Push Away the Screen: The Blue Man Group Orlando

Haley's birthday was very blue!

Not blue because she was sad, but blue because we had the opportunity to go to Orlando and see the infamous Blue Man Group.

Our show was scheduled to begin at 6pm, so we arrived at Universal City Walk by 5pm, had some snacks and drinks, and then went to pick up our tickets at Will Call.

Walking up to the box office the #TampaTrio was getting so excited by all the colorful paint inspired signs that they were seeing!

We picked up our tickets and saw that we were in row BB. I had no idea where that was and thought maybe it was in the 28th row with A-Z being the first 26 rows, and then starting up with double letters for rows behind that.

I was wrong.

We were in the 2nd row. Which is considered the "splash zone" and they provided us with ponchos. As you can tell from the photo, they also serve food and drinks at the show. The kids each had a Churro (their favorite amusement park snack) and James and I each had an adult beverage.

The show has a very strict NO CAMERA, NO PHONES, NO SOCIAL MEDIA SHARING, so I happily turned my devices off. I was there to #pushawaythescreen, so it made it even easier to just say NO!

The show started with the BANG of drums, and didn't let up the entire time! They are more than musicians though. At one point during the early part of the show, one of the Blue Men popped open a bag of marshmallows and tossed a few ordinary marshmallows into the audience. Then,  Blue Man One takes his position about 20 feet from Blue Man Two, reaches into the bag, takes aim and arcs one right into Blue Man Two's open mouth. The feat earns a smattering of applause. But the Blue Men are just getting started. Rocking to a drum beat, Blue Man One tosses another one to Blue Man Two. And another. And another. Each marshmallow lands in Blue Man Two's mouth, with his cheeks bulging, and eyes widening! The applause turns to hoots and hollers and the audience counts along, 19, 29, 21, 22, 23.

After a pause to shove these back, he's ready for more. After 35 or so direct hits, Blue Man Two ends the ceremony by recycling the slobbery white mass as a free-form sculpture. It looks like a pile of cream cheese, but it's art.

And this is when he held it out on his hands....offering it to the audience, looking at my son Ronin as he did this.

So what do you think Ronin did?? HE CLIMBED THE STAIRS, GOT ON THE STAGE AND TOOK THE SLOBBERY SCULPTURE FROM BLUE MAN TWO'S OUTSTRETCHED HANDS!! And walked back down the stairs, smiling and laughing....so proud of the white wet masterpiece.

 

Special thanks to the Blue Man Group for taking this photo and sending it to us!

I immediately took off my poncho, met Ronin at the stairs, wrapped the sculpture in it, placed it under my seat, grabbed Ronin's hands and we quickly exited the theater to head to the bathroom.

After a hand wash, and a good laugh, we went back to head to our seats where we learned that we were locked out of the theater because the Blue Men were doing an act that couldn't be disturbed!

I understood, but Ronin did not. He was upset. Not throwing himself on the floor crying upset, but bummed out because he was missing the show. It was at this point that the Show Manager came out and asked if this was the boy who had gone on stage for the sculpture. I said "yes, this his him." And he proceeds to tell us that in the HISTORY OF THE SHOW NO ONE HAS EVER TAKEN THEM UP ON THEIR OFFER TO TAKE THE SCULPTURE.

The manager proceeds to tell us that he'd like to have our family meet some of the Blue Man Group and band members after the show, and he gives us a designated meeting spot.

Say what??? He also tells us that the sculpture is not made of marshmallows, but rather of SOMETHING ELSE!! Yuck, not that it wasn't gross enough with marshmallow, but to learn that it was something else, something secret, super gross and that he's going to send someone to pick it up from us before the show's end.

The doors re-opened and back we went to our seat. We made it through the rest of the show, and it was fantastic. The music was lively and the beat was contagious.

There was only one negative (though James considers it a positive) and that is that we did not get sprayed with paint or water, or ANYTHING! I guess that's good since I had my poncho wrapped up with a mystery substance sculpture, but the kids were pretty disappointed. They were hoping to get MESSY!

But their disappointment quickly turned to smiles! If you look closely in my hand, you can see the white mystery substance sculpture all wrapped up in my poncho!

We got to meet TWO members of the Blue Man Group, including the one who made the Marshmallow/Mystery Substance Sculpture, and he gave to Ronin a REMO DRUM HEAD THAT HE HAD USED IN THE SHOW!! 

 

We also got to meet Kevin, one of the drummers in the group and he gave the kids a quick drumming lesson. I spent the rest of the evening listening to Ella play "her sticks" on various objects throughout Universal City Walk. She's actually pretty good. She certainly has an ear for music.

Overall we all had a night that we will not soon forget! It was a great way for us to laugh together and Push Away the Screen.

 

Have you ever seen the Blue Man Group??

 

Disclaimer: Our family was provided with 5 tickets to see and review the show. All opinions are ours. 

Happy 10th Birthday, Haley

Where has the last decade gone? This weekend my oldest child, my sweet Pixie, the oldest member of the Tampa Trio, my Haley, turns 10 years old.

At just 3 days old your most favorite spot to sleep was on your daddy's chest (look how tired, yet YOUNG your daddy looks here!!)

 At 4 months old you had a twinkle in your eye and we knew you were a special little girl. 

By the time your first birthday rolled around, I was pregnant again, and shortly thereafter you became a big sister for the first time.

You are a great big sister and have loved your sister Ella since the minute she joined our family.

 You have always loved painting and are a very talented artist. You have won art awards at your school, and I hope you always find joy through art.

By the time you turned 2, I was pregnant again. You were there when Ronin was born, and your memory of that night amazes me. You were so excited to be a big sister again!

You have always loved to cook.

From pizza, to omelets, to pancakes, you are a curious learner and always willing to make new things.

This past year has been full of growth for you. You learned your multiplication tables, how to make videos on the ipod (and publish them to YouTube) how to do your own laundry and you have been such a great helper to me and your dad.

But the thing that makes you the most happy is Matthew. You love him so much and it just makes my heart smile to see that he brings you so much joy.

You also had a pretty amazing year on the race circuit and I am so proud of you stepping outside your comfort zone and pushing yourself to go faster, to go further. Keep setting those SMART goals Pixie, and you will go far.

Your daddy and I, along with your brother and sister love you SO MUCH! Keep on smiling, keep on hugging, keep on loving and living. I am so proud of the young woman you are becoming and I can't wait to see how you grow in this new decade of your life.

XOXO

Mama

Jazzercise is all grown up

When I mentioned to friends and family that I was going to start taking Jazzercise in 2014, I got comments like

"are you bringing your leg warmers?" or "are you wearing a leotard?"

Neither. This is what I wore (post-workout photo, so crazy hair is a given!) Jazzercise is ALL GROWN UP! No leotards, no leg warmers! And none of the women in my class were wearing anything from the 1980's either!

I wore the same thing I normally wear to CrossFit! Tongue Out Except I didn't wear my Nano's. I wore my Brooks. And I slipped during a ball exercise, but more on that later. Thank goodness for a lot of padding on my butt.

I used to do Jazzercise back in the late 1990's. I loved it and did it constantly for 2 years. I have always loved dancing, and despite trying Zumba a small handful of times, I have not taken a dance aerobics class since meeting my husband and relocating to Tampa. When I met James, Jazzercise was the type of exercise I was doing. But we lived a far distance away from each other, so the time I used to spend in Jazzercise I was now spending in the car driving up to meet him.

This past year I discovered CrossFit and I've made amazing gains in my strength. Simply amazing. But I felt the tug of a true group fitness class calling back to me. Before CrossFit I pretty much only did Les Mills group fitness. But I don't want to give up CrossFit, not at all, so I needed to find something that would work. Les Mills classes at the Wellness Center meet at a time that wouldn't allow me to keep up CrossFit, and no way am I allowing that to happen.

I happened to be driving up US41 last week and saw a sign for Jazzercise and my heart skipped a beat. I came home, looked up their class schedule online and saw that they offer a 9:30am and 10:30am class and those times fit PERFECTLY with my CrossFit schedule!! I can do CrossFit on MWF at 9am, and then drive the few miles south to do Jazzercise at 10:30. On Tuesday/Thursday I am planning on only doing Jazzercise, but the 9:30am class.

Today's class had us dancing to Rhianna (one of my favorites) Pink, Kenny Chesney (I'm not really a country fan, but it wasn't bad) and other Top 40 hits! It was so much fun! We did a circuit workout too. We used exercise bands, hand weights, and an exercise ball for core work. This is when I slipped. I have used exercise balls for core work a lot of time. I mean a lot. But I had forgotten how slippery a wooden fitness floor can be. So as I was rolling out on my back to get into proper position my feet kept going and before I knew it the ball had slipped out from behind my back and my butt was on the ground. Too funny! The lady behind me caught my ball and said "you just missed me slipping too!!" HAHA!! I guess it happens to even the seasoned Jazzercisers.

We did a TON of squats and lunges. A ton. I do a lot in CrossFit but not for like 8 minutes straight. My legs were ON FIRE!! I can't wait to go back next week!! The instructor was great, upbeat, and personable. I had a great time. And yes, we did grapevines.


 

A few things to know about Jazzercise:

 

  • Jazzercise is the original dance aerobics class and got its start way before newcomers Zumba, Bhangra, and Dance Trance.
  • Unlike other dance classes, there are no mirrors in any of the Jazzercise studios. No mirrors means no self-judgement and no need for self consciousness. Go nuts. The instructor is trained to give easy-to-follow verbal cues, so follow along with her and you’ll be just fine. It’s like a live version of the Dance Dance Revolution video game.
  • According to the website, you can burn up to 600 calories in one class.  I burned 548 calories. I'm pretty happy with that!! My friend Liz, upon seeing my calorie burn on Facebook posted "not bad for dancing!" Right?? Not bad for dancing!!

  • Classes involve warm up, cardio dance segment, aerobic cool down, toning with weights, and a final warm down. Each and every segment is adaptable for all ability levels. I did the highest level for most of the routine, though a few moves I wasn't familiar with so had to really use my brain to think about it.
  • New songs and routines are used every 10 weeks to keep things fresh. So, if you hate Ke$ha or Taylor Swift, stick it out for a few weeks and there’ll be a new crop of pop stars to dance with next time.

 

Jazzercise Lutz/Tampa is currently running a special! You can enroll for FREE and the month of January is FREE!!

The Lutz/Tampa location also offers childcare at 9:30am which is great for those days when the kids are home from school and I still need my dancing fix!

 

Have you ever done Jazzercise???