We've been fortunate that most of our experiences here have been great. Some because they were exactly what we expected, some because they weren't. Even when what we're doing hasn't reached the "great" level, we've learned, and therefore it was worth it.
Today was no different.
We started with our normal Sunday routine of an early bike ride to the end of the Diego Martin main road to exercise. They close the road to vehicles so there are just walkers, joggers, cyclists and one superfast speed skater. The rest of the morning we dedicated to getting planning done for the next two weeks since we had plans for the afternoon and next weekend we are going away. Any day I get to skate is a great day, so anything else would be bonus!
At 12:30 we were heading for the Centre of Excellence to see the Pendragon's Magic Show. This was heavily advertised and the price seemed right so we picked up a couple of general admission tickets for $100 each (about $20 CAD). The news paper article suggested that we would see "mind-blowing" effects from "One of the Greatest Magicians Of Our Time".
Here's what lead to our decision:
1. We hadn't been to the Centre of Excellence, so it might be worth a look;
2. This is a big-time magician;
3. The price was right;
4. The trip there would be only about 20 minutes in Sunday traffic;
5. If we're lucky, there will be good snacks;
6. We'd likely be home working if we didn't go.
There was a steady flow of traffic as we pulled in to the parking lot. We noticed that VIP ticket holders had a special parking lot that was further away than everyone else. On the way in we got a free sample of a new yogurt drink and a vendor was just putting burgers on his grill. Things were coming together nicely.
We rounded the corner to the side of the building where the entrance was. We approached the gate and noticed the sign "VVIP" only. After a quick look at our tickets we were ushered along to the next entrance. I looked through the door and saw the scaffolding for the stage. As we walked away from the door near the stage, we passed the VIP entrance and continued passed the “Special Reserve” entrance before we entered the "general admission" doors.
The auditorium was little more than a large barn and our seating area was at least a solid 7 iron from the stage. (Despite the fact that there were about 10 rows at the back of the Special Reserve that weren’t used.) I quickly took a trip to see what food was available as a consolation prize. Chocolate glazed doughnuts made us feel better for a minute or two. Another trip to the vendor for a bucket of popcorn didn’t help at all. We soon learned that the screens intended for our viewing were positioned poorly and did little to enhance the show. The sound was awful. The introductory magician would have been suitable for a 6 year old’s birthday party.
During the intermission, Christmas carols were played. Trinidad is big on Christmas, so this wasn’t all that surprising. We’ve heard Christmas music on the radio and most stores are well decorated already.
The Pendragon show finally started at about 2:30. We lost all hope when the narrator came to the stage and introduced herself as Mother Christmas. After a couple of “tricks” we decided to bail. We walked to the car, drove past the sleeping security guard and hit the road.
Not much fun, but some good learning:
1. Doughnuts are really good;
2. The centre of excellence has an underwater rescue training facility (Cool!);
3. There is a really nice turf soccer field and stadium as well;
4. General admission tickets mean you sit at the “back of the bus”.
11. They don’t charge for parking
42. There is a Chinese food restaurant nearby that has a buffet on Wednesdays and Sundays.
43. The barn has a rubberized floor and would be great for speed skating;