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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Belfast Giants Awards Night

"Even though you're growing up, you should never stop having fun."
Nina Dobrev

I'm not going to lie, I'm a little worse for wear as I'm writing this so it may end up a lot more nonsensical than usual. I had another post in mind for today and was going to include last night in my usual weekly round up My Week In Words. However, it was so epic I thought it deserved a post of it's own! Last night was the Belfast Giants award ceremony. It was the first time I had been to anything of the sort. As the Ramada Plaza Hotelwhich the ceremony was being held in, was in Belfast, Eva and I decided to book a room so we wouldn't have to cut the night short so our dad could pick us up. Thankfully my aunt Karen was off for Easter she was able to give us a lift home the next morning. The perks of having a teacher in the family.

I sort of forgot to take a photo of my whole outfit, but I wore a floaty top with a sequinned collar. Usually I swear it with tights as a dress, but last night I opted for some black shiny leggings and black high heels. As the top had no sleeves and I don't like my arms, I kept my brown cardigan on all night too. For jewellery I wore my bracelets and my lapis lazuli ring. I had my hair curled and pulled to the side in a pony tail. All in all I was pretty happy with my outfit. I'm not usually one for dressing up and I didn't want to go too far outside my comfort zone. Eva wore a lovely black, sparkly dress. Her make up was stunning too. We were both feeling pretty dusted. I really liked my make up also.

We left the house around 6pm. We'd have preferred to have gotten there earlier to check in etc, but my dad was working so he could only take us after he got home. It wasn't all bad though as it gave us a lot of time to relax and get ready. The drinks reception started at 7:30pm so by the time we got there we didn't have a lot of time. It was already pretty dark in the room and the lighting was less than stellar so I didn't quite manage to great photos of the room, but it was nice. If not a tad small for my wheelchairs. There was one bed, but it was more than big enough for Eva and I to share.

The rest of the hotel was really lovely too. The drinks reception was a bit awkward. We weren't drunk enough yet to mingle and it was so warm in the room. They were offering food around but Eva and I passed. The room they were actually having the awards in was big but there were so many tables it was a bit of a squeeze for my wheelchair. Which I'm sure people didn't appreciate when they all had to move so I could get in and out. At first my back was to the stage but thankfully the woman at the table behind ours moved so I could turn around and see everything. The awards part of the evening wasn't too long and I was thankful for that as I didn't want to be confined to that packed room for too long. It was enjoyable though. Some great laughs!

The winners were as follows:

Special Achievement Award: Adam Keefe and Laura Small for the Bleed Teal For Tom campaign
D- Man Of The Year: Jeff Mason
Forward Of The Year: Darryl Lloyd
Fan Favourite: Adam Keefe
Unsung Hero: Mark Garside 
Community Service Award: Calvin Elfring
Leading Goal Scorer: Craig Peacock
Player's Player Of The Year: Adam Keefe
Coach's Player Of The Year: Ray Sawada
MVP: Darryl Lloyd

All very much deserved! We also heard that Darryl Lloyd is the first player officially signed for next season. Which is awesome! I'm really impatient to know who else will be returning and also what new talent we might get. At the end the whole team got up on stage and then they played some highlights from the season. It was pretty emotional.

After we were left to mingle and get our drink on. This is when the real fun started. I'll be honest though, that's also when everything kind of became a blur of epic awesomeness. I met and chatted to so many people, including the players. I caught up with some of the friends I've made this year and made some new ones too. I chilled with Fiona, Emma and Lisa for a bit and got some photos with a couple of players. I don't have those photos yet though as someone else took them on their phone. I snapped this photo of Eva and Fiona in deep conversation!

Could Eva look any more steaming? 
Drunken realness.

Eva then disappeared to get another drink and after she took a while I decided to go find her. I found her at the bar chatting to a girl called Lauren that Andrew Dickson, one of the goalies, had brought with him. She was minding his drink or something. We ended up staying with her for a while. She was so lovely. She also had SUCH nice shoes from Primark. I was well jealous. 

I also met someone that I went to school with also called Sara. She was pretty drunk so she doesn't remember much but I basically owe a lot of my highlights to her! She kept asking me which Giants I wanted then going off to find them for me to take photos. She was so much fun and very funny. 

From top row to bottom row we have Adam Keefe, who was so lovely! Craig Peacock, Carsen Chubak, Colin Shields, Andrew Dickson and Stephen Murphy. They were all really lovely gentlemen but I especially enjoyed my interactions with Keefe and Shields. Perhaps they were a little merrier than the others!

I was DETERMINED to get a photo with Calvin Elfring. I'd have been really bummed if I'd missed my chance after missing out the times before because of shyness etc. I can't remember who it was, but someone found him for me and asked him for a photo. He was so lovely! And the surreal part was he recognised me as Bloo 'n' Stuff from Twitter.

It got even better after I tweeted my disbelief and he followed me! Definitely feel like I'm moving up in the world. It was definitely another highlight of the night. 

Speaking of highlights, meeting Nathan Robinson was also a big highlight. Someone asked him to take a photo with me (gosh, where would I be without these someones?) and he obliged. Eva got in on it too. 

After we took the photo he then stood and talked to me for five or ten minutes. He was really nice and so approachable. He also took a picture of him and I and posted it on his Twitter! I mean, I don't look great but still! Pretty cool.

The night was basically just spent drinking and mingling and meeting new people. It was awesome. Sara and I left Eva with a guy called Phil in the lobby and went up stairs to the ceremony room where people were dancing on a dance floor. I awkwardly joined in and then out of nowhere Adam Keefe came dancing at me! It was so funny but I did not know how to process it. Then everyone formed dance circle thing and he had Darryl Lloyd had a dance off. You can see Keefe attempting a split below. Hopefully he didn't injure himself as the hockey season isn't over quite yet.

I also got a (pretty bad quality) video of the dance off. 

Anyway, it was such an epic night and I am so glad I got to spend it with Eva and she enjoyed it as much as I did. The only disappointment of the evening was Eva didn't manage to get a photo with Mike Kompon and he won't be back next season. I felt so bad for her! Anyway, I love that we share a love for this sport and our team. I can't wait for more of the same next season!

We made it back to our room some time after 1am and had Pot Noodles before bed. Eva was out like a light but I couldn't sleep. I guess I still had a little of adrenaline going. I ended up watching YouTube videos in the very comfy hotel bed until I could fall asleep. This morning we got up around 9am and went for the hotel breakfast. We were both feeling a bit worse for wear but Eva was particularly bad. Lashing rings round her! She really does get the worst hangovers. The breakfast was so good though. Well worth missing the little extra time in bed. 

Eva and I first shared a bowl of melon. It was so good and refreshing. Just what we needed. And then I had a good old fry up. Soda bread, potato bread, bacon and a fried egg. I also got a sausage but I didn't manage to eat it. After that I had a bit of jam on toast and a cup of tea. I'd gotten a croissant also but I didn't manage to eat it either. My eyes are always bigger than my belly when it comes to buffets.

I definitely wished I'd had the food I'd left behind later in the day and so did Eva. She got melon, scrambled egg, sausages, bacon and toast.

After breakfast there was nothing left to do but go back to our room, pack, check out and then wait for our aunt Karen to pick us up. It was a little bit of a come down because there'd been quite the build up to the awards. However, feeling as tired and fragile as I did, I was looking forward to getting home too.

We eventually got home and the rest of the day was spent trying to focus on this post! I've been totally shattered and I guess a little hungover, so it's been no easy task. However, I was determined to give the epic experience a post of it's own and post it today while the memories are as fresh as they're ever going to be. It was definitely an experience for the books and memories I'll always cherish. I can't wait to make more!


  1. This was so freaking awesome!! So much excitement and you really are moving up in the world sweetie! I'm glad you're slowly getting over your shyness! Never let it hold it back and I have to agree with on the "someones" part! Hahaha! :)

    1. Thank you! It was an amazing night. I'm glad I didn't drink so much that I forgot it all. LOL. But yeah, I'm really enjoying being more social. And not feeling like I've embarrassed myself or haven't come across well after every interaction. :) xo


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