So these last 4 days I've spent celebrating my 30th birthday. Its gone that fast that I haven't had chance to sit down and let the realization kick in that I'm in fact not only another year older, but I've hit another decade mark. It's strange because when other people tell me they're 30, I don't see myself as the same age as them, and my automatic thought is 'wow, you're getting old..' however luckily not only do I not act 30 (for the most part!) but I'm grateful enough to not look it either (lets not beat around the bush here...).
Celebrating a birthday that was a little more special than the others, I was extremely spoilt by my boyfriend, Mike. On the morning of my birthday I opened some lovely gifts from him, and he even managed to get me my favourite new toy, a GoPro Hero 4 - I cannot wait to play around with this beauty - I need some practice in ready for Florida! Mid morning, a special flower delivery arrived and I was presented with a huge bunch of gorgeous flowers that are now sitting proudly in my living room. After opening lots of presents, he presented me with my last gift which I knew straight away was a CD. However, I can't say I'm massive on CD's or music in general so this was a little strange. I opened it and was presented with the new Take That album. Perfect for my car. I placed it down and he then said 'aren't you going to open the CD, there might be something else inside'. I did as I was told and out dropped a pair of Take That concert tickets to go see them... in Newcastle... in 2 days time! He proceeded to tell me that we were leaving the very next day and we're staying for 2 nights, and that he's also booked afternoon tea in a swanky hotel. Excited much?!
At lunch time that same day, he took me for afternoon tea at a local golf course hotel. I was under the impression it was just the 2 of us, however unfortunately a member of staff let the surprise slip before I was presented with it - Basically Mike had arranged for all of my friends to surprise me there, however the member of staff asked Mike if it was a table for 7. It was, but he had to act all confused, and tell a little white lie to her. This led to the member of staff looking confused and in the end Mike told her she'd spoilt the surprise, haha. So although it was a bit of an anti climax (and probably a poor reaction for my friends!) it was still nice to see my friends faces, even though a few couldn't make it. Mike left us all to be girls and headed back home. We managed to catch up over Afternoon Tea, and although I'd had better (afternoon tea's, that is!) it still made a refreshing change. I opened more cards and presents here and received some lovely gifts.
That night was a chilled one - we visited my mum and went for a quiet drink before heading back home to pack our bags for the next few days!
Sunday arrived and we left for Newcastle about 11ish. We were in for a fairly long drive so back went the passenger seat so I could catch some Zzz. After arriving in our hotel, we freshened up and headed to The Vermont Hotel to devour more Afternoon Tea. The setting was gorgeous, our table overlooked a roaring fire (which I can imagine to be extra cosy in the winter!). A pianist began playing half way through, and most of the songs I knew (Coldplay etc) so it was a really nice touch (review coming soon!). After this we headed back to our hotel room and had a chilled night.
Monday arrived and we drove to The Metro Centre and did some shopping, stopping off at Pizza Hut for some lunch. We had a quick freshen up back at the hotel before jumping in a taxi and heading to the Metro Arena. I don't know what happened but after showing our tickets to numerous staff in order to ensure we were heading in the right direction for our seats, we continued to be directed towards the front of the arena. We were then given some wrist bands (which has never happened before!) and were then led into a standing area which was right at the front of the stage! I panicked at this point because I was worried my feet wouldn't be able to hack being stood for so long (damn you arches!). I then spotted a small space beside one of the runways of the stage that I could use as a leaning post. We soon realized that we'd probably got one of the best spots in the stadium - when each member of Take That came down the right runway, we were probably 2 metres apart, with no other people between us.. absolutely perfect. This made the ideal spot for picture taking and on several occasions all members made direct eye contact with me... *swoon* (We think the website Mike ordered the tickets from may have sent us the wrong ones because Mike promised me he had booked to be seated).
As the concert started the space we were stood us made us feel like VIP's! - on a few songs, a huge white sheet went over the area in which we were in, and we were curtained off from the rest of the arena so no one could see in. At one point it almost felt like we were backstage because they did a shadow performance to the whole arena, however because we were behind the curtain, we could see how it was being performed! We were in the perfect spot for the confetti and smoke, at one point we were all knee deep in the stuff.... it really was incredible. You weren't back-to-back with other people, it just felt really laid back and... nice. Take That's displays are one of a kind and one I definitely would recommend going to watch.
After the concert had finished we jumped in a taxi and headed to the hotel. I was so tired and hungry for my bed. The next day we were slow to rise. We didn't leave the hotel till checkout time, and then headed into the city centre for a little more shopping and some lunch at Frankie & Benny's before our drive home.
It's been such a whirlwind of a birthday, I feel like I haven't stopped. I've been well and truly spoilt and want to thank everyone that was a part of it.
The only negative is that its back to work for me tomorrow after having a week off... I hate it when you look forward to something for so long, and within the blink of an eye its over. Next on my travel list? London next month!