Monday, July 07, 2008

we ran away with the circus

Someone around here had a fairly major birthday and as has become our tradition, such birthdays are celebrated in style.
Not so long ago we celebrated my 30th in Disneyland. For Kendra's big day we decided to run away with the circus. And now that we're grown-ups, we did it up big time.

It started with Cirque du Soleil's Corteo which was playing here in Vancouver. Specifically, it started with their Tapis Rouge tickets -- VIP access that gives you great seats, a private entrance, food before and during the show, drinks the works. We decided to splurge. Next up came the limo, a first for me.
But as you can see we adapted to the high life quickly. The champagne helped.

Jim, our chauffeur made excellent time into the city. Since we didn't need to be at the Grande Chapiteaux until 7 he took us on a tour of Gastown and the waterfront. A girl could really get used to riding in the back of a stretch. I can confidently speak for the three of us in saying that the panoramic view out the back of a limo is one heck of a way to see the city. We were having an amazing time and we hadn't even arrived on site yet.

Once we arrived at the venue, the evening just kept on improving. We got in line and before you knew it were ushered into the VIP tent. Next came another first as we were each issued back stage pass type lanyards to let us in out of the VIP area. Nice.
Next it was off to get our complimentary souvenir photo. This is a photo of the original, but you get the idea.

Once inside things got even better. And there was food. We all quickly agreed that this was the coolest party we had ever been to, and as Monica pointed out, there was no pressure to mingle, we could just enjoy ourselves. The food. . .well, hmm, yes, clearly THIS is what we were paying for. Foolishly, I ate a sandwich before we left thinking that we'd be getting crudites and maybe a little cheese and crackers. I was so glad to be wrong. There was crudites, and sushi, and roast beef sandwiches and mini chicken burgers, and onion rings and these shrimp on spoons things that my allergies prevented me from, so Kendra & Monica graciously saw to it that my share did not go to waste.

The tent was beautifully decorated, but lit for partying, not photography. There were red couches everywhere, very attentive staff and a bar that would make you just about anything and hand it over. I switched over to water fairly quickly and was pleasantly surprised that no one in the tent was noticeably drunk.Before we knew it it was time to take our seats. We sat fifth row, right on the aisle and as it turned out, right in the middle of the action. In the opening sequence there were clowns running down the aisle right beside me. Later on the spotlight was aimed directly at the guy behind me. It's a big spotlight so now I can officially say that I've been in the spotlight at the circus :) Within the first 10 minutes I think I said "O WOW" about 15 times. It was incredible. There were jugglers, tightrope walkers, people who spun around in hoops. There was a girl who could juggle with her feet, and my favorites, the rope dancers who look like they're flying. I can only imagine how that must feel. We were so close we could see the smiles on their faces, their stomach muscles tensing for feat after feat and could catch the little winks the clowns sent out into the audience. I gasped a lot.

After what seemed like 10 minutes, it was intermission. Back into the tent for dessert, after a quick stop at the Tapis Rouge-only comfort station. Shortest intermission line ever. (Almost worth the price of admission alone!)The second half of the show went even faster, but still caught us oohing and ahhing over the exploits on the stage. I can only imagine the training it takes to be able to do that. There was a girl who balanced on one foot standing on a man's shoulder while he casually walked across the stage. There were brothers who bounced each other on and off of what looked like a simple teeter-totter (clearly not). They tumbled -- on purpose -- they flew, one girl even walked up a tight rope set at a 45 degree angle. Another clown walked the rope upside down. It was a show, it was entertaining. It was breath taking.

When the night was over we were on our feet cheering wildly and thrilled to be close enough to see the faces of the performers, clearly as pleased with the evening's outcome as we were. We walked into the cool night air, past the displays and with the blue and yellow tent looming large behind us, said our farewells to the circus.

Jim was there at the curb waiting for us. We rode home happy and full of tales of what we had seen. It is a night I will always remember. Just to be sure, I bought myself a souvenir. It's a Christmas tree ornament filled with scrapes from costumes from Corteo. It has photos of one of the performers and the chandeliers that the girls flew through like trapezes at the beginning of the show. I thought it had all the colors of the circus. It will be there to remind me when the time has come to run away again.


Darcy & Sharon said...

Sounds like a lot of fun!

Mom Colvin said...



I'm so glad that you had such a great and special time. Way to go! Thanks for sharing the experince in words and pictures.

muh love, Mom XX

DAve & JAnie said...

Wow, what a thrilling, phenomenal evening! The circus is coming here, today in fact! We won't be going though.. i don't think.
But back to you... WOW! How do you girls think of these things? I am always impressed with the adventures you treat yourselves to! Way to go!

Thanks for the decor tips for the house. I like the idea of painting the roof over the stairs! I have been thinking about window boxes too, but apparently forgot. I like the shutter idea, but dave has already expressed his dislike of shutters (not like that's ever stopped me from adding a little style before!).
You are always welcome to come here. Where are you this year for Christmas. I don't know if it will work, but we are hoping to head out west... just depends on the cash flow!
Right now we are trying to work out dave (or all of us) going to your parent's for Geoff's wedding in late August. Who knows what will happen
Have fun coming down from your sophisticated adventure (isn't that the best thing about being an adult.. the adventures truly are better!)

Monky said...

I knew there was a reason we left the blogging to you! It was a fabulous evening, and like all such, now seems like a dream.

Thanks for blogging, and describing it so well, and most of all for being part of it! WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO indeed!

Janice said...

Claire, that sounds amazing! I love that you guys do such elaborate adventures. Sounds like such fun!!