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Monday, 21 September 2015

It was Belfast. They were Giants. Pt 2

"Faith is a kind of winged intellect. The great workmen of history have been men who believed like giants."
Charles Henry Parkhurst

Welcome to part two of mine and Eva's stay in Belfast for her birthday and the first home game of the Belfast Giants 15/16 season! If you want to check out part one you can find here.

Saturday was game day! The first Belfast Giants home game of the season. I was beyond excited to check out our new team in action. However, we had plenty planned before the game. During this stay we had opted to have the Premier Inn's breakfast. At the weekend the breakfast was from 7am to 11am (as far as I remember) so we still got a bit of a lie in. We were up around 9:30am and down for breakfast by 10am. Because we hadn't drank the night before we were able to enjoy the breakfast fully. Especially Eva, who usually ends up throwing it up faster than she can get it down. They had a continental and a full on fry up option. Naturally we went for the fry buffet.



Sadly they didn't have potato bread or soda bread but hash browns instead. I know some of mine looks burned but that's just how I like my food. The breakfast was so good and I wish we'd have gone for it during our last stay as well. We even sneaked a few things back to our room for later. Eva had forgotten her bag so I hid them in my cardigan. We were all stealth like and all. After breakfast we decided to head into Belfast. We wanted to go back to Build A Bear and as well as Primark. We decided to go into town all ratchet like as we'd be getting showers when we came back to get ready for the game. I think it may be the first time I've been in Belfast without makeup on. First we went to Forbidden Planet, Primark and Lush again, spending more money. We then made our way back to Build A Bear and picked the same bears we'd picked the day before. There was more of an atmosphere in the store as it was a Saturday, so there were plenty of kids running around. Before that would have bothered me and made me anxious but this time it just made it more fun. Eva went with the zombie bear and as I'm reading a werewolf series at the moment I went for the werewolf. 


They're both from their Halloween range. There's also a bat which is super cute too. The staff were all so friendly and we were approached a number of times to see if we needed any help or anything. One of the staff members stood and talked to Eva and I about our hair colour and our choices of bears etc. They were such a friendly team of people and they all seemed like they genuinely enjoyed their jobs. When it came time to fill our bears I actually got to help fill mine this time. Usually you use a foot pedal but they had a handheld button for wheelchair users. I'd never been offered that before.


The girl that was helping us fill our teddies was lovely too. She chatted away to us both. We were also given a leaflet of the birthday packages they do and the woman said they've done 18ths to 50ths to hen parties. So guess where I'm thinking of having my next birthday?! Before she sewed up the back of our bears we picked a heart, kissed it and made a wish before it was put inside the bear. We both also decided to get scents, something I hadn't gotten before. I went for bubblegum. 


Once the scent was in she sewed up my wolfie and we were off to pick outfits. Look out for what I bought my teddy in a toy haul coming soon. I think Build A Bear was probably my favourite part of the stay, aside from the ice hockey obviously. It was just great fun and we really went all out, spending £105 between us! I could have bought more but I figured I should pace myself. I look forward to going back and picking up some outfits for my other Build A Bear teddies too. After Build A Bear we headed to Yo! Sushi. Eva got a couple of plates and I got the pancakes again. 


We decided that since sushi isn't my thing that we'd go to Costa after so I could get something to eat as I didn't want to run the risk of feeling ill again if I didn't eat properly. I got a good old chicken and stuffing sandwich, a packet of crisps and a mocha.


I guess you could say my palate isn't as... diverse as Eva's. Once we'd both had our food we headed back to the Premier Inn. With plenty of shopping in tow! We were making good time since we'd left early. I think it was the earliest I'd ever been in Belfast apart from for early hospital appointments. I got into the shower when we got back so my hair would have plenty of time to dry before the game. The shower was wondrous. Another thing I hadn't tried the last time we stayed. It was an accessible shower, so there was a seat that folded down from the wall. It was super comfortable. Eva got her shower after me and we then spent time opening things we'd bought that day and dressing our Build A Bears. I can't wait to show you my bear in his outfit! I also got him an extra something for Halloween. After that we started getting ready for the game.


It felt real good to be back in my jersey. We had planned to go to Rockies before the game to pre-drink but we'd spent so long opening our toys and dressing our Build A Bears that we ran out of time. Yes. I am a twenty five year old that prioritises toys over alcohol. We still got to the arena in time to catch some of the warm up. It was super packed, meaning I didn't get to see many of the changes they'd made during the refurbishment to the arena. I'd already had a couple of near misses during the day so my driving already wasn't great. I wasn't going to chance hitting someone in the crowded arena. One change I did see was the new seats and the fact they've removed the fixed seats in the wheelchair area. One the plus side is it meant I wasn't condemned to having Eva on my bad side the whole season as I had originally thought. However, both Eva and my aunt Karen have said the fold out seats aren't very comfortable.


It was a little touch and go at the beginning but it was a great match. We won 6-2 against the Manchester Storm. They are a new team in the league this season so it was my first time seeing them. It was awesome seeing our new guys in action. It's still early days so I can't pick out any favourites yet. Don't worry. I'll keep you updated if and when that changes!


A slight downer on the night was the price of the alcohol in the arena and the fact the alcohol we did buy didn't seem to make us even tipsy. I should have stuck to coffee! It would have been less of a dent in my pocket and we didn't need to be drunk to have a fun night. After the game we bumped into some of our friends on the way to McCool's bar. Eventually the players came but Eva and I opted out of accosting them for a photo, this time round at least. We finished off the night chatting to my friend Eimear and her partner etc. They were a great laugh. Their alcohol had been working. Hopefully we get a chance to catch up with them more throughout the season, as well as everyone else we met last year. Maybe we'll even make some more friends along the way. We made our way back to the Premier Inn and passed many people outside on their way home from the Proms. I had to laugh as Eva and I sang and danced our way to the inn while playing Legs by Laganja Estranja out loud on my phone. Probably a little different to the music those people had been listening to. It wasn't along until we were tucked up in bed and looking forward our breakfast in the morning. Well, once Eva had cleared the abundance of shopping off it! It had been a long and fun day.


We woke up early on Sunday morning for our breakfast. I had exactly the same thing as I had the day before. We didn't have as nice a spot. On Saturday we'd had a bit of a view since we were at the window but on Sunday we were beside a table full of kids. I still enjoyed my breakfast nonetheless and we brought a sausage for my dad, at his request. Eva kept a croissant too. Got to love a buffet. Eva did remember her back this time.


Check out was at noon so when we got back to the room we set about packing up all the things we'd brought and all the things we bought. My dad had a bit of a shock in store when he came into the room. We were going home with more than double what we'd brought. 



Dad said we'd left the room like a bomb had hit it but we'd really just left the bed undone. I mean, they'd be taking everything off to wash it anyway. Right?


We said goodbye to the room and headed down to check out. I couldn't believe our stay had been and gone already. It had been such a build up. I was sad that it was over already but excited to get back to my furry and slimy babies. 


I look forward to another Belfast stay in the future. It seems silly that somewhere so close by can feel like a trip away but it really does feel like a mini holiday. Maybe next time we'll stay for longer. I can't recommend the inn enough. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading about or second little Belfast excursion.

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