7 years later, the tribute remains as a wonderfully weird memorial to our coffee boy.

Wonderman: Cardiff
I literally JUST learned about this while getting the link for something else. It seems to be a show of some kind (?musical?) based on Roald Dahl's adult stories. That is all I know at this point; going to do more research and see if I can squeeze it in.

CHESHIRE (I THINK??)
I say I think because I've seen it listed as Cheshire but also Knutsford, so....whatever.

From what I gather, Tatton Park is a fancy old property with a grand house and garden and...a farm? Around the property are all kinds of Dahl-related exhibits. For example, the Enormous Crocodile is lurking on the grounds and Danny is hunting pheasants with the guests. It sounds totally magical. 

Also taking place at Tatton Park is a special daylong workshop for adult writers to learn to create characters and stories like Dahl. There are two different dates for this, and I believe I did see a children's course at one point, too.


Phew! I think that's everything...at least for now. They keep adding events! I'm going to run out of time and money before this is all through, but I'm really excited about this trip. 
It's going to be deliciously geeky in all kinds of ways.

Which of these events would you like to see covered in depth on this blog? 
Do you have a favorite Dahl story?

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