Tag: Ice Cream

Vagina Rabbit And Race Prep Ice Cream

Vagina Rabbit And Race Prep Ice Cream

Next day it was shopping day.  We got up and headed to the factory outlet stores in an Uber in time for breakfast.  The only place that was open was Starbucks and so that was where we dined.  I then spent the rest of the day walking around every shop in the factory outlet trying to find a pair of football shorts for my boy child….with no luck!  I did end up with two pairs of Levis so that was nice.  We got an Uber back to the hotel and caught up on some sleep before heading out again for the evening.

It was C’s birthday and so we met up for dinner at a place called Lago inside the Bellagio.  It was a very nice place in every way you can imagine.  The customers, the staff, the setting, the food, the atmosphere….it was all at a very high standard.  It was Italian food but you ordered for the table and then shared whatever came out.  We had a range of pastas, steaks and seafood risotto and every bite was delicious.  As someone that doesn’t eat fish, I was assured that the risotto was good, but I trusted the review.

No matter how good the food was, the best part of the evening was always going to be the backdrop.  I had a great seat to experience this too. I sat and ate my meal with the Bellagio fountains putting on their show in the background to music.  Of course I had heard of this theatre and it was one of the things that people said I *had* to see, but until you see the size and scale of the fountains, you can’t begin to appreciate it properly. More of that thought to come in a bit.

We were asked if we wanted desserts and I was looking forward to seeing what they had to offer; the mains were so good it was going to be a treat.  C stepped in and suggested that we should go somewhere else and, as it was his birthday, we put our faith in him.  We went back to the Cosmopolitan and up onto the second floor to a place called Milk Bar.  Are you ready for this?  OK.  Imagine you have just finished your crunchy nut cornflakes and you are left with that delicious cold sugary milk in the bowl.  Now, if you can, don’t drink that but make some ice-cream with it.  For those people that don’t find ice cream sweet enough, this is the one for you!  It was served in a cardboard carton with crunchy nut cornflakes in the base, a lump of this super sweet ice cream and then more sprinkled crunchy nut cornflakes on the top.  I assume that heaven is just a swimming pool full of this stuff.

We walked through the hotel eating our ice-cream and chatting and we thought we spotted Mo Farah standing at the bar having pictures taken with a fan.  It turns out it was his training partner and best friend, Abdi Abdirahman, who had finished third in the New York Marathon.  Looking at his body shape and physique and comparing it to mine (99% stuffed on pasta, steak and sugar infused ice cream) I was pretty sure that my training plan needed a review.

As we waited for the group to get back as one, we noticed at the top of the escalator there was a 6 foot white plastic model of a rabbit.  We had probably walked past it two or three times, but it was only when you stopped to look at it did you realise that the red pattern going through the middle of its face and body was, very obviously, designed to look like a ‘ladies downstairs area’.  We had to explain to a lady that was taking a picture of her 10 year old child in front of it what it was and she said ‘yeah, it’s very clear what it is meant to look like’.  Nowt so queer as folk.

It was at this point I realised that it wasn’t all about numbers as I had thought earlier in the trip, it was all about big ideas.  I am sure that we have all been in an ideas meeting and the chair has said, ’shout out what you’re thinking, no bad ideas, just say what you are thinking’.  Well in Vegas they collect all of these ideas and do them.  But bigger.  We need something to fill this space at the top of the escalator, any ideas guys?  ‘How about a 6 foot rabbit/vagina hybrid?’  Sure, here is $20,000, make it happen.

Even the ice cream place was in on it.  You can buy a container filled with all the ingredients that you need to make ‘cereal milk’ for just $5.25.  Can you imagine that meeting?  OK, we need to increase sales, any ideas?  Yeah, lets sell a small plastic container full of crunchy nut cornflakes and let people pour milk in it to make their own cereal milk.  Erm, is that not the stuff that you get in a bowl of cereal and you can get it much cheaper by buying a box of cereal?  Shut up and make me a logo, we ship this shit on Monday.

With those thoughts going through my mind, mixed with thought of the race tomorrow, we decided to have an early night and got our guy to give us a lift home.  Unfortunately, the strip was already closed off for the preparations for the race and we were totally blocked into the car park.  It took us over an hour to make the 15 minute trip and I didn’t get into bed until well past midnight.  I was assuming that Abdi would have better prep than this?

Putting the Heart Back Into Whitley Bay

Putting the Heart Back Into Whitley Bay

Regular readers (both of you) might remember that I had a friend stay over a month or two back and I tried to show off the best of the North East of England for him. I wrote up the experience of the week here but, it could be summarised with ‘nice place, poor weather’.

Well, last weekend we had weather that we seldom get down at the coast.  Perfect sun and very nearly no clouds at all in the sky.  As we walked along the promenade I thought to myself, this deserves a follow up post!

The weather has been great now for the best park fo three week.  The grasses are turning brown and the rivers are drying up but it has been a great to live at the coast, plodding in the sea to cool off after a potter along the coast.  But Sunday was very hot and a very special day.  It was the day that there refurbished dome was opened to the public for the first time.

Anyone of a certain age in the North East remembers whitely bay as a vibrant go to destination on a summers day with fish and chips, bingo, amusements, arcades, fairgrounds, gift shops.  Basically, a proper English seaside holiday resort.

Well, about 20 years ago that all ended when the fairground closed down and the majority of the things that one would come to Whitley Bay to see, went.  So did the tourists and day trippers and so the downward spiral began.

When I move to the coast 13 years ago, the dome was in the opening stages of being refurbished and I have maybe been in two or three times since to see the progress.  The last time was at a Christmas market, I think 2016.  The place was freezing cold and stripped back to bare concrete with plaster falling off the walls and ceiling.

Walking along the prom, the sea was every shade of blue and shimmering as if it was encrusted with diamonds as the sun glinted off if.  The beach was full, the prom was full and there were a few dozen people in the sea.



The one solitary cloud in the sky looked like a make up removing pad floating in the sky, leaving the sun to penetrate the water so that you could see the rocks and stones deep below.  It really was like being on a Mediterranean holiday or, dare I say it, the Caribbean with golden sand.  The mods were out on the prom showing off their scooters but I wasn’t envious of their leathers and heavy helmets, just their super cool Vespas.

We reach the dome at a leisurely pace, overtaken by the land train that ferries happy children and not so happy parents back and forth along the prom.  There was a Jazz band playing in front and hundreds of folks all milling about looking happy and hot in the sun.  The original dome was built in 1910 and the whole place has been renovated with period features so the music was very much in keeping with the day.


As we snaked around the 2 floors and numerous bars and restaurants that now fill the space I am convinced that I was not the only one that was slightly emotional.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on how to sum up how or why that was the case.  Then I saw the banner that the council had put up explaining, “The heart is back in Whitley Bay”.  Like so many other things around this dome, they seem to have got it exactly right.

A chap sitting playing a piano in the centre of the room, with the dome above him with golden features painted on the glorious ceiling was just about the happiest things I’ve seen in a long long time.  None of the concession were open, it was just an opportunity to wander around the building and see what was to come, but it was perfect in my eyes.

I cant wait to get back in there and see if the service and quality of the food matches the building itself, I am sure it will and that is only a great thing for Whitley Bay.  Build it and they will come back.

Having done our lap, we walked off smiling to get lunch which consisted of chips and ice cream.  Well, it was the holidays after all!  As we walked with gentle and refreshing North Sea waves tickling our ankles we spotted jelly fish flopping about and so many cute dogs it was hard to take them all in.

I hope that this is the start of a very happy new chapter in the Whitley Bay story.